Resolution Chart Comparison

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 aperture priority (optimum aperture selected), image parameters default. Exposure compensation +0.7 EV to +1.3 EV.

Sony DSC-R1 (3,739 KB; 10 MP) Canon EOS 350D (2,537 KB; 8 MP)
Olympus E-500 (4,958 KB; 8 MP) Sony DSC-F828 (3,116 KB; 8 MP)

Sony DSC-R1 Canon EOS 350D
Olympus E-500 Sony DSC- F828

Sony DSC-R1 Canon EOS 350D
Olympus E-500 Sony DSC-F828

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):

Camera Measurement
Sony DSC-R1 Horiz LPH * 1950  * 2400 
Vert LPH * 1700  * 2300 
Canon EOS 350D Horiz LPH 1850  + 2000 
Vert LPH 1650  + 2000 
Olympus E-500 Horiz LPH * 1800  * 1950 
Vert LPH * 1650  * 1950 
Sony DSC-F828 Horiz LPH 1650  * 1950 
Vert LPH 1550  1950 

* Moire 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)

The DSC-R1 performed well but not as well as I had expected with only a slight improvement over the eight megapixel EOS 350D and E-500 digital SLR's. However it's clearly a significant step up from 'consumer type' fixed lens digital cameras such as the Sony DSC-F828. It is possible to squeeze a little more 'apparent' resolution from RAW files using Adobe Camera RAW and that route will also avoid the green/magenta moire artifacts seen here.