Sunday, July 08, 2007
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro
Digital Photography Review has a comprehensive (and positive) review of Fujifilm's latest digital SLR. Some excerpts follow:
The S5 Pro... is a quantum leap forward over the models that preceded it, being based on the highly-regarded Nikon D200.
Being essentially a D200 with a Super CCD sensor and Fuji processor means the S5 Pro enjoys all the benefits of Nikon's superb 'semi pro' body; weather-sealed body with a magnesium alloy chassis, latest generation focus, flash and metering systems, better shutter, better viewfinder and expansive lens compatibility.
The amazing dynamic range and superb skin tones alone are enough reason for wedding and portrait photographers to consider it seriously. But it's not only about dynamic range; Fujifilm really can do colour well, high ISO performance is better than the D200 (though don't expect miracles) and the out of camera JPEGs are probably the best you'll see from any digital SLR at this level.
You have to be prepared to do some work if you shoot at high D-range settings because the output can look flat and dull, but that's simply because these JPEGs give you more headroom to play with levels, curves and color than just about any I've ever seen.
It's not for everyone, but for studio work, portraits and demanding dynamic range work (such as weddings) it fits a sizeable niche perfectly.
The qualities that many users find so attractive in the S5 Pro's output might not all be as immediate, tangible - or quantifiable - as the dynamic range graphs, and you need to be prepared to tailor the settings and put some work into post processing to get the most out of the results, but Fujifilm should be applauded for offering Nikon users a very different approach to image quality.