Fuji S2 users...waiting for the S3?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Gene Palmiter, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. In my ongoing search for the best camera that (my) money can buy....I now
    come to the Fujis. There is a new S3 coming soon. From my first reading of
    the specs it seems to be a much different camera than the S2. Am I right
    that the honeycomb sensor is gone now in favor of a 2 sized effect. I don't
    know how to describe it as its very different from anything else out there.
    What other cameras have used this? How well does it work?

    The image size is impressive...and I will buy on the basis of image
    quality...and price. Tell me more....like....where is it?
    Gene Palmiter, Jun 14, 2004
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  2. Gene Palmiter

    SimonG Ltd. Guest

    No body knows so don't expect many replies . . . . the "new" CCD has already
    been used by Fuji in the S20 or S7000 . . . . the S3 is supposed to be
    12Mpixels (interpolated) same as the S2 . . . but the RAW file size is twice
    that of the S2 because of the extra photosites . . .

    cheers, SimonG
    SimonG Ltd., Jun 14, 2004
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  3. The Fuji S20 uses a version of this Super CCD-R sensor. Look for reviews at
    DP Reviews and Steve's digicams for more info. In that camera, the sensor is
    not exactly getting rave reviews.

    I used to have an S2 Pro. It was a good camera when used for relatively
    static shots, but I found that the N80 body's limitation especially in
    autofocus, metering was a real handicap for my (amateur) photography. Also,
    I found the lack of ruggedness and weatheproofing problematic on occasion.

    I was very interested in the Fuji S3 when I thought that Fuji might be
    planning to put it into a pro-level body with better autofocus and metering,
    but they're not. They are still reportedly using an N80 based body. I
    elected to pass on the S3 and got a Nikon D2H. Wow! I didn't know what I was
    missing by using a consumer-level dSLR like the S2 Pro, and like the S3 is
    going to be. I don't care how good the Fuji Super CCD-R sensor is, if you
    put it into a camera that has slow, hit-or-miss autofocus, 2 fps shot rate
    and questionable metering accuracy, you will only like that camera for a
    relatively narrow range of photographic opportunities.

    Howard McCollister, Jun 14, 2004
  4. Gene Palmiter

    Roger Guest


    Would you tell us more about the D2H and what you think of the digital
    noise at ISOs above 400? Have you made prints and what is the maximum
    size and workflow necessary to achieve that?

    Roger, Jun 14, 2004
  5. Maybe I should keep my my E-10 around for wetter conditions! But, I am
    looking for better results. Your D2H is still 4mp...so....

    I have read the forums for Fuji...no mention of focus problems...and the
    review for the S2 has lots of good things to say...and few negatives.
    Lets see what others have to say....so far its your negative review against
    dpreview's positive review.
    Gene Palmiter, Jun 14, 2004
  6. Gene Palmiter

    C.S. Guest

    I've used the D100 and D70 most recently, and neither can come close
    to my S2. If you read the manual and know your camera and have basic
    photography skills the S2 is a real dream. I've had people who think
    they can tell the differance between film and digital photo's pick my
    photo's believing they were produced using film.
    C.S., Jun 14, 2004
  7. I've used the D100 and D70 most recently, and neither can come close
    I think I qualify! When I got my E-10 some years ago the manual went to bed
    with me for a week along with the camera and my fingers learned where every
    button was positioned and I knew what every feature of every menu did. As a
    kid I had a camera in my hand every chance I got....and its been that way
    for over 40 years. My skills are rather decent.

    We have a local art/commercial photographer named Larry Fink. He has a farm
    where a group of mostly girls do his printing. They are all very much under
    his influence. They had discussed amongst themselves about how digital would
    never be good enough to beat film....and then they saw what I was creating.
    I know it doesn't match film...my cam is only 4mp...but it was far better
    than they had convinced themselves was possible...and that was a few years
    ago. I expect that my next camera will put out work that matches their
    medium format....in fact I insist upon it! That is why I am doing the
    research. I think I will need at least 12 mp....and there are only a few
    cameras out there that will do it. Kodak is having image quality problems,
    the Canon is way over priced, the Sigma puts out a large file...but it's
    only as good as a 6 mp so it's out. Now I am checking out the Fuji S3. The
    numbers are good....how it gets there doesn't matter as long as I end up
    with a quality image. I also like the extended range they are trying for. If
    the S3 is everything Fuji hopes it to be it might well be my next camera. It
    looks promising.

