Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro Review
A RAW image file is quite different than TIFF or JPEG. RAW files contain the pure raw data as it comes from the CCD, typically 12-bits represent one pixel of the CCD array. No in-camera processing is applied to this data, this is left to conversion software used at a later date. In addition to the raw CCD data the header of a RAW file will also contain exposure and setting information such as selected white balance, tone, sharpening etc. all of these parameters are used by the raw conversion software to produce the final image.
RAW image files can be seen as a 'digital negative', they are untouched by the camera processing algorithms and are therefore open to improved image processing facilitated by the additional processing power of a desktop computer and ever improving processing algorithms. At the time of writing this review there are only two applications available for RAW conversion of S2 Pro RAW files, both from Fujifilm. It will be interesting to see if any third party companies produce RAW conversion software which can handle S2 Pro RAW files (especially considering the honeycomb SuperCCD layout).
S2 Pro RAW files have the .RAF file extension, interestingly they contain a 1440 x 960 JPEG which can be viewed by certain image viewers (works with ACDSee). This JPEG is no doubt used by the camera for playback and magnification. At the moment there is no facility to extract this JPEG but it would be useful, perhaps in a third party application.
RAW File Converter LE
RAW File Converter LE is a very simple application which provides straightforward conversion of RAW image files to a 4256 x 2848 8-bit TIFF (each one 35,591 KB) in the sRGB color space. There are no options or settings which can be applied. The white balance, sharpening, tone and color saturation settings made at the time of the exposure are used for the conversion. To use RAW File Converter LE simply drag and drop an image or group of images onto the application then click on 'Convert'.
RAW File Converter EX
RAW File Converter EX is the extended RAW converter from Fujifilm. It is part of the 'Hyper Utilities' suite which is an extra cost (£129.99 in the UK). Personally I feel that EX should be a standard part of the S2 Pro kit, Converter LE offers no control at all. EX offers no thumbnail browsing, multi file selection (although you can drag multiple files), no zoom or other 'normal' features.
Having used many different RAW conversion packages from different manufacturers I can say that I don't feel that RAW File Converter EX is worth the money, especially considering what you get for free from other manufacturers. The problem is that without Converter EX you don't have any useful RAW conversion options. Lets hope those third party converters turn up soon.
Converter EX allows you to select your output bit depth and color space at the time you drop an image or group of images onto the application. Note that you can only select Adobe RGB with a 16-bit TIFF output (each one 71,103 KB). Good news is that Fujifilm are correctly tagging these TIFF files with the Adobe RGB color space (Photoshop recognizes it). There is also a special Fujifilm RGB color space. sRGB color space output is available only with 8-bit TIFF files. There is no option to convert RAW files directly to JPEG.
The main window for Converter EX is split into two sections. On the left is a preview of the RAW image (as it will be at the time of output) along with the output image size (you can select any of the four standard image sizes). On the right are the custom settings options, leave 'Camera Setting' checked and Converter EX will simply convert the image according to the settings recorded in the RAW file at the time of exposure.
Check 'Custom setting' to alter various settings. You can choose a predefined tone curve or make your own, select a predefined white balance (which can be fine tuned), use a gray picker white balance or enter a color temperature white balance. You can define sharpness, color and sensitization (digital exposure compensation). These custom settings can then be saved into setting files to be used on batches of images later.
RAW Conversion Performance
The test machine used was a desktop PC with dual Athlon 1592 Mhz (1900+) CPU's 1 GB of RAM running Windows XP. Software used was RAW File Converter LE and EX. Five RAW images were run through the RAW conversion software, the time taken was then divided by five to calculate an approximate time taken per image.
|Software||Output image||Color space||Image adjustments||Time taken per image|
|Converter LE||4256 x 2848 8-bit TIFF||sRGB||None||29.2 sec|
|Converter EX||4256 x 2848 16-bit TIFF||Adobe RGB||None||31.6 sec|
|Converter EX||4256 x 2848 8-bit TIFF||sRGB||None||30.2 sec|
|Converter EX||3024 x 2016 8-bit TIFF||sRGB||None||29.6 sec|
|Converter EX||4256 x 2848 8-bit TIFF||sRGB||Tone, WB, Color, Exp.||29.6 sec|
RAW vs. JPEG
The following tests were performed by taking the exact same scene first as JPEG and then as RAW. The RAW images were then converted to TIFF using Converter EX. These TIFF files were used for the crops you see below, however they are far too large to provide for download so high quality JPEG copies are the only option we can provide for your own comparison. Due to bandwidth constraints it is also not possible to provide the original .RAF files (which are in excess of 12 MB each).
