Saturday, October 30, 2010

G Series Resolution

In a previous post, I showed that my G12 has less noise at high ISO than does my G9. DxOMark shows this comparison more scientifically and in more detail. Some credit for this improvement in noise should go to the reduction in pixel density and, I assume, some credit goes to noise reduction software (in-camera in this case). I'd also like to think that some credit would go to true improvements in sensor technology. Whatever the real case, the first explanation is usually that an increase in megapixels means an increase in noise.

The ultimate in noise performance would be, I suppose, a single but very large pixel; however, that design would not be very useful to photographers. We can feel intuitively that there must be an advantage to having many pixels. That advantage is resolution.

Dpreview includes resolution testing as part of its intensive camera reviews and reports. I've summarized the Dpreview resolution test results for the G series cameras below.

In the above comparisons, “Resolution” is the horizontal “Absolute Resolution”in lines per picture height as measured and reported by Dpreview. Dpreview includes a vertical resolution in their test reports but as that number is similar to the horizontal resolution, I've omitted it in favor of brevity. Remember that G series sensors have been essentially (but not exactly) the same physical size. The G12 has not been tested by Dpreview at this date.

Interestingly and as expected, G series resolution has generally increased with pixel count but there also appears to be an effect of time, or more likely, improved technology. The 10MP G11 has better resolution that does the 10MP G7 and even better resolution that my 12MP G9. I expect that the resolution of the G12 is likely to be about the same as the G11.

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