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Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro Review

July 2002 | By Phil Askey

Preview based on a production FinePix S2 Pro, Firmware v1.00

The Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro was announced on January 30th 2002, almost three weeks before Nikon announced the D100 and Canon announced the EOS-D60. The S2 Pro replaces Fujifilm's first price breaking digital SLR the S1 Pro. Just like the S1 Pro the S2 Pro uses an almost-APS-size SuperCCD sensor, however this time the effective pixel count has increased from 3.4 million to 6.2 million. Also vastly improved is the choice of Nikon body on which the camera is based. The S1 Pro was based on the N60 (F60) and came in for some criticism for its features, finish and durability. The S2 Pro is based on Nikon's much improved N80 (F80) body which affords it a much more professional looking and robust body but also adds much need support for AF-S and VR lenses.

After processing the S2 Pro outputs a huge 12 megapixel image. If this is too large (and a 4.5 MB per JPEG it may well be) you can select a 6 megapixel output size. Because of the Honeycomb like layout of the SuperCCD this 6 megapixel image is created by first processing the 6 megapixel input pixels to a 12 megapixel image and then downsampling this image to 6 megapixels.

Other new features are summarized below, I've highlighted some of the more important points in bold type.

Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro Major Features

Supplied by Fujifilm.

  • New 3rd Generation Super CCD sensor and advanced LSI algorithm
    (6.17 million effective pixels)
  • Producing an astounding 12 million recorded pixels (4256 x 2848)
  • Compatible with all AF-D type, AF-G type and AF-S type Nikkor lenses
  • New, hard-wearing body design
  • High ISO values (100-1600)
  • 36 MB uncompressed file, 72 MB CCD-Raw file (16 bit TIFF-RGB)
  • High speed shooting at up to 2 frames per second
  • Dynamic AF, Dynamic AF with closest-subject-priority, Single Area AF and Focus Tracking
  • Dual IEEE 1394 FireWire and USB interface for image transfer and computer-controlled shooting
  • Dual media slots for SmartMedia and Compactflash type II (IBM Microdrive compatible)
  • Cross-ranged, five area Autofocus System
  • 3D Matrix*, Centre-Weighted and Spot Metering
  • 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill Flash
  • Flexible Program mode
  • 18 Custom settings
  • Flash Synch socket (X-type)
  • Audio recording with voice caption mode

* With D-type lenses


The use of SuperCCD doesn't have the same controversial impact it had when first introduced, but there are still a good number of sceptics of exactly how this honeycomb CCD layout produces better pictures. Fujifilm didn't help themselves back when they first announced SuperCCD by labelling their first camera '4.3 megapixel' when they were in fact 2.4 megapixel images being 'processed' (interpolated to you and me) up to a 4.3 megapixel image.

This 'processing' still occurs now, and the S2 Pro has a 6.17 megapixel SuperCCD which produces a 12 megapixel image. SuperCCD works by combining pixels from the 45 degree pixel layout into a normal square pattern, this has the side-effect of producing more image pixels than were actually captured.

Review Notes

Because the S2 Pro body and control layout is so similar to the D100 (because they're both based around the F80/N80) the first section of this review (body / operation) is based around the D100 review.


Please consider our bandwidth usage when downloading S2 Pro 12 mp JPEG's, these files are regularly in excess of 4 MB each.

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

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the author.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2002 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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As I know the S2 offers slightly better resolution (just a small part of overall image quality) and slightly lower speed and practicality than the obsolete Nikon D100. The S2 also costs more than the D100. For my uses I would prefer the D70, and since it costs only half as much as the S2 and is more practical for me. The only real advantage of the S2 is very slightly higher image resolution, which to me is much less significant than all the other disadvantages.

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