FujiFilm FinePix S1 Pro Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Excellent colour
- Great resolution and detail definition (if you consider the 3 megapixel CCD)
- Good metering, good dynamic range, careful internal processing
- Good white balance, custom preset white balance
- Ability to control internal processing algorithms (colour, tone and sharpening settings)
- Fast operation (although not D1 or DCS territory it's still fast enough)
- Based on an F60 body with all the features and compatibility that brings (F-mount lenses etc.)
- Shooting priority means no matter what you're doing you can always take a shot
- Good pop-up flash, good flash white balance
- Not excessively "prosumer", still easy enough to just pick up and shoot
- Easy to quickly change digital settings (ISO, White Balance etc.) thanks to function LCD
- Great PC control software perfect for studio shooting
- Good battery performance (batteries last well)
- IBM Microdrive support
- Bright, clear, high resolution 2" LCD
- Lightweight and compact by current digital SLR standards (body just 800g)
Conclusion - Cons
- 6.1 megapixel label is confusing, should be seen as a very good 3 megapixel digtal SLR
- No RAW CCD format (difficult because of the honeycomb pattern?)
- ISO 320 and maximum shutter speed of 1/2000s limits available apertures in bright light
- Noise in images even at ISO 320 (again, crying out for a lower ISO)
- Two different types of battery to carry
- No histogram on auto rec preview (next firmware update.. please)
- No grayscale bars when adjusting LCD brightness
- Paging through TIFF's in playback mode is slow
- Hair Moiré pattern problem
- Pattern noise at high ISO's in shadow detail
- No spot metering
- As with all digital SLR's (until full size CCD's appear) the focal length multiplier will make finding a decent wide angle lens an expensive proposal
- Not compatible with certain Nikkor lenses (see this page for details)
- No autofocus capability with Nikkor AF-S lenses
Look out boys, FujiFilm are in town and they mean business.
When FujiFilm first announced their SuperCCD technology interest soon turned into skepticism as we learned that the output resolution of these CCDs was in fact being processed by a proprietary algorithm. And certainly people's opinion of the S1 Pro was affected by this and moderate to poor reviews of the 4700Z.
But I believe that's because the 4700Z was expected to be a 3 megapixel challenger, which it wasn't (or couldn't because of its 2.4 megapixel CCD). Which brings us to the S1 Pro, at a time when other manufacturers were introducing / announcing 3 megapixel digital SLR's along came FujiFilm with a blazing headline "6.13 megapixel FinePix S1 Pro", which was a bit of a half truth really.. The S1 Pro has a 3 megapixel CCD (SuperCCD or whatever), if you were to evaluate it as a 6 megapixel digital SLR then you'd probably come to a mediocre conclusion.
But look at it logically, FujiFilm aren't attempting to challenge Kodak's 6 megapixel DCSs, the S1 Pro is priced at just $3,500 (RRP US$3,995) it's after that lucrative middle ground where high-end amateurs, "prosumers" (hate that label) and a certain type of photojournalist who are looking for a decent, well built (but doesn't need to be armor plated) digital SLR with a 3 megapixel or better resolution. And guess what, the S1 Pro does that very well..
There's something else that the S1 Pro does better than the existing (more expensive) competition.. Colour, FujiFilm have definitely got their colour algorithms sorted, a company with such a long standing history in producing excellent film products is well placed to put some of that expertise to work ensuring their Digital SLR came out with rich, vivid, yet not over saturated and most importantly accurate colours Well Kudos to FujiFilm if colour is an important factor in your buying decision the S1 Pro should be winning lots of brownie points with you.. Some how I don't think Mike Chaney will writing any Qimage plugins for the S1 Pro
Going back to the resolution issue, all digital cameras are in one way or another having to invent data.. All current CCD's are based on the Bayer pattern which means an individual pixel only captures one colour (red, green or blue), the full colour of that pixel is calculated later Sure it's different than SuperCCD you can't say that pixel at 10,10 comes from just one pixel at position 10,10 on the CCD but does that mean the image is worse? Take a look at the images in the samples galleries and decide for yourself.
I shoot primarily for the web (obviously), but I also shoot friends parties, weddings, personal outings, holidays etc. I'd probably (most of the time) shoot at 3.5 megapixels (2304 x 1536), only shifting up to 6.13 if I know for sure that I need the extra pixels.. The key thing to remember is that when you make the shift down to 3.5 megapixels you're only loosing pixel generated by the cameras internal algorithms, a 6.1 megapixel image from the S1 Pro reduced down to 3.5 megapixels in Photoshop doesn't look any better than a 3.5 megapixel native image from the camera (try it, samples are available in the features section of this review).
Improvements? Sure, I'd love to see an ISO 160, that'd give more people more options with more lenses (remember, top shutter speed is 1/2000 s) it would probably also solve some of the visible noise, a fix for "moiré hair" (less visible at 3.5 megapixels), a histogram in record mode would be nice and faster review of images could improve things.. Lastly, some people will not be happy that the camera doesn't support autofocus with Nikkor AF-S lenses.
