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Olympus E-400 with Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 ED Gordon Laing, November 2006

Outdoor / Resolution / Noise / Noise 2 / Corner sharpness / Fringe & macro / Geometry / Vignetting

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Olympus E-400 resolution comparison

  To measure and compare the Olympus E-400's resolving power we photographed the Enhanced Digital Camera Resolution Chart with it and a number of rival models, each using their best quality JPEG and default image tone and sharpening settings. We tested the E-400 using both the kit Zuiko Digital 14-42mm and the Leica 14-50mm lenses.

The crops are taken from the original images, saved as High Quality JPEGs in Photoshop CS2 and presented here at 100%. Each number represents 100 lines per picture height (lpph), so a figure of 20 means a resolution of 2000 lpph.

We tested the Olympus E-400 and both lenses at every aperture and selected the sharpest results - in each case this was achieved at f8. Using the Zuiko Digital 14-42mm kit lens, the E-400 delivered 2050lpph or horizontal and vertical resolution, and was capable of fractionally more when fitted with the Leica 14-50mm, although the results were very close.

These results are measurably superior to the 8 megapixel Olympus E-500 and 7.5 Megapixel Panasonic L1, and roughly equivalent to the 10 Megapixel Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi with its kit lens. Fit the Canon 400D / XTi with a better lens though and it's capable of resolving 2150 lpph both horizontally and vertically, while the Nikon D80 with the Nikkor DX 18-70mm lens can deliver 2200 lpph. See our 10 Megapixel DSLR group test for comparisons.

A prime lens may squeeze a little more from the E-400, but the Leica 14-50mm is a quality optic and we assume the results below are a fair indicator of the E-400's resolving capability. This makes it the highest resolution Four Thirds DSLR yet, although equip its 10 Megapixel rivals with superior lenses and they can out-resolve it in this test. Be sure to check our outdoor and outdoor noise results pages though to see how the E-400 compares against the Canon 400D / XTi and Panasonic L1 with real-life subjects at infinity.

Olympus E-400 using ZD 14-42mm
Olympus E-400 using Leica 14-50mm
2050 lpph, 14-42mm at 25mm, f8, 100 ISO
2100 lpph, 14-50mm at 25mm, f8, 100 ISO

Olympus E-500 using ZD 14-45mm
 
Panasonic Lumix L1 using Leica 14-50mm
1800 lpph, 14-45mm at 25mm, f8, 100 ISO
1900 lpph, 14-50mm at 25mm, f8, 100 ISO


Olympus E-400 using ZD 14-42mm
Olympus E-400 using Leica 14-50mm
2050 lpph, 14-42mm at 25mm, f8, 100 ISO
2100 lpph, 14-50mm at 25mm, f8, 100 ISO

Olympus E-500 using ZD 14-45mm
 
Panasonic Lumix L1 using Leica 14-50mm
1750 lpph, 14-45mm at 25mm, f8, 100 ISO
1950 lpph, 14-50mm at 25mm, f8, 100 ISO

Olympus E-400 results continued...

Outdoor / Resolution / Noise / Noise 2 / Corner sharpness / Fringe & macro / Geometry / Vignetting
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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