Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro Review
The S2 Pro's Auto white balance worked well under natural light, it also made a good attempt under artificial light however there were slight but noticeable casts under incandescent or fluorescent light in Auto mode. The pre-programmed white balance settings were 'almost there', it would have been nice to have an in-camera fine tuning facility as we've seen on Nikon digital's for some time. Manual white balance preset offered the most accurate and consistent results under different light sources.
Settings: Color/Tone/Sharpening: Normal, ISO 100, Nikkor 24 - 85 mm F3.5 - 4.5 G, 1.4 mp JPEG Fine (~700 KB)
|Daylight: Auto||Daylight: Cloudy / Sunny||Daylight: Manual|
|Incandescent: Auto||Incandescent: Incandescent||Incandescent: Manual|
|Fluorescent: Auto||Fluorescent: Fluorescent 3 / 2 / 1||Fluorescent: Manual|
The S2 Pro inherits the F80 (N80) flash system, a pop-up flash unit for those quick snapshots and a fully SB compatible hotshoe which can be used with the newer SB-DX flash units. The S2 Pro doesn't have D-TTL like the D100 but doesn't seem to suffer because of it. Kudos also to Fujifilm for including a PC Sync socket on the S2 Pro, they're clearly hinting towards one of their largest target user, the studio photographer. Maximum flash sync shutter speed is 1/125 sec.
Below you will see a sequence of three shots taken with internal, external and studio strobes.
Settings: Color/Tone/Sharpening: Normal, ISO 100, Nikkor 24 - 85 mm F3.5 - 4.5 G, 12 mp JPEG Fine
Exposure Mode: P
12 mp (4,385 KB)
|External flash: SB-50DX
Exposure Mode: P
12 mp (4,282 KB)
Exposure Mode: M
12 mp (4,408 KB)
The S2 Pro managed to meter and flash expose the first to shots well, despite the difference in the flash units used. Note the flash underexposure problem experienced with Nikon's D100 isn't evident here (clearly a different flash control system). The studio shot was manually exposed.
Studio setup: 2 x Elinchrom 300W strobes (1 x 70 cm softbox).
The S2 Pro appears to be able to handle night exposures quite well, with timed exposures of up to 30 seconds and a Bulb mode for longer exposures. As you can see in the first sample below a 30 second exposure is no problem with hardly any visible noise or 'hot pixels'.
Settings: Color/Tone/Sharpening: Normal, ISO 100, Nikkor 17 - 35 mm F2.8 D, 6.1 mp JPEG Fine
|ISO 100, F8.0, 30 secs, 6.1 mp (2,291 KB)|
Five minute exposure
This is a test we first carried out with Canon's EOS-D60 (which produced amazing results), the S2 Pro also manages to put in a very impressive performance. Yes, there is some visible noise but considering the length of the exposure the camera does do a very good job at capturing the overall scene (colour is surprisingly good).
Settings: Color/Tone/Sharpening: Normal, ISO 100, Nikkor 50 mm F1.4 D, 6.1 mp JPEG Fine
|ISO 100, F11.0, 5 minutes (Bulb), 6.1 mp (2,312 KB)|
Overall Image Quality / Specifics
Superb, that's about the only word to describe the S2 Pro's image quality. Fujifilm have really pulled out all the stops to concentrate on what really matters, the final image quality. Images are well exposed, show great tonal range, have excellent colour and resolution. With the S2 Pro Fujifilm have gone a long way to justifying their SuperCCD design (which always seems to perform better in their D-SLR's than their consumer cameras).
After performing my own resolution tests I soon discovered that although the 12 mp resolution delivers a larger image it doesn't deliver any more resolution than the 6.1 mp mode. Add to this the storage penalty you'll pay shooting at 12 mp (4 MB JPEG's) and it's clear to see that the 6.1 mp mode is the way to go. In 6.1 mp mode the S2 Pro is more than a match for the current batch of $2000 six megapixel digital SLR's.
Sharp, clean and detailed at 6.1 mp
As mentioned above the S2 Pro's 6.1 mp mode produces very nice, sharp and low noise images. The S2 Pro produces the 6.1 megapixel image by first 'processing' the SuperCCD RAW data to a 12 megapixel image and then downsampling to the 6.1 megapixel size. Anyone who has downsampled an image in Photoshop will tell you that this process alone improves sharpness and reduces noise, and it seems to work just as well in the S2 Pro.
|ISO 200, 1/750 sec, F5.3, 6.1 mp (2,396 KB)||ISO 400, 1/60 sec, F4.0, 6.1 mp (2,230 KB)|
As we expected there is still some moiré visible in both 12 and 6 megapixel resolution images (more so at 12 megapixel). This moire only occurs on 45 degree detail such as hair, wires, gratings etc. It appears that the 45 degree pixel layout of the SuperCCD is to blame. That said it is definitely less than the S1 Pro and far less than the consumer SuperCCD digital cameras. Many 6 megapixel images didn't exhibit any moiré. We also found that RAW converted images had far less moiré than the equivalent JPEG image.
|ISO 100, 1/125 sec, F11, 12 mp (4,408 KB)||ISO 200, 1/180 sec, F6.7, 12 mp (4,363 KB)|