For me the S1 Pro marks an important step forward for digital photography, FujiFilm, being the first to market with an affordable Digital SLR have now opened the floodgates to such products and I'm sure a lot of readers will agree with me, "It's about time!", and what a first entrance, Nikon body means lots of lens and accessory compatibility, great metering, wonderful colour, good 3 megapixel resolution, useful features, good bundled software, Microdrive compatible at around $3,500.. (Remember US RRP is US$3,995.. although many dealers are talking around the US$3,500 mark).
I'm as keen as anyone else to see how the S1 Pro does up against Canon's EOS-D30, keep your eye on this site.
So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.
|scrum break away by al booth|
from Sport competition
|Chinese Acrobat by lim yau tong|
|Parking Deck by Olaf R|
from Your City - Parking Garage
|Communication Tech by alberto_b|
|With & without by OBellini|
from Empty - Full
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II brings more resolution, better autofocus and faster continuous shooting to Canon's entry-level full-frame camera. And we've had the opportunity to shoot with one.
The Canon 6D Mark II will ship to consumers in August, but we've been able to do some shooting with a pre-production unit well in advance.
Rumors have been swirling around for a while, and Canon has just unveiled the long-awaited successor to the popular and long-serving EOS 6D. Read all about it in our hands-on preview.
Canon's latest entry-level DSLR is here. The new Rebel SL2 (EOS 200D) is the belated successor to 2013's Rebel SL1, billed at the time as the smallest and lightest DSLR on the market.
Nearly five years after the announcement of the EOS 6D, Canon has finally replaced it with the EOS 6D Mark II. The Mark II features an all-new 26.2MP Dual Pixel AF full-frame sensor, 6.5 fps burst shooting, a fully articulating touchscreen, 1080/60p video and much more.
Canon has announced the EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D), which replaces the aging SL1. This ultra-compact DSLR features a 24MP sensor, DIGIC 7 processor, Dual Pixel AF system and a 3" fully articulating touchscreen LCD.
When one of his friends got a filter stuck on his $1,700 Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L, former MythBuster Adam Savage removed it using an unlikely, terrifying tool: a band saw.
The New Yorker asked Magnum's famed photographers, in town for the agency's 70th anniversary, to go out and capture 'the fleeting beauty of New York City's golden hour.' This is what they shot.
Roger Cicala is a difficult man to impress, but he's been waxing lyrical over at Lensrentals about Sony's new 12-24mm wide zoom.
Glassware is one of the most challenging subjects to photograph, especially against a white background. This tutorial shows you how to do it with hardly any gear.
Handevision is now shipping its all-metal Iberit 90mm F2.4 short telephoto lens for Leica M-mount 35mm and full-frame cameras.
Isocell comprises four sub-brands: Bright, Fast, Slim and Dual which are tailored to specific mobile device market demands.
The new store will be located at the Fotografiska center for contemporary photography in Stockhom, Sweden and carry the full range of Hasselblad products.
A recent vacation gave Richard a chance to think about the needs of travel photography – and how our reviews might recognize the perfect travel camera.
Need more evidence that 2017 is the year analog begins its comeback? Well, welcome another new film stock to the world.
The winners of the 10th annual iPhone Photography Awards have been announced, and they're striking.
If you were disappointed by reports that the Sony a9 struggles with adapted Canon glass, you might be able to take some comfort from Metabones' latest update.
Blackmagic Design has dropped the prices of its Video Assist external monitor/recorders for a limited time. Prices of the SD card-based recorders will be reduced in all markets, while supplies last.
Instagram has started testing a new feature called 'favorites' that enables users to share photos with only certain people. Only a small number of users have access to the feature at this time, though it may roll out to everyone in the future.
Lensbaby has announced the Velvet 85 F1.8 for interchangeable lens cameras. The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Sony A, Pentax K, Samsung NX, Fuji X and Micro 4/3 mounts.
It's the end of an era. Parent company Micron has announced that they are discontinuing the Lexar retail brand. This includes 'memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives.'
Youthful trainspotter turned adult photographer, John Sanderson has traveled across the United States, documenting the country's railroads. But you won't find any trains in his pictures.
Sony's new CMOS sensor is backside-illuminated and offers an all-pixel global reset function which should drastically reduce rolling shutter effect when panning.
Shoulderpod has converted its offerings into a lego-like modular system by offering all individual parts of existing products separately, allowing users to build exactly the rig they need for a specific project or simply replace a damaged part.
Photographer Felix AAA has spent the past ten years touring the world with a variety of musicians, capturing behind the scenes shots and portraits. He talks about some of his favorite images on the FujiFilm Blog.
A roll of film discovered in an Argus C2 from an Oregon Goodwill turned out to contain some incredible images – and has been re-united with the original owner's family.
Nikon's 28mm F1.4E ED appears to roundly complete the company's updated lineup of fast, professional prime lenses. We've already seen some initial images from a Nikon ambassador, but we've worked through a gallery of our own, with a lens of our own over the past week. Take a look.
Google is holding a competition that could see your Pixel photos gracing millions of screens.
Nikon's 100th birthday party continues worldwide as a distributor in Italy organized a one-of-a-kind feat: assembling the world's largest 'human camera' from over a thousand volunteers.
Ricoh has dropped the price of its Theta SC 360 spherical camera by to $199, a reduction of roughly $50. The camera features two 12MP sensors and can record Full HD video in addition to stills.