The Colour Quest (V) – FujiChrome With The FujiFilm FinePix S7000

Today, another post about my ongoing quest for colour where, after happily shooting black and white for some time, I’m seeking similar satisfaction with colour images.

This time, an amble up unexpected FujiFilm side street.

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When I began my One Month, One Camera project at the start of 2019, I got carried away with buying potential candidates that met my criteria – old (by digital standards), with a sub 10MP CCD sensor, and costing under £20.

One camera I happened upon was a FujiFilm FinePix S7000, a “bridge” camera from 2004 with a 1/1.7″ 6MP Super CCD sensor.

It easily cleared the financial bar, setting me back £12.52 plus postage.

I’m not going to go into much depth about the camera here, other than it has three “FinePix Color” modes – F-B&W, F-Chrome and F-Standard.

I’m not aware of any other features on the camera that allow you to adjust its colours, contrast or anything else.

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The B&W mode is very handy for when I want to shoot in b/w, as of course it displays the image as b/w in the screen/electronic viewfinder (EVF).

The b/w output is rather low contrast, but yields some lovely pics when tweaked in Snapseed. More on that in another post perhaps.

The other two modes are colour, and after some initial experimentation showed the Standard colour mode was fine, but rather bland, I decided to head out on a longer walk using the F-Chrome mode.

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According to the manual, in the F-Chrome mode – “The contrast and colour saturation are set to high. This feature is effective for taking more vivid shots of subjects such as scenery (blue sky and greenery) and flowers.”

For some scenes, there is a subtle increase in saturation, if not really noticeable.

With certain colours though the effect is more pronounced. Especially greens.

This is no surprise as the FujiFilm colour film(s) this mode is supposedly based on are known for leaning more towards greens.

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I’m not a fan of garish digital colour, and one or two shots leaned over into this category a little too much for my taste.

But overall I quite liked the output of the S7000 and its F-Chrome set up.

It’s distinctive without being over the top. And really does show off the lens and sensor combo well.

I believe this was FujiFilm’s flagship “prosumer” model in 2004, and retailed at £600, so it’s not a shock that they made it a good camera.

Going forward in my Colour Quest, I would definitely try this set up again.

But I also plan to try the standard colour mode, then process with my favourite “warm colour” set up in Snapseed, to see how that looks.

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All photographs in this post were made with the FujiFilm FinePix S7000 and F-Chrome FinePix Color Mode.

Have you any experience with a FujiFilm camera and the F-Chrome mode?

Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for looking.

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12 thoughts on “The Colour Quest (V) – FujiChrome With The FujiFilm FinePix S7000”

  1. This is curious because back in the day when I was shooting film Fujichrome was known for being slightly green-favouring. It sounds like this was a company-specific preference which carried over to their digital cameras!

    1. Exactly Marc, as I mentioned I’ve read before in a number of places that Fuji lena towards greens with their film emulsions, so it was no shock to see the greens come out so vivid with the “F-Chrome” setting. I think any manufacturer trying to transition customers from film to digital wanted to make it as seamless and familiar as possible, to ensure their allegiance.

  2. Fascinating article Dan, for a number of reasons. Firstly, I’m exploring colour photography more myself recently so am enjoying seeing your colour pictures. Secondly, my brother in law recently bought a fairly aged Fujifilm X100 which has settings which replicate lots of the old Fuji films (Velvia, Provia etc.). It’s a lovely camera – though perhaps a bit large for me really – and I don’t know how well the settings really emulate the films. He’d achieved some nice results though. Thirdly, I actually have a Finepix S5800 which is very similar to the S7000 in your post. I bought it in a job lot of cameras to sell on (long story) but it’s a lovely thing to use so I think I’ll hang on to it for a bit.

    1. Richard, colour is so hard! I’m coming to thinking the best approach is to just pick one camera and one colour set up and use it for months with virtually no experimentation. Just get to know it’s colour and personality and accept it almost as the only colour option.

      Currently I feel I’m oscillating wildly somewhat with colour, although I do enjoy it on that experimental level.

      I mentioned in another comment I have the original X100 on my wishlist. Like you, I wonder if it’s a bit big, and I know the close focus isn’t great – they’re more like a rangefinder than SLR – but I’ll likely try one at some point.

      The S5800 looks like a much later version of the S7000 (2011 vs 2004), but similar in form and function.

      I find with the S7000 it makes you work for an image, ie it’s not all mindless auto, but it is rewarding and the lens/sensor combo is already bringing me plenty of smiles. I’m liking it much more than I expected, and much more than the F810 compact I used earlier in the year.

      1. I’m glad to have had the chance to try out an X100 as it was on my wish list too. But for what I want from a camera, it’s too big. That and it makes a lot of low level clicking noise too – the autofocus continually searching I guess. My brother in law has the T version which is actually fairly recent, though his is quite well used so was a good price. I liked using it and it made nice pictures, but I won’t be buying one. I reckon you’d get pictures equally as good from a more compact APSC camera like the Ricoh GR.

        Ah colour! Honestly, I’m really trying to like colour photography at the moment. I have a standard set of tweaks that I make to each picture using Google Photos which give me a nice, warm, saturated look. On a picture by picture basis it is fine. But a big but is coming! I recently restarted my Flickr account. (based on your post) and only uploaded my favourite colour pictures.

        The thing is though, when I look at them en masse or close together I don’t like them. Not at all in the same way that I do when looking at a portfolio of black and white pictures. The odd one or two really need to be colour because of the subject, but many of them I like much better when I’ve looked at them in black and white.

        The little LUMIX that I bought makes nice colour pictures, but also produces a lovely film-like grain when set to B&W at high ISOs. I’ve been so taken with it that I just sold my larger Nikon and have bought an LX5 on eBay.

