FujiFilm FinePix S1 Pro Review
Timings & File Sizes
As you'd expect the S1 Pro is a fast camera, especially compared to even the best prosumer digital cameras. At it's heart it's still an F60 body which means that as soon as you've turned on the power you can shoot. And because the it's a "shooting priority" camera we don't have to time things like switching from play to record modes, the "camera" side of the unit seems to operate as a separate entity to the digital side and you're nearly always able to simply pick up the camera and shoot.
Operationally it's quite fast too, flicking in and out of menus, changing basic settings (such as white balance and ISO) are quick once you get used to the function menu. My only niggle was the amount of time it took to display an image in Play mode (3.5 seconds might not sound bad but there are easy ways to make it much faster and you'd really expect to be able to flick through the images in a Digital SLR).
Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3040 x 2016 FINE JPEG image (around 2.2 MB per image).
File Size Notes: All file sizes are an average of three files. As is the case with JPEG it's difficult to predict the size of an image because it will vary a fair amount depending on the content of the image (especially the amount of detail captured). For example, take a photograph of a fairly empty wall and you'll get a small JPEG, take a photograph of a bush with a lot of detail and you'll get a larger image. File sizes here are closer to the later, the larger size of file you should expect.
Symbols: ~ = roughly / approximately.
|Off to On||<1.0||Virtually instant|
|On to Off||<1.0||Virtually instant|
|Play: Display image||3040 x 2016 TIFF-RGB||27.8|
|Play: Display image||3040 x 2016 TIFF-YC||11.9|
|Play: Display image||3040 x 2016 FINE JPEG||3.5|
|Play: Display image||2304 x 1536 FINE JPEG||2.5|
|Play: Display image||1440 x 960 FINE JPEG||1.7|
|Play: Thumbnail view||2 x 2||<1.0||Virtually instant|
|Play: Zoom-in||<1.0||Virtually instant|
|Auto Focus LAG||n/a||Depends on lens|
|Shutter Release LAG||<0.1||Very Fast|
In the delay before an image is displayed in play mode (an animated hourglass appears) you can interrupt the display by pressing either the left or right arrows on the 4-way controller. It's interesting as it seems as though the S1 Pro doesn't utilise the trick of a small thumbnail embedded into the JPEG / TIFF header (something which most prosumer digital cameras do) which allows for quick display of images without having to load the whole image from the storage card (which the S1 Pro obviously is having to do - check the TIFF timings).
Maximum shots in a row
The table below defines the maximum number of shots which can be taken in a row before the camera makes you wait (measured as "wait before restarting") for space to become available in the internal buffer, these tests were performed with image preview disabled and manual focus (to remove any variations due to the auto focus mechanism).
|Size / Resolution
in a row
|Wait before restarting|
|Any size, Any quality||5||1.2 secs|
This test proves that the buffer on the S1 Pro is between the CCD and the image processing systems, being limited to five "RAW" images before they're processed into whatever image size or quality setting you've selected.
Note that even though the camera allows you to take another shot after about 1.2 seconds the internal buffer still contains data and thus you'd have to wait for it to completely empty before being able to shoot 5 more images in a burst, timings for this shown below:
|Size / Resolution
||Shoot a burst of 5 images then wait before buffer completely empty (to IBM Microdrive)|
|3040 x 2016 FINE JPEG||17.2 secs|
|2304 x 1536 FINE JPEG||10.5 secs|
|1440 x 960 FINE JPEG||10.5 secs|
|3040 x 2016 TIFF-RGB||67.6 secs|
|3040 x 2016 TIFF-YC||45.2 secs|
Again, just to reiterate the timings above are not the amount of time you have to wait before shooting again (that's a maximum of 1.5 seconds even with the buffer completely full) but rather the timings represent the time for all 5 images in the buffer to be processed and flushed out to the storage media (in this case a 340 MB IBM Microdrive).
The S1 Pro allows you to shoot a burst of frames (holding the shutter release button down) only in Sport mode, obviously this is dependent on auto focus time (which in Sports mode is switched to continuous synchro focus), the timings below were measured with the camera set to manual focus and image preview disabled.
|Continuous Mode||Image Size||Quality||Approx. frames
|Max no. of frames|
|Sports||3040 x 2016||TIFF||1.5 fps||5|
|Sports||3040 x 2016||FINE JPEG||1.5 fps||5|
|Sports||3040 x 2016||BASIC JPEG||1.5 fps||5|
|Sports||1440 x 960||BASIC JPEG||1.5 fps||5|
Again, more tests which prove the buffer is between the CCD and image processing system, no matter what the image quality the maximum frame rate was 1.5 frames per second (limited by the mechanical side of the camera) up until the internal buffer was full, 5 frames.
File Flush Timing
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage media (when REC activity indicator on the rear LCD panel stops flashing). The S1 Pro continues to process images in the buffer and write data out to the storage media in parallel to you shooting the next shot.
images on an IBM Microdrive
|Store 3040 x 2016 TIFF-RGB||14.3||18,019 KB||19|
|Store 3040 x 2016 TIFF-YC||9.8||12,034 KB||28|
|Store 3040 x 2016 FINE JPEG||4.0||~ 2,400 KB||144|
|Store 2304 x 1536 FINE JPEG||4.0||~ 1,400 KB||249|
|Store 1440 x 960 FINE JPEG||3.2||~ 660 KB||528|
Batteries lasted well, on a three hour session we shot one and a half Microdrives (340 MB) of images (around 220) with LCD preview enabled without having to change the AA batteries (using FujiFilm's own 1450 mAh NiMH AA's), of course it's all dependent on how much you use the LCD display, with preview mode disabled the batteries should last even longer. As far as life of the Lithium batteries is concerned it's a little difficult to tell, they did require changing during the review but we didn't know their charge status when we received the camera...
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