Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Good resolution, better than the average six megapixel
- Good color and tonal balance, vibrant 'pleasing' color response, can be toned down
- Unique extended dynamic range SuperCCD, although crippled by in-camera algorithms
- Low noise throughout the sensitivity range although softer images at higher ISO's
- Nice body design, integral vertical grip, soft rubbers, feels robust
- Instantly recognizable control system (as it's based on the F80/N80)
- Rear panel plus soft buttons design is useful for quickly changing settings
- Fast in use, near instant power on, CF interface slower than we would have liked
- Good auto focus, works well even in low light, AF assist lamp
- Image parameter adjustment (color, tone, sharpness), although limited
- Selectable color space (sRGB / Adobe RGB)
- RAW mode provides the 'digital negative' (although very large in wide dyn. range mode)
- Now single battery solution, a single Lithium-Ion rechargeable would have been better
- Large high resolution LCD monitor
- Dual data connectivity; USB 2.0 and Firewire (IEEE 1394)
- Built-in PC Sync terminal
Conclusion - Cons
- Almost $1,000 more than the competition
- SuperCCD artifacts still visible, more so at the 12 mp size (which delivers the best res)
- Disappointing continuous shooting capability, especially in wide dyn. range mode
- Crippled extended dynamic range feature, best results from RAW -> Adobe Camera RAW
- Very large RAW files in wide dyn. range mode, not compressed
- Half-stop exposure steps
- Camera system still in 'two halves' (photo / digital)
- No mirror lock-up / anti-vibration mode
- Wake from sleep only with half-press of shutter release
- Flash sync 1/180 sec (compared to 1/500 sec for the Nikon D70)
- Confusing record review options, no simple postview with histogram & delete option
- Play mode image deletion slowed by animation
- Largest and heaviest digital SLR among its peers
- Awkward ISO selection on mode dial
- Viewfinder view is smaller than some of the competition
- Hyper-Utility2 has limited range of adjustment latitude, bettered by Adobe Camera RAW
There's plenty to like about the S3 Pro, there's a new body design which is comfortable, includes a portrait grip and feels robust. There's the image quality, resolution which for a six megapixel is really fairly impressive (if you can ignore some of SuperCCD artifacts), a color response with real 'pop', low noise (although softer images at high ISO's) and slightly better dynamic range than other D-SLR's.
The S3 Pro's unique selling feature, its extended dynamic range, really does exist and does work. We measured up to 10 stops of dynamic range in the camera's "Wide 2" mode, however it's seldom that this would be obvious in everyday shots. The reason for this is that in wide dynamic range mode you get the gain only in the highlights, it would have made sense to instead have the option of a completely different tone curve and expose for shadows to spread the additional dynamic range across the tonal scale rather than just in highlights (we often don't mind clipped highlights as long as the roll-off is smooth).
More interesting however were the results we got from Adobe Camera RAW, this revealed that there is quite a lot more dynamic range information available in the S3 Pro's RAW files than are being extracted by either the camera's processing (JPEG) or Fujifilm's own Hyper-Utility2. This is in effect crippling the apparently more impressive capability of the SuperCCD SR II sensor.
We really liked the S2 Pro, so much so that we gave it a Highly Recommended, at the time it was a great camera compared to the competition. We're now two and a half years on from that point in time and the digital SLR market has moved on. Prices have plummeted, features and image quality improved, the market's expectations of what this level of D-SLR should be capable of has shifted noticeably, at its price the S3 Pro is going to struggle to compete.
|Morning Crossing In Yellowstone by poppyjk|
from Poor Light
|On Fire by Frank van Eck|
|Oasis by kt|
from Wet - Dry
|White River by rainrunner|
from Spring Snow
Accessory maker Techart has announced the TZE-01, the first autofocus adapter for using Sony E-mount lenses with Nikon's Z series cameras.
Sandmarc's new accessory lens helps to create a cinematic look when shooting on the iPhone.
The ZenFone 6 flip camera withstands an awful lot of abuse by Zack from the Youtube channel JerryRigEverything.
