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Fuji FinePix S3 Pro

Fuji updates their digital SLR with a 12.34-megapixel Super CCD SR II, for amazing tonal range.

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 9/7/2005

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12.34-megapixel SuperCCD SR II makes files as large as 4,256 x 2,848 pixels (6.45 million "S" pixels and 6.45 million "R" pixels)
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New Dynamic Range adjustment for better tonal control in harsh lighting
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"Live" mode turns LCD monitor into a monochrome viewfinder - a new feature for digital SLRs
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Superb resolution

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Accepts most Nikon F mount lenses

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Manufacturer Overview

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Fuji has long been a player in the digital camera arena, creating a broad line of popular consumer-level models over the last couple of years. From the email I receive, it's apparent that they've been very successful in doing so, as I consistently note a "happy" tone from Fuji users that really stands out amid the flood of correspondence. Fuji has also been a player in the digital SLR market for quite a while now, dating back to their first D-SLR, the E2S several years ago. More recently, they introduced the S1 Pro, a unit based on Nikon's N60 consumer SLR. Using Fuji's SuperCCD sensor technology, the S1 Pro distinguished itself with high resolution and beautiful color, to the extent that it found a strong niche in the commercial portrait business. Its market popularity was further boosted by a selling price that was significantly lower than other D-SLR models available at that time.

Fuji followed up with the S2 Pro, an upgraded model based on a Nikon N80 body and equipped with the latest-generation 6.1 megapixel SuperCCD. While the S2 Pro was a big hit in the professional arena, Fuji nonetheless decided to continue perfecting their darling digital SLR. FujiFilm is now introducing the S3 Pro, which features a 12.34-megapixel SuperCCD SR II with a dual-pixel layout that attempts to simulate the tonal range and color handling of color film. The S3 Pro offers several digital SLR "firsts," including the ability to adjust the camera's dynamic range, activate a Film Simulation tool that enhances skin tones and color, and the ability to briefly use the LCD monitor as a live viewfinder. I was a big fan of the previous S2, and the S3 boasts all of the same excellent exposure features, plus the bonus of new technology to lure more photographers from the film world. Read on to find out all the details.

 

High Points

  • 12.34-megapixel Super CCD SR II delivering 4,256 x 2,848-pixel maximum resolution. (Made up of 6.45 million "S" pixels and 6.45 million "R" pixels.)
  • SLR design provides true, TTL optical viewfinder with information display.
  • 2.0-inch color LCD monitor, with monochrome "Live" mode for use in framing images.
  • Nikon "F" lens mount accommodates a wide range of Nikkor lenses.
  • Auto and manual focus modes, adjustable AF area.
  • Program, Flexible Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and full Manual exposure modes.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds, with Bulb mode for longer exposures.
  • TTL metering with three modes.
  • Adjustable ISO with six settings.
  • White balance setting with eight modes, including a manual option.
  • Color, Tone, and Sharpness adjustments.
  • New Dynamic Range and Film Simulation adjustments.
  • Single Frame, Continuous, Auto-Exposure Bracketing, and Multi-Exposure modes.
  • Built-in, pop-up flash with five settings.
  • External flash hot shoe and sync socket for connecting up to two external flash units.
  • Variable self-timer.
  • xD-Picture Card, CompactFlash Type I & II memory storage, also accommodates the IBM MicroDrive.
  • Images saved in JPEG or RAW data file formats.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.
  • Power from four AA-type batteries or optional AC adapter.
  • USB and IEEE 1394 jacks for connecting to a computer.
  • Video-out jack for reviewing images on a television set.

 

 

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