Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro review

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Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

Fujifilm has been producing its Fujifilm FinePix DSLR cameras for a little over 10 years, this review shows the very first of them - the Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro. For all the time, only 6 different CZK models were produced:

  1. Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro - January 2000, based on the film Nikon F60 (aka Nikon N60), uses the first generation SuperCCD matrix. Matrices for the Fujifilm FinePix 4700 Zoom and 4900 Zoom compacts were manufactured using the same technology.
  2. Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro - January 2002, based on the film Nikon F80 (aka Nikon N80), SuperCCD III (the matrix third generation) Fujifilm F601 Zoom, S602 Zoom, and M603 compact matrices were manufactured using the same technology.
  3. Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro - February 2004, based on Fujifilm FinePix S2 ProSuperCCD SR II matrix (second generation SR matrix)
  4. Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro UVIR - August 2006, upgraded Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro for shooting in IR (Infra Red) and UV (Ultra Violet) spectra.
  5. Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro - September 2006, made on the basis of the Central Control Commission Nikon D200, a slightly upgraded SuperCCD SR II matrix (similar to the one installed on the Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro). The production of this model was stopped at the end of 2009.
  6. Fujifilm FinePix IS Pro - June 2007, upgraded Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro for shooting in IR (Infra Red) and UV (Ultra Violet) spectra. The production of this model was stopped in mid-2010.
Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

The top of the S1 Pro is a copy of the Nikon F60 film camera, known in America as the Nikon N60. From Nikon F60, the camera inherited mechanical components, including a large full-length mirror.

Please note: although the Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro uses a Nikon F mount, it does not support lenses. Nikon AF-S and Nikon AF-I. With such lenses, there will be no auto focus. For autofocus, use only old non-motorized lenses. Nikon AF. Also, S1 Pro does not support working with lenses that have a stabilizer Nikon VR.

Also S1 Pro inherited from Nikon F60 lack of a rheostat of a diaphragm, but because with this camera manual optics will only work in manual metering mode.

During shooting, the camera makes a funny noise, the characteristic sound gives the feeling that the camera rewinds the film after each shutter release :).

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

S1 Pro uses the old but interesting first generation SUPER CCD matrix. The S1 Pro matrix has an unusual pixel arrangement, similar to the structure of a honeycomb. You can find interesting information about generations of this technology in the review. Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro.

Only 1 MP are located on the S3.07 Pro sensor, but the camera, due to their unusual location, can interpolate up to 6.1 MP, creating pictures with a maximum size of 3040 X 2016 (6.128.640 pixels). For 2000, 3 MP was a completely normal resolution, for example, Nikon D1, 1999 release, had only 2.6 MP. One-year-old Canon D30 also had 3 MP. And the interpolated 6 megapixels obtained with the S1 Pro were simply a huge indicator.

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro with INDUSTAR-61L / Z 2,8 / 50 lens

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro with lens INDUSTAR-61L / Z 2,8 / 50

Unfortunately, the ISO range that the S1 Pro uses is very, very poor. Only ISO settings are 320, 400, 800 and 1600. The noise level at high ISO is poor, but still, at ISO 1600 you can even get something digestible. It is also unpleasant that the camera has a rather low dynamic range, which affects the photographs with the wildest overexposures. And I am also uncomfortable with the lack of RAW format, with which I could at least slightly 'stretch' the photo.

Instead of RAW, the camera uses the format TIFF two types: TIFF-RGB and TIFF-YC. With maximum quality, TIFF-RGB files weigh by 17.5 MB (!), and in the TIFF-YC format, 11 MB each. TIFF-RGB file written to SanDisk Extreme III 1GB memory card 14 secondsand TIFF-YC is 9 seconds. The huge recording time on a memory card is only half the trouble. After clicking on the view button, you need to wait 27 secondsbefore the camera shows the picture taken with the highest quality in TIFF-RGB format! Steel nerves are needed to shoot on the S1 Pro.

You can configure the camera to manually control the recording of a snapshot (Preview-> Manual REC function). In this case, the camera will immediately show the received photo and offer to save or delete it. In the JPEG format, the camera "thinks" many times faster and does not cause any special inconveniences in work.

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

The maximum burst speed is only 1.5 frames per second. Fujifilm FinePix has always had problems with the rate of fire. IN frame buffer at any settings fits 6 shots... Continuous shooting (while holding down the shutter button) is only available when shooting mode is set to 'Sports' using the main mode dial.

S1 Pro uses a focus system Advanced AM200with only one focus point. This same focusing module was used in earlier quasi full-format digital SLR cameras  co-produced by Nikon and Fujifilm. The focusing accuracy, in comparison with modern cameras, is noticeably worse, but not so much as to consider its work unsatisfactory.

Responsible for exposure 6 segment sensor. Minimum excerpt shutter - 1/2000 s, and excerpt Flash sync is only 1/125 s. The camera is designed to use old flashes. Modern Nikon SpeedLight flashes will not work with the S1 Pro at all, and an 'ERR' error will be displayed on the upper monochrome display when such a flash is installed.

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

Minimum excerpt 1/2000 s and a minimum ISO 320 create inconvenience when using high-aperture optics in bright light. So, on a sunny day, I had to close the aperture to f / 4 or more to 'fit' into the limits of the minimum excerpts and ISO. Fans shooting at F / 2.8 and below will be extremely difficult to do without a neutral ND filter.

