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I have in front of me, a black object, approx. 6” in width, approx. 3” in depth (without lens) and approx. 5 ¼” in height. On holding it, I find the right side is shaped out nicely for easy handgripping, and there is even a groove on the back for the thumb. It is quite heavy, (maybe about 2 ½ lbs, as I weighed on my bathroom scales, and was that much heavier when holding the object. This includes the lens too.) but I don’t find it too heavy. I can use it on a tripod if using slow shutter speed, or in any other tricky situations when camera shake is likely.
TOP. Looking down onto the top of the object (yes, ok, the object is a camera….well you knew that anyway from the category title!),now back to what I was saying about the top of the camera….the on/off switch is situated at the right side, . . it being a rotating circle around the shutter button. A remote lead can also be screwed into the shutter. Just behind, are two small press buttons. One for exposure compensation, up to plus three and minus three in ½ increments. and the other for flash output up to plus one or minus three in ½ increments. Just behind is a small rectangular window which displays the shutter and aperture settings when the shutter is pressed; a little battery to show the level of the lithium batteries and a small rectangle which shows which setting the flash is on. To the right of the window is a button which will illuminate the top and back windows. In the centre is an external flash hot shoe which is kept covered unless in use. There is also a pop up flash here. Moving to the left hand side, we find a circular rotating button, which is the exposure mode dial, which sets the camera for Programme, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Manual, Custom settings and ISO setting. To the left of this button is a very small press button which is the release mode switch unlock button, which has to be pressed to move the release mode switch behind. This release mode switch can be positioned to Single frame, Continuous, Self timer or multi exposure.
BACK Moving down to the back of the camera now. Behind the exposure mode dial are two small push buttons…the auto exposure bracketing button and the synchro mode button. To the right is the viewfinder with a rubber eyecup, under which is a Diopter adjustment knob. When taking pictures, only the viewfinder can be used, and not the monitor like some other digital cameras. Next to this is a small circular dial which sets the metering to Multi segment, centre weighted or spot metering. This dial surrounds the push button for auto exposure and focus lock. Beside this is the main command dial which is a horizontal wheel. This command dial is used to select/set various functions or modes, either on its own or in conjuction with another button being pressed. Further down the back of the camera is a narrow window which displays(when camera is turned on) the photography mode, the ISO setting, the date and time, the amount of photos you can take, the battery level of the re-chargeables, and a rec icon flashes when a picture is being written onto the flash card. Underneath this window are four buttons, and to the left, a function button, which when pressed once or twice, brings up more settings. Once for white balance, focus mode, number of recorded pixels and file size. Twice for colour, tone, sharpness and function lock. Each of the four buttons can also be pressed to select different settings in the various modes. For example, press the function button once, and above the fourth of the four, will appear the file size. By
now pressing the fourth button again, the file size is changed. When you have taken a picture, and it is being previewed on the monitor screen below, this narrow window shows record, erase, histogram and standard chart display. To save the image, just press record icon, or press erase if you don’t like the picture. To the left of the monitor is a small press button used to playback your images. On pressing this, the image appears out of focus at first with an egg timer also displayed while loading the image. After quite a few seconds (according to the size of the file) the picture becomes focussed. The monitor is also used to display the menus. The four direction button lock switch, which is to the right of the monitor, is used to select different menus by pressing one of the arrow directions for up, down, left or right, after first pressing the menu/ok push button below. The menu/ok button also confirms an action on the menu screen. The four direction button should always be put back to lock position after use, to avoid accidental setting changes. There is a push button above the four direction button lock switch, marked, back, which cancels an action in the menu screen. Also on the camera back, down in the bottom right corner, is the media cover, which pulls down to insert the microdrive or smart media card. Both sorts of cards may be inserted together (each having their own slot), but only one can be used at a time by setting the camera.
BOTTOM. On the bottom of the camera, we can see the hole for screwing a tripod to the camera and the flap which opens up for insertion of the lithium batteries.
