Question about Fuji FinePix S20 Pro Digital Camera

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Seriously confused... It was only 6 days ago when I went to my favorite photo-outlet to have my S2 CCD-chip cleaned. One of the main 'cons' of my camera is the amount of dust that is sort of living nowadays behind the viewfinder and the LCD screens. It rather bothers me that a piece of equipment -at that time costing about 2600,- euros- is that sensitive for external influences. But anyway, camera still works fine and in some way it has become a part of me. So I was very enthousiast when the announcement was made that Fuji was introducing the S3. But then, I was still in the shop, I saw it...standing behind a glass door right next to the counter...the new Nikon D2H... I asked if I could try it for a moment...and for that, I'd better not..! I feel like I betrayd my loyal and good working S2, which I have for almost two years now. But the D2's solid feel, quick response, super delicate sound of shutter...and...rubber sealed... What would you do? I know prices of digital camera's are falling so I don't think the S3 is gonna cost as much as the S2 did then...but on the other hand...if the price was just a few 100 dollars/euros under the D2H...would you know what to choose...? I'm seriously confused...

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Re: Seriously confused...

, I see you're doing some part-time outdoor freelance work. I have no idea what types of photos you are trying to make,but it seems to me that serious photography has always been about using the right techniques, the right approaches,and the right equipment to get the job done in the best manner possible. If you need a big,long supertelephoto lens to capture surfers at 80 meters from shore where the good break is, you either buy or rent a big,long supertelephoto lens, or "make due" using something less-capable and less well suited to the situation. There comes a time when it is simply easier,and better, to simply buy or rent the kind of equipment that will make completing an assignment easier, or faster, and hopefully better. As I see it, the S2 is one of the best digital _imagers_ in low light,or at elevated ISO's like 400 and also 800 ISO. At ISO 400, you have tremendous creative freedom of f/stop and shutter speed, and it is at ISO 400 that the S2 remains to my mind, unchallenged in image quality by anything in an F-mount. But the S2 is a slow camera when writing in RAW mode,and it is,well,simply an average camera with a great imaging sensor in it. For outdoor sports or action photography, the D2h is probably the best-handling Nikon right now. Fastest AF, fastest frame rate, shortest shutter lag, shortest mirror blackout--a Formula One camera,if you will. The ultimate in responsiveness. There are many,many situations when you need to shoot first,and think about it later....where the action leads YOU, not the other way around. The S2 on the other hand is a better camera for slower,more contemplative photography,where the photographer can dictate the pace of the shooting,and where shooting 7 raw images is "enough", and where 2 FPS is plenty fast. The way I see it, if you're unhappy with the S2's responsiveness, you could look at buying one,or two,or even three Nikon D70's, or one Nikon D2h. You know how good the S2 is in slow-paced,controlled shooting situations. The S2 gives fantastic images....only not many at a time, and very slowly by comparison with any of the "action" cameras (D1h,D2h,1D,1DMkII). If you really need an "action" camera to make good photos of fast-moving situations, just buy the D2h. You'l get the best autofocusing of any Nikon body, the fastest frame rate,the biggest buffer, and the absolute best that Nikon has to offer in a total-system camera. Heck,you'll even get metering with manual focusing Nikkor lenses. A good,sharp,in-focus and properly-metered photo at frame number 10,while the S2 is still flushing the buffer,is something the D2h could get you. An actual 4MP image on the CF card is a lot better than a 6MP "memory" of a shot that "got away".

Posted on Sep 04, 2005

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Re: Seriously confused...

I was very confused too. I finally sold my S2 Pro in favor of a D2H just recently. It is indeed a fantastic camera. I worried that decision for many weeks over concern about going to 4 MP from the excellent output from the S2 Pro. In my shooting, I haven't been hampered by the lower pixel count at all. In fact, my images have improved markedly because the camera is SO accurate. It let's me get shots I never would have been able to get with the S2 Pro. I might have waited for the S3 if Fuji had indictated any substantial improvement in the body, AF and metering, but it looks like their focus is on the sensor, and the camera is going to remain a tool of the studio and wedding photographer rather than the outdoor shooter. The general concept of going to the D2H from the S2 Pro is by no means a no-brainer. A lot depends on what kind of photography you are going to do. But I can tell you that the output from the 4mp D2H is really excellent, and for me, the AF accuracy and speed is astonishing having used an S2 Pro for many thousands of images. The camera handling difference is absolutely night and day, and for me, I have found it vastly preferable to nail a 4 mp image rather than to miss several 6 mp images.

Posted on Sep 04, 2005

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