Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro Review
The S3 Pro's automatic white balance performance could be summarized as 'quite average', despite re-taking our outdoor test shot a few times we got the same results, a slight cool blue cast (this makes the chart 'look whiter than white' but isn't neutral). In incandescent light the results are noticeably pink. You would definitely do better using the camera's pre-programmed white balance presets or manual preset.
Outdoor - Auto WB
|Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red: -0.1%, Blue: -4.2%
|Incandescent - Auto WB
Red: 6.8%, Blue: -9.8%
Long Exposure noise reduction / Night shots
The S3 Pro features an automatic 'dark frame subtraction' noise reduction system which comes into effect for shutter speeds of 1/8 sec or slower. This works by taking a second shot just after the main exposure (in darkness, with the shutter closed) and using the noise pattern from that to clean the main exposure.
We found that while the S3 Pro's noise reduction system was fairly effective there will still a few 'hot pixel' speckles getting through to the final image and that their placement was consistent from shot to shot (within the same shooting session). We were however quite impressed with with the performance at higher sensitivities (up to ISO 400) for night exposures.
|ISO 100, 30 sec, F4.8, 6 MP|
|ISO 200, 15 sec, F4.8, 6 MP|
|ISO 400, 8 sec, F4.8, 6 MP|
|ISO 800, 4 sec, F4.8, 6 MP|
The S3 Pro has a built-in pop-up flash for quick snapshots and a fully SB compatible hot-shoe which supports D-TTL with compatible Nikon SB flash units as well as D-3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash with type D or G lenses. The result using the internal flash was mixed, the best result was with the Nikon SB-600 direct, that said color rendition was very good with no obvious color casts. Clearly professional photographers will be connecting the S3 Pro to studio strobe units which is facilitated via the PC Sync terminal on the front of the camera.
|Built-in flash, Program (1/60 sec, F2.8)||Nikon SB-600, direct, Program (1/60 sec, F4)|
|Nikon SB-600, bounced, Program (1/60 sec, F4)|
|Built-in flash, Program (1/60 sec, F2.8)||Nikon SB-600, direct, Program (1/60 sec, F4)|
Overall Image Quality / Specifics
Color reproduction was as ever vivid and bright, very 'pleasing' to the eye (especially skin tones) although some may find it a little too saturated, you can get over this by selecting the 'Org' color setting. Overall however the S3 Pro produces very nice, sharp and detailed images which have 'punch' straight out of the camera.
One thing we noted on the S2 Pro was the visibility of moire in 45 degree detail ('hair moire'), this does appear to have improved on the S3 Pro but can still be seen in some images. We also noted the SuperCCD equivalent of 'bridge pixel artifacting', where the interpolation algorithm thinks it has detected a 45 degree straight line and 'bridges' a pixel, this can lead to a noticeable pattern of 45 degree lines which weren't in the original scene. Note that most of these artifacts are invisible at the 6 mp image size. Examples of these artifacts can be seen in the studio test shot below (taken in 12 mp mode).
|Thumbnail (12 mp image)||Moire pattern on slanted lines|
|Moire pattern / bridge pixels||Moire pattern / dotted line artifact (bayer)|
|45 degree patterning (bridge pixels)||45 degree patterning (bridge pixels)|
Twelve or Six megapixels?
Just like the S2 Pro the S3 Pro has six million effective photosites ('input pixels'), because of Fujifilm's SuperCCD honeycomb layout these are first interpolated up to a twelve megapixel image. If the camera is in twelve megapixel output mode this is then sharpened and saved, if in a lower resolution mode the image is downsampled, sharpened and saved. A simplified in-camera workflow can be seen below for 12 mp and 6 mp images:
- 6 mp RAW honeycomb -> 12 mp square -> sharpen -> save
- 6 mp RAW honeycomb -> 12 mp square -> 6 mp downsample -> sharpen -> save
The S3 Pro's twelve megapixel images do appear to offer slightly more detailed than six megapixel images, most of this is down to the quality of the camera's downsampling algorithm (and at what point sharpening is applied). The rule of thumb (in my opinion) is that while 12 mp images may exhibit slightly more detail the gain isn't significant or worthwhile shooting in 12 mp mode all the time (it's often very hard to distinguish the difference between a 6 mp and 12 mp).
Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the difference between 12 mp from the camera, 6 mp from the camera and resizing each.
|12 mp comparison||6 mp comparison|
|12 mp from camera||6 mp from * camera -> 12mp||6 mp from camera||12 mp from * camera -> 6 mp|
* Resized in Adobe Photoshop CS (Bicubic), results would be better with more
advanced interpolation algorithms.
|Street Food 2017 by ziggyzag|
from Your City - Fast Food
|Running free by LassiM|
|1969 Oldsmobile 442 Resto-Mod by J Warren|
from O is for...
The new ExaDrive offers a three times higher capacity than the previous largest SSD, a 30TB model by Samsung.
A pair of images show what may be the upcoming DJI Phantom 5 drone featuring an interchangeable lens camera. While nothing is confirmed, it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility given the company's recent experience with camera system development.
