Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Ricoh GR-Digital (8MP, 28mm fixed lens)
  • Canon PowerShot S80 (8MP, 3.6x 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.

Ricoh GR-Digital (2,739 KB; 8 MP) Canon PowerShot S80 (2,889 KB; 8 MP)
Panasonic DMC-LX1 (3,382 KB; 8.3 MP) Olympus Stylus 800 (3,356 KB; 8 MP)

Resolution chart crops

Ricoh GR-Digital Canon PowerShot S80
Panasonic DMC-LX1 Olympus Stylus 800
Ricoh GR-Digital Canon PowerShot S80
Panasonic DMC-LX1 Olympus Stylus 800

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Ricoh GR Digital (JPEG) Horiz LPH 1550 *2000
Vert LPH 1500 *1900
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Canon PowerShot S80 Horiz LPH 1600 2000
Vert LPH 1700 * 2200
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
* 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)

Although the GR-D has a decent enough resolution for a compact camera, we were surprised to see that it comes nowhere near the top of the class, despite all Ricoh's proclamations about the quality of the lens. Having looked at the raw output it became obvious that at least some of the problem comes from the in-camera processing - the output isn't very clean and there is some fairly strong moiré visible at higher frequencies.