Fujifilm S5 Pro?

Soldato
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I'm considering getting myself a second hand pro-ish level body some time in the future, to open up the AF-D lenses. I just noticed this one, and though I know Fuji no longer make DSLRs, I was considering it given it's supposed portrait abilities. Has anyone got any experience of this body to go off?

I know it's based off the D200, but with their own software, sensor etc., I'd imagine the difference is pretty big.
 

Mud

Mud

Soldato
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I've got an S5 with the hot-mirror removed (i.e., a 'UVIR'), so I can give you some notes. First, it's slow...menus, photo reviewing, etc, all slow. Shoot at a high framerate and your camera will not respond for a while as it's slowly clearing the buffer. Also, realise that it's really a 6MP camera, the big pixel/little pixel pairs which translate into dynamic range don't really add to spatial resolution in any meaningful way. High ISO performance isn't great, but if you can keep it at ISO100 or so then it's a good performer. I suppose the bottom line is can you live with a slow, low-MP camera which is only really useful in good light?

Beware of used pricing, some people thing the S5 has magical properties which warrants silly pricing.

For the record, my wedding photos were shot on an S5...got some big prints and they look great :)
 
Soldato
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Hmm...

I spend very little time within menus while shooting (on a D5000), and I'd imagine even less on a pro-level body.

How big are the big prints? TBH this camera is only meant to last a couple of years so I won't be getting huge prints of anything I do in this time.

Also, if the wedding photos were shot on an S5, I'd imagine that would mean they were shot on a zoom lens, i.e. probably at higher than ISO 100?

And other than lenses, how far does the S5 play ball with Nikon accessories? Wireless remotes, flashes etc.?
 

Mud

Mud

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You probably chimp more than you think, and the S5 isn't chimping friendly. It isn't friendly in general really, the menus are poorly thought out and the image review controls are counter-intuitive.

30x40" is the biggest 'wedding' shot I think, it's certainly considerably bigger than a 24x20" I had printed. That's massive for a 6MP camera, and remember 'great' is subjective and a function of viewing distance. The shots probably are all ISO100, it was a Chinese wedding, and the shots I'm talking about were taken the day before the wedding in the park and in a studio (with reflectors and flashes).

Ultimately, it's a capable camera if you can live with the quirks. It's been fine with the lenses I've mounted on it, but as mine's an IR cam I've not really used it with flashes.

e: on balance I'd probably swap my S5 for a D5000 (in the unlikely scenario someone with a full spectrum D5000 weighed in...). You'd have to really want those AF-D lenses to justify it, and I'm not sure what AF-D lenses make it worthwhile any more...Nikon doesn't have many gaps in its range as of the last year or so.
 
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Soldato
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Well checking that stuff isn't ridiculously blown/out of focus I do on camera, but proper reviewing I do on a separate screen; whether I'd do it more on camera if I had a better screen than the D5000's, idk, but I'm happy as is :)
 

Mud

Mud

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Well checking that stuff isn't ridiculously blown/out of focus I do on camera, but proper reviewing I do on a separate screen; whether I'd do it more on camera if I had a better screen than the D5000's, idk, but I'm happy as is :)

You realise the D5000's screen is better than the S5's? The S5 does have proper histograms, so aside from checking critical sharpness that's all I use for immediate review.

I don't want to overstate how 'bad' the S5 is (it isn't...), but it's difficult to justify buying older bodies, let-alone quirky ones! The D5000 is a really nice light package with decent high ISO performance, hard to top without spending a lot :)
 
Soldato
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I do realise it's better, I meant I don't know if I'd start reviewing shots on camera more if I had a 920k dot screen instead, e.g. a D90.

I'm kind of looking to open up AF-D glass, like I said; plus the D5k isn't my body either.
 

Mud

Mud

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Can you be more specific on the AF-D glass you're interested in? Even if you get a pro body, I can't think of many AF-D lenses that haven't been improved upon in newer AF-S versions. Even if you're trying to do things on a budget, it's an increasingly hard argument to make.
 
Soldato
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Can you be more specific on the AF-D glass you're interested in? Even if you get a pro body, I can't think of many AF-D lenses that haven't been improved upon in newer AF-S versions. Even if you're trying to do things on a budget, it's an increasingly hard argument to make.

50 1.8
85 1.8

I'm not only buying a new body to open up those, but specifically not a D5000 because of AF-D. I'm mainly getting a new body to avoid having to beg my dad to use it every time
 

Mud

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50 1.8
85 1.8

I'm not only buying a new body to open up those, but specifically not a D5000 because of AF-D. I'm mainly getting a new body to avoid having to beg my dad to use it every time

Fair enough - those are solid choices.
 
