Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Pentax Optio A10 (8MP, 3x zoom)
  • Casio EX-Z850 (8MP, 3x zoom)
  • Canon PowerShot S80 (8MP, 3.6x zoom)
  • Nikon Coolpix P3 (8MP, 3.5x zoom)
  • Panasonic DMC-LX1 (8MP, 4x zoom)
  • Olympus Stylus 800 / Mju 800 Digital (8 MP, 3x 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 +0.3 EV to +1.3 EV.

Pentax Optio A10 (1,855 KB; 8 MP) Canon PowerShot S80 (2,889 KB; 8 MP)
Panasonic DMC-LX1 (3,382 KB; 8.3 MP) Casio EX-Z850 (3,969 KB; 8 MP)
Olympus Stylus 800 (3,356 KB; 8 MP) Nikon Coolpix P3 (3,991 KB; 7 MP)

Resolution chart crops

Pentax Optio A10 Canon PowerShot S80
Panasonic DMC-LX1 Casio EX-Z850
Olympus Stylus 800 Nikon Coolpix P3
Pentax Optio A10 Canon PowerShot S80
Panasonic DMC-LX1 Casio EX-Z850
Olympus Stylus 800 Nikon Coolpix P3

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Pentax Optio A10 Horiz LPH 1700 2300
Vert LPH 1700 2350
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 # n/a
Canon PowerShot S80 Horiz LPH 1700 2000
Vert LPH 1700 * 2200
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Casio EX-Z850 Horiz LPH 1600 1900
Vert LPH 1550 1950
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Panasonic DMC-LX1 Horiz LPH 1500 *1900
Vert LPH 1600 *1950
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000 n/a 
Olympus Stylus 800 Horiz LPH 1750 + * 2000
Vert LPH * 1700 + * 2000
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000 n/a
Nikon Coolpix P3 Horizontal LPH 1550 * 2250
Vertical LPH 1500 * 2050
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000 n/a 
* Moiré is visible
# Jagged diagonals
+ 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)

The Optio A10 is well up towards the top of the 8MP compact class in terms of absolute resolution, with a very clean tail off as you approach extinction. The results bear out what we saw in our real life photographs; lots of clean detail and a fairly subtle approach to image processing. All in all very impressive.