FRONT. There is a sub command dial at the front of the camera in front of the on/off switch, used in the same way as the main command dial . Also at the top, down from the shutter, is a small round lamp which automatically comes on to assist focussing in low light or to reduce red eye. It also flashes when using the self timer. Slightly below is a push button to check the depth of field. On the other side of the lens is the push button which releases the lens when changing it. Below this is the focus mode button which clicks around to Manual focus, Single auto focus and Continuous auto focus.
LEFT. Lastly, on the left hand side at the top is a synchronising terminal with a cap on it. Below that is a covered IEEE1394 socket, then below this is another cover, under which is the mains input socket beside a video output socket, beside the USB socket. Underneath that is the battery tray which slides into the bottom of the camera. A little flap opens out to turn to the open or close position for the battery tray.
Now that is what I see in front of me.
A superb camera, the FUJI FINEPIX S2 PRO, which is a digital SLR.
Well worth saving up to buy it.
I searched the internet for information and reviews, and compared it to other similar cameras, and eventually came to the conclusion that this was the right camera for me, for the best quality photos and the right price. Also, I found that the price could vary from different retailers. Internet prices were good, but a lot of places did not have any in stock. So I phoned around the local stockists and found the best price was at a small, but very well stocked camera shop in Brixham, called Mifsuds. After telephoning beforehand, to check whether they had stock of the S2 Pro, off I went to Brixham. New stock had just arrived at the shop, so the assistant had to go out to the back to fetch one in.
CONTENTS of the BOX. The Fuji Finepix S2 Pro Body, 1GB IBM microdrive, Fast battery charger with 2 sets of 4 rechargeable AA batteries and 2 sets of 2 lithium CR123A batteries. USB cable connection and 1EEE 1394 firewire connector. 3 Instruction Manuals (English, French and German) and also a Manual for the software. Software disc. Adobe Photoshop Elements disc.
The lens was not included in the box, so I had to purchase this separately. The mains adapter is also not included, but I have bought that since, as it is needed to load your pictures onto your computer, as a safeguard that the batteries don’t run out in the middle of the process.
About half an hour later, I left the shop, very happy, and my purse was lighter by £1608-00p. (this price included the lens and an extra 512 MB compact flash, so for the camera body, I paid £1399-00p.)
It is advisable to read the instruction Manual before you even touch the camera. I did, as being such an expensive piece of equipment, you need to know a little about it before fiddling with all the knobs, and there ARE a few of them, as you probably will have gathered from the above! (I think it was about 3 days before I was brave enough to actually turn on the camera!)
The body of the S2 is based on the Nikon N80, therefore, Nikon fit lenses are the ones to use. Either a “G” or “D” fit to be sure of all the functions working correctly.
This is a 6 million megapixel camera, but it’s software doubles this resolution to 12 megapixels, through interpolation (don’t ask me what this actually means, as I’m not too familiar with all these digital terms, but I’m sure you camera enthusiasts will know what it means anyway!!). With this higher picture resolution, the picture’s detail is much improved. Resolution settings are:- 4256 x 2848; 3024 x 2016; 2304 x 1536; 1440 x 960. Images are recorded in either jpeg, tiff or raw. Image quality can be adjusted on the camera, i.e. colour, tone and sharpness. Two different sets of batteries power this camera, being 4 x AA rechargeables, which go into a tray and slide into the bottom of the camera, to work the main functions; and 2 x lithium CR123 (non-rechargeables) to work the internal flash. Battery life is quite good if you do not use the largest file size, which takes a lot of power to write to card. I’ve noticed that using a 17.5MB file size, I have been able to do 3 or 4 sessions before needing to change the AA’s. The lithium batteries, I was told, would last for about 6 months, although the first ones I used, only lasted a couple of weeks. I thought I had some fault in the camera, as the re-chargeables were not flat….not expecting the lithiums to have gone. But the new ones I have in now, are still going well, so the other batteries must have been dud ones!! The internal flash has 5 different settings, being Front synchro for normal flash photos in all exposure modes, Slow synchro, useful for atmospheric twilight or night-time shots, Rear synchro mode when the flash fires just before the slow shutter closes, Red eye reduction mode and Slow red eye reduction mode. There is also an accessory shoe on which you can mount an external flash.