We were saddened to hear of the death last week of Chuck Westfall, a 35-year veteran of Canon USA, and a legend in the photography industry.
Nikon looks to be positioning its D850 as a serious video rig with today's announcement of its D850 Filmmaker's Kit. The kit includes the body, 20/35/85mm F1.8G lenses, an Atomos Ninja Flame external recorder, two microphones and an extra battery.
Photographers shopping around for Lightroom alternatives have likely encountered Alien Skin's Exposure X3. Here's an overview of its organization and editing controls, and how they differ from the competition.
Alien Skin has released a significant update for its Exposure X3 image editor, adding greater precision to adjustment tools and more printing capabilities, among other improvements.
The FAA has ordered helicopter pilots and operators to halt certain doors-off flights in the wake of a tragedy that killed five passengers.
Analysts TechInsights have torn down a Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus to have a closer look at the device's internal components and their cost.
Oppo's new high-end phones bear an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone X, with features like face unlock to a portrait lighting mode.
Recently we visited the 2018 CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan and as usual, we booked interviews with senior executives from several major manufacturers, including Sigma.
At this year's CP+ show in Yokohama, we sat down with senior executives from several major manufacturers, including Canon. Topics of conversation included Canon's ambitions for high-end mirrorless cameras, and the importance of responding to the demands of the smartphone generation.
We were recently able to follow local frame builder Max Kullaway as he created one of his AirLandSea bikes. Here are our picks of the photos we got, as the project progressed from bare tubes all the way to rideable bicycle.
On paper, the Sony a7 III is a tempting option for photographers who've been considering a switch to full-frame mirrorless. But how does its image quality stack up? We compare it to the Mark II and a few of its other peers.
Erez Marom shares the details behind this beautiful aurora photograph, captured on Haukland Beach in the Lofoten Islands, Arctic Norway, on a moonless evening.
Google Lens uses artificial intelligence and 'computer vision' to identify and provide information about businesses, landmarks and other objects using your phone's camera. And now it's available for iPhone users, too.
The company posted a record quarterly revenue of $2.08 billion for the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year. That represents incredibly healthy year-over-year growth of 24 percent.
In the job posting, the Times' describes this role as "one of the most important and high-profile jobs in visual journalism." If you're looking for a high profile job in photojournalism, you could do a lot worse than being Photo Director at The Gray Lady.
According to a recent report out of South Korea, Samsung is increasing production of its ISOCELL image sensors in a bid towards market leadership for image sensors. To reach this goal, Samsung will have to dethrone current market leader Sony... no small task.
In this video, large format photographer Ben Horne shows off the incredible resolving power of 8x10 slide film by pixel peeping a massive 709.6-megapixel drum scan of one of his landscape shots. And you thought 100MP medium format was big...
Photographer Wendy Teal tells the heart-breaking story of a wedding she shot at a hospital on just 24-hours notice. The mother of the bride had been given one week to live, and Wendy responded to the couple's desperate social media plea for someone to capture their special day.
This tiny little plug-and-play VR/AR camera for Android phones uses a pair of greater-than-180° FOV fisheye lenses to offer both 360° video/photo capture and 360° livestreaming at 1440p resolution.
Syrp has announced the Magic Carpet Pro: a slider that offers filmmakers an 'infinitely extendable' range thanks to built-in track levers that let you connect lengths of track without the use of tools.
At CP+ we sat down with executives from several major manufacturers. Among them was Kenji Tanaka, of Sony, who talked to us about the a7 III as well as its plans to attract more pro shooters – without ignoring APS-C and entry-level customers.
How do you shoot macro photography on an 18x24cm large format wet plate camera? You 'connect' two large format cameras together! That's how wet plate photographer Markus Hofstaetter did it, and you can read about the whole process in this article.
The Fujifilm X-H1 is a top-of-the-range 24MP mirrorless camera with in-body stabilization and the company's most advanced array of video capabilities. We've tested the X-T2's big brother extensively to see how it performs.
Motorsports photojournalist Jamey Price recently flew to Canada with Lamborghini for the car company's Winter Accademia 2018, where clients get to drive the latest Lamborghini supercars on snow and ice. Yes... it is exactly as awesome as it sounds.
For the Pixel 2 smartphone's Motion Photos feature, Google built on its existing Motion Stills technology by adding advanced stabilization that combines software and hardware capabilities to optimize trimming and stabilization.
This "high-capacity advanced spider tripod" system can handle a maximum load of 65kg / 143lbs thanks to its reinforced design and 8-layered carbon fiber legs.
Photographer William Briscoe captured the beautiful two-for-one timelapse just outside Fairbanks, Alaska on January 31st, braving -31°F (-35°C) temperatures to get the shot.
"After his camera was stolen from his room in the orphanage, he switched to an iPhone for his photography, reasoning that the image quality of a big, heavy camera was less important than the freedom of a cell phone. 'Quality? Screw it, I’d sketch things with a pencil if I could draw,' he wrote in a blog post."