Like 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.