Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Canon PowerShot S1 IS (3.2 MP, 10x zoom)
  • Fuji FinePix S5000 Zoom (3.1 MP, 10x zoom)*
  • Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z10 (3.2 MP, 8x zoom)
  • Panasonc DMC-FZ10 (4 MP, 12x zoom)

*the FinePix S5000 has a 3.1 MP effective SuperCCD chip that outputs 6MP images - these measurements were taken in 6MP mode.

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.

Canon PowerShot S1 IS (1,273 KB; 3 MP) Fuji FinePix S5000 Zoom (1,451 KB; 6 MP)
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z10
(1,214 KB; 3 MP)

Panasonic DMC-FZ10
(1,059 KB; 4 MP)

Resolution Chart crops

Canon PowerShot S1 IS Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z10
Fuji FinePix S5000 Zoom Panasonic DMC-FZ10
Canon PowerShot S1 IS Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z10
Fuji FinePix S5000 Zoom Panasonic DMC-FZ10

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Canon PowerShot S1 IS Horizontal LPH 1050 *1300
Vertical LPH 1050 *1300
5° Diagonal LPH 900 n/a
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z10 Horiz LPH *1150 *1350 
Vert LPH *1150 *1350 
5° Diagonal LPH 900 n/a 
Fuji FinePix S5000 Zoom Horiz LPH 1200 *1300 
Vert LPH *1000 *1300 
5° Diagonal LPH *900 *1000
Panasonic DMC-FZ10 Horizontal LPH 1250 1550
Vertical LPH 1200 1450
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)

It is slightly difficult to comment on the perfomance of a camera that is, essentially, in a class of its own (3MP, 10x stabilized zoom). The good, though hardly surprising news is that the S1 IS is producing images of considerably higher resolution than its predecessor the Pro 90 IS, though we're not talking about a quantum leap here. In fact, the S1 IS produced slightly dissapointing results - certainly not class-leading - and you don't need to look very hard to see just how much more fine detail the similarly-priced Panasonic FZ10, for example, is capturing (albeit with 30% more pixels). That said, the S1 IS certainly outperforms the only other 10x zoom, 3MP camera here (the Fuji FinePix S5000), and compares well with the KM DiMAGE Z10 (which only has an 8x zoom). But ultimately the relatively low pixel count combined with the compromises involved in producing a compact 10x zoom lens seriously limit the amount of fine detail you can expect to capture.This is going to have a significant impact on how large you can print your pictures if you want them to look nice and crisp.