Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Panasonic DMC-LZ2 (5 MP, 6x zoom)
  • Pentax Optio S5i (5 MP, 3x zoom)
  • Casio Z55 (5 MP, 3x zoom)
  • Nikon Coolpix 5200 (5 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.

Panasonic DMC-LZ2 (1,573 KB; 5 MP) Pentax Optio S5i (2,855 KB; 5 MP)
Casio EX-Z55 (2,098 KB; 5 MP) Nikon Coolpix 5200 (1,546 KB; 5 MP)

Resolution chart crops

Panasonic DMC-LZ2 Pentax Optio S5i
Casio EX-Z55 Nikon Coolpix 5200
Panasonic DMC-LZ2 Pentax Optio S5i
Casio EX-Z55 Nikon Coolpix 5200

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Panasonic DMC-LZ2 Horizontal LPH *1400 *1750
Vertical LPH *1350 *1800
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Pentax Optio S5i Horizontal LPH *1250 *1500
Vertical LPH *1200 *1450
5° Diagonal LPH *+1000 n/a
Casio EX-Z55 Horiz LPH *1300 *1600
Vert LPH *1250 *1550
5° Diagonal LPH *+1000 n/a
Nikon Coolpix 5200 Horizontal LPH 1400 *1650
Vertical LPH 1350 *1650
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)

Excellent resolution considering the price point and the fact that the LZ2 has twice the focal range of all the other cameras in this group. It may not be a Leica lens, but it's certainly capable of pulling as much detail out of a scene as this chip can handle. My only complaint is that it's not quite as clean as we'd like (there's moiré patterns visible at higher frequencies), but it's better than many and no worse than most.