Resolution Chart Comparison (JPEG)

Shots here are of our 'version two' 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 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 aperture priority (optimum aperture selected), image parameters default. Exposure compensation set to deliver approximately 80% luminance of white area.

Canon EOS 7D (4.8MB, 18 MP) Canon EOS 50D (4.1 MB, 15.1 MP)
Nikon D300s (3.4 MB; 12 MP) Pentax K7 (8.6 MB, 14.5 MP)

Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 50D
Nikon D300s Pentax K7

Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 50D
Nikon D300s Pentax K7

Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 50D
Nikon D300s Pentax K7

Measurable results

Camera Measurement
Canon EOS 7D Horizontal LPH 2500  * 3100 
Vertical LPH 2450  * 3050 
Canon EOS 50D Horizontal LPH 2250  2700 
Vertical LPH 2200  2700 
Nikon D300s Horizontal LPH 2200  2300 
Vertical LPH 2100  2600 
Pentax K7 Horizontal LPH 2300  * 2700 
Vertical LPH 2250  * 2650 

* 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)
Absolute resolution 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 resolution Detail beyond camera's definition (becomes aliased)

The Canon EOS 7D makes the most out of its 18 MP sensor and delivers the highest resolution that we have so far seen on an APS-C DSLR. There are some signs of moire at very high frequencies but it outresolves all other cameras in this comparison in terms of both absolute and extinction resolution. However, when looking at these results it has to be considered that they, like in all our studio tests, have been achieved with stopped down prime lenses. In most real-life situations you would struggle to get the same amount of resolution in your images.