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Fuji FinePix S1 Pro

A 3.5 megapixel "SuperCCD" gives superb color and amazing low-light capability in an under-$4,000 SLR digicam!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 8/1/2000

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3.54 megapixel "SuperCCD makes up to 3024x2016 image files
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Absolutely beautiful color!
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Fantastic low light performance
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Uses most Nikon F mount lenses
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Exceptional exposure control flexibility
   

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Manufacturer Overview

Fuji has long been a player in the digicam arena, creating a line of popular consumer-level models over the last couple of years. From the email we receive, it's apparent that they've been very successful in doing so, as we consistently note a "happy" tone from Fuji users that really stands out amid the flood of correspondence we receive. A while back, Fuji teamed with Nikon to create a digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera (the E2S) that used "reflex optics" to match normal Nikkor lenses to the much smaller CCD sizes that were then prevalent. The resulting unit was rather cumbersome due to the additional optics inside the body, and perhaps for that reason never achieved a high market penetration. Recently, Fuji has made waves with their "SuperCCD" technology, which has promised significant improvements in light sensitivity and resolution, but thus far has been packaged in a camera (the FinePix 4700) that offered only a heavily interpolated option as its "full resolution" mode. To our mind, this tended to obscure some of the potential benefits of the SuperCCD technology.

Now, Fuji has entered the interesting ground between upper-echelon amateur and cost-conscious pro photographers, building an all-new digital SLR combining a SuperCCD sensor with a Nikon N60 film-camera body. The resulting FinePix S1 Pro SLR has been both much awaited and much debated on the Internet, not the least of which because of its maximum file size of 6.1 megapixels. Now that the camera is actually shipping in the US and full-production test units are available for evaluation, we're finally able to bring you a full review of this remarkable new camera. We say "remarkable" because of the exceptional image quality it delivered in our tests: The FinePix S1 Pro has the distinction of delivering some of the best color we've yet seen from any digicam at any price point. It also offers exceptionally good low-light shooting capability, and a really excellent user interface that makes using it a pleasure. Given the "consumer" genesis of its body, it wouldn't be your first choice to pack along on a safari with rain, dust, and mud, as it just doesn't have the level of environmental seals found in high-end professional film cameras. By the same token, it wouldn't the first choice for high-speed sports action, due to it's maximum frame rate of 1.5 frames per second. For "the rest of us" though, who shoot under more moderate conditions, it could very well be the camera many have been waiting for, combining Nikon F-mount compatibility, superb color, and excellent ease of use. Compared to consumer-level digicams, its speed and capabilities aren't even in the same league, it's that far superior. Compared to other professional SLRs, it's color handling, low light capability, and ease of use could win it many converts. Overall, a dramatic entry in the SLR digicam arena, and one sure to significantly affect that market.

Highlights

  • 3.54 megapixel CCD sensor producing 2304 x 1536 (uninterpolated) or 3042 x 2016 (interpolated) images.
  • 2.0 inch color LCD monitor, with 200,000 pixel resolution. (Sharp!)
  • TTL optical viewfinder.
  • Accepts Nikon F mount lenses.
  • Auto and manual focus options.
  • Full Auto, Programmed, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual exposure modes.
  • Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports and Night Scene special exposure modes.
  • Shutter speeds from 30 to 1/2,000 seconds.
  • Selectable white balance with eight modes, including "custom" (manual).
  • Variable ISO with 320, 400, 800 and 1600 equivalents.
  • Burst photography mode for fast moving subjects.
  • Built-in flash with six modes.
  • Hot shoe for connecting an external flash.
  • Variable metering modes, sharpness, tone and color adjustments.
  • Image capture on CompactFlash Type I or II, or SmartMedia memory cards (Microdrive accepted).
  • Uncompressed TIFF and standard JPEG file formats.
  • USB cable for connection to a computer.
  • NTSC and PAL video formats.
  • Powered by four AA batteries, two CR123A lithium batteries, and a CR2025 coin cell. (Lithium batteries included in the box with the camera, user must purchase their own AA NiMH rechargeable cells with charger.)
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.

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