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

For operation, the S1 Pro uses three different types of batteries: 4 X AA, 2 X CR123A, 1 X CR2025. AA batteries (or NiMH batteries) power the camera electronics (main display, information line backlight in JVI). CR123A batteries are responsible for the operation of mechanical components (mirror, shutter, flash, focusing motor). If you do not install both types of batteries, the camera will not shoot. The CR2025 coin-cell battery is used to store temporary data in the ROM (date, time, menu settings). I think the implementation of the food system is absolutely stupid. In addition, the battery charge level is not always displayed correctly. Often the camera takes a picture, reports that the battery is low and does not record the picture on the memory card (although the 'REC' inscription blinks).

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

S1 Pro uses a 2-inch 200.000-dot color display and two monochrome displays to quickly configure basic camera settings. You can get used to controlling the camera very quickly. In my opinion, the controls in the S1 Pro are better than those of the S2 Pro.

Near the camera mount are micro-USB 1.0 connectors, an input for external power supply DC IN 5V and video output. The camera uses two types of memory cards: SmartMedia (up to 64 MB) and Compact Flash (Type I / II). My S1 Pro worked fine only with 1, 2 or 4 GB memory cards. It was not possible to record on memory cards with a capacity of 16 or 32 GB.

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro weighs 880 grams, working with it is no more difficult than any other Nikon Central Controllers. The small optical viewfinder, which covers only 90% of the image vertically and 93% horizontally, is a little in the way.

The menu of the camera is very small, it is easy to understand. Unfortunately, the menu is only available in Japanese and English. Of the additional functions, I can only select the countdown timer, the function multiple exposures in two pictures.

Some features of the camera:

  • The built-in flash always works in automatic D-TTL mode and cannot be used in any other.
  • The S1 Pro has an auto focus assist lamp. The upper additional monochrome display is not illuminated. The LCD on the back of the camera, located above the main display, is illuminated in orange.
  • The camera does not have an auto ISO function.
  • To perform a quick reset, you need to hold down the '+/-' (compensation exposure) and 'Aperture'.
  • To raise the mirror to clean the sensor, hold down the 'AE-L' and 'Timer' buttons while turning on the camera, then press the shutter button to raise the mirror :). Usually the sensor cleaning function is in the menu of modern cameras.
  • It is possible to view bar charts captured image and enlarging the image in a given area.
Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro with Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 1: 4,5 f = 4cm T lens

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro with lens Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 1: 4,5 f = 4cm T

Shooting with such old cameras is always quite interesting. After each shot on the old technique, you begin to value your modern technique differently, even if not the TOP one. It is worth paying tribute to Fujifilm, which back in 2000 was able to create such a camera, albeit in some places a curve, but still fulfilling its main task.

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro and Sony ILCE-7

If the camera managed to guess white balance, then the color in the photo is quite pleasant. Actually, in addition to good color rendering, and then, not in all cases, there is nothing good in image quality :).

Source files can download from this link (76 photos in '.TIF' format, 567 MB). Shooting was made using a lens Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor (MKIII) и protective filter Marumi 52mm MC-UV Made in Japan. Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro is an APS-C type crop camera with crop factor Kf = 1.5 (analog Nikon DX).

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro with Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor (MKIII)

Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro with lens Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor (MKIII)

I think that from a practical point of view it is much more expedient to purchase instead of S1 Pro or S2 Pro Nikon D100, D70, D70s or Nikon D50. If don't know which camera and lens to choose, then my article will help with this - Which Nikon amateur DSLR camera and lens to choose?

Prices for modern Fuji cameras in popular stores can look at this link.

In comments Can I ask you a question on the topic and you will answer, and you can also express your opinion or describe your experience. For the selection of photographic equipment, I recommend large catalogs of various photographic equipment, such as E-Catalog, or large online stores such as Socket. Many little things for the photo can be found on AliExpress.


Results

Nowadays, Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro has several very serious drawbacks:

  • lack of full RAW format
  • very slow recording and reading TIFF photos
  • inconvenient set of a minimum ISO value of 320 units and a minimum excerpts, equal to only 1/2000 s, which makes it difficult to use high-aperture optics on open diaphragms.
  • the need to use two different types of batteries for the camera to function
  • the camera does not support lenses with a built-in focus motor (AF-S, AF-I type and analogues from third-party manufacturers)

From the positive sides, I can highlight only a small cost and a nice, unobtrusive color in the photos. Of course if to try, then with the old S1 Pro you can always squeeze good shots :).

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | VK | Instagram | Twitter.

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Comments: 47, on the topic: Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro review

  • LDS

    Excellent natural colors and shades, “vivid” beautiful photos. Once again I was convinced that from the very beginning of the production of its CPCs, Fuji paid special attention to the quality and naturalness of photographs, which is not surprising given the vast experience of this company in the field of film photography. I will definitely try to get this model. I have collected the entire line of DSLRs from Fuji and have not regretted it. Each device has its own peculiarities, its own "character" but unites their unique and unsurpassed colors. Color reproduction is Fuji's trademark.
    For the sake of fairness, it should be noted that this camera (Fuji S1 Pro) frankly shoots poorly in backlight, at twilight and at night, but with good natural light at low ISOs, great photos are obtained. I think that in general, CCD technology has been undeservedly forgotten. I hope that at a new stage of evolution it will definitely be revived.

  • Vitaly Pinchuk

    Nice review from 2021 on this camera: https://petapixel.com/2021/08/07/shooting-with-a-21-year-old-camera-the-fujifilm-s1-pro/

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