Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • 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)
  • Kodak EasyShare DX7590 (5 MP, 10x zoom)
  • Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 (5 MP, 12x 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.

Sony DSC-H1 (2,029 KB; 5 MP) Canon S2 IS (1,896 KB; 5 MP)
Konica Minolta Z5 (1,858 KB; 5 MP) Kodak DX7590 (1,418 KB; 5 MP)
Panasonic DMC-FZ5 (1,802 KB; 5 MP)  

Resolution Chart Crops

Sony DSC-H1 Canon S2 IS
Panasonic DMC-FZ5 Kodak DX7590
Konica Minolta Z5  
Sony DSC-H1 Canon S2 IS
Panasonic DMC-FZ5 Kodak DX7590
Konica Minolta Z5  

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
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
Kodak DX7590 Horizontal LPH 1100 *1400
Vertical LPH 1200 *1450
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Konica Minolta
Horizontal LPH *1300 *1500
Vertical LPH *1250 *1500
5° Diagonal LPH *1000 n/a
Canon PowerShot S1 IS Horizontal LPH 1050 *1300
Vertical LPH 1050 *1300
5° Diagonal LPH 900 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)

There is very little between the top three cameras in this class; the Sony H1 and Panasonic FZ5 (and FZ20 for that matter) produce noticeably cleaner results than the Canon S2 IS, but in terms of absolute detail it's a close call, and none of them will disappoint. As with the other cameras in this class we found that diffraction effects mean resolution starts to drop off fairly quickly at apertures of F6.3 and smaller.