    As for digital being better than film some day....digital will never beat
    film....because you can always get a bigger piece of film. But, digital
    already beats 110....some, the 6 mps beat 35 mm, 12-14 mp should match
    medium format. Maybe someday digital will match 4x5 sheet film. I cannot
    imagine there will ever be a digital that will match a contact print from a
    well done 20x24 camera....but if there is it won't take a truck to move it
    like for the 20x24 film cameras. And that is where digital has already
    won....it's more convenient to shoot and process. I work for a monthly arts
    newspaper...it has taken a couple of years to bring them around, but now
    they prefer digital over film....you just get where you need to be faster.
    Now people with film cameras for their own use have digitals for work.
    So...in that way digital has beaten film....its good enough to get that job
    done. The better cameras (12-14 mp) can do most studio work.
    Gene Palmiter, Jun 15, 2004
  8. The D2H is an extremely well designed photographic tool. Professional grade
    in virtually all handling and design aspects, and, although I really liked
    my S2 Pro, it's body, ergonomic, and subsystems really suffer by comparison
    to the D2H. Not surprising considering that the Fuji is based on the
    consumer-grade N80 body and the D2H is professional all the way. If you get
    a chance to handle one side by side with the S2 Pro, I am confident you will
    be impressed with the difference.

    I have made a few 20x30 size prints from JPEGs sent to Ofoto and the
    sharpness, contrast, and saturation are excellent. With 8x10 prints, I
    simply cannot tell the difference between uncropped S2 photos I've taken and
    the D2H shots. I typically shoot NEF, open them in Nikon Capture 4.01 for
    exposure and white balance adjustment if necessary. I send them from NC to
    Photoshop 7.01 as TIFFs for cropping and resizing. It's rare that I add any
    USM, but if I do, I do so in PS. It's worth noting that Nikon Capture is a
    VASTLY superior tool for RAW. I found RAW EX for the Fuji to be one of the
    clunkiest pieces of photographic software I've ever used and it made working
    with RAW files cumbersome, to say the least.

    The D2H has a larger pixel pitch than the S2 Pro, or other 6mp cameras which
    offsets the difference in total megapixels. The place where the 4mp sensor
    is limiting is that you have to be a little more judicious in cropping the
    D2H images. You don't have as much latitude. Noise at ISOs up to 800 has not
    been a problem for me. At ISOs 800 and above, you have to be more careful
    about exposure than with the S2 Pro because if you underexpose, you'll get
    noticeable noise in the darker shadows.

    The real difference, for my photographic purposes, is in the focusing and
    metering. The S2 Pro does fine if you're shooting landscapes, wedding or
    doing studio work, ie...posed shots without any action, and you have time to
    fiddle with the setup. The D2H AF system is unbelievably fast, and (unlike
    the Fuji) the dynamic autofocus modes actually work. If you're shooting
    sports, or even action shots like your 2 year-old toddling toward you, the
    D2H works great. You don't have to fiddle, the operation of the camera is
    intuitive and fast. The D2H relieves you of having to think about working
    the camera...you can think more about the shot. Yes, someone here mentioned
    that a REAL photographer would have no trouble with the S2 Pro. I agree with
    that. For me, I prefer the accurate focus and exposure, and very flexible
    menus of the D2H so that I don't have to fiddle. I can absolutely say that
    the number of in-focus, well exposed shots for me has gone WAY up with the
    D2H. The S2 Pro just couldn't uniformly hack the kind of photography I
    wanted to do. It is far easier to get good shots with the D2H, in my

    So far, the limitations of the D2H have not intruded on my photography
    nearly as much as the S2 Pro's limitations affected me. I haven't felt
    handicapped by the 4 megapixel limit so far. If and when I do, I'll switch
    up to the D2X when it's available, assuming it uses the same body and
    subsystems as the D2H, and has reasonable frame rates.

