Featuring an advanced new, fourth-generation Super CCD SR sensor, the FujiFilm FinePix S3 Pro digital SLR takes digital photography dramatically closer to film quality. The FinePix S3 Pro offers a full feature set that's perfect for professional photographers, including a 6.17-megapixel effective resolution (increased to 12 megapixels with in-camera technology), compatibility with Nikon F-mount lenses as well as a majority of Nikkor AF lenses. Improvements over the FinePix S2 include larger, more ergonomically placed buttons, power from 4 rechargeable NiMH batteries, and USB 2.0 connectivity (as well as FireWire). This model does not include a lens.
Optics and Resolution
The FinePix S3 Pro's Super CCD SR sensor (23 x 15.5mm) uses 6.17 million S-pixels and 6.17 million R-pixels (for 12.3 million effective photodiodes) to deliver 12 million recorded pixels and noticeable image improvements to that of single-pixel cameras. The SR sensor's unique double photodiode design broadens tonal capability, from bright highlights to deep shadows and produces images with a dynamic range four times greater than that of a sensor working on single-pixel technology. It gives greater sensitivity, improved signal-to-noise ratio, and consistently natural colour reproduction, and also produces the following resolution modes: 4256 x 2848, 3024 x 2016, 2304 x 1536, and 1440 x 960.
It has a Nikon F mount and accepts a full range of Nikkor F-series lenses--including AF-D, AF-G and AF-S type professional optics.
Fourth-Generation Super CCD SR
FujiFilm's Super CCD SR provides a truer representation of the actual subject being photographed, revealing highlight detail and offering a four-fold increase in dynamic range. By using an innovative layout of paired photodiodes--in a "honeycomb" pattern--the technology enables confident shooting in both bright and cloudy conditions. The Super CCD improves overall signal-to-noise ratio and offers a much wider dynamic range. It also combats the bleached-out effect created by flash photography and increases exposure latitude, a great advantage in difficult lighting conditions.
- Rugged, polycarbonate body with rounder design and molded rear grip
- 2-inch, 235,000 pixel horizontal LCD delivers crisp, clear images and nearly 100% frame coverage
- Secondary LCD indicates shooting information and settings
- Dual shutter release buttons to allow optimum comfort and stability in both horizontal and vertical orientations
- Intelligent flash with D-TTL full-aperture exposure metering system
- Shutter speeds of 30 seconds to 1/4,000 second
- Sensitivity: ISO 100, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600
The FinePix S3 Pro is PictBridge compatible, which enables you to transfer pictures from your digital camera to your printer, without a PC or image-editing software. All PictBridge devices share three basic features: camera-to-printer connecting, single-image printing, and uniform error messages (in case something goes wrong)
Storage and Transfer
The FinePix S3 Pro offers a dual-media approach to storage: XD and CompactFlash Type II memory cards (offering compatibility with optional Microdrives, which can provide up to 4 GB of storage). It also incorporates dual PC connectivity, via super-fast USB 2.0 or IEEE 1394 (FireWire, also called i.Link).
Power and Size
The camera is powered exclusively by 4 rechargeable NiMH batteries (included). It measures 5.8 x 5.3 x 3.1 inches (W x H x D) and weighs 1.6 pounds (excluding battery and lens).
I bought this camera from Amazon.com couple of months ago (sometime in April of 2007). At the time, the newer model of Fuji DSLR, the S5, was just introduced. Although the S5 offers a lot of improvements, I decided to buy the S3. I had also looked at the Nikon SLR since I have been using Nikon for the past 35 years. I had seen many photographs taken with all of the models that I was interest in (except the Fuji-S5) and they were very close in terms of quality. Now it boiled down to other things and it was not the money issue, but in my case, the battery issue. The S3 uses 4-AA rechargable batteries. I did not buy a Nikon DSLR or the Fuji-S5 because of the use of proprietary batteries.
I have been using the Fuji-S3 along with my Nikon-F4 film camera for the past two months and I am VERY VERY please with the results. I had captured over 3000 images during my 3 week vacation with it. I had carefully examined a few hundred of the pictures I took (just in case that I didn't like the camera) and I discovered that it can deliver an exceptional quality. It shares the same Nikon lenses and I am fortunate that I have not had any incompatibility issues (I was warned about this). As of this writing, my F4 is probably going to join the F1 in the collection shelf....soon. I also bought two newer lenses from Sigma (I had never bought anything else other than the Nikon lenes) to try with the camera. Those Sigma lenses appear to diliver similar quality or in one case better than my Nikon lenses with this camera.
One complain...the ISO and the timer buttons of the S3 are placed in the most awkward positions. I am lucky that I don't change the ISO or using timer that offen otherwise this would have been one most inconvenient.
Nice images, A pleasure to use
This camera has been very enjoyable to use. Very comfortable large grip when handheld, nice for tripod use too. I decided on this camera when comparing images of those taken by other digital SLR's. The S3 images were the only ones that didn't appear "obviously" digital to me. I seem to find film images more aesthetically pleasing, which the S3 provides. This is my first digital SLR and has more features than I could possibly hope for. I still have not explored all the film simulation and wide dynamic range combinations and options. I found the the F2 velvia setting a bit "too" saturated, and the built in sharpening also a bit "hard". I get the best results in wide dynamic 2 mode, 12mp, and everything else set to "normal". Usually requires some brief post processing in the contrast and sharpening departments to get the results I'm looking for. I love the results in black and white. Love the aperture and shutter priority modes. My only gripe is that the external USB port became loose after about a dozen uses and just fell into the camera body. I sent it back on warranty however, and it was fixed and sent back to me in about a 4 day window. I was really amazed with Fujifilm service. As for speed, I usually shoot landscapes, and in jpeg mode, so not really an issue. I have shot fast moving birds and wildlife with no problems. As for value, its worth about 3/4 of its original price on the used market after around 9 months of use, not bad for digital cameras I suppose. And the price of a new one has actually increased since I bought one, which is hard to believe, but great! The Fuji S3 continues to please. :) enjoy.
beautiful but slow
great pictures but too slow for anything but still portraits and landscapes