FujiFilm FinePix S1 Pro Review
Image Size / File Quality
The FujiFilm S1 Pro offers a total of twelve different image / resolution combinations. It's default resolution is 3040 x 2016 which is a "processed output" from the 3.07 megapixel of effective output from the SuperCCD. The closest resolution to the native pixel count would be the 2304 x 1536 size which works out at 3.5 megapixels (which of course wouldn't map directly to the SuperCCD because the pixels on a SuperCCD are in a honeycomb pattern, not square).
Camera settings: ISO 320, Aperture Priority set at F4.8, shutter speed 1/99 sec (+0.7 EV compensation), Colour: Standard, Tone: Original, Sharpening: Standard. Lens used was a 35 - 70 mm (equiv. to 52 mm - 105 mm on the S1 Pro) f/2.8D AF Zoom-Nikkor.
Standard Test Scene
To give an impression of what each combination of image
size and quality produces the table below is a cross reference of image
size against quality. Original images are available for all but the TIFF
format (simply because the TIFF images weren't seen to be significantly
better than the 2.5 MB JPEG format and they're between 18 and 12 MB..
not a sensible download. If you have a justifiable reason to require these
original TIFF files then contact
Crops below are of a 480 x 200 area of each image.
|3040 x 2016|
|2304 x 1536|
|1440 x 960|
Big files.. At 3040 x 2016 FINE JPEG you're looking at around 2.5 MB per image, a Microdrive becomes something of a natural choice for storage (a 64 MB SmartMedia card would be a little pointless). I know what you're thinking, "Hmm, image quality doesn't look that good", bear in mind that the default 3040 x 2016 is processed from the 3.07 megapixels of data (which FujiFilm would argue against, and something I'm not a fan of) however these images look great if you reduce them a little, in any case we'll talk about image quality in the image quality section of the review...
ISO (Sensitivity) Adjustment
The S1 Pro has four different ISO sensitivities 320, 400, 800 and 1600 (it was rumored there would be an ISO 160 for production cameras, though our latest information and contents of the user manual specify otherwise).
When announcing their SuperCCD sensors FujiFilm made a big deal about their design producing higher sensitivities than the standard CCD design, thus when the first cameras based on the SuperCCD technology were announced they had high basic ISO (in the case of the 4700Z, ISO 200) and a range of sensitivities which would be out of range of a normal prosumer digital camera.
When announced the S1 Pro had a slowest ISO sensitivity of 320, now I've had a chance to use the camera I'm still not convinced this was a wise move, some noise is visible at ISO 320 and such a fast ISO combined with a maximum shutter speed of 1/2000 sec will mean that in bright light you'll have limited apertures available. It's a shame that ISO 160 rumor never came to anything...
Resolution: 3040 x 2016 FINE (6.1 megapixel ~ 2.4 MB).
|ISO 320, 1/91s, F5.6|
|ISO 400, 1/117s, F5.6|
|ISO 800, 1/235s, F5.6|
|ISO 1600, 1/470s, F5.6|
As you can see, even at ISO 320 there's some visible noise in shadows, and it does get progressively worse as we increase sensitivity. Having said that, images are still more than usable and as the majority of images will be reduced in size most of this noise will be 'sampled away'.
Pushing ISO is a technique used by some photographers to get more sensitivity out of the camera, by deliberately underexposing the shot (by 1 or 2 stops) you are effectively shooting at twice the sensitivity (ISO) afterwards you must correct the image in a photo package to return the correct tone / colour levels... It's a pretty extreme technique but does work relatively well with higher end professional digital cameras. It tends to work best with a CCD RAW output so the samples below were shot at 2304 x 1536 in the S1 Pro's closest-to-RAW format (TIFF-RGB) and rotated and re-saved in Photoshop at quality 10.
|ISO 1600, 0.0 EV comp.
|ISO 1600, -1.0 EV comp.
|ISO 1600, -2.0 EV comp.
|Original, ISO 1600||Pushed, equiv. ISO 3200||Pushed, equiv. ISO 6400|
Mmm.. Well, not as good a performance as we'd have hoped, lots of nasty noise and definite horizontal banding (remember the image is rotated 90 degrees). Can't imagine a lot of people deliberately underexposing...
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