Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ7 (6 MP, 12 x zoom)
  • Olympus SP-500UZ (6 MP, 10x zoom)
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1 (5 MP, 12x zoom)
  • Canon PowerShot S2 IS (5 MP, 12x zoom)
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ5 (5 MP, 12 x zoom)
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ30 (8MP, 12x 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. If possible aperture was selected for optimum sharpness. Exposure compensation +0.7 EV to +1.3 EV.

Panasonic DMC-FZ7 (2,365 KB; 6 MP) Canon S2 IS (1,896 KB; 5 MP)
Panasonic DMC-FZ30 (2,845 KB; 8 MP) Olympus SP-500UZ (3,305 KB; 6 MP)
Panasonic DMC-FZ5 (1,802 KB; 5 MP) Sony DSC-H1 (2,029 KB; 5 MP)

Resolution Chart Crops

Panasonic DMC-FZ7 Olympus SP-500UZ
Panasonic DMC-FZ5 Canon S2 IS
Panasonic DMC-FZ30 Sony DSC-H1
Panasonic DMC-FZ7 Olympus SP-500UZ
Panasonic DMC-FZ5 Canon S2 IS
Panasonic DMC-FZ30 Sony DSC-H1

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Panasonic DMC-FZ7 Horizontal LPH 1400 *1800
Vertical LPH 1500 *1850
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Sony Cyber-shot H1 Horizontal LPH 1350 1600
Vertical LPH 1450 1650
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Canon PowerShot S2 IS Horizontal LPH 1350 ‡ * 1550 ‡
Vertical LPH * 1500 ‡ * 1650 ‡
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 ‡ n/a
Panasonic DMC-FZ5 Horizontal LPH 1350 1650
Vertical LPH 1300 1600
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Olympus SP-500UZ Horizontal LPH 1250 1500
Vertical LPH 1300 1550
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Panasonic DMC-FZ30 Horiz LPH *1750 +2000
Vert LPH *1800 +2000 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000 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)

Unsurprisingly the FZ7 captures a little more detail than the FZ5 (itself one of the best 5MP super zoom cameras on the market), but the results aren't as clean and there is visible moiré at very high frequencies. Still, the FZ7 sets new standards for resolution in 'affordable' super zoom cameras.