Object of Desire: Fujifilm S100FS

Aug 20, 2008
By Dan Havlik

Fujifilm S100FS

Fuji Velvia lives! In what could be the last of the great all-in-one superzoom cameras (digital SLRs have been tearing up this category for the last several years), Fuji has placed its hopes on film. Well, simulated film, actually. The “FS” in the S100FS model name stands for “film simulation,” and this 11.1-megapixel, 14.3x optical zoom digital camera has three of them: Fuji Velvia, PROVIA, and SOFT modes. (We’re still unclear on why they didn’t just call the “SOFT” mode “Astia” but maybe it doesn’t have the same name recognition as Velvia and Provia.)

Sure, it’s a little gimmicky but we still get a kick out of camera manufacturers and software companies continuing to breathe life into these fading but legendary slide film types.

In the Velvia mode, the S100FS automatically saturates the colors to produce rich reds and greens for capturing punchy but sharp photos of nature. If you want your colors to look more faithful to the subject, switch to PROVIA mode for a more natural tone. For soft, fine tonality and a smoother look—such as for portraits—try the SOFT (Astia) mode.

While, quite clearly, it’s impossible to truly duplicate these original slide film types with a digital camera, the S100FS comes pretty close. If you can’t decide which simulated mode to try for a particular shot, there’s a Film Simulation Bracketing setting that shoots three images at once using the Velvia, PROVIA and SOFT modes.

Kodak take note. Maybe there’s still a way to save the HIE-135 Infrared film that was terminated last year by Kodak but still retains a cult following. HIE-135 could be the hottest simulated film mode of 2009.

Cost: $799
Further information:

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