Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Sony DSC-H5 (7.2 MP, 12x zoom)
  • Sony DSC-H2 (6 MP, 12x zoom)
  • Canon PowerShot S3 IS (6 MP, 12x zoom)
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ7 (6 MP, 12 x zoom)
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ30 (8MP, 12x 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.

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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-H5 (2,675 KB; 7.2 MP) Canon S3 IS (2,116 KB; 6 MP)
Panasonic DMC-FZ7 (2,365 KB; 6 MP) Sony DSC-H2 (2,306 KB; 6 MP)
Panasonic DMC-FZ30 (2,845 KB; 8 MP)  

Resolution Chart Crops

Sony DSC-H5 Canon S3 IS
Panasonic DMC-FZ7 Sony DSC-H2
Panasonic DMC-FZ30  
Sony DSC-H5 Canon S3 IS
Panasonic DMC-FZ7 Sony DSC-H2
Panasonic DMC-FZ30  

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Sony DSC-H5 Horizontal LPH 1525 2000
Vertical LPH 1550 *2000
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Sony DSC-H2 Horizontal LPH * 1450 * 1850
Vertical LPH * 1550 * 1850
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Canon PowerShot S3 IS Horizontal LPH 1400 *1700
Vertical LPH 1450 *1850
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 ‡ n/a
Panasonic DMC-FZ30 Horiz LPH *1750 +2000
Vert LPH *1800 +2000 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000 n/a
Panasonic DMC-FZ7 Horizontal LPH 1400 *1800
Vertical LPH 1500 *1850
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 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)

The H5, with it's extra million pixels, offers a small resolution advantage over the H2, which would suggest that Sony is now stretching the capabilities of this particular lens about as far as it can. That said, the resolution of the H2 is excellent, so even this modest increase puts the H5 very near the top of its class (the Panasonic FZ30 still rules the roost here, but with a lens that's twice the size and another million pixels at its disposal, so it should). The H5's results here are very impressive, and remarkably clean even at the highest frequencies, with only a touch of moiré visible as you approach extinction. Not bad at all.