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Old 07-29-2005   #11
Alpaca
 
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Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

I am very happy with my S3Pro.
Just got the 2.1.6 firmware upgrade this am.

Auto Focus. The S3 offers several modes in CSM for that, as well as spot, average and matrix zones, and until one tries them all to find which one is most suitable for the type of photography they are doing at the time, the wrong setting is operator error, not the camera.
I use manual focusing most of the time anyway. For landscapes I'm always at hyper focal distance, too difficult in auto.
When in the studio working with a moving model, full length, again hyper focal distance, fixed f-stop and focus. I tape a line for minimum distance and know I can be behind it and shoot fast. Auto focus requires, for optimum operation, a range of tints and tones that it can use to get a max contrast reading on. Flat colored objects are bad. Not using modeling lights so the CCD will be attenuated above threshold is a bad thing.

Outdoors, sunny day, auto focus works well, lots of lighting contrast and EV level. Still, test the CSM settings and matrix.
Best rule, keep it simple and manual focus anyway checking DOF. What are you to do if on location and the background for the lighting and best accents is hideous? Auto focus? I don't think so.
The worse thing Nikon did was not print the DOF on the lenses. I did that myself. How can a pro, who was formally educated with the old system, give up the benefits of DOF? I can't. Auto this and that are nice for certain occasions, but for real shooting, I'll never let a computer in the camera with limitations make the decision on focus, exposure, ShutSpd and Aperture.

Just like all the new Adobe DTP applications, the upgrades add a lot of new switches to click.
A high end DLSR, offers more switches than a good ole 35mm standard Nikon F2 film camera.
It's comical to see people who think they have to switch this and that and become so enamored in becoming a switch clicker they forget the basics of the process. I see it all the time with newbie young Photoshop users that think they need to use all kinds of stuff just to drop in a simple mask and gradient.

Bottom line, the S3, the unique algorithms written for the sensor, and 10 stop exposure range, excellent sharpness, camera shooting mode, and much more, make it a tool, yes a tool, for the professional to use to create stunning images and make money.
Making money, isn't that the goal?

I was astonished by replies on DPR review when I posted my first post regarding my S3Pro USB connector broke and fell inside the camera during an upload. I unscrewed the back, examined the important details of where and how it fit on the circuit board and used JB weld and fixed it myself. Why did I do it? I knew it was simple enough that I could fix it. If it were a board problem, I'm sending it to Fuji. My point. Like most professional photographers who have been around, and with computers as well, we are a breed of problem solvers and good with our minds and hands. We have to fix things that we can, and sometimes things we can't.
The camera is a tool, that's all. Like picking up a hammer and hammering nails, you think of the project as a whole and use the tools to complete it.
If you have a DLSR that requires constant cognitive energy while shooting, either pretest every mode and function with understanding and choose what is relevant with knowledge or get an instamatic. DLSR photography can be as technical as you make it or as easy as a basic SLR. Photography hasn't changed, the tools have.

There's no doubt in my mind, and I'm as picky as they come, the S3's imaging capability has the quality to produce full page 8.5 x11" plus bleeds and astonishing double page 11x17" plus bleeds with good Nikor lenses. The ability to burst 4 shots at 3fps over and over and over because of the read/write buffer and get 8.75"x11.25" 350dpi full page bleeds works for me. I'm talking magazine cover quality!


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Old 07-30-2005   #12
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Default Re: S3 DR range and film.

In the old days when shooting BW, the "Zone System" was a technique the pro needed to know and use when shooting/processing and printing the shots.
In the academic world, students of "Basic" and "Advanced" photography were taught about "luminance range", "brightness range", "density range", and had to read and utilize manufactures DlogE curves for the film or transparency material chosen for the job. Sensitometry,densitometry, plotting a quad plot tone reproduction curve of original "exposure range" on the DlogE x axis curve vs output "density range" on the y axis in order to choose the correct "exposure range" of the original so that the media it was going to be printed on, from newsprint to 100lb gloss coated cover weight sheet fed paper produced the tones correctly.
I was spitting out logarithms in my sleep during that time.

It's time to take the guess work out of the "DR" rhetoric.
Reflectance Range. The difference in fstops or EV between the diffuse highlights and shadows with detail.
Outdoors, on a bright sunny no cloud day it is typically, 1000:1. In DlogE base 10 terms, that's 3.0DlogE, or 10 f-stops as measured with a spot meter. "Maximum DR".
When a nice fluffy cloud covers the sun, 128:1, 2.11DlogE, or 7-fstops, "Standard DR".
How many times have you been told to take those shots when a cloud covers the sun, so the diffuse highlights and shadows with detail fit on the "films" straight line portion of the characteristic curve producing the best tonal/gradation separation.
Transparency film can handle 7-stops, "Standard DR", color negative film 10-stops, "Max DR".
The Fuji S3Pro can produce a full 7stop dynamic range and a full 10stop dynamic range, with excellent tonal/gradation separation. It's the only camera that can, and that's what makes it a must have for the educated professional photographer.

