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Compared to...

The table below shows just what a tough a job Fujfilm has marketing the FinePix S5 Pro - and why - despite there being little real advantage in doing so - the headline 'output' resolution is interpolated up to 12 megapixels. If assessed as a 6.1MP camera (no matter how good a 6.1MP camera) it looks very expensive indeed (especially compared to the Nikon D200).

Camera Body Price Sensor
Megapixel
difference
*
Canon EOS 30D $1,150 8.2 MP CMOS (1.6x crop) +34%
Nikon D200 $1,574 10.2 MP CCD (1.5x crop) +67%
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro $1,814 6.1 + 6.1 MP SUPER CCD (1.5x crop) -
Canon EOS 5D $2,801 12.8 MP CMOS (FF) +110%

* Based on uninterpolated 6MP output

Of course if you take Fujfilm's word that the S5 Pro is a 12 megapixel camera things look very different indeed...

Camera Body Price Sensor
Megapixel
difference
* *
Canon EOS 30D $1,150 8.2 MP CMOS (1.6x crop) -32%
Nikon D200 $1,574 10.2 MP CCD (1.5x crop) -16%
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro $1,814 6.1 + 6.1 MP SUPER CCD (1.5x crop) -
Canon EOS 5D $2,801 12.8 MP CMOS (FF) +5%

** Based on interpolated 12MP output

Lenses used

For direct comparisons we always use sharp prime lenses stopped down (typically to F9). For the 'cropped' sensor cameras we used 50 mm lenses (EF 50 mm F1.4 for the 30D, Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 for the D200 and Nikkor 50mm F1.4 for the S5 Pro and S3 Pro) and for the full frame EOS 5D the EF 85 mm F1.8.

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Fujifilm S5 Pro (12MP) vs Nikon D200

Camera settings:

  • Fujifilm S5 Pro: Nikkor 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Normal), Self-Timer
     
  • Nikon D200: Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Normal), Self-Timer
Fujifilm S5 Pro (12MP)
Nikon D200
5,819 KB JPEG (4256 x 2848)
4,236 KB JPEG (3872 x 2592)

Although both the D200 and the S5 Pro produce markedly soft results at their default settings the NIkon's resolution advantage is obvious. But let's give Fujifilm some credit; the difference is far smaller than we would expect when comparing a 6MP and 12MP camera - the S5 Pro is capturing a surprising amount of detail given its pixel count. You'd need to be producing very large prints to see the difference, though the lack of critical per-pixel sharpness and the usual Super CCD interpolation artefacts mean you're not going to want to push these files too far.

Fujifilm S5 Pro (6MP) vs Nikon D200

Camera settings:

  • Fujifilm S5 Pro: Nikkor 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Medium/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Normal), Self-Timer
     
  • Nikon D200: Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Normal), Self-Timer
Fujifilm S5 Pro (6MP)
Nikon D200
3,727 KB JPEG (3024 x 2016)
4,236 KB JPEG (3872 x 2592)

The S5 Pro - like all Super CCD cameras - always captures a 'full resolution' image (in this case 12MP) - shooting at the 6MP setting involves the raw image being downsampled at the point that the JPEG is created. Fujifilm's excellent processing does this without sacrificing much detail at all, and results in a smaller file that has pretty much the same amount of information but looks cleaner and responds better to sharpening.

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