Tuesday, January 23, 2007

First Official Sample Photos From FujiFilm S5 Pro Now Available

Well, the very first official sample photos from the soon to be released FujiFilm S5 Pro camera are available at

There are four sample images: a portrait of a little girl, a garden flower closeup, and two landscape photos. The photos are not what one would call stellar or sterling or knockout samples...instead the photos are very realistic examples of how the camera will do in the hands of casual amateur photogs. A perusal of the EXIF information leads me to believe we're talking about consumer-level lenses, and f/stops which would,well,let's say which might not be the absolute best choices, but which might well be considered typical of programmed light metering choices.

The portrait sample is from a zoom lens, and was done at f/18 at 1/60 second,and it's pretty obviously lighted by electronic flash. The skin tones are unremarkable, but pleasing enough. The flower shot is typical of the type of thing I see newbies posting all over the web and on pBase. The two landscapes are average. Overall, nothing special, but the files are "okay".

**Addendum, January 29,2007: There's a pre-production S5 Pro evaluation at http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/12429/fujifilm_finepix_s5pro_preview/
and the author's overall tone and final conclusions make me optimistic that the S5 Pro will deliver good pictures--when it's used with something other than a Coke bottle lens.

***Addendum January 23, 2007: The Chinese web site PC Online put up a number of full-sized 4256x JPEG files from the S5 Pro. Go to this URL and scroll down toward the bottom of the page to find a gallery's worth of thumbnails which is split into 4 sub-galleries with the large JPEG files.

My comments on the PC Online samples: most are shot with the 24-120VR Nikkor. Take a look at the red brick building sample's lower right corner to see what a wonky piece of crap their particular 24-120VR is. The lens is the limiting factor in the 24-120VR photos. I downloaded a number of the photos,and they're not that great when opened in Photoshop CS-2 and introduced to Sharpen, or Unsharp Mask, or Smart Sharpening, and there's not a lot of meat in the 24-120 files shown. The wedding sample photos were done with the Tamron 28-75, which is normally a decent lens, but the aperture is f/18,which I am sure is well beyond the diffraction limit for the sensor, and is also a sub-par performing aperture on that lens...f/18 is NOT showing off the sensor. These four wedding photos simply do not have much sharp,clear detail in them,and are pretty ho-hum in terms of detail. I've put them through my normal Photoshop post production, and I'm just not impressed with how the files sharpen up,and how much information they have.

Overall, the PC Online samples are the second batch of full-sized S5 Pro files I've downloaded and examined in PS. It's disappointing to see sub-standard technique and lenses used with a brand-new camera. The two Chinese sites have used the Sigma 18-125 DC,which I happen to own--a consumer-grade lens,all the way. The 24-120 VR...another consumer grade lens which has a lot of corner issues...and then the Tamron 28-75 at f/18...it's almost as if there's a campaign to show what the S5 Pro can do with popular economy all-in-one-solution lenses from one generation or two behind the current status of all-in-one lenses, which is what a lot of hobbyists will plan on using with their newest d-slr. I have no problems with walkabout lenses like the Sigma 18-125 DC or the Nikkor 24-120VR, but I'd really like to see some 85/1.4 and 105 DC shots with the S5 Pro, or perhaps some photos done with the current state of the art "new" Nikkor lenses like the 105 VR, the 200/2 VR, and the 300/4 AF-S or 300/2.8 AF-S models. I *own* a few walkabout lenses, and I *know* that what they make a camera look like is a pitiful second-rate performer compared with how any of the top-grade Nikkors make a camera look.

So far, I have not had the chance to examine a Fuji S5 Pro file that was shot with anything even close to a top-grade lens,which is a crying shame. I think the camera can do better than what I've seen using the 18-125 Sigma DC,Nikkor 24-120VR,or Tamron 28-75 shot at f/18.

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