    The are MANY focus issues reported on the S2 Pro, easily found on DP Review
    in the Fuji SLR forum. Likewise a review of the D100/D1/D2 forum on DP
    Review will provide many insights into the practical limitations of the D2H,
    along with many, many stunning photographs. Go see for yourself.

    Howard McCollister, Jun 15, 2004
  9. Impressive image size is the last thing you need from only 1.5M RGB
    triplets, so it is a 1.5MP-optical camera any way you interpolate it.
    The S2/S3 have a few show stopping limitations other than the very low
    sensor count for the money. First is RAW mode, there is no usable
    image review available when shooting RAW pics, and there is no RAW
    conversion software provided to speak of, only a completely optionless
    auto-converter that does a very poor job by all accounts--that totally
    negates any reason to shoot RAW on top of taking 30 to 45 sec per
    image to crunch--add $650 for CS and their included shareware Fuji
    conversion routines.

    Second, only a tiny 1140 x 960 highly compressed JPEG thumbnail is
    viewable after shooting in RAW. Film is a much better option given no
    wortwhile preview to access focus, captured detail, etc.

    Third is no shoot priority, all Nikon bodies can't do it for whatever
    reason. This is solidly prosumer P&S land, not DSLR like in any
    sense. The 300D isn't shoot pri either, and the 10D is only shoot pri
    in JPEG mode. The Sigmas are fully shoot pri all the time and with
    instant power up.

    Fourth is no MLU, which rules the camera out for perfect focus. Not
    that it really matters with an 8X interpolated Bayer, but it should

    Fifth is Fuji SCCD's very high level of color artifacting, though the
    S2/S3 is only slightly worse than the other Bayer DSLRs. You
    shouldn't have to put up with rainbow hair when shooting with D/SLR +
    bag o' lenses pricetags.
    George Preddy, Jun 15, 2004
  10. Caution to new readers

    George Preddy is full of shit. It would have been better if you had not read
    his post but there is no way to protect you from what you have already done.
    But....forget everything you read from him. Those of us who have real
    knowledge of Digital Photography are inoculated against this pest. If you
    don't have the knowledge it might be best to killfile him immediately.
    Gene Palmiter, Jun 15, 2004
  11. Gene Palmiter

    tekfull Guest

    George show everyone those nice pics you took
    The only color george knows about is the 64 bit color, that came with
    his super box of crayola crayons.
    tekfull, Jun 15, 2004
  12. Re: your noise question. Here's a thread you might follow on DP Review with
    some high ISO examples.


    Howard McCollister, Jun 15, 2004
  13. Gene Palmiter

    Crownfield Guest

    12 mp. stunning 20x30 prints, with ease.
    even the 6mp mode does that.
    except the ability to pan and zoom to the pixel level.

    Bull shitter alert.

    attention everyone:
    when the prediot is talking,
    be careful not to step in the bullshit.
    do it all the time.

    you have never used any of these cameras have you?
    if you have not, you are a fool for talking about thing you do not
    if you have, you are a bold faced liar.
    perfect focus, and even continous focus.
    I used it shooting the finish at the Run For the Animals,
    in Griffith Park yesterday.

    also for the Serval, The Wolf Cubs, and Aisa, the gray wolf.
    never any such problem.
    you are thinking of all the foveon artifacts.
    Crownfield, Jun 15, 2004
  14. Of course. The 12 mp is interpolated - it really doesn't include any
    new optical info.

    Never understood Fuji and their marketing on that one.
    Brian C. Baird, Jun 15, 2004
  15. Gene Palmiter

    E. Magnuson Guest

    Fuji's rationale is that you must interpolate to 12MP to get
    all of the horizontal and spatial resolution. And AFAIK, all
    of the resolution tests bear this out such that the 12MP mode
    shows more detail than the 6MP mode.

    Now what is possibly confusing or misleading is that Fuji
    does not get the same "measured" resolution as you would
    get from a camera with a normal array of 12MP.

