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Monday, Aug 29, 2005

Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro Review - Digital Camera Info

Aug 29, 2005 | Category: Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S3 ProSince the advent of digital photography, photographers, and particularly wedding and portrait photographers, have complained that digital SLRs have lacked the dynamic range of film. Fujifilm hopes the S3 Pro will fill this void and provide those photographers with a digital imager that will rival the attainable tonal range of 35mm film. At an MSRP of $2499.00, and built around Fujifilm’s own Super CCD SR II imaging chip, the S3 offers two more stops of dynamic range than Fujifilm’s previous offering, the S2, or competing cameras. Additionally, the camera’s image processor has been designed by Fujifilm to make print-ready JPEGs, a convenient feature intended to save commercial photographers time in postproduction.

Fuji has done some very smart engineering to address a very real need in digital photography. Unfortunately, the FinePix S3 blends its uniquely impressive image quality with glacially slow shooting and writing speeds, and mediocre autofocus – it’s unsure in low light, and slow all the time. This results in some very strong limitations that many users will not be able to look past. But for some, the S3 will offer a formidable alternative that is superior to any other camera currently on the market.

Like the S2, the 5.8 x 5.3 x 3.2-inch, 29.5 oz. S3 is a hybrid of pro-level imaging technology with prosumer-level photomechanical technology. Addressing a few particular concerns among S2 users, Fuji added a new shutter release for vertical shots, a larger LCD, and a simplified power supply of four NiMH AA cells, rather than the S2’s bizarre requirement of four AAs and two lithium CR-123s. But the improvement isn’t as substantial as it could be; the S3’s competition all utilizes much higher-capacity and more convenient lithium-ion packs.

For users who don’t have a cost/benefit analysis to run, the question is much more subtle. The FinePix S3 yields much, much better dynamic range than the Nikon D70 or Canon 20D, and better color. It’s not better in any other respect, and it’s inferior in many other regards, so the decision will inevitably come down to personal preference and shooting priorities.

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Thursday, Aug 25, 2005

Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro Review - PC Magazine

Aug 25, 2005 | Category: Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S3 ProLike the Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro before it, the new Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro is built on the Nikon N80 film SLR chassis—one of the most enjoyable cameras to hold. Because the N80 is a plastic-bodied camera, however, it’s not as rugged as other pro cameras, such as the Nikon D2X, which has a harder magnesium-alloy body. It’s just one of the ways in which the S3 Pro seems to exhibit an identity problem: Is it an expensive consumer digital SLR or a cheaper alternative to the high-priced pro D-SLRs? That’s a question that you may have to answer for yourself, depending on your needs.

The 12-megapixel FinePix S3 Pro does not come with a kit lens; we tested it with a Nikon Nikkor 18-70mm DX zoom lens. It has a Nikon F-mount for lenses, compatible with Nikon’s Nikkor line and lenses from Sigma and Tamron. There is room to doubt whether the S3 Pro is truly a 12MP camera; the sensor, which Fuji calls a Super CCD SR II sensor, has a dual-pixel configuration with two types of pixels: one set of high-sensitivity (”S”) and one set of low-sensitivity (”R”) pixels. The difference is that the smaller “R” pixels were included to record higher points of light more accurately.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro Review - CNET Reviews

May 31, 2005 | Category: Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S3 ProThe Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro digital SLR (dSLR) replaces the S2 Pro, which enjoyed some modest success among photographers who prized its image quality. Like its predecessor, the S3 Pro uses Nikon F-mount SLR lenses and a (debatably) 6-megapixel Fujifilm sensor. But the sensor, called a Super CCD SR II, is an all-new design that uses two photodetectors per pixel to deliver the widest dynamic range we’ve seen in a dSLR. The camera’s performance is mediocre, but if you hate blown-out highlights and love rich colors, the S3 Pro is worth a close look.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro Review - PHOTOgraphic

May 26, 2005 | Category: Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S3 ProThe big news about Fujifilm’s FinePix S3 Pro is that it has two kinds of pixels—shadow and highlight—in its Super CCD SR II sensor. The larger “S� pixels respond to low light recording shadow detail, while the smaller “R� pixels capture highlights. Each set produces six megapixels and since data is added together to produce the final image, Fujifilm’s new math calls this a 12-megapixel camera, but is it? Out here in the real world, the answer is: Who cares? The image files created by the FinePix S3 Pro are big, clean, and flat-out gorgeous.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro Review - PhotographyBLOG

May 25, 2005 | Category: Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S3 ProFujifilm FinePix S3 Pro is Fuji’s third Digital SLR in the S series of cameras, offering many changes from its predecessor. The camera is still based on the Nikon F mount, supporting a wide range of Nikon compatible lenses. A brand new CCD sensor is used in the S3 Pro to give an outstanding 12.34 million effective pixels, one of the many new features that Fuji promotes.

As a current S2 user I found the camera very easy to adapt to, in fact it was harder using the S2 when the camera was returned. Immediate reaction was the grip had been vastly improved, as had the weight and balance. Using just one set of batteries offered a better solution as well.

Image quality was hard to split the S2 and S3, unless the extended dynamic range was used. Overall it was well laid out, with the main controls well placed.

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