S3: What's your opinion? - Page 3
PhotoCamel: Your friendly photo community, with free discussion forums, digital photography reviews, photo sharing, galleries, downloads, blogs, photography contests, and prizes.
 

Go Back   PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum > Cameras and Lenses > Fuji

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-31-2005   #21
RCM
Alpaca
 
Posts: 1
CamelKarma: 10
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikaelwardhana


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 ?

I have been using the S3 for seven months and the 20D (as a second camera for weddings) for three months. I've had experience with past Canon cameras (10D, D60, D30) as I assisted a Canon shooter in the past. I am primarily a Nikon shooter so my comments reflect my biases based on more extensive experience with Nikons.

The 20D is without question a faster and more responsive camera. The S3 is slower and there is a slight "lag" when you take the shot relative to the 20D (and other fast cameras like the D2x), which is really only noticeable when you're trying to get a shot quickly. The shutter on the S3 is a little spongier, and the auto-focus outside of the center sensor takes longer to lock in on a subject, and can hunt in low contrast situations. The 20D is a machine gun by comparison, and though I rarely use the continuous shooting mode, it is fun to play around with and boasts a speed that the S3 can only dream of.

I prefer the physical ergonomics of the S3 body, which is more robust and comfortable then reviewers give it credit for...it is seriously the most comfortable camera for my hands I've ever handled...the S2 and 20D feel more "plastic" and slippery by comparison. The S3 has well documented quirks coming from its use of an N80 body (most notably the ISO switching), and some of the menus are tricky to navigate. On the whole, though, I prefer the ergonomics and handling of the S3 to the 20D. The 20D really has a lot of nice options, but the menus and the use of multiple wheels can be maddening to use, and (to me) are less intuitive...they feel more like they've been designed by an engineer for engineers. The S3's shutter is considerably quieter than the 20D's, which is annoyingly loud.

Both the S3 and the 20D hunt for focus in low light, though the 20D is slightly better in locking on...in practice, I notice little difference because in low light, I tend to have an SC-29 off-camera flash cord on the hot shoe of the S3, which has an infrared light that helps the S3 with focus.

Both cameras are good in high ISO, though subjectively I think the S3 image starts to break down more quickly at ISO 1600...the 20D image stays surprisingly clean, and even ISO 3200 images are sometimes usable (as long as there isn't banding). However, high contrast images with significant shadows from both cameras have noisy shadow areas at ISO 1600.

The 20D's DR is actually better than I expected it to be, and in moderate contrast situations I think it holds its own with the S3, aided by the ability to fine tune exposure in smaller increments than the S3's half stops. However, in very high contrast situations, most notably strong backlighting (which I shoot a lot in), the 20D images will demonstrate more purple fringing, and subtle highlights that are kept on the S3 will blow out in a 20D image. If I shot more RAW with the 20D, I suspect I might be able to contain these issues more effectively, but I am primarily a JPEG shooter.

The 20D's color palette is pleasant and a little more pastel-like than the S3's. I see some extra detail (subtle, but it's there) in some 20D images that look somewhat mushy in equivalent S3 images. By the same token, I will often see more realistic rendering of tones and detail (especially with people) in S3 images than I do with 20D images. If I've done my job exposing properly, I think both cameras produce very good images that I can send to a lab for superb prints.

Overall, I prefer the S3's color palette, especially in good available light, or with flash balanced with ambient light (especially tungsten). It feels more muscular and closer to the negative film images I used to shoot with NPS, NPH and NPZ in medium format; the 20D images look more "digital" by comparison. The flip side of this is that the S3's white balance and color can look a little flat in low contrast, low color situations, like shaded areas on a cloudy day. The JPEGs, however, are easy enough to punch up in post-processing...in general, the S3 jpegs hold up very well to post processing.

