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Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Sony DSC-HX1 (9.0 MP, 20x zoom)
  • Canon PowerShot SX1 IS (10.0 MP, 20x zoom)
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ28 (10 MP, 18x zoom)

Shots here are of our standard resolution chart (version one or two). This 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. So a value of 15 equates to 1500 lines per picture height. (Note that on version two of our chart the vertical resolution 1000 - 2000 lines have been horizontally flipped but are otherwise identical). For each camera the relevant prime lens was used. The chart is shot at a full range of apertures and the sharpest image selected.

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

Sony DSC-HX1 (3,772 KB;10 MP) Canon PowerShot SX1 IS (3,746 KB;10 MP)
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ28  

Resolution Chart Crops

Sony DSC-HX1 Canon PowerShot SX1 IS
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ28  
Sony DSC-HX1 Canon PowerShot SX1 IS
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ28  

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Sony DMC-HX1 Horizontal LPH 1800 2300*
Vertical LPH 1800 2200*
5° Diagonal LPH 1600 n/a
Canon PowerShot SX1 IS Horizontal LPH 1800 2300*
Vertical LPH 1800 2200*
5° Diagonal LPH 1600 n/a
Panasonic Lumix FZ28 Horizontal LPH 2000 2400*
Vertical LPH 2000 2400*
5° Diagonal LPH 1600 n/a

* Moiré is visible
+ Chart maximum
Jagged diagonals
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)

In testing we found that these three cameras were pretty close in terms of usable resolution, with the FZ28 clearly ahead of the HX1 and SX1 IS. You can see from these crops just how much more sharpening the HX1 is doing in-camera. These slight differences in resolution are going to be very difficult to see in normal usage, so you would not choose one of these cameras over another for resolution.

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