Editor's Choice 2007: Professional DSLRs

Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

Editor-s-Choice-2007-Professional-DSLRs

Editor-s-Choice-2007-Professional-DSLRs

Dynamic range is the weak suit of most D-SLRs, making overexposure a constant worry for digital photographers. Fuji solved that problem brilliantly in its FinePix S3 Pro, using a novel image sensor that has two light-gathering photodiodes (instead of the usual one) at each of its six million pixel locations. As with that groundbreaking model, the new Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro uses big pixels to record low and normal brightness, and small ones to capture highlight data that otherwise would be lost. It can give you beautiful results from RAW files you've overexposed by more than three f-stops -- impossible with a normal digital camera.

The S3 Pro was limited by sluggish performance and mechanicals borrowed from Nikon's 35mm N80. The FinePix S5 Pro is a superior camera in this respect. It transplants the original sensor, tweaked, into Nikon's superb D200. That means you get a rugged, weather-sealed body; fine ergonomics; a huge viewfinder; and state-of-the-art AF. And you have access to dozens of Nikon lenses and Speedlights.

The S5 Pro also boasts unique Fuji assets, including impressive noise control, ISOs of up to 3200, film-simulation modes, and limited-duration live viewing. The camera delivers a healthy 3fps in standard mode or a slower 1.6fps with extended D-range. That mode also limits bursts to about 20 full JPEGs and ten RAW frames. But no other camera at any price can claim the FinePix S5 Pro's ability to wrangle contrast.