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Thursday, September 23, 2004
Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro: the digital SLR that's tuned for image quality


Any photographer who has thought hard about their choice of film, and whose work is geared towards ultimate image quality, will understand the appeal of the Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro.

Representing the company's pursuit of film photography standards for the digital world, the FinePix S3 Pro introduces Fujifilm's unique Super CCD SR II ? dual pixel technology that is technically inspired by the structure of silver halide crystals in colour negative film.

The new sensor produces 12.34 million effective pixels in 6.17 locations, combining 6.17 million high-sensitivity S-pixels and the same number of low-sensitivity R-pixels. Thanks to a newly developed image processor, the FinePix S3 Pro achieves exceptional image quality with a fourfold increase in dynamic range over non-SR Super CCD sensors, rich colour reproduction, high signal to noise ratio (lower noise at higher sensitivities) and tonality that was previously impossible to generate with digital cameras.

The FinePix S3 Pro's designers have been able to make full use of Fujifilm's extensive colour film expertise. For instance, rather than force photographers to shoot in RAW mode and spend time on an extensive workflow process, Fujifilm has introduced Film Simulation Modes, dynamic range presets and colour space selection.

Once the photographer is familiar with these settings, they will be able to produceJPEG images straight from the camera, which require no post-production. Photographers can choose between smooth, extended tonality and natural skin tones, or the dramatic impact of highly saturated colour. The FinePix S3 Pro's Film Simulation Mode is the equivalent of changing film type to suit shooting conditions, and achieves this at the touch of a button.

The FinePix S3 Pro is designed from the photographer's viewpoint. The body design of the camera has been developed with significant improvements in versatility and ease of use. Dual shutter release buttons are provided for both landscape and portrait compositions, and dual LCD monitors confirm shooting settings and composition at a glance, without the need to scroll through menus. In addition, the body has been sculpted and rubberised to provide a solid grip.

For the first time on any digital SLR, a pre-exposure Live Image Mode has been incorporated to enable photographers to frame and focus images without the need to use the viewfinder. Activated for up to 30 seconds prior to a normal exposure, Live Image Mode is ideal for shots using a tripod as well as effective capture of candid images.

The FinePix S3 Pro features two D-TTL compatible flash interfaces (hot shoe and synchro terminal) and dual media slots, making it compatible with xD-Picture Cards?, CompactFlash? and Microdrive? cards up to 4GB capacity.

Expandable shooting options are achievable thanks to the FinePix S3 Pro's compatibility with Nikon-fit lenses and accessories, including the latest 'DX'-designated options, giving plenty of scope for further shooting control.

The FinePix S3 Pro comes bundled with Hyper Utility Software HS-V2 Ver. 3.0 which enables high-quality RAW data conversion, and incorporates an image viewer, PC control functions and expanded colour processing options.

FinePix S3 Pro features at a glance:

  • Super CCD SR II sensor delivering 12.34 million effective pixels (6.17m S-pixels + 6.17m R-pixels)
  • 4,256 x 2,848 (12.1 million) recorded pixels
  • Film Simulation Modes to replicate the results of various reversal and professional portrait colour negative films
  • Improved and adjustable dynamic range by changing the mixing ratio of the 'S' and 'R' pixels
  • Dual shutter release buttons (for horizontal/vertical orientation)
  • Dual LCD monitors
  • New 2", 235,000 pixel LCD monitor
  • Sensitivity: ISO 100, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600
  • Dual flash interfaces to support hot shoe and synchro terminal options
  • D-TTL flash metering
  • Nikon F-Mount for compatibility with Nikon lenses
  • Nikkor D and G-type lens support
  • High speed dual image interfaces (IEEE 1394 and USB 2.0)
  • Live Image Mode for accurate image preview, focusing and framing
  • Lightning fast start-up
  • Selectable RAW capture modes
  • USB 2.0 and FireWire connectivity
  • xD-Picture Card? and CompactFlash? / Microdrive? media slots (compatibility information available at www.fujifilm.co.uk)
  • DC-IN, Video Out, PC Sync terminal
  • HS-V2 Ver. 3.0 software included with the camera

Adrian Clarke, Fujifilm's Director of Consumer Products, said, "Photographers obsessed with image quality will identify with the technicians who developed the FinePix S3 Pro. The S3 Pro is what DSLR photography is all about ? not compromising matters by adding yet more pixels, but instead concentrating on adding pure picture quality.

"Moreover, it offers the professional photographer more versatility than ever before. Anybody whose best work is on conventional Fuji film won't need to look any further for the digital equivalent."



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