When using BW film I would underexpose and over-develop for 5stop ranges and overexpose and under-develop for 10fstop ranges.
Normal processing for a 7stop range.
The film tonal range had to be manipulated if one were going to print on a #2 Ilford paper. When Kodak's Polycontrast papers were offered, the tonal range of the paper could be changed with Polycontrast filters, making nice looking BW prints out of underexposed,overexposed, incorrect processed film. But.....a #2 Ilford paper and the correctly exposed processed film was always the best, while Polycontrast was forgiving.

Examples using DR with the S3Pro.
If your shooting outdoors on a bright sunny day with no clouds, use max DR. 10stops.
If there's a cloud in front of the sun, standard DR. 7stops.
Technically, for the spot meter crowd, take HL/SH readings of your subject and choose the DR needed.

An example, if you are shooting a high key subject, a white duck on a white bench in the snow, shoot for the HL's and use Standard. What will happen if you choose maxDR instead.
The gradation of the 1/4 tones to 1/2 tones will be flat, the most important tones and tints in the picture.

A low key shot, machinery inside a dark finery, shoot for the shadows and use Standard DR. You'll get the best shadow gradation that way.

A normal range, with a full range of tones, shoot max DR.

Today, with the wonderful digital post processing applications like Adobe Photoshop, none of the above techniques need to be used.
Just shoot everything max DR, 10 stops, and post process changing the gradient, gamma of the reproduction curve to fit the brightness range.
The advantage with the S3Pro. Shoot everything max DR, never blow out a HL and post process.
That can't be done with Nikon in one exposure. A 10 stop range compressed in a 8 stop camera means something's gotta go, either 2 stops of HL or 2 stops of shadow.
Sure the blown out HL's can be cloned in, and always will, especially the sky. No one will be able to tell if that cloud wasn't there.
But, a model in a light cool pink tinted blouse and navy blue skirt? You better be an expert PS artist to be able to clone in HL/1/4tone gradations where they were blown out.


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Old 07-31-2005   #13
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Default if image quality is your prime concern, the S3 is hard to beat

it is a fabulous camera & should be a consideration for folks in whom image quality is the main concern and for whom speed/AF/viewfinder in a camera is less important than the quality of images it captures
the S3 captures in jpg what other cameras struggle to get in RAW
its jpg files are very forgiving and deep
they can take a great deal of sharpening if need be
jpg artifact is minimal if shooting org org off Auto 12 MB Fine
here is a sample taken in jpg



this was with available light and at ISO 800 & in jpg ...both shadow detail and highlights are well preserved & the skin tones excellent, I think ...don't know that I would have gotten this image quality from any other camera
if what annoyed you about the S2 was its speed, AF, etc then it all depends
I think the S3 body improves on the S2 in just about every area except lack of voice annotation (I miss that!)
the improvements are not huge & the S3 shoots RAW slower, because of its gargantuan RAW files
the IQ is a big advance as is its ease of use
haven't touched my S2 (which I loved) since getting the S3 & will probably give it to my brother
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Old 07-31-2005   #14
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Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

Many of the S3 users here claimed that the dynamic range is worth to chase but according to DPreview and Luminous Landscape, the difference is not that much and it is not worth the extra buck...so what do you guys think?
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Old 07-31-2005   #15
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Default Re: S3: DR Range

Mika,
Yes indeed. Any photographer knows that when he/she can expose 2 stops more to pick up shadows without loosing diffuse HL detail, that's a real and honest to goodness advantage. The S3 performs that way, it was designed for that, that's it's key feature.

In the old days when making Cibachrome prints, up to 30x40" from transparency film, I always had to make highlight masks with bw film to sandwich with the original tranny. The trannys ranged from 2 1/4 x 3 1/4" up to 8x10" and the whole system used pins and vacuum for keeping everything aligned.
The density range of a typical transparency is 3.0 to 3.2dLog. Density range equates to dLogE Exposure range. That 3.0 density range equals 1000:1 exposure range, which no printing material, C-prints, R-Prints, Cibachrome could render .
Cibachrome had a 7 f-stop exposure range in which it could show detail from diffuse highlight to shadows with detail, but an incredible density range of 3.0. The exposure range was 128:1 and Density range 3.0.
What's the advantage with Cibachrome and why did artists love it for important display and fine art shows? It was the first reversal print media that could ~render the actual brightness range of the original scene when viewed by a few 100watt track spots. The only other way to show your art was actually viewing the tranny thru a slide projector in a darkened room with a silver/white screen.
By first exposing a special Kodak bw HL masking film just for 3 stops of the HL and developing out to get a density of 0.75dLog, I was able to expose that Ciba to get shadow detail without blowing out the HL's and by changing the gamma of the masking film I could get much better gradation in the HL to 1/4 tones.

