The Klasse S is a modern and compact point-and-shoot with all the features of a proper 35mm camera (just to give you an idea, I used to take it with me as a back up of my Contax G2, loading a different film, and I've been always happy of its results).
I tried the camera during a trip in Paris, and since is Paris (for me the city has to be shoot in bw) I used a black and white film, a Kodak Tri-X 400.
Its 38mm f/2.8 lens offers crisp photos through the well-built viewfinder and their superb EBC Fujinon lens. One of the core features that made the Fuji Klasse cameras a great competitor in the high end point-and-shoot market is its ability to adapt to various ISO shooting modes. I pushed the film for +1 step (800 ISO) and the results were perfect, giving the picture more contrast and dramatic feeling but still detailed and sharp images.
The camera is light and pocketable (265g w/o battery), grip side is rounded, the lens barrel is more centered, so there is more place to hold it and the shutter button is bigger and placed in the right place. The Klasse S is an easier camera to bring with you, it’s comfortable to hold in hand and operate. The top control thumb dial are easy to use, convenient and logical. You can choose automatic exposure control mode (program), or if you will turn dial further, in aperture priority dialing in the desired aperture.
The exposure compensation control is placed on the front of the camera, close to lens and it's easy to use without the need to double check if the settings are right.
Other interesting and useful controls are an autofocus lock button, and a mode dial with an integrated button. With the mode dial it is possible: set flash modes, bracket AE, manual focus, use bulb mode (or manual slow shutter speed), set self timer, adjust film sensitivity, turn on or of NP mode. Maybe this kind of control is the only thing I did not find intuitive, but still is another feature that can be useful, especially if you don't want every time you turn on the camera to select/deselect the flash mode.
The focusing is quite fast but has always a sort of delay after you push the shutter. Can be a problem if you are searching for a fast and immediate street photography camera, it can happen that you will miss the shot. In the other hand, compare to other P&S such as the Contax T2, the focusing ability can focuses down to 40 cm instead of 70 cm. A big difference if you are interested to have detailed subjects with an amazing bokeh.
Overall I can say that the Fujifilm Klasse S is not just a point & shoot camera but a fine instrument for professional photography with an easy and intuitive approach. You can use either the camera without thinking too much, shooting and enjoy the process or, using all the settings that the camera offer, trying to create the picture in a more professional way, in order to obtain your perfect picture.
For some more info about this camera you can check here in our shop.
All pictures by Alessandro Iotti