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