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.

Nikon D5000 (3.5 MB; 12.3 MP) Canon EOS 500D (4.4MB, 15.1 MP)
Olympus E-620 (6.4 MB, 12.3 MP) Nikon D60 (2.6 MB, 10.1 MP)

Nikon D5000 Canon EOS 500D
Olympus E-620 Nikon D60

Nikon D5000 Canon EOS 500D
Olympus E-620 Nikon D60

Nikon D5000 Canon EOS 500D
Olympus E-620 Nikon D60

Measurable results

Camera Measurement
Nikon D5000 Horizontal LPH 2200  * 2650 
Vertical LPH 2100  *2600 
Canon EOS 500D Horizontal LPH 2350  * 2800 
Vertical LPH 2300  * 2650 
Olympus E-620 Horizontal LPH 2200  * 2550 
Vertical LPH 2150  * 2550 
Nikon D60 Horizontal LPH 2200  2300 
Vertical LPH 1800  2300 

* 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)

We've repeatedly seen that the default output from the from the D5000 is a touch soft and this duly impacts on the resolution figures, with soft gray transitions between lines prompting us to call the resolution limits relatively early. That said, the D5000 still manages to do well against the E-620, which has a similar number of pixels (albeit arranged in a different aspect ratio, so that it offers greater nominal vertical resolution).