May 2005

Fujifilm S2 Pro


My first Digital SLR


My first digital camera is the Olympus C-5050 point and shoot camera. I am still using this P&S nowadays, and for once my wife told me not to sold it off. A P&S is anyday much more convenient than a SLR when travelling, so I am still keeping that.


Fujifilm S2 Pro was released quite some times ago...and I only bought one myself in June 2004 (2nd hand) from a member of in Kuala Lumpur. He was disappointed with the service of Fujifilm Malaysia as the CCD of his S2 Pro was not working right after repairing. He has to send his S2 Pro in for the 2nd time and has to wait for more than 2 months just for the repair. He decided to sell the S2 Pro off after receiving it from Fuji, and I manage to reserve it. The camera warranty was till Oct 2004, so I told myself not to worry as when I bought the DSLR from him in June 2004, I will still have several months to test out the camera. Just in case if the sensor fails again, I can still ask for warranty. So, I happily pay my money and wait for my first DSLR :) much did I pay for it? RM3k...slightly below the market price at that time, so is a good deal to me :)


What took me so long to write my story about the S2 Pro? I have been busy with work and lazy in writing, plus some other reasons...


S2 Pro is really a good camera, in terms of photo quality. This is the camera that have changed my mind set of how digital compares to film. When owning my C-5050, the DOF and slagginess of the camera makes me not so happy with digital. However, S2 Pro has proof me wrong. It has almost everything that a film camera can produce, yet the quality is so much nicer as compare to the consumer slide film that I was using (Fujiflm Superia 200). I am sure many will disagree with me, but that's how I feel and believed. A super 8R (8" x 12") photo from film will show quite bad grain on it, but a same size print from my S2 Pro is so much cleaner and smoother. No grain was noticed. Don't buy my statement? I don't want to argue on digital and film debates here...I no longer want to touch film after owning my S2 Pro :)


You can find and read lots of review in the nets regarding the S2 Pro, so I won't want to repeat that here again. What am I sharing here is mostly just my little photo story of toy of S2 Pro...and my feel about it...


I sold off my S2 Pro in Oct 2004, after owning it for a few months...and I decide to move to another step. There were rumors where S3 Pro will be released soon, and I was hoping to get a better or more prosumer DSLR. I want to sell the S2 Pro off before its price drops, so that I won't loose much.


CCD Problem

I gave a month warranty to the guy that bought my S2 Pro, but to my horror...the S2 Pro failed just after the one month time and a week after Fujifilm official warranty. Fujifilm Malaysia is not willing to repair the camera and the guy wanted a refund. I have given and warrant the S2 Pro for a month, thus returning the camera to me is unacceptable to myself. At the end, I decided to offer the guy some compensation, and he changed the S2 Pro a new CCD at his own cost at Fujifilm Singapore. I have read in a Singapore forum ( of Fujifilm S2 Pro CCD failure. Fujifilm Singapore is giving out free CCD change to their customers even if the camera is a few months after warranty expired. However, Fujifilm Malaysia is unwilling to do so...which makes me very disappointed with their service. I will not get any Fujifilm camera from Malaysia, I told myself.



Photo Quality?

How's the photo quality? one word ~ satisfying. The colours are very punchy, very contrasty. I can't remember the exact setting of my S2 Pro now, but for portraiture, you have to change all the setting to NORMAL, else your model will look too red. How's the 12MP mode? The quality of photo at 12MP is actually better than 6MP mode, which is quite convenient to use if you want to blow your photo BIG. I didn't do any scientific comparison, but according to some review sites, Fufjifilm S2 Pro at 12MP mode is actually comparable to the quality coming out from a 8MP camera. I strongly believe that's true... :))


When shooting at 12MP and view at 100%, there are definitely some softness and unclear on the image. However, if you resize it to 50% (6MP), the photo is simply stunning. Check out my Nikkor AFD 60mm f/2.8 micro lens review with photos shot using my S2 Pro at the end of the page there.


Photo on the right is the 100% view of from a 12MP file.


I didn't snap the photo of my S2 Pro before selling it off, but I have shots lots of photos with it. Here's I share with you some of my favorites:

(my wife at her study desk)

(a heavily cropped photo of two white egrets)

(sunrise shot outside the apartment hostel of my university, from a 9th floor building view)


what's  N E X T ?

After without a DSLR for 7 months, I can't stand it anymore and decided to get myself another one. The S3 Pro has finally released, but the price at more than RM7k (US$1850) isn't worth buying IMO. Nikon has reduced the price of D2h to US$1999 (RM7600) just right before it was replaced by a D2hs (in Europe and USA and Japan), which is a very good buy in my opinion, but still not something that I can afford at the moment. Nikon D100 is definitely outdated and not worth buying at the price of around RM7k, and no news of the replacement as of to date. The only option left with Nikon D70 (the best selling Nikon SLR to date) which has now been replaced with an updated D70s version. D50 has been announced but is not available on the shelf yet, and studying the specs doesn't impress me. So...I have finally decided to get myself a D70, yes you are right...D70 and not D70s...2nd hand...and not new. Why? I don't find the improvement of D70s worth the extra money, and since many are now dumping the D70...thus it can be bought at fairly nice price. I got an offer from a member of for a very new Nikon D70 (bought in Jan 2005), body only at the price of RM2000 nett. I have yet received my D70 yet...should be within the next few days... :)