Jordan reviews the Deity Connect wireless microphone. Find out why this is the mic system he's wanted for a decade, and why he thinks it's a compelling choice for so many people who shoot video.
Rumors have been circulating about a possible Spark 2 drone release from DJI this summer. DroneDJ recently confirmed that the release is now on hold indefinitely.
For the first time ever, Adobe has brought its cloud-based version of Lightroom to Apple's Mac App Store, complete with in-app purchases for renewing 1TB of online storage.
First teased back in February, Voigtländer has shared more technical specs for its 75mm F1.5 Vintage Line lens.
This isn't your average GoPro-style time-lapse camera. The TikeePRO 2+ can record 6K time-lapses from inside a ruggedized box with an integrated solar panel and GPS functionality.
We've re-scored the Nikon Z6 and Z7 to reflect the improved performance and usability offered by the latest firmware updates. We'll be doing more of this in the coming months.
New sizes allow for the use of ColorChecker targets in a wider range of photographic and video applications.
Leica's latest special edition camera is a Leica CL collaboration with French-Italian photographer Jean Pigozzi.
Nikon has made available a firmware update that brings significant improvements to autofocus. But it's continuous Eye AF that's the big headline. Science Editor Rishi Sanyal has given it a go, and finds its performance to be remarkably good... but with some snags.
This AI program can cutout a person or character and create an animated 3D model all from a single still image.
Same body and pixel-count, but the Hasselblad X1D II 50C moves quicker and offers the biggest rear screen in the medium format market – and it costs a lot less than the original.
It's two years late, but worth the wait, according to Hasselblad: the company says that its new XCD 35-75mm zoom is the best lens it has ever made.
Hasselblad will be reintroducing its medium format digital back for the V-system medium format film cameras, and has also announced a new slimline X-series body to go with it.
Olympus has released a major firmware update for its nearly three-year-old OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Many of the additions come straight from the company's flagship E-M1X, so now you can have a camera that shares many of the same features but in a much smaller package.
Olympus has announced a 2X teleconverter designed to be used with its 40-150 F2.8 and 300mm F4 Pro lenses, as well as the 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS Pro lens currently under development. This weather-sealed teleconverter will be available is available now for $429.
We've got our hands on a nearly final Fujifilm GFX 100 to begin using in earnest, and though it's not yet running final firmware, we couldn't help but put it in front of our studio scene to see what it can do – have a look for yourself.
Lensbaby is known for its interesting lens designs, but its new system is an add-on kit that can make interesting in-camera effects with what Lensbaby refers to as ‘effect wands.’
It shouldn't come as a surprise, but this marks the first time an official has been made regarding the existence of a flagship mirrorless camera designed to compete with Nikon's flagship D4/D5 DSLR series.
Datacolor's new SpyderX Capture Pro and SpyderX Studio tool suites are designed to be an all-in-one solution to getting the best color in your images and prints.
DJI introduced the Osmo Pocket, a portable, handheld device ideal for vloggers and recreational use, late last year. To slow shutter speed for more cinematic footage, and to reduce glare in photos, these polarizer and neutral density filters can be a great addition.
Dallas Morning News photojournalist Tom Fox was on-scene for a separate assignment when a gunman opened fire at a federal courthouse in Dallas, Texas. Fox captured an incredible image of the gunman
The backpack, which still has 39 days to go on Kickstarter, uses an internal organizer and features an exterior that's weather resistance and uses WANDRD's InfiniteZip system.
The four-and-a-half-minute video explains how Canon's new RF mount affords new possibilities in lens design that ultimately lead to better image quality.
Automation, a new feature within the Shortcuts app of iOS 13, allows for a clever workaround to open third-party camera apps as the default Camera app on the home screen
Users will soon be able to recover a hacked account via in-app functions, without getting in touch with the Instagram security team.
Whether you're headed to the beach or the ski slopes, a rugged, waterproof camera lets you focus on your adventure instead of worrying if the camera will survive. Find out which model is the best-in-class in our waterproof camera buying guide.
The FlexTILT Head 3D is the first product in Edelkrone's new ORTAK lineup, which is specifically designed to piggyback off the growing trend of 3D printing.