Jump to content

D100 vs Fuji S2

Recommended Posts

All over the web, and here, too, there are comparisons of the Canon

10D and Nikon D100. There is almost universal consensus that the

10D is <B>slightly</B> better WRT color and noise, but not enough

for a Nikon owner to throw out his Nikon lens collection and start

from scratch.<P>


I'm a Nikon user with 3 bodies and a dozen lenses, so I'm stuck with

the Nikon family until I win the lottery. My question is Fuji S2 -

vs- Nikon D100. Most of my shooting will be studio - dance,

portrait, figure, and still-life. I shoot color and black and

white in about equal proportion. With film I shoot ISO 160 so I

imagine I'll shoot digital mostly at ISO 100 or 200. But for dance

I like to crank my monolights' power down to get shorter durations

so I'll probably shoot at ISO 400 for that.<P>


My output is mainly to the web and inkjet prints. When I'm working

with scanned film at 4000 PPI I print up to 12"x18", but that sounds

like wishful thinking for a 6MP camera. (how big do people here go

with a 6MP camera <B>IFF</B> the client is critical and

discerning?) It's also not uncommon to do some cropping.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that there will be a few nay sayers here, but the S2 and the 12mp interpolation does work IMO. I looked at three of the major DSLR's and really wanted to go with the S2, but the size of S2 was a downside for me. Also the raw format of the S2 is slow in conversion. The 200ASA on the D100 turned me off. So Ended up with the 10D.


As to size of prints from 6mp, I have tried 13x19's and they seem to hold up very well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I own an S2 and love it. Don't have personal experience with large prints, so won't comment on that.


One thing in particular though that did (and still does) amaze me with the camera is its abilty to render nice color is relatively low light. When I discovered this, it allowed me to photograph hummingbirds in the late evening without a flash (didn't want to use a flash due to the irridescent feathers). Looking at the images it's hard to imagine the poor light conditions at the time... something no film I've used could ever do. (not a film/digi comment, but rather a "hey, that's a nice sensor" experience. :)


When out of the country I was using the camera in 6MP mode for CF size reasons. Now for the most important shots I use 12MP (very nice for cropping) and switch back to 6MP for run of the mill shots.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I'm a commercial advertising photographer and have ben shooting digitally for over a year now with the Kodak ProBack Plus.


A friend or mine is also a commercial photographer and he has been shooting with a Fuji S2 for about 6 months now. I've rented him my studio on occasion and have worked with him and the S2 in the studio.


The quality of the images captured with the S2 are pretty good, nowhere near as good as the 16mp chip in the ProBack but they're not bad. It's an issue with the small file size and also blooming on certain saturated colors which may also be a resolution issue.


At a 6mp resolution the S2 produces an un-interpolated 9 inch tiff at 300 dpi, 8 bit color and an 18 meg file. At the 12 mp resolution there is an apparent gain of between 25-40 % in image quality, it's almost unnoticeable but you do get a 36 meg tiff file and if I remember correctly an 11 or 14" image at 300 dpi.


One of the nice features of the S2, if you buy the exttra-cost capture software, is the ability to shoot tethered to the computer. I'm not sure if you can do that with the D100. The images appear on the screen for review as they are captured. Though you can with the Kodak 14N.


The software is rather clunky and you can only capture 5 images to the computer before you have to save them to a file. On the ProBack you can shoot an unlimited number of images to a contact sheet on the hard drive of your computer. And there's a limited amount of image editing that you can do in Fuji's capture software.


There are some downsides to how the S2 camera itself works and this may be true of the D100 as well. For instance, you can only bracket in 1/2 stops when using autofocus lenses. I think with manual lenses you can tweak the aperture ring and achieve at least a third of a stop. A half stop is way too big an exposure change on digital, 1/3 of a stop is a big change. So that can be limiting.


Fuji simply masked off the viewfinder to accomodate the smaller chip size so it can be very hard to obtain critical focusing without an additional magnification.


My friend has made a good bit of money with the S2 but he'll be getting a Kodak 14N very soon. As soon as someone can show him how effective the firm-ware upgrades are at reducing digital noise in the shadows.


That's my limited experience with the S2 and the more extensive experience that my friend has shared with me.


I think, for the money, either of these two cameras are OK with the edge going to the S2 because it is more versatile in the studio when connected to a computer. Clients love to see the image immediately and it's easier to evaluate the image on a computer screen. The lcd preview on the back of the camera is pretty much useless except for viewing a histogram. This is also true of my much more expensive ProBack.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"The lcd preview on the back of the camera is pretty much useless except for viewing a histogram."


My own personal experience finds the LCD image to be extremely useful, even more so than the histogram. This is a matter of gaining experience and confidence with these cameras, plus skill of use.


As an example, recently I'v been using the camera to photograph an osprey's nest which has clear sky for background. The birds are colored white and dark brown. I have the camera set on manual with a shutter speed of 1/500 to 1/1500 secs. The LCD image is constatntly checked for exposure results... it's the only way I could photograph the birds flying in and be within the narrow range which renders both the lights and darks. This can be seen plain as day on the display.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I said that the lcd screen is "useless except for viewing the histogram" what I mean is that it's almost impossible to judge focus on such a low resolution screen Sure, you can see an image and tell whether the subject is in the frame and check the composition in that way, but judging critical exposure using just the screen is not reliable which, of course, is why Fuji included a screen showing the histogram.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do agree regarding sharpness of focus. That's why I brought a laptop along on my last trip. But these LCD display issues are generic to any and all digicams. When you take a 6 to 12 MP image and reduce it down to a tiny LCD, there are limits to the info garnered.


I still beieve a practiced eye can deduce more from the LCD image than from the histogram, though. Before I purchased the S2 I read opinions at dpreview saying the histogram is all important and the image only good for composition judgements. At first I believed and practiced this, but only for a few weeks til I gained more experience in use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



The lack of resolution of the lcd screen on the back of digital SLRs is not limited to the Fuji S2 by any means. In fact, the lcd screen on my ProBack Plus is no better than the one on the S2.


My friend with the S2 also has had problems with the autofocus on the S2 when he's shooting at a wide aperture in a moderately close-up situation: ie: filling the frame with an area that's about 3 ft wide in a table-top situation in the studio. Specifically he was shooting a catalog of china and plates, cups etc. It seems that the autofocus back-focuses just a little bit. It's very hard to see that in the viewfinder but can be detected when shooting tethered to the computer by zooming into the captured image on the screen.


Have you had any experience with that ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...