Alright here it is! ;D
Released early this year, the Fujifilm S5 Pro is Fujifilm’s latest product in its lines of DSLR cameras. While not having as big a pie as Nikon or Canon in the DSLR market for now due to “less the steller marketing”, it has managed to capture a significant yet important market segment namely the studio, wedding as well as landscape shooter market segment with its S1, S2, and S3 originally. The reason for such cultist success among such specific segment is due in fact to the DSLR special sensor which is especially designed to be able to capture the a good chunk of the dynamic range.
Okay, enough with the history lessson! You want to know what I learn about this camera, whole camera is well built and can really take a good beating (no I will not conduct a drop test >:(, though I did drop my bag while the camera was in it, my SB600 broke while the S5 survived without any problems). I agree that fuji made a wise choice to use the D200 body as the template for this camera (although many had originally thought it would have been the d2x body considering the body design they had used in their previous DSLR). If you have ever used the D200 then you should “somewhat” feel at home. Why I say somewhat instead of completely at home? Because unlike the Nikon d200, Fuji has some minor changes to the buttons namely how to access the menu.
Aesthetically all the buttons work the same, DOF preview, function button, mode button everything is the same EXCEPT! 😡 the menu buttons. For the D200, to access the menu you only need to press the “menu” button clearly label on the back of the camera, but with the S5 pro, you have 2 special buttons. One marked “menu” and one marked “setup” as shown in the pic below.
The logic for this arrangement while good in theory sucks in practice, keep all shooting menu items under “shooting menu” while all other control such as maintenance (firmware check, shutter count and such) under the setup menu which can be access by the “setup” button. Okay Einsteins at Fujifilm, if that’s your logic, then why on earth is the ttl and flash controls in the setup menu!? shouldn’t it be shooting menu where I can access since its consider one of the shooting controls?! 😡
aside from that, if you’re familiar with the recent menu item function on the d200 (I never seen this before but I know it’s an option where you can place the frequently access menu items into a special menu which can be access immediately instead of scrolling through the menu) is not here, I don’t know how valuable is this function.
“Okay, enough griping about the menu we know it’s not so up to par with Nikon. What about the sensor” is probably what you are all thinking about now.
The sensor? It’s incredible! The pictures’ colors taken by it are much closer to what I saw when I took the picture especially when there are multiply sources of light, in short better color accuracy. Also it can handle quite well scene which have a lot of high contrast areas although you have to use RAW along with software that can handle it(processing fujifilm raw file is very timeconsuming) although JPEG seems to do this job almost just as good. Using the picture below, which too me seems like what you can accomplish only with HDR
Although to really bring out the full power of S5 pro’s Super CCD, you need to use RAW. Though it’s too troublesome at this time as the dang software included sucks! poor designed.
Though when it comes to people pictures, the s5 really shines!
This was taken using auto wb
this was taken using cloudy setting
This again at auto WB (I seem to like to use this pic a lot )
But here is something not people,
I would like to show you what can be achieve when used in weddings but I’m not fully into the wedding business 😛 😛
Now about noise, so far I have set all my shots at auto ISO and I have some pics go up to 1600, the noise is really only noticeable if you go and zoom to like what? 100%? If you’re really worry about noise, stick to film.
Next we have the issue of speed which the s5 is famous for (made famous by someone griping about the slow speed *cough*kenrockwell*cough*). I personally find the 1.5 fps just perfect with me (I am not a machine gun shooter, even when I was still using my D50 I was only shooting at 1 fps) although people who are in the fashion catwalk business find the speed good enough unless you’re into the sport business, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you find that that speed is a problem, go for the d200 or better yet, go for Canon 1d Mark III 😛 that should more then cover “your need for speed” problem. Though you can change some setting to bring it up to 3fps (fixed the dynamic range to 100% instead of AUTO but then you might as well be using some similar to a d50, I would know, I’ve tried it)
Next we come to another question some have wondered for a while, let me make it clear,aside from the original batteries, EVERYTHING THAT IS NIKON CAN BE USED ON THE S5 PRO! including
- MD200 battery grip, it can use AA batteries using the battery tray, though it can only be use with Fujifilm NP-150 batteries (which in actual is a rebranded D200 battery but cannot be used as they have a different chip, for whatever reason I don’t know!)
- All VR lens are compatible, there have been a number of people saying otherwise, but so far I have no problem using them
- Back focus problem, there is some truth to it as I have seen on the tamron A16 but I don’t find this to be a problem as the back focus is minor and strangely enough are not there at all when using Nikon lens (I smell conspiracy here 🙂 )
- Next CLS, yes this works as I’ve tried it with my SB600s, 😛
so in conclusion (I make no claim that my review is thorough and exhaustive of everything), while the menu might a bit poorly designed (which is my only gripe), I find the s5 well suited to my needs in terms of speed and picture quality and handling. In short I love it! ;D
So now this concludes my review of the fuji s5 pro for now, pleasant dreams!