Below you will find crops from shots of our standard ISO resolution chart. First at the 4256 x 2848 (12 mp) resolution and then 3024 x 2016 (6.1 mp). As described above the JPEG's are straight from the camera, RAW files converted using Converter EX.
4256 x 2848 (12 mp) image size
|JPEG (4,442 KB)||RAW (as a 2,630 KB JPEG)|
At the full 12 megapixel image size it's clear to see that the additional processing power (and time taken) to convert the RAW to TIFF has a positive effect on image quality and resolution. A S2 Pro RAW file converted at this resolution almost produces maximum resolution on our resolution chart (in both horizontal and vertical directions). There are also quite noticeably less moiré, jaggies and sharpening artifacts in the RAW converted image.
3024 x 2016 (6.1 mp) image size
|JPEG (2,318 KB)||RAW (as a 1,367 KB JPEG)|
At the more manageable 6.1 megapixel resolution it's great to see that the RAW converted image exhibits so much resolution that once more it pushes our resolution chart to its limits. Without a doubt the RAW converted images exhibit the highest resolution we've seen from any six megapixel DSLR.
|Street Food 2017 by ziggyzag|
from Your City - Fast Food
|Running free by LassiM|
|Treacherous Land- "Dune " by Frank Herbert by Domenick Creaco|
from Sci-Fi or Fantasy Film Titles
|1969 Oldsmobile 442 Resto-Mod by J Warren|
from O is for...
GoPro has inked a multi-year licensing deal with manufacturing services company Jabil that will allow Jabil to incorporate GoPro sensor modules and camera lenses into third-party products.
It's not just fashion magazines. It seems some major Instagram accounts with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers are pitching photographers, offering to feature their work... for a fee.
Canon Rumors has reportedly "confirmed from a couple of good sources" that Canon's full-frame mirrorless camera is currently being tested in the field by select Canon pro photographers.
In a ‘the world’s gone crazy’ role-reversal Sheeba magazine's submission guidelines specifyl that photographers lucky enough to have an image selected for the cover will have to pay $860 for the privilege of having it used.
A Russian drone pilot took his little camera drone to an altitude of 10 kilometers (~33,000 feet), and while the flight didn't break any local regulations and was done in a remote region, it's still an incredibly reckless and stupid thing to try.
Zach Sutton over at Lensrentals has put together this very useful on-location lighting tutorial for beginners, complete with five sample lighting setups to experiment with as you get more comfortable using artificial light.
Instagram has revealed some interesting updates this week, including a return to a slightly more chronological newsfeed where "newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed."
The 10 Open category winners revealed this week will duke it out for $5,000 in prize money and the title of Open Photographer of the Year. The winner will be revealed on April 19th, alongside the Professional category winners.
The new Laowa 9mm F2.8 Zero-D is "the world’s widest rectilinear f/2.8 lens for mirrorless APS-C cameras." It boasts a 113° angle of view, fast F2.8 aperture, and a Zero-D design that promises "close to zero" distortion.
YouTuber Devin Graham recently got to do something very few of us will ever get to: he purchased and unboxed nearly a quarter million dollars worth of cinema lenses.
We're looking for a Software Development Engineer to join our Seattle-based team. Bring your creativity, passion and talent to help us build the next generation of our web and mobile experiences.
If you're on a budget and looking to get into Fujifilm's X-system, the X-A5 is likely on your radar. We've been out shooting with this updated entry-level camera.
A report from the National Endowment for the Arts shows that photography and photo-finishing services contributed $10.2 billion to the US economy in 2015.
According to unnamed sources, Google will acquire Lytro's technology and patents, with Lytro employees already having left the company.
Our review of the Sony a7 III is well underway and, as part of this, we're publishing our studio test scene. We'll be building out the review in the coming weeks as we test and shoot the camera in a series of situations.
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. Update: Comparing this image to the size of previous DJI lens mounts, and noting the 3:2 aspect ratio of the sensor, we're confident the leaked image shows a 1"-type sensor
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.