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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5
Resolution Chart Comparison (JPEG)

Images on this page are of our standard resolution chart which provides for measurement of resolution up to 4000 LPH (Lines Per Picture Height). A value of 20 equates to 2000 lines per picture height. For each camera we use the relevant prime lens (the same one we use for all the other tests in a particular review). The chart is shot at a full range of apertures and the sharpest image selected. Studio light, cameras set to aperture priority (optimum aperture selected), image parameters default. Exposure compensation set to deliver approximately 80% luminance in the white areas.

What we want to show here is how well the camera is able to resolve the detail in our standard test chart compared to the theoretical maximum resolution of the sensor, which for the charts we shoot is easy to work out - it's simply the number of vertical pixels (the chart shows the number of single lines per picture height, the theoretical limit is 1 line per pixel). Beyond this limit (when talking about line pairs usually referred to as the Nyquist frequency) the sensor cannot faithfully record image detail and aliasing occurs.

This limit is rarely attained, because the majority of sensors are fitted with anti-aliasing filters. Anti-aliasing filters are designed to reduce unpleasant moiré effects, but in doing so, they also reduce resolution (the relative strength and quality of these filters varies from camera to camera). In theory though, a sensor without an AA filter, when coupled with a 'perfect' lens, will deliver resolution equal to its Nyquist limit. Therefore, even though it may be effectively unattainable with normal equipment in normal shooting situations, an understanding of a sensor's theoretical limit provides a useful benchmark for best possible performance. Nyquist is indicated in these crops with a red line.

Canon Powershot S95
(3648 x 2736) 3.6MB
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5
(3648 x 2736) 3.6MB
Nikon Coolpix P7000
(3648 x 2736) 4.2MB

Vertical resolution

Canon Powershot S95 (JPEG)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 (JPEG)
Nikon Coolpix P7000 (JPEG)

Horizontal resolution

Canon Powershot S95 (JPEG) Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 (JPEG) Nikon Coolpix P7000 (JPEG)

Resolution chart comparison (RAW)

On this page we're looking at both JPEG and Raw resolution. For a (more) level playing field we convert the latter using Adobe Camera Raw. Because Adobe Camera Raw applies different levels of sharpening to different cameras (this confirmed) we use the following workflow for these conversions:

  • Load RAW file into Adobe Camera RAW (Auto mode disabled)
  • Set Sharpness to 0 (all other settings default)
  • Open file to Photoshop
  • Apply a Unsharp mask tuned to the camera, in this case 100%, Radius 0.6, Threshold 0
  • Save as a TIFF (for cropping) and as a JPEG quality 11 for download
Canon Powershot S95
(3648 x 2736) 3.6MB
Click to download original RAW file (zipped)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5
(3648 x 2736)
Click to download original RAW file (zipped)
Nikon Coolpix P7000
(3648 x 2736)
Click to download original RAW file (zipped)

Vertical resolution

Canon Powershot S95 (RAW)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 (RAW)
Nikon Coolpix P7000 (RAW)

Horizontal resolution

Canon Powershot S95 (RAW) Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 (RAW) Nikon Coolpix P7000 (RAW)

The LX5's multi-aspect sensor is capable of describing a lot of detail, pretty close to the Nyquist limit. As always, more detail can be coaxed out of its RAW output but even the JPEGs are impressively detailed. Although the nine converging lines stop being accurately described at approximately 2200LPH, some detail is still visible in the RAW image at and slightly beyond Nyquist. Of course this isn't 'true' detail but it does aid the impression of greater resolution from the LX5's RAW output.

The S95's sensor is able to resolve an impressive amount of detail, although as we'd expect, it cannot describe the lines on our test chart accurately as Nyquist is approached. The S95's RAW files are more detailed than its JPEG output but despite the huge difference in compression, the difference in appearance is not enormous. It is worth noting that although the JPEG images here might appear more detailed at a quick glance, this is an illusion created by their higher contrast.

The P7000 delivers excellent resolution, despite its complex 7.1x zoom lens. Its JPEG engine does a very good job of demosaicing the sensor's output and a semblance of detail is visible fairly close to the Nyquist limit. Detail is better from the P7000's RAW output as we'd expect, but the difference isn't enormous, and most of what looks at first like additional resolution in the RAW image as its approaches Nyquist is in fact aliasing and moiré patterning.

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