A Pilot Study of Digital Camera Resolution Metrology Protocols Proposed Under ISO 12233, Edition 2

Don Williams (Image Science Associates) · Dietmar Wüller (Image Engineering) · Kevin Matherson (Hewlett Packard) · Hideaka Yoshida (Olympus Imaging Corp.) · Paul Hubel (Foveon, Inc.)


Edition 2 of ISO 12233, Resolution and Spatial Frequency Response (SFR) for Electronic Still Picture Imaging, is likely to offer a choice of techniques for determining spatial resolution for digital cameras different from the initial standard.

These choices include 1) the existing slanted-edge gradient SFR protocols but with low contrast features, 2) polar coordinate sine wave SFR technique using a Siemens star element, and 3) visual resolution threshold criteria using a continuous linear spatial frequency bar pattern features. A comparison of these methods will be provided. To establish the level of consistency between the results of these methods, theoretical and laboratory experiments were performed by members of ISO TC42/WG18 committee.

Test captures were performed on several consumer and SLR digital cameras using the on-board image processing pipelines. All captures were done in a single session using the same lighting conditions and camera operator. Generally, there was good conformance between methods albeit with some notable differences.

Speculation on the reason for these differences and how this can be diagnostic in digital camera evaluation will be offered.

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