I've never shot with a camera that produced better looking files than the S3's for the price: the camera takes some getting used to in terms of figuring out optimal settings, but once you've figured it out, the JPEGs are outstanding, and the ability to manage higher contrast situations (particularly highlights) while still maintaining good color is wonderful. It is the speed that is the biggest issue (and probably why the camera hasn't done better in the marketplace) -- speed to focus, speed to shoot, speed to chimp, are all lagging relative to the competition. Generally not an issue for my personal shooting, but at weddings, I will miss a shot every so often because of this (though I've developed workarounds that minimize the issues).

I've shot over 30,000 images with the S3 despite the above issues and love the camera. The 20D, though, is an outstanding value, and I considered switching briefly...however, my Nikon investment is considerable, and I do not like the options for wide zooms in the Canon camp relative to Nikon. The 16-35, 17-40, and 24-70 Canon zooms I've used all demonstrated more flare and aberrations than the Nikon 17-55 and 28-70, especially wide open.
RCM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2005   #22
Guanaco
 
Cool Camel's Avatar
 
Posts: 308
CamelKarma: 61279
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

Folks, I had to delete a bunch of posts from this thread. Let's remember to keep things civil here. No personal slights. Have fun!
Cool Camel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2005   #23
Alpaca
 
Posts: 11
CamelKarma: 10
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

I'm thinking of getting an S3 (currently have the S2) and was wondering what are the optimum (best) camera settings for use in wedding/people photography.

Also, how did the two firware upgrades that have been released recently improve the performance of the S3? Did they improve the AWB, rotation, file writing speed, focusing, etc.? What has been the experience of those of you who have downloaded and installed the firmware updates?

Lastly, do you need to download and install both separately and individually or does the second update incorporate the first one?

Regards,

Lockett
killians913 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2005   #24
Alpaca
 
Artichoke's Avatar
 
Location: Houston
Posts: 46
CamelKarma: 13
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default my $0.02 for what it's worth

I think I calculated > 1200 combinations of settings for shooting jpgs with the S3
the camera allows capture in Adobe 1998 RGB or sRGB as well as control over sharpening, tone, color, sharpness, dynamic range and offers two different preset film emulation jpg modes as well called F1 and F2
F1 is more like shooting negative film with a broader DR while F2 emulates Velvia ...with these presets no other parameters can be changed
I have some comparisons on my pbase galleries using full size unprocessed crops here -----> http://www.pbase.com/artichoke/techniques&page=6

bottom line for settings:
if you like to process images in PS a bit use aRGB org org off AutoWideDR 12MB Fine
this gives you a very malleable 4.5 mb compressed jpg file that is very forgiving of PS processing and has very little artifact
the amount of PS work needed to get a great looking photo is minimal

if you want oof camera jpgs, go with one of the sRGB modes with settings to your taste
many folks love F2 for outdoors and F1 for flash indoor photographs when shooting for ooc jpgs, but these settings will produce files with more artifact & less resilience to PS processing, though they will not need it if set up properly* ...I like to tweak my photos so I mostly shoot for PS with the settings I mentioned

btw while the RAW files are huge (25 MB) they are very, very deep and allow for the greatest range in post capture processing and least artifact ...the jpg output is so good with the S3 that I rarely use RAW ...shooting in RAW really slows the S3 down
__________________
web galleries http://www.pbase.com/artichoke
have a look: the price is right
Artichoke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2005   #25
Gee
Alpaca
 
Posts: 33
CamelKarma: 10
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

I'm going to rent a S3, on monday, for a mag cover shoot.
I'll be shooting raw.
There is a model in the shot and there will be some close ups for the interior of the mag.
The image will be bright and colourful with no real deep shadows.
Does anyone have a suggestion regarding setting?
Anything I should be cautious of?

