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Fujifilm's FinePix S5 Pro digital SLR. Courtesy of Fujifilm, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Fujfilm announces FinePix S5 Pro DSLR
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, September 25, 2006 - 03:00 EDT)

In the runup to the Photokina trade show in Cologne, Germany, Fujifilm has today announced its development of a new model in its FinePix S-series of single-lens reflex digital cameras.

The Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro is scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2007, and the most obvious change for users of the company's past DSLR models is going to be the body. Fuji's S1 Pro was based on a Nikon N60 consumer film SLR, while the followup S2 Pro and S3 Pro models were Nikon N80-based. The S5 Pro takes a significant step forwards with a body that (although the company isn't officially stating derivations) is clearly based on Nikon's D200 digital SLR - and that brings with it a lot of benefits. Inside its all-metal body, the Fuji S5 Pro will now include 11-point AF, i-TTL flash metering, a 2.5" LCD display, Lithium Ion battery, a shutter with a rated lifetime of 100,000 cycles offering speeds from 30 to 1/8000 second, a slightly higher viewfinder magnification, 1/250 second flash sync, and lens aperture control of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 stop - all improvements over the predecessor camera.

The Fuji FinePix S5 Pro retains the same resolution of SuperCCD SR sensor used in 2004's FinePix S3 Pro, which has a total of 12.34 million effective photodiodes in a dual-element structure aimed at extending dynamic range (as described in our coverage of the development of the SuperCCD SR sensor announced back in 2003). Each couplet of 'S' and 'R' photodiodes share a single microlens, and hence are unable to separately contribute to resolution in an image, so the S5 Pro has a 6.17 effective megapixel resolution. We're told the SuperCCD SR Pro sensor isn't identical to that in the previous camera however, and that there have been tweaks made both to processing techniques and to take advantage of new manufacturing capabilities, plus a newly optimized low pass filter. The result should be improved dark noise reduction, and reduced moire.

The FinePix S5 Pro is also the first Fujifilm DSLR to use a development of the Real Photo Technology which has been pretty much universally lauded in the company's consumer cameras. Dubbed "Real Photo Processor Pro", it should yield improved saturation and tonality, and courtesy of two cycles of noise reduction the S5 Pro now offers ISO sensitivity to 3200 (with noise levels reduced across the board at all sensitivities). The S5 Pro also offers three new variations of the original film simulation mode (now five total) tailored to regional preferences for tonality in different markets. Unusually, the S5 Pro has the ability to password lock (in three levels) custom settings to prevent a photographer changing certain settings accidentally, or for pool cameras which are requeired to have certain settings identical across all camera bodies in the pool.

The live preview mode in the S3 Pro returns for the FinePix S5 Pro, but the length has been doubled to 60 seconds in color or black & white. There's also newly added RAW+JPEG support, and the camera's buffer has more than doubled from 128MB to 288MB. This latter means that continuous shooting improves to 3 frames per second in the new camera, with a burst depth of 24 RAW or 52 JPEG images in standard dynamic range, and 11 RAW / 40 JPEG in wide dynamic range mode. Given that the S3 Pro was 2.5fps for 12 RAW in standard, 3 RAW / 6 JPEG in wide mode, this is a pretty major improvement!

Alongside the S5 Pro, Fujifilm will offer two accessories for connection to a wireless or wired LAN, with support for Windows Vista's MPP and MPP over IP protocols (RAW files should also be supported by Vista natively). On top of this, the S5 Pro can be connected using Nikon's 10-pin serial connector to standard serial barcode readers to scan bar codes before shooting a picture, and store the barcode data in the EXIF header of the image.

The S5 Pro has one other really unusual feature (again building on technology first seen in the company's consumer digicams) - post capture face detection that can automatically zoom in on a captured image to review up to ten faces in a picture sequentially for pose, focus, exposure, etc. (Note that this is post-exposure only - the S5 Pro doesn't have any pre-capture face detection functionality like focusing, flash mode, etc. like you'd find in consumer cameras).

Pricing for the Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro has not been announced at this time, and indeed we're told that specifications are not yet finalized.

Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro
Fujifilm's FinePix S5 Pro digital SLR. Courtesy of Fujifilm, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera Type Pro SLR
Manufacturer Fujifilm
Model Number S5 Pro
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1.09" Fujifilm SuperCCD SR
6.45 megapixels (total)
6.17 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Image Dimensions 4256 x 2848 (12.1 megapixels, interpolated)
3024 x 2016 (6.1 megapixels)
2304 x 1536 (3.5 megapixels)
Capture Speed Continuous: 3.0 frames per second, 24 RAW or 52 JPEG images in standard dynamic range, 11 RAW / 40 JPEG in wide dynamic range
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder Yes, SLR
LCD 2.5", 235,000 pixels
100% field of view
Lens
Lens Type Interchangeable Lens
Lens Mount Nikon F-mount
Focusing System 11-point
Manual Focus possible
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity 3200 max.
Shutter Speed 30 - 1/8000 second
Exposure Modes Program, Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Storage
Recording Medium CompactFlash Type 1, CompactFlash Type 2, Microdrive
File Format CCD-RAW, JPEG
Connectivity
Computer USB 2.0
Other DC In, Bar Code Reader, Optional wired / wireless LAN
Power
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary
More Photos
Fujifilm's FinePix S5 Pro digital SLR. Courtesy of Fujifilm, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Original Source Press Release:

FUJIFILM ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR NEW FINEPIX S5 PRO

DSLR slated for early 2007 introduction

Valhalla, New York, September 25, 2006 -- Confirming the company’s commitment to professional photographers, Fujifilm today announced the development of the much anticipated FinePix S5 Pro digital SLR camera. The new FinePix S5 Pro is further affirmation of Fujifilm’s goal to achieve professional D-SLR image quality consistent with Fujifilm’s professional film heritage.

