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FujiFilm FinePix S1 Pro Review

August 2000 | By Phil Askey


Review based on a production FinePix S1 Pro (Firmware v1.00)

Back on January 31st FujiFilm announced the S1 Pro, people ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the specifications, 6.13 megapixels, accepts Nikon F-mount lenses, ISO from 320 to 1600 support for CF Type II and SmartMedia with an estimated street price of just US$3,500.

A lot of time has passed since then, in that time we've learned that the CCD in the S1 Pro is in fact 3.4 megapixels (3.07 million effective) but because it's of the SuperCCD layout it produces a 6.13 megapixel output image (in the same way FujiFilm's 4700Z produces a 4.3 megapixel image from a 2.4 megapixel sensor). Also that the S1 Pro is based on Nikon's F60 (known as the N60 in the US) with about another inch added to the base to contain the batteries for the "digital portion" of the camera and (we assume) digital processing electronics. It's also become apparent that lens compatibility could be an issue, because the camera is based on the F60 it doesn't support certain lenses (full list of supported lenses is available further into this review).

Putting that behind us nobody can ignore the price, for a Digital SLR with this much resolution just can't be ignored...


SuperCCD

The major difference between a SuperCCD and standard CCD is the orientation of the CCD pixels. In a SuperCCD they're orientated in a diamond formation (or honeycomb as Fujifilm like to call it), turning this into a square image requires processing which generates a higher pixel count (because of the missing pixels between odd rows).

The Fujifilm S1 Pro has a 3.4 megapixel SuperCCD which outputs 3.07 million pixels which is processed to generate a 6.13 megapixel image (3040 x 2016). This means that the cameras internal systems are processing those diagonally orientated pixels to generate the image... Debate still rages as to whether this is a good thing or not.

The SuperCCD design does lend itself to higher sensitivity thus the S1 Pro has a lowest sensitivity of ISO 320 (it was rumored that production cameras would be capable of ISO 160 however that doesn't appear to have come to fruition) and highest of ISO 1600.

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this review (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Photographs of the camera were taken with a Nikon Coolpix 990, images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (normally 1024 x 768 or smaller if cropped) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

This review is Copyright 2000 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey.

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