With a list price of less than US$4000, Fuji's FinePix S1 Pro, announced today and built around the Nikon N60 body, could make an even bigger splash than Nikon's D1 among commercial and studio photographers. Why? because it sports Fuji's new honeycomb-shaped pixel Super CCD, which delivers 6.1 million square pixels in a 17.9MB finished file. It's not the first digital field camera to offer that kind of file size, but it's certainly the first to offer it at such a low price. The Fuji SLR, which is compatible with Nikon F-mount lenses, shares many of the D1's traits, including similar TIFF and JPEG compression options, similar colour settings, histogram display, a top ISO of 1600 (its range is ISO 320 - 1600), approx.1.5x focal length magnification (relative to 35mm film) and CompactFlash Type I/II storage (plus SmartMedia). It even has a D1-like splash of red trim on the handgrip. Dig a little deeper and it's clear there are many differences as well: the FinePix S1 Pro incorporates a small built-in flash, USB connectivity (Nikon chose FireWire for the D1), multiple exposure capability and a radically different layout for most of the camera's controls. Other differences result from the Super CCD's design and resolution: the FinePix S1 Pro shoots at 1.5 fps for a total of 5 frames before pausing to off-load images to the card. The slow shooting rate will preclude the camera's use in most photojournalism applications. If the image quality is as good as Fuji promises, however, it could be the ideal newspaper studio camera. A Fuji press release indicates the camera will be available starting in June.
Digital Photography Review has posted a page of camera specifications. The FinePix S1 Pro is expected to be in attendance at PMA this week in Las Vegas; the camera is also scheduled to take part in PMA's DIMA Digital Camera Shootout at 9:30 am Wednesday.
Fuji has also announced the FinePix 4700 Zoom, a US$1000 amateur digicam producing 4.3 million square pixels from its Super CCD (file size: 12.4MB). It has an ISO range of 200-800.