There is a choice of focussing modes, being Manual, single auto focus and Continuous auto focus. An auxiliary Auto Focus lamp automatically comes on to help focussing in low light.
ISO Sensitivity can be adjusted from the default setting of 200, to 160, 400, 800 and 1600, so if you are in low light without a tripod, you could set a higher ISO which would give you a faster shutter speed, then you are less
Pictures of Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro
likely to get camera shake blurred images.
Images can be recorded on 2 types of storage media. Either a Smart Media Card or a Compact Flash or IBM Microdrive. I am using the 1GB Microdrive which was included with the camera, and I also purchased a 512 MB Compact Flash in case I need the extra storage. With the setting for the biggest and highest resolution picture, which produces a file of about 34 MB, you can get 29 on the microdrive. When you have taken a picture of this size, it can take up to about 20 seconds for it to write onto the microdrive. Unless I think that I will be printing out a size 59.111” x 39.556” photo, I stay on the highest resolution for the quality, but set at the next size down which is 42” x 28”. This is an ideal setting for most things, and produces a file of about 17.5MB, and only takes about 10 seconds to write.
To take your picture, you have to look into the viewfinder, like you do on a normal SLR. The viewfinder also displays your shutter, aperture, focus info along the bottom.
The 1.8” monitor on the back of the camera is only for image preview, playback, histogram and menu. On taking your picture, you have the option to either save it or erase it if you are not happy with it. An image can also be protected from accidentally being erased.
There are 3 metering settings, being 10 zone multi metering, suitable for most things; centre weighted metering which concentrates metering on 12mm centre of viewfinder, and spot metering which concentrates on only 4mm in centre of viewfinder.. Apparently, most cameras use square sensors, but the S2 uses octagonal sensors, which form a honeycombe pattern which gives more efficiency and records more image info.
White balance can be set manually to Sunny, Shade, Incandescent(studio),and 3 Flourecent settings either daylight, warm white or cool white. Also you can save 2 custom settings. But I usually leave the setting on Auto, so that the camera works out the white balance itself. I’ve had no problems on the auto setting. When I’ve used the camera a bit more, I’ll probably experiment with the manual settings!!
Aperture and shutter settings can be set on Fully manual, Aperture priority, Shutter priority or Programme auto. The auto can be adjusted at the turn of one of the little wheels.
Colour can be set on the camera to Standard, which is normal; High, which gives a higher colour density; Original, which gives a low colour density, suitable to use if images are being used in commercial printing; and Black and White.
Tone can also be set to standard, hard or original.
Sharpness can be set to standard which is ok for normal shots; hard which sharpens the outlines in an image, and is suitable for buildings and text; or off, suitable for commercial printing processing.
There is a setting for multiple exposures.
If you wish to view all the photos you have taken, on the camera monitor, this is possible.
I’m sure I haven’t mentioned every setting there is on the S2, as there are so many of them, so I won’t bore you with any more technical info.
The Fuji Finepix S2 Pro produces some stunning results. I have been using it along side my medium format Bronica at my weddings and the digital photos seem to produce much better colours, which many of my brides have commented on. Mind you, I have the colour setting on High, to give this result.
The first photos I took on this camera were at the Horse Races, with very pleasing results. Hadn’t been to the races for years, and my husband had never been. You can view one of the pics below, along with a quite rare picture of an old road bridge which is usually underwater at a Dartmoor reservoir, and some others.
My previous (and only other) digital camera was a Minolta Dimage 7. What I noticed most different between that and the S2, was how much quicker the S2 could focus and take a picture.
If you are really seriously into photography, I would recommend that this is a good camera,…..no, an EXCELLENT camera to buy.
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