The FinePix S5 Pro carries a number of features that made its predecessor, the FinePix S3 Pro, so popular with wedding, portrait and studio photographers. One is increased dynamic range from the Super CCD SR double pixel technology (6.17 million S-pixels and 6.17 million R-pixels). The new FinePix S5 Pro continues this tradition of expanded dynamic range and goes a step further by coupling the new Super CCD SR Pro sensor with Fujifilm’s new RP (Real Photo) Processor Pro for even more outstanding, film-like results. Moreover, the FinePix S5 Pro will house the two technologies in a fully digital and durable metal alloy body frame. This opens the door for Fujifilm’s digital imaging technologies to expand into other applications such as outdoor and high endurance commercial photography.

Highlight features of the FinePix S5 Pro include:

Image Processing and Quality

  • Real Photo Technology Pro, which combines the Super CCD SR Pro sensor and the RP Processor Pro, allows for the wide dynamic range with smoother tonality from brightest light to darkest shadow. The re-designed new Super CCD SR Pro features an optimized low-pass filter that will reduce the noise and minimize moiré. The newly developed RP Processor Pro features two cycles of noise reduction so photographers can snap pictures at light sensitivities as high as ISO 3200 with less noise than comparable cameras at similar ISOs.

Increased Color and Dynamic Range Control

  • Photographers can choose from six preset ranges for greater creative control over the FinePix S5 Pro’s expanded dynamic range between 100% and 400%,
  • Three new variations of the original film simulation mode have been added (five modes in total) for improved reproduction of natural skin tones.

Face Detection Technology for post image verification

  • At the push of a button, the FinePix S5 Pro’s Face Detection Technology detects up to ten faces in a scene immediately after each image is captured. Photographers can zoom in and confirm facial detail, whether eyes are open or closed, focus and exposure on the FinePix S5 Pro’s LCD monitor.

Other camera functions and features

  • Nikon F-mount compatibility with all Nikkor AF-D/G and the latest AF-S optics
  • RAW+JPEG (4,256 x 2,848 pixels, 3,024 x 2,016 pixels, 2,304 x 1,536 pixels) dual-save mode
  • MAC and PC supported tethered shooting mode via USB 2.0 port and optional HyperUtility software
  • Robust, lightweight magnesium-alloy body
  • Durable shutter unit stands up to approximately 100,000 releases
  • Adoption of high-precision i-TTL flash control
  • 11-point AF sensor for consistent, fast and precise focusing. This is an improvement from the FinePix S3 Pro’s 5-point AF sensor
  • Supports 1/3, ½, and 1 stop lens aperture control
  • Shutter speed 30 sec. to 1/8000 sec., maximum flash sync speed of 1/250 sec.
  • Remark function enables addition of comments to an image file by connecting a special bar code reader to the camera body.
  • 3 levels of custom Function Locking with password protection
  • 2.5 inch LCD with 235,000 pixels with 100% frame coverage featuring color or monochromatic 30 seconds, live view function to check the focusing
  • Li-ion rechargeable battery
  • Compact Flash (CF) Card (Type I/II) and Microdrive compatible

Optional Accessories

  • LAN Adapter for wireless, high-speed image transfer.
  • New Hyper Utility Software for precise editing control of images taken in CCD-RAW
  • 14-bit format. Software also enables PC control of the FinePix S5 Pro.
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Battery Charger
  • AC Power Adapter

About Fujifilm
Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. is a subsidiary of Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. and delivers technology solutions to meet the imaging and information needs of retailers, consumers, professionals and business customers. As a global leader in digital imaging, Fujifilm pioneered the development of digital medical systems, and today is the leader in digital minilab systems. The company was ranked number 18 for U.S. patents granted during 2005, employs more than 75,000 people worldwide and in the year ending March 31, 2006, had global revenues of $22.8 billion.

In the United States, Fujifilm is a leader in delivering high quality, easy-to-use imaging and information solutions in the following categories: Digital Imaging Systems, Film and Imaging Systems, Recording/Storage Media, Motion Picture Film, Graphic Arts and Printing Systems and Medical Imaging and Diagnostics Systems. Fujifilm is an environmentally friendly, humane enterprise and an exemplary corporate citizen.

For more information on Fujifilm products, consumers can call 800-800-FUJI or access the Fujifilm USA Web site at www.fujifilmusa.com. Consumers also can receive news and information direct from Fujifilm USA via RSS. Subscription is free at www.fujifilmusa.com/rss.

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