My objective is to be objective. I hate gimmicks. I have tried to lay down the problems of tone reproduction in the real world and have given actual examples of the techniques used by the professional photographer/lab artist, (we had to do it ourselves most of the time because very few labs understood HL masking).
So essentially, the S3 performs HL masking by utilizing the smaller sensor. That's all. No magic, no gimmick, no smoke and mirrors, just good old HL masking.

Why did fine art photographers go to such pains to learn and use HL masking, or seek out the few lab geeks who could?

It's all about rendering the artists concept and full beauty of the object(s) without compromise.
Setting yourself apart from the rest. The striking visual beauty that viewers awe at. The commissions that come from it.

When it's time for an ice cold beer, freshly poured into a chilled glass, rich white foam slightly overflowing the rim, that's what I see.
On the other hand, a warm beer poured into a glass halfway to the top has no appeal to me.

When it's time for an image to fully and richly convey to the eyes, touch, senses, and vivid dreams, it's time for the S3Pro.



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Old 07-31-2005   #16
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Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

QUOTE from www.luminous-landscape.com :

FUJI S3 pro compared to CANON EOS20D

"the visible and measurable difference between the two cameras in the shadow areas isn't all that great."
"This is a real, and visible DR improvement, but in my opinion not a terribly significant difference."
"so you can see how small the difference is between them when it comes to DR"
"could hardly see any difference when it comes to dynamic range."
"I simply don't see a huge advantage from the Fuji over competitive cameras in this area."


QUOTE from www.bythom.com :

"Suffice it to say there is a significant dynamic range improvement available if you want or need it. It's not huge (I've yet to find a three-stop improvement), but it's also not insignificant (I can routinely get at least a one-stop improvement, and often more)."

---

I have ordered my 20D now since I already have many canon lenses. But if S3pro is seriously THAT great I wouldn't mind switching to S3 pro. But after reading so many reviews both from the net and magazines, at least i found 60% stated that S3 is not as great as what fuji had said... the question is... is S3 seriously superior to Canon 20D ?


O yeah...my type of photography is wedding and studio fashion...
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Old 07-31-2005   #17
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Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

any opinion?
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Old 07-31-2005   #18
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Default my $0.02 for what it's worth

Canon's 20D and S3 owners are not that many
here is what Dillon James said on FSLRT (from which I have been inexplicably banned" Edited by Pavel - keep it professional to the topic and without names please. It's giving me better printts than my 20D ever did, with beautiful tonality, I'm sure due to its 14 bit AD converter. Is it slow. Yes, of course. But for my type of photography, slow and deliberate, it's the best imager money can buy south of 5k. no backfocus either"
in his post here
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=14423622
the advantages of the S3 are best seen when printed
web reduction really is not the best way to show off its unique qualities
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Old 07-31-2005   #19
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Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raist3d

FUJI S3 pro compared to CANON EOS20D
I can only second everything !

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Old 07-31-2005   #20
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Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikaelwardhana
any opinion?
Mikael, I forgot to add, that for your needs (wedding photographer) I think the S3 can be wonderful as long as you don't need the camera to be fast in storing its images. You can get away with capturing jpeg, and it'll be ok. If you are capturing raw and you find yourself shooting quickly in a wedding, then it will become a problem. The camera basically can't multitask when writting to the memory card, and in RAW with wide dynamic range you can only get 3 raws and the camera locks up.

My best advice here is that if you are seriously thinking about ordering one, go to a store and *use one* before you take the plunge. Make sure you use it in Wide dynamic range modes in jpeg and raw, and see for yourself if according to your needs and experience "it's all good." XD cards speed up the writting a bit, but they don't come in the same capacities of compact flash.

Also consider if you use continous shooting modes with speed, as the camera is not that fast in continous fps, particularly in wide dynamic range modes. The 20D will feel like a ferrari here, and the S3 will feel very very slow here. But again, this may be or may not be an issue depending how you do your wedding photography. It seems everyone has their own different style and needs.

Hope that helps!

- Raist


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