Fujifilm today announces the development of the FinePix S5 Pro, the keenly-awaited successor to the acclaimed FinePix S3 Pro. In a DSLR market that is much more competitive and dynamic than the one its predecessor was launched into, the FinePix S5 Pro will stand apart from the crowd by combining the much sought-after picture quality of Fujifilm’s Super CCD SR sensor with a fully digital and durable professional metal alloy body. With this superior combination of truly professional handling and image quality, Fujifilm expects the FinePix S5 Pro to appeal to an even broader range of professional photographers.
Fujifilm’s ultimate goal in development of its DSLR cameras has been to maximise image quality through constant research and development into its sensor technology. With the introduction six years ago of its acclaimed Super CCD, Fujifilm moved away from increasing the pixel density of its sensors in favour of image quality developments that increase the overall performance of the sensor. The FinePix S5 Pro will see the refinement of a winning formula – Fujifilm’s Super CCD SR II will be updated to the new Super CCD SR Pro. Using a unique layout of twelve million paired photodiodes (6.17 million larger ‘S’ photodiodes for main image information, combined with 6.17 million smaller ‘R’ photodiodes for bright area information), the S5 Pro will deliver improvements in noise, dynamic range, colour and tonality. Further improving the capability of the sensor, a new, improved low-pass filter will ensure that moiré and noise are kept to an absolute minimum. Fujifilm believes improvements in these key areas will be of more true value to professional photographers – the challenge is quality of information, not quantity of information.
The redesigned Super CCD SR Pro sensor will be at the centre of the camera’s performance. However the new Real Photo Processor Pro will ensure that the information is handled in such a way to produce images that are beautifully vibrant, with colour recorded as the human eye sees it. The processor’s two stages of noise reduction will deliver an impeccably clean image, and also permit light sensitivity up to ISO 3200 whilst achieving sharp, low-noise images. A new dark noise reduction process, subtracting the residual, ambient noise on the sensor from the actual exposure, helps the camera produce smooth, clean images when long shutter speeds are used.
The FinePix S5 Pro will also introduce one particularly sought-after feature; the ability to record jpeg and RAW files simultaneously to the card. This will enable photographers to view and distribute smaller-sized jpegs, whilst retaining the ability to work on the larger RAW files later on a PC or Mac. This dual option is available with a variety of image sizes, giving the option to store either a small, emailable file size, or a larger, more detailed jpeg.
With its predecessor achieving recognition for its excellent ergonomics, the FinePix S5 Pro will take the system into a different league, using a tough, professional magnesium alloy shell. With weatherproof seals, and first-rate design, the S5 Pro will be a camera truly deserving of the term ‘workhorse’, equally at home in the studio as on a nature assignment in a humid rainforest. The camera’s shutter mechanism will be testament to its durability, as it has been tested to exceed the key benchmark of 100,000 cycles.
The FinePix S5 Pro will also afford the user much greater control over the unique image parameters that its technology provides. Six stepped dynamic range settings between 100% (normal dynamic range) and 400% (dynamic range expanded by two stops) will enable the photographer to achieve exactly the tonal feel to their images that they want. In addition, three distinct settings for the ‘negative film’ preset option will further enhance the customisable nature of the camera, giving portrait photographers precisely the ‘look’ that they have in their mind’s eye.
Adrian Clarke, Fujifilm’s Director of Photo Products, said: "The development of the FinePix S5 Pro reflects Fujifilm’s commitment to the professional photographer. We remain determined to develop professional level products with the sort of image quality that made the FinePix S3 Pro a favourite among studio, portrait and wedding photographers. The introduction of the FinePix S5 Pro brings heightened performance, handling and image quality to our DSLR product group and we expect this to attract an increasingly diverse range of professional users. These are exciting times for us."
Improvements of FinePix S5 Pro over FinePix S3 Pro
Image processing and quality
– Real Photo Technology Pro, which combines the Super CCD SR Pro and the RP (Real Photo) Processor Pro, allows for greater dynamic range with smoother tonality from highlight to shadow
– The improved Super CCD SR Pro features an optimised low-pass filter to reduce noise and minimise moiré
– The newly developed RP Processor Pro features two cycles of noise reduction which enables photographers to take images at even higher sensitivities (ISO 100 to ISO 3200) with visibly reduced noise
Greater flexibility to control colour and dynamic range
– For even greater creative control over the FinePix S5 Pro’s dynamic range, photographers can now choose from up to six preset ranges between 100% and 400%
– For improved reproduction of natural skin tones, three new variations of the original film simulation mode (F1) have been added (five modes in total)
Other camera functions and features
– Nikon F-mount compatibility for all functionality with all Nikkor AF-D/G and the latest AF-S optics
– RAW+ jpeg (4,256 x 2,848 pixels, 3,024 x 2,016 pixels, 2,304 x 1,536 pixels) dual-save mode
– Mac and PC supported tethered shooting mode via USB 2.0 port and optional Hyper Utility software
– Robust lightweight magnesium-alloy body with moisture- and dust-proof seals
– Durable shutter unit stands up to approximately 100,000 cycles
– Adoption of high-precision i-TTL flash control
– 11-point AF sensor with faster autofocusing than the FinePix S3 Pro
– Supports 1/3, 1/2, and 1 stop lens aperture control
– Shutter speed 30 sec. to 1/8000 sec, maximum flash sync speed of 1/250 sec.
– 3 levels of custom function locking with password protection
– 2.5 inch LCD with 235,000 pixels, gives 100% frame coverage. Colour and monochromatic 30 seconds live view function to check focusing
– Li-ion rechargeable battery
– Compact Flash (TM) (CF) Card (Type I/II) and Microdrive (TM) compatible
Face Detection Technology for post image verification
– Uniquely developed Face Detection Technology LSI is under development for the FinePix S5 Pro. With one press of a button, the camera detects up to ten faces almost instantly after each image is captured. After shooting and during playback, the photographer can easily and quickly zoom in and check facial details such as closed eyes, focus and exposure on the LCD monitor
– LAN Adapter to enable sending of image data at high speed over wireless LAN or Ethernet.
– New Hyper Utility Software gives precise control for editing images taken in CCD-RAW 14 bit format It will also enable the FinePix S5 Pro to be remotely controlled by PC
– Rechargeable battery
– Battery charger
– AC Power adapter
Availability & pricing
The FinePix S5 Pro is scheduled for launch in February 2007. Pricing and stockists will be announced nearer to the date of retail launch.