Soldato
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A friend got one a while ago after a whim-bid on eBay. The camera was grim.

Have you considered a used D80 or D90?

D80 no,
D90 yes, and it's between a D200, the D90, or this, at the moment.

I'm leaning towards the D200 or S5 right now because it leaves me with a battery grip to use on a D300s in due course, and I'm not particularly amazed by the performance of the D5000 sensor.

On another note, is there a huge drop in IQ when dropping off the dynamic range abilities? I'm not planning to do much sports photography with it, only stuff when on holiday, I'm just curious as in the TrustedReviews review mentioned you could turn it off to up the fps to 3 and the shot buffer up to 18?
 
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D80 no,
D90 yes, and it's between a D200, the D90, or this, at the moment.

I'm leaning towards the D200 or S5 right now because it leaves me with a battery grip to use on a D300s in due course, and I'm not particularly amazed by the performance of the D5000 sensor.

I'm afraid it won't, the D200 battery grip is different to the D300's (which is newer and common to the D700 as well) and is pretty limited (can't take high capacity el4's etc...)

The only sensible choice there is a D90 and I say that as the owner of 2 D200s, it's a good body but all you loose in the D90 is pro layout and build on the body (the D90 isn't bad at all but it's not as weather sealed and it lacks some of the physical switches the semi-pro and pro bodies have). It gains a better sensor and video and keeps the same AF and metering. What's not to like?
 
Soldato
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My bad then, in any case, I'm not much sold on getting the D90, if I were to do that I may as well just get AF-S lenses only.

Which is something I may well do to be honest, I wouldn't really mind sticking to begging to use the D5000 and buying a Sigma 50 etc. I'd just rather have a more sturdy body.
 
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My bad then, in any case, I'm not much sold on getting the D90, if I were to do that I may as well just get AF-S lenses only.

Which is something I may well do to be honest, I wouldn't really mind sticking to begging to use the D5000 and buying a Sigma 50 etc. I'd just rather have a more sturdy body.

Why stick to AF-S? The D90 will work with AF-D glass too.

The D200 will be a bit cheaper but it's more equivalent to the D80 (which is basically a D200 minus a few features and some build quality), seriously the D90 is the bargain for a Nikon body at the moment.

You could also wonder if Nikon will ever cough up some lower end updates in the form of f/1.8 AF-S primes - I can't see it being this year myself and Nikon seem to be using the updates to kick prices right up (85/1.4 AF-D vs 85/1.4 AF-S = around 35-40% more) but it's worth keeping in mind.
 
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Here were my initial impressions after I got my S5 (after using a D80):

+ Amazing build quality and ergonomics (well it is basically a D200), it's also very snappy and responsive in terms of general operation.
+ Produces amazingly good jpegs out of the camera
+ The huge dynamic range is very useful outdoors
+ The shutter release is so much nicer than my D80 - it's hard to explain, but my D80 felt like a click, as opposed to a nice squeeze on my S5, so it feels a lot like my Nikon F3 in that respect.
+ The tones that come out of this thing are very nice, as is the lower amount of noise.

- Menu isn't as intuitive as Nikon's - for example the image review, which just feels clunky - on the Nikon you have two buttons dedicated for zooming into/out of the photo, the d-pad is dedicated to panning and the command dial is used to switch between photos. On the Fuji, pressing up/down on the pad controls zooming - to pan you need to press another button to switch the d-pad to panning mode. You also can't use the command dial to switch photos, you have to use the d-pad, but only if you're at 0x zoom. Luckily I don't really use image review that often, it isn't unusable, just nowhere near as well thought out as Nikon's menu system.
- RAW files are huge (25mb!), and Adobe hasn't made any proper profiles for Fuji's RAF format, so if I want to apply Fuji's film simulation modes I have to use Fuji's super-slow software.
- As a drawback to the huge dynamic range (which you can adjust from 100% to 400%), the FPS takes a hit. This doesn't bother me though as even when I shoot sports or any action I tend to wait and get the timing just right.

Those impressions still stand two years later. Bear in mind that you need sharp lenses to make the most out of the Fuji as its anti-aliasing filter is pretty strong. Noise isn't an issue provided you nail the exposure.

Here's an example shot:

1z34ea9.jpg

ISO1250, Nikon 18-135mm, Straight out of camera jpeg
 
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