G
Gee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2005   #26
Alpaca
 
Artichoke's Avatar
 
Location: Houston
Posts: 46
CamelKarma: 13
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

good points
let me make another
you will likely buy another body in a few years time, but good glass you should have to buy just once
there are many great offerings for F mount cameras now and hopefully this will continue in the future
__________________
web galleries http://www.pbase.com/artichoke
have a look: the price is right
Artichoke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2005   #27
Alpaca
 
Location: tx
Posts: 10
CamelKarma: 13
Editing OK?: Ask first
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

I have been shooting the S3 since January, I believe it is well worth it to upgrade ....

Just a thought about the speed issue,* yes, if you have to shoot fast groups such as sports you will have problems with the S3, also the sync speed of 180 is considered rather slow...* *That being said, and Fuji is working on the sync speed...* the camera handles the widest range of images of any on the current market IMHO....

The CS2 solution to the dynamic range is fine... and does work well, however if you bracket your exposures does that not eliminate the speed factor if using a faster camera....*

__________________
al smith<br />&quot;life has no rehearsals just profromances&quot;
adsmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2005   #28
Alpaca
 
Posts: 5
CamelKarma: 10
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

Pavel,

It will never be a sports camera in the same sense as it's fastest competitors. It will handle curling and bowling with aplomb* , other sports will require substantial decisiveness... Actually, the speed disadvantage is only a problem (for me) when shooting in the wide DR raw 12m setting. Jpeg is competitive with many other cameras in in image buffering . Putting a 512m or smaller XD card in it speeds it up substantially. Of course with the whopping files, you'll be changing out cards in short order. It depends on your shoot really. I use mine commercially, shooting people and healthcare related stuff. I shot a large ad campaign recently, 600 or so images in two days. It did quite fine. It just won't rattle off frames with impunity- that's not it's thang.

The DR is there and it's definitely better than one stop as you suggest. In addition to the DR, the tonality of the tones is superb. It's like the E-1, in that there is a quality to the image that sticks out from it's peers. They are both nuanced cameras, albeit with different qualities.

I haven't tried the CS2 thing, sounds like it works. A lot more time in post.
hotchkiss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2005   #29
Bactrian
 
Posts: 2,055
CamelKarma: 344
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavel
I have to say that even if the S3's dynamic range improvement were only 1 stop extra, and I believe it to be more than that - it is a tremendous advantage for some photographic styles. That said - there is a large speed disadvantage isn't there?
That would give me serious pause - and I wonder if this new photoshop cs2 mode where it blends several photos together for you to increase the range isn't close enough to be a viable way to the same results? Any comments on that?
Pavel, you can definitively get more dynamic range using the photoshop method you described with another camera. In shots where you are in a studio, particularly with inanimate objects, there wouldn't be an advantage to the S3 (except for the PP'rocessing time).

Where the S3 dynamic range will shine then is in situations where you can't afford to do exposure bracketing. Say you are taking a shot at a wedding of a running bride- how would you bracket that. Or a big group which is like talking to each other making an auto-exposure bracket fine with the background but not with the subjects because they are moving, etc. Ironically if the S3 had enough highspeed it would be great at capturing a great sports shot, because you can't exposure bracket those.

- Raist
__________________
Raist3d
Photographer & Tools/Systems/Gui Vid Games Programmer
Raist3d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2005   #30
Alpaca
 
Posts: 27
CamelKarma: 14
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: S3: What's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice Morrison
Jeez, bad experience.

What's the aftermarket giving for used S-cameras? Are they going down the drain?

My "buy low" mentality makes me wonder whether this is actually a good time to pick up a used S2.
Alice, I've got one for sale . . . heh, heh!
Carlos


__________________
Members don't see ads in threads. Register for your free account today and become a member of PhotoCamel to open up the site's many benefits and features.
C.Oeste is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

« PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum > Cameras and Lenses > Fuji »


Share this topic:

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Curious - opinion? ellette Medium and Large Format 31 09-25-2006 10:15 AM
Opinion wanted please eClix Nikon 23 04-06-2006 02:48 PM
What in your opinion? dc2 Photography Talk 10 12-13-2005 12:25 PM