Fujifilm FinePix S20 Pro Review
Features & Controls
The S20 Pro employs a passive AF sensor (see window above the lens) to quickly range the subject and then a TTL contrast-detect system critically focuses off of the CCD. There is no focus-assist illuminator.
The working range of the auto focus is 1.6 ft - Infinity (Normal Wide) and 3.0 ft - Infinity
(Normal Tele). The Macro range is 0.3 ft - 2.6 ft. and Super Macro range is 0.4 - 7.9
inches. The lens may be manually focused by using the ring at the end of the lens barrel
(when in manual focus mode), this is an electronic focusing ring, it is not mechanical. The
One-Touch AF button can be used in conjunction with manual focusing.
AR-FX9 lens adapter allows the use of 55mm filters or add-on lenses. Fuji has two
auxiliary lenses available: The TL-FX9 is a x1.5 adapter that extends the
telephoto range out to 315mm and ...
the WL-FX9 is a x0.79 adapter that makes the lens
equivalent to 28mm at wide angle. (The lens adapter is supplied with each of these conversion
On the side of the lens is the Macro/Super Macro focus button. The SHIFT button is
used in conjunction with other buttons to quickly change settings without accessing the
full menu. The INFO button in record displays the current exposure
comp., white balance, metering, ISO and sharpening settings. In playback it toggles
the extended information and histogram. The Focus switch toggles Single AF, Continuous AF
or Manual focus
modes, the button in the center is the One-Touch AF, it's used
to momentarily enable auto focus when in manual focus mode.
The eye level viewfinder is a tiny, high resolution (235,000 pixel) 0.44-inch color LCD. It gives you true TTL (through the lens) viewing with exposure info and camera data overlayed on top of the live view.
You can use either the EVF or color LCD by pressing
the EVF/LCD button to toggle between the screens. Playback review and menus can be
accessed by either display. The EVF shows approx. 92% of the
captured image and has a dioptric adjustment.
The LCD offers a 100% view during image review.
Controls on the back: The zoom lens is controlled by the
and buttons which
also control the magnified image function in playback mode. The AE-L button is used to
lock the exposure so you can recompose the shot if desired. The EVF/LCD button toggles
the display (see above). The DISP button controls the amount of information overlayed
on the displays and in playback it calls up the image review modes. The
button to the right magnifies the center portion of the screen during manual or auto
focusing. The BACK button cancels menu operations. The MENU/OK button calls up the
menus and accepts selections. The 4-way jog switch lets you navigate menus, select
images and operate the image magnify function during playback.
Photo mode button lets you change image size/quality, ISO speed or color mode.
Controls on the top: The shutter release also has the Power / Record / Playback switch mounted around it. The buttons for flash mode, exposure compensation and shooting mode, work with on-screen icons that you choose the desired option by rotating the Command Dial.
The Mode Dial has positions for Movie Record, SP (Scene Position - Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night Scene or B&W), AUTO (point-n-shoot), Program AE (with Program Shift - rotate command wheel to select other combinations of shutter speed and aperture), Shutter speed priority, Aperture priority, full Manual and the SETup menu.
Next to the Mode Dial is the Command Dial, it's actuated by your thumb and is
used in Program Shift, Shutter priority, Aperture priority and Manual to change the
settings. It's also used with the other buttons as previously described.
The built in flash must be manually "popped up" by pressing the release button when
required. The working range is 1 ft - 27.9 ft in wide angle and from 3 ft - 25.9 ft in
the Telephoto position. This is an intelligent flash with modes for Auto (only
available in the AUTO mode), Red-Eye
Reduction, Forced On, Off, Slow Sync and Slow Sync + Red-Eye Reduction.
The xD-Picture Card and CompactFlash Type II card slots are accessed by a opening a door on the side of the handgrip. Fujifilm supplies a 16MB xD card which is absurd considering that's only enough capacity to hold one RAW image, five 6M Fine images, or a paltry thirteen seconds of VGA video. (See the red row in the storage capacity chart below.)
Thankfully the S20 Pro can use any size xD-Picture Card up to 512MB and is compatible with IBM/Hitachi 340MB, 512MB and 1GB Microdrives and -some- fast CompactFlash cards. Shown here is the spacious, speedy and affordable RiDATA 52X Pro 512MB card.
Fuji specifically states that the S20 Pro is to be used with xD-Picture Cards or
Microdrives up to 1GB. It doesn't support FAT-32 so you can't use the new 4GB Microdrive.
Slower CF cards can be used for still image capture but they can't keep up with the
data throughput required for recording 30fps movie clips.
The S20 Pro is powered by four standard AA type batteries. Fuji supplies alkaline type but we strongly recommend the use of the highest capacity NiMH rechargeable batteries you can find, presently it's 2300mAh. (For emergency use I suggest you put a set of one-use Photo Lithium AA batteries in your camera bag.)
Fuji claims a battery life of 210 frames with LCD, 220 frames with EVF when using alkaline batteries and 340 frames with LCD, 350 frames with EVF when using 2100mAh NiMH batteries. These times are approximate and calculated for xD-Picture Card media, when using a Microdrive the times will be slightly shorter.
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