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Fuji's S2 Pro - Everyone agrees that its TTL flash system works exceptionally well. Why? It looks like it's because it uses Nikon's proven film-camera based "Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash with TTL Multi Sensor System".
By now we're all familiar with Nikon's "DX" TTL flash system for its line of digital single lens reflex cameras (D1, D1H, D1X, D100). Three special Nikon speedlights (SB-28DX, SB-50DX, and SB-80DX) have the ability to interface with the camera's operating system in what Nikon calls the "D-TTL" mode, where the camera fires a small pre-flash through the speedlight microseconds before the actual flash picture is taken. The camera computes its flash exposure settings based on the pre-flash exposure analysis. And it works fairly well... certainly better than a non-DX flash on its digital SLR lineup. But the DX series speedlights cost a LOT more than the standard Nikon speedlights, and there are only 3 model choices.
Nikon uses a similar pre-flash & monitor system on its better 35mm film cameras called the 3D Multi-sensor Balanced Fill Flash System. The camera fires a rapid, almost imperceptible series of mini flash pulses through the hotshoe mounted (or built-in popup) speedlight microseconds before the actual flash picture is taken, and the camera computes its flash exposure settings based on the pre-flash exposure analysis. The big difference between this system and the digital DX system is that that it uses regular Nikon speedlights. The 3D Multi-sensor Balanced Fill Flash System is a standard feature on the N80, N90S, F5, and F100 film cameras.
But Nikon never integrated it into their Digital SLR line. Instead, they came up with the D-TTL system using special DX speedlights. Why? Who knows... perhaps the level of engineering sophistication at the time couldn't make the film-body based 3D Multi-sensor Balanced Fill Flash System work properly on the new digital bodies.
Fuji figured out a way to use it on the S2 Pro
The N80 camera body was already equipped with the 3D Multi-sensor Balanced Fill Flash System, and Fuji was able to integrate it into its S2 Pro digital system. It works both with the built-in popup flash and the full line of standard Nikon SB series speedlights. With appropriate camera & speedlight settings, the 3D Multi-sensor Balanced Fill Flash System works the same way it does on a Nikon film body. Just like the film system, the camera fires a rapid, almost imperceptible series of mini flash pulses through the hotshoe mounted (or built-in popup) speedlight microseconds before the actual flash picture is taken, and the camera computes its flash exposure settings based on the pre-flash exposure analysis.
The Nikon D100 is based on the Nikon N80, does it have the same Automatic Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash System?
No. The D100 uses the same DX flash system as the D1, D1H, and D1X. And even though the DX system works fairly well on the D100, the opinion on the street is that the Fuji S2 Pro flash system is probably better. And again, you can use the less expensive "regular" line of Nikon speedlights on the S2 Pro.
Flash operation is covered in detail in the Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro manual, pages 60-69. It includes a full list of Nikon SB series speedlights that are compatible with the S2 Pro's Automatic Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash System
S2 Pro Sample Picture
The reflection of the setting sun on her sunglasses was by accident, not by intent... But it certainly made it a better picture! Straight out of the camera, the sharpness & overall image quality of a 6 megapixel Jpeg from the Fuji S2 Pro is nothing short of "amazing".
- Hardware: Fuji S2 Pro camera, Nikon 35-70mm f2.8 lens @ 70mm, IBM 1 Gig Microdrive.
- Camera settings: ISO 400, programmed automatic exposure, matrix metering.
- Image settings: Jpeg Fine quality, 3024 image size, STD Color, ORG Tone, STD Sharpening,
Auto White Balance.
- Image unmodified except for size reduction.
- Original Image: 2016 x 3024 Pixels, 2.2 Megabytes
Type of camera
Interchangeable-Lens SLR-type digital camera
Nikon F mount (with AF coupling, AF contacts)
Number of effective pixels
6.17 million pixels
23.0 x 15.5mm Super CCD
Number of total pixels: 6.49 million pixels in an interwoven pattern
Number of recorded pixels
4,256 x 2,848 pixels (12.1 million)
3,024 x 2,016 pixels
2,304 x 1,536 pixels
1,440 x 960 pixels
JPEG (DCF compatible)
Slot No.1: SmartMedia (4MB to 128MB/3.3V)
Slot No.2: CompactFlash Type II (Microdrive compatible)
Number of images (4,256 X 2,848 pixels)
D Type AF Nikkor lenses: All functions possible
AF Nikkor other than D type: All functions except 3D Matrix Metering possible
Non-CPU: Usable in Manual exposure mode (exposure meter cannot be used)
IX-Nikkor: Cannot be used
Fixed-eyelevel pentaprism, built-in diopter adjustment (-1.8m-1to+0.8m-1)
Approx. 1.5x focal length in 35mm format equivalent
Equivalent to ISO 100, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
30 to 1/4000 sec, Bulb
Single frame shooting
Continuous shooting: approx. 2 frames/ sec up to 7 frames
P: Multi-programed AE (Flexible program possible)
S: Shutter-priority AE
A: Aperture-priority AE
Auto / Fine / Shade (fine weather) / Incandescent light / 3 modes for Fluorescent light / Custom setting (Custom 1,Custom 2)
3D Matrix Metering: EV 0-21
Center-Weighted Metering: EV 0-21
Spot Metering: EV 3-21
+/- 3 EV range, in 1/2 steps
Guide No.12 (ISO 100ûm), flash coverage: 28mm or longer lens
Standard ISO-type with hot-shoe contact (Sync contact, Ready-light contact, TTL auto flash contact, Monitor contact, GND), Safety lock provided
Electronically controlled: timer duration: 20sec, 10sec, 5sec, 2 sec
1.8-inch, Low-temperature polysilicon TFT (approx. 117,600 pixels)
Thumbnails in 4 segments
Thumbnails in 9 segments
NTSC (USA/Canada model)
USB for data storage
IEEE1394 for data storage & shooting
4 x AA type Alkaline or NiMH batteries
AC power adapter AC-5VHS
2 x 3V Lithium batteries: CR123A or DL123A
5.6"(W) x 5.2"(H) x 3.1"(D)
Approx. 27 ounces (without batteries and lens)