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Fujifilm S3 review


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#1 anthp

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 02:45 PM

Users may be interested in this review...

http://www.dpreview..../fujifilms3pro/
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#2 anthp

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 03:01 PM

What is particularly interesting for underwater photographers (if someone other than ewa [whitey where are you??] ever makes a housing for this puppy??) is the "expanded highligh dynamic range". The test on page 18 of dpreview indicates that the S3 is capable of 10 stops or so (with the increase mainly gained in the highlights). It is compared against the 20D which is measured at 8 stops.

This could potentially be very useful in using the camera to shoot sunbursts.

There are also some fascinating examples of post-processing highlight detail recovery on page 19 of the review, indicating that it might be possible to recover up to 3 stops of otherwise lost highlight detail using RAW and ACR (the Fuji software utility appears to be inferior in this regard??) and combining the exposure information S and R pixels (with the disadvantage of increased mid-tone noise).

The Nikon D70 shots appear to hold a similar level of detail (possibly slightly lower), but are noisier at ISOs above 800 (in the luminance channel which is easier to remove in noise reduction software).

The 20D is clearly ahead in terms of detail (well duh!), but surprisingly, the S3 has less noise above ISO 800 due to aggressive in-camera noise reduction (at the expense of detail).

All in all, it looks like an expensive option compared to the D70/20D, but if you're mainly shooting sunbursts??....The overall conclusion on resolution is that the S3 sits somewhere between the best 6MP DSLRs and the 20D.
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#3 anthp

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 03:25 PM

Other things worth noting:
  • Great colour
  • Flash sync still 1/180
  • Sampling artifacts in 12MP mode
  • Nearly 2 seconds from record to image on LCD in RAW mode.
  • Shooting RAW in "wide (expanded) dynamic range mode" means only 3 shots at 1.5 frames per second and a 34 second write time (25MB files!).
  • Shooting RAW-wide dyanmic range mode each shot takes between 8-13 seconds to write (depending on xD or CF).
  • People are unlikely to use xD because you'll only get 20 shots on the largest (currently) available card.
  • Small viewfinder
Hmmmm....
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#4 craig

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 11:12 PM

More interesting is this paragraph in the conclusion:

More interesting however were the results we got from Adobe Camera RAW, this revealed that there is quite a lot more dynamic range information available in the S3 Pro's RAW files than are being extracted by either the camera's processing (JPEG) or Fujifilm's own Hyper-Utility2. This is in effect crippling the apparently more impressive capability of the SuperCCD SR II sensor.

It's clear that to take full advantage of the dynamic range capability of the camera you must shoot raw. That's a fact for all modern dSLR's but even more so for the S3.
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#5 Rocha

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 06:07 AM

Other things worth noting:

  • Great colour
  • Flash sync still 1/180
  • Sampling artifacts in 12MP mode
  • Nearly 2 seconds from record to image on LCD in RAW mode.
  • Shooting RAW in "wide (expanded) dynamic range mode" means only 3 shots at 1.5 frames per second and a 34 second write time (25MB files!).
  • Shooting RAW-wide dyanmic range mode each shot takes between 8-13 seconds to write (depending on xD or CF).
  • People are unlikely to use xD because you'll only get 20 shots on the largest (currently) available card.
  • Small viewfinder
Hmmmm....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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[*]Slow auto-focus

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#6 Kasey

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 07:14 AM

2 years ago the speed of this camera would be tolerable. Today, a camera in this class cannot perform so poorly - regardless of image quality. It is as slow as a MF back!
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#7 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 11:31 AM

Has anyone heard any gossip (substantiated or not) about any manufacturer making a housing for this camera.

Or is it just going to be good at photographing white elephants.

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#8 ssra30

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 01:47 PM

I thought Ikelite did say that the S3 can be refitted in their aluminum back S2 housing.