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Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Pentax Optio S5i (5 MP, 3x zoom)
  • Panasonic DMC-FX7 (5 MP, 3x zoom)
  • Casio Z55 (5 MP, 3x zoom)
  • Nikon Coolpix 5200 (5 MP, 3x zoom)

Shots here are of the PIMA/ISO 12233 standard resolution test chart (more of which are available in our comparison database). This resolution chart allows us to measure the actual performance of the lens and sensor system. It measures the ability of the camera to resolve lines at gradually higher resolutions and enables us to provide a definitive value for comparison purposes. Values on the chart are 1/100th lines per picture height. Thus a value of 15 equates to 1500 lines per picture height.

Studio light, cameras set to auto, settings all factory default. If possible aperture was selected for optimum sharpness. Exposure compensation +0.7 EV to +1.3 EV.

Pentax Optio S5i (2,855 KB; 5 MP) Panasonic DMC-FX7 (1,676 KB; 5 MP)
Casio EX-Z55 (2,098 KB; 5 MP) Nikon Coolpix 5200 (1,546 KB; 5 MP)

Resolution Chart crops

Pentax Optio S5i Panasonic DMC-FX7
Casio EX-Z55 Nikon Coolpix 5200
Pentax Optio S5i Panasonic DMC-FX7
Casio EX-Z55 Nikon Coolpix 5200

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Pentax Optio S5i Horizontal LPH *1250 *1500
Vertical LPH *1200 *1450
5° Diagonal LPH *+1000 n/a
Panasonic DMC-FX7 Horizontal LPH 1450 1700
Vertical LPH 1400 1600
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Casio EX-Z55 Horiz LPH *1300 *1600
Vert LPH *1250 *1550
5° Diagonal LPH *+1000 n/a
Nikon Coolpix 5200 Horizontal LPH 1400   *1650
Vertical LPH 1350   *1650
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 

* Moiré is visible
+ Chart maximum
LPH Lines per Picture Height (to allow for different aspect ratios the measurement is the same for horizontal and vertical)
5° Diagonal Lines set at 5° diagonal
Absolute res. Point at which all lines of a resolution bar are still visible and defined, beyond this resolution loss of detail occurs (below Nyquist frequency).
Extinction res. Detail beyond camera's definition (becomes aliased)
n/a Not Available (above the capability of the test chart)
n/v Not Visible (not visible on test results)

With a good 1200 or so lines of solid resolution that only completely trails away at around 1500 lines, the S5i is not a bad performer at all (though by no means the best of its class). Compared to some of the competition, the S5i's images are a touch over-sharpened, and are nowhere near as clean as the best here (the Panasonic FX7). It's also disappointing to see artefacts and moiré appearing at relatively low frequencies. Still, not a bad result at all.

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