    We really need to get away from the idea that quality is that closely
    related to the number of pixels. My favorite analogy is with engine
    displacement for autos. Most people understand that there are
    different engine types and mere engine size does not make the fastest
    E. Magnuson, Jun 15, 2004
  16. Very true. That's why horizontal, vertical and diagonal resolution
    tests are important.
    Brian C. Baird, Jun 15, 2004
  17. Most of you know Preddy is a kook.

    The Fuji S2 is a 6MP Bayer pattern CCD camera, which places it
    directly comparable in resolution to the Nikon D100 and D70 and the
    Canon 10D and Digital Rebel 300D.

    George has a bug up his ass about the Foveon-based Sigma SD DSLRs;
    which unfortunately sound better in theory than they seem to perform
    in practice. Exactly how to compare the Foveon, which samples each
    color individually at each pixel, with a Bayer pattern sensor is not
    completely agreed on by everybody yet; but I think it *is* agreed that
    the real decision has to be reached based on looking at actual
    pictures in real uses. On that basis, Bayer pattern DSLRs do
    surprisingly well.

    I've got a Fuji S2, have been using it since the start of 2003. I'm
    going to contradict a few of George's mistakes here based on my actual
    experience with the real camera.
    A lie. It's near the top of its class at the moment (the other 6MP
    cameras I mentioned above), but not seriously out of line.
    Particularly given the superior low-light performance it gives
    compared to the competition.
    A lie. In RAW mode, you have exactly the same image preview as in any
    other mode, including zooming and panning to the same degree.
    A lie. The EX converter software gives all the controls you'd expect,
    ISO, white balance, curves, and so forth. It came bundled with my
    camera. I haven't seen this optiionless auto-converter he talks
    about; perhaps other bundles come with that instead. But since I
    *have* the good one, I know it exists.
    CS meaning photoshop CS? Well, that's probably a good idea for
    anybody serious enough about photography to buy a digital SLR; but
    it's no *more* necessary with the S2 than with any other camera.
    Ah, so he *knew* he was lying above.

    In fact, the review image available when shooting in raw mode is
    entirely satisfactory.
    Pushing the shutter button certainly pulls the camera out of view mode
    to shoot, for example.

    More to the point, lots of actual pros shooting actual professional
    assignments shoot the S2. Pro is as pro does.
    Yeah, I miss mirror lock up in theory. But in fact in 40 years of
    photography I've never owned a camera that had it. Life is like
    that. (Of course, the M3 didn't *need* it, and neither did the
    TLRs). I'll take the S2 for what I paid for it (around $2600, 18
    months ago) over the D1X for around $5000 at the same time, for
    Somehow this high level of color artifacting doesn't show on 16x24
    inch prints. So it's good enough for my practical purposes (I don't
    push even 35mm film to 16x20, personally).

    So; sure, there are valid criticisms to make against the S2, and valid
    praise to give to the Sigma SD9/10. But I'm very happy with my
    choice, thank you.

    By the way, George, where are your great pictures from your SD9? My
    various qualities of pictures with my S2 are easily available (mostly
    snapshots / photojournalism).
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jun 15, 2004
  18. "Silly gits", I think sums it up. The problem is they have to go
    through the 12 meg interpolation stage to go from the diamond-pattern
    sensors to a rectangular array of pixels, so it was nearly inevitable
    that some marketing droid would notice and demand they sell it on that

    Though in fact you *do* seem to get *some* additional resolution;
    possibly only on vertical and horizontal lines and perhaps at the cost
    of diagonal lines.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jun 15, 2004
  19. Gene Palmiter

    MikeS Guest

    the S3 will have a ccd APS size not the tiny one on a prosumer camera.
    that's why the 8mp ccd on prosumer cameras are struggling to give good
    performance now if they where APS size?!!
    MikeS, Jun 16, 2004
  20. Gene Palmiter

    SimonG Ltd. Guest

    Just to be clear, I didn't mean that the S3 will use the same size CCD just
    that it is supposed to use the SuperCCD SR sensor, as does the S20.

    cheers, SimonG
    SimonG Ltd., Jun 16, 2004
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