So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro
- '12.3 megapixel' sensor, superior image quality
- An already expensive camera, the S3 Pro requires equally expensive accessories to reach its full potential.
Produces top-notch photos and will appeal to photographers with a stash of Nikon lenses.
Price$ 3,895.00 (AUD)
Only the most serious photographers would consider spending such a large chunk of cash for just the body of the FinePix S3 Pro, but if you already had an existing stash of Nikon-compatible accessories, it could make a good addition to the collection.
At the heart of the S3 Pro is Fujifilm's new 12.3-megapixel Super CCD SR II sensor. It has equal numbers of small and large pixels, which the company says allows it to capture a wider dynamic range for better detail in shadows and highlights. Though our formal tests showed no dramatic improvements from the extended dynamic range, the S3 Pro proved a very solid performer.
It also performed quite well in our informal outdoor tests. In bright sunlight, with the camera cranked up to its widest dynamic settings, we saw consistently great results.
The settings on the S3--including white balance, quality and autofocus mode--are changeable using four function buttons on the back of the camera. This approach reduces the number of dedicated buttons and simplifies the setup menus viewable on the bright 2" colour display.
The S3 Pro has an F-mount lens fitting for compatibility with Nikon lenses (our test unit came with a 24mm to 135mm Tamron lens).
The unit outlasted our 500-shot battery test on a single charge of its four AA-size nickel metal hydride cells.
For users who shoot with their digital SLRs heavily customised, the Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro will not disappoint. However, it requires a professional photographer's budget.
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