Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro 6.17MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

  • 6.17-effective-megapixel sensor captures enough detail to create photo-quality 14-by-19-inch enlargements
  • Recorded resolution increased to 12.3 megapixels (6.17 million S-pixels and 6.17 million R-pixels) using in-camera technology
  • Fully compatible with Nikon’s Nikkor F-series lenses
  • 2-inch LCD display with separate LCD data display; PictBridge support; dual shutter release buttons
  • Powered by 4 AA-size rechargeable NiMH batteries; stores images on xD or Microdrive media

I bought this camera from Amazon.com couple of months ago (sometime in April of 2007). At the time, the newer model of Fuji DSLR, the S5, was just introduced. Although the S5 offers a lot of improvements, I decided to buy the S3. I had also looked at the Nikon SLR since I have been using Nikon for the past 35 years. I had seen many photographs taken with all of the models that I was interest in (except the Fuji-S5) and they were very close in terms of quality. Now it boiled down to other things and it was not the money issue, but in my case, the battery issue. The S3 uses 4-AA rechargable batteries. I did not buy a Nikon DSLR or the Fuji-S5 because of the use of proprietary batteries.

I have been using the Fuji-S3 along with my Nikon-F4 film camera for the past two months and I am VERY VERY please with the results. I had captured over 3000 images during my 3 week vacation with it. I had carefully examined a few hundred of the pictures I took (just in case that I didn’t like the camera) and I discovered that it can deliver an exceptional quality. It shares the same Nikon lenses and I am fortunate that I have not had any incompatibility issues (I was warned about this). As of this writing, my F4 is probably going to join the F1 in the collection shelf….soon. I also bought two newer lenses from Sigma (I had never bought anything else other than the Nikon lenes) to try with the camera. Those Sigma lenses appear to diliver similar quality or in one case better than my Nikon lenses with this camera.

One complain…the ISO and the timer buttons of the S3 are placed in the most awkward positions. I am lucky that I don’t change the ISO or using timer that offen otherwise this would have been one most inconvenient.

This camera has been very enjoyable to use. Very comfortable large grip when handheld, nice for tripod use too. I decided on this camera when comparing images of those taken by other digital SLR’s. The S3 images were the only ones that didn’t appear “obviously” digital to me. I seem to find film images more aesthetically pleasing, which the S3 provides. This is my first digital SLR and has more features than I could possibly hope for. I still have not explored all the film simulation and wide dynamic range combinations and options. I found the the F2 velvia setting a bit “too” saturated, and the built in sharpening also a bit “hard”. I get the best results in wide dynamic 2 mode, 12mp, and everything else set to “normal”. Usually requires some brief post processing in the contrast and sharpening departments to get the results I’m looking for. I love the results in black and white. Love the aperture and shutter priority modes. My only gripe is that the external USB port became loose after about a dozen uses and just fell into the camera body. I sent it back on warranty however, and it was fixed and sent back to me in about a 4 day window. I was really amazed with Fujifilm service. As for speed, I usually shoot landscapes, and in jpeg mode, so not really an issue. I have shot fast moving birds and wildlife with no problems. As for value, its worth about 3/4 of its original price on the used market after around 9 months of use, not bad for digital cameras I suppose. And the price of a new one has actually increased since I bought one, which is hard to believe, but great! The Fuji S3 continues to please. :) enjoy. great pictures but too slow for anything but still portraits and landscapesi’ve got the fuji s2 for 3 yrs now, been waiting and save for an s3 until now, i got my s3 on ebay used in great cond for 1245$, it came in very good cond like new. my 1st impression was the nicer grip, the body is in flat, dull black, not like s2 is more on shiny side.the rubber parts on s3 is very sticky, gives nicer gripping.the build is more solid than the s2.i’ve noticed the battery door is alot more sturdy than s2,the use of it is pretty much same as s2, so there is no problem with operation to me..i tested shot it about 100 shots, i noticed right away the wide dynamic range on s3, the colors seem brighter and more contrast, the af is faster.the sharpness come from your lenses..i use it with tamron 28-105 f2.8 sp model, it gives me awesome results.works better with my tokina af 80-200mm f2.8.s3 got the new vertical trigger, it uses only 4 aa batts, not like s2 with 2 sets of batts.the s3 body is fatter than s2,not too heavy or light, its just feels right..i shot jpeg only. i shoot mostly weddings and models, plus landscapes..the slow review on s3 is anoying,the refreshing time is slow. to review your shots is slow too, but with my work its not a problem.

in all s3 produces great results, far more better than any other dslrs ive own.thats including canon 300d and olympus e300.will use s3 and s2 for wedding.im a happy fotoman.This is the first digital camera which made me forget the film, after 27 years of photography experience. The image quality is beyond expectation. The performance is much slower compared to current Nikon dSLR models, including much more affordable Nikon D70. However, I owned D70 for about 1 year and could not treat it as a “real camera” because both the resolution of D70 is lower than that of good scams from 35mm film and the dynamic range is not as good. The S3 Pro IS The Real Camera. In terms of color rendition and dynamic range, it OUTPERFORMS the latest 35mm professional slide film. At the beginning, I was not happy with resolution (I could not see visible advantage over 6Mp Nikon D70), but this was actually an issue of lenses used. At 12 Mp mode, images looked too “interpolated” (they ARE partially interpolated but do not confuse this with upscaling of 6Mp files to 12 Mp – the sensor does have more resolution than 6 Mp – please read reviews about Super CCD design elsewhere). This “insufficient resolution” feeling was a result of using medium-quality Nikkor 24-85mm lens. This lens is good at 6 Mp but in 12 Mp mode its resolution is not enough to take advantage of the whole resolution of the camera sensor. When I put on a 55mm Micro-Nikkor, the resolution became shocking great! I could not see interpolation at 100% crop of 12 Mp images! The in-camera JPEGs are great, “robust” and do not usually need postprocessing. I usually stick to “normal” color and “original” tone settings, which helps to preserve more information in different lighting settings but sometimes this results in need of slight fine-tuning of the contrast. If you don’t like postprocessing at all, use “standard” color AND “standard” tone instead. In most cases, images taken in this mode are almost perfect for printing right out of the camera. Downside: the camera performs relatively slow: if you take several shots in a row in RAW mode, the camera may be locked for half a minute (!) to write the files, and speed of reviewing the images is also awfully low. But I can easily accept these because the joy of having images of such high quality makes the incoveniences of slow performance insignificant for me.

Price: $1,999.77   Buy This Camera