Shooting Fuji’s Finepix S1, Part 2

Today’s Post by John Larsen

Now that I’ve had Fujifilm S1 for some time I am satisfied with it and it’s met my needs—especially price. But as one would expect for a sub-$500 camera, it has limitations.

Starting with the filters, there are a number I use more than others. Of course, there are some that I have not tried at all. The partial color filters allowing the photographer to select red, yellow, blue, green or orange are features that could be achieved in post-production but having the functionality to create your image directly at the time of shooting is a huge benefit to me. I’ve found that the yellow filter is effective.

The fish eye filter could also be achieved in post-production, however framing your image with the filter enabled allows the photographer to see the bulbous effect before pressing the shutter release.

The low-light advanced setting compiles three separate photos to create one image with the sharpest parts of the image. Since three images are created back-to-back-to-back a tripod is very beneficial when using this function.

There is also an HDR alternative but as I’m not a big fan of this technique I have not found it useful or effective.

One of my favorite functions is the panoramic mode. While the photographer can select from three settings I have found the 120 degree view most realistic. As mentioned previously this is a great substitute for the Hasselblad XPan I was seeking many years ago.

Even with the limitation of the small 240×180 pixels, I’ve used the slow motion video feature at a number of motorsports events just as I had anticipated. If you would like to see a short video of monster truck Bigfoot that I took with the Fuji S1, please click this link.

While I was fully prepared that this camera could not handle panning of fast subjects, I have been pleasantly surprised by how well it has been able to freeze cars that are heading directly towards me or away from me. As long as a fast shutter speed is used, such images have been successful.

The usefulness of the 1200mm (equivalent) lens has been my most pleasant surprise. Whenever I tried to take photos of a moon at night with my DSLR, the fact that I did not have a lens longer than 400mm always resulted in disappointment. Once I started to use this Fuji S1 and mounted it on a tripod the images exceeded my expectations, especially after manually under-exposing the metered setting.

My purchase of the Fujifilm S1 is one of the best camera gear purchases I have made in a very long time!