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Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-S90 (4 MP, 3x zoom)
  • Canon PowerShot A520 (4 MP, 4x zoom)
  • Olympus Mju Mini (Stylus Verve) (4 MP, 2x zoom)
  • Canon PowerShot SD300 (4 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.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S90
(1,615 KB; 4 MP)
Canon PowerShot SD300
(1,437 KB; 4 MP)
Canon PowerShot A520
(1,386 KB; 4 MP)
Olympus Mju Mini (Stylus Verve)
(2,609 KB; 4 MP)

Resolution chart crops

Sony DSC-S90 Olympus Mju Mini (Stylus Verve)
Canon PowerShot SD300 Canon PowerShot A520
Sony DSC-S90 Olympus Mju Mini (Stylus Verve)
Canon PowerShot SD300 Canon PowerShot A520

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Sony DSC-S90 Horizontal LPH 1200 1400
Vertical LPH 1150 1400
5° Diagonal LPH 900 n/a
Canon PowerShot SD300 Horizontal LPH 1250 *1425
Vertical LPH 1300 *1550
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000 n/a
Olympus Mju Mini Digital
(Stylus Verve Digital)
Horizontal LPH * 1250 * 1500
Vertical LPH * 1300 *1500
5° Diagonal LPH * + 1000 n/a
Canon PowerShot A520 Horizontal LPH 1250 * 1450
Vertical LPH 1300 *1500
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)

A nice clean result with pretty much no moiré visible at even the highest frequencies. The actual resolution is broadly what we would expect from a 4MP in 2005, though as the figures above show, they're far from class-leading (slightly below the average for the group).

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