        I think the upshot is that I like colour for the right kind of picture, but B&W just “feels” better most of the time. I suppose we go on these journeys and creative excursions sometimes and ultimately end up really understanding what we like and don’t.

        It’s fun experimenting and I’m sure that ultimately our photography is the better for it.

      2. Richard, I think the X100 might be a bit big for me too. But then that FinePix S7000 isn’t exactly compact and I like that. I wonder if the clicking noises is because it’s set to constant autofocus? I have a couple of cameras like this, and I change it to single focus mode, so it just focuses once when you half press the shutter. I’m sure you could do the same with the X100.

        I use Google Photos but haven’t explored the colour options. I’ve set up a couple of colour presets in Snapseed, one for “vintage” colour and one for “warm” colour, and to be honest I could just shoot any camera with neutral colour settings then use these in Snapseed. Like I do with b/w for a number of cameras, including my phone and beloved Ricohs.

        But because there are cameras I’ve found where I can set them up for b/w in camera and get great results (Pentax Q, Lumix LX3, Lumix GF1), it’s encouraged me to try to find similar for colour.

        The danger I think is having too many colour options I like. The film equivalent would be using half a dozen (or more) different colour films and keep switching between them, rather than just picking one, and using it every time.

        Again it’s balancing experimentation with consistency.

        With Flickr, do make use of the privacy options. A while back I set my entire Flickr stream (about 45000 photos at the time!) to private, so it essentially gave me a clean slate with my public “portfolio”. Then when I upload a new image I want to share with everyone I leave it as public, but if it’s an image I just want a backup of, or want to use in a blog post (like a picture of a camera), I set to private. This is a handy way of honing your public portfolio over time too, without deleting and re-uploading photos.

        I’ve found a number of compacts where b/w and higher ISO, plus a bit of extra contrast (if the camera allows) can give really pleasing results out of camera, like your little Lumix. I think you’ll enjoy the LX5 in many ways, not least of all the dynamic b/w film mode which gives lovely b/w images. My main issue with the LX3 (you may have read about on here before) is the handling and the lack of grip both on the front and the rear where your thumb rests. I’ve modified mine with foam tape and grip tape (like skateboards have) and it’s way better. I think the LX3 has a more substantial and rubberised grip out of the box, so it might be fine. The LX3 is a fantastic camera, and I think the LX5 is a relatively minor upgrade so I’m sure you’ll love it. Keep me posted!

      3. That’s a good point about the autofocus yeah. Shame as aside from its size, it is a great camera. Fells very much like a “proper” camera in the hand, if that makes sense.

        I’m really looking forward to trying out the LX5 and the decision to go that way is in no small part down to your praise for the LX3. The clincher for me is that it does have a step zoom facility (I checked a couple of YouTube reviews) and so It’ll be easy to set up to shoot at 28mm, 35mm or whatever, I’ll definitely let you know how I get on.

        Great tips on Flickr by the way – much appreciated.

      4. Step zoom is such an excellent feature. The LX3 doesn’t have, but a firmware upgrade gave it the resume zoom feature, so once you set it to 35mm or whatever, it stays there, even when you turn it off and on. They kept this feature in later Lumix models, and of course added a more sophisticated version with the step zoom of the LX5. I don’t know why more cameras don’t have this. Plenty of Ricohs do!

      5. I thought a bit more about this today.

        When I look through my pictures on Google Photos, it’s clear that some are definitely better in colour and some in B&W. There are some sets where I’ve swapped between the two options a number of times and ultimately settled one way or the other. On the whole, I like B&W better, but some pictures and occasions are just better shot in colour. I think you’ve observed this next point yourself, but if I was shooting film, I’d choose a film for the occasion and then have to stick with it. The indecision comes now because it so easy to shoot everything in colour and then apply a B&W preset to the pictures that look best that way.

        So maybe I’d find it simpler to choose whether I’m shooting colour or monochrome, set that in the camera and then stick with it? I have loads of B& W that I shot that way and there’s no changing them so I never fret about it.

        Oh and Google Photos is actually pretty good for making minor edits to your pictures. It’s nothing like as complex or capable as Snapseed, but if you just want to just tune elements of the light and colour (exposure, contrast, saturation, warmth etc.) crop or rotate then it’s fine. It doesn’t let you save your own presets though.

        I basically take all of my colour pictures and dial up the saturation and warmth and contrast to give a feel that I like. On B&W I wind up the contrast and blacks. I’ve tried to make presets on Snapseed that do both of those but found that one size doesn’t always fit all. Depends what the base image is like to start with I suppose.

        So yeah, I edit them one by one but it doesn’t take long. By sorting out the wheat from the chaff beforehand it saves a lot of time.

      6. Richard I think it’s absolutely crucial to decide whether you’re shooting b/w or colour ahead of time. This doesn’t always mean you have to make every picture on a photowalk colour or b/w. There may be times you’ve decided to shoot b/w then see a composition that just begs to be captured in colour. And vice versa.

        But the approach of shooting in colour then trying b/w conversions to see if the shot might look better I don’t think is very useful, and certainly for me doesn’t encourage a commitment to one or the other from the outset that then helps me see better.

        If I’m committed to b/w (more often than not the case) I just naturally look for compositions that are more about light, shadow, texture, form, shapes etc. Aspects that are enhanced by b/w. It’s a different mindset and outlook to shooting colour, so I try to keep the two separate.

        I’m sure some people can switch between the two in a second, and others shooting everything colour, knowing which will be converted to b/w later.

        But I just need it simpler! Choose b/w, set camera to b/w so you’re seeing on screen a decent approximation of how the image will look, then seek out those b/w compositions…

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