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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR

Fuji Digital Cameras

   

Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR Review

Review Date: Mar 28, 2009

Category: Beginner Amateur

Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR

Photoxels Editor's Choice Award - Beginner Compact
Photoxels Editor's Choice Award - Beginner Compact

HANDLING & FEEL

The Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR is a beautifully designed compact digital camera that retains a classy and elegant look. At only 23.4mm (0.9 inch) thin, it can be carried in a trousers pocket or purse. The Fujifilm F200EXR is attractive in its black body (a Champagne version may also be available in some countres) with lots of shiny chrome accents. It uses the xD-Picture Card or the SD/SDHC memory card.

The Fujifilm F200EXR does not have a handgrip (or even "finger grip") but there's enough space on the front of the camera for your fingers to get a secure grip. Even then the use of the wrist strap is a good idea and the one included is a nice one with an eyelet to fasten the strap tightly around your wrist. It is quite possible for your fingers to cover the onboard flash partly if you are not careful. There is an AF-assist Illuminator/Self-timer lamp above the lens. The microphone is a small hole near the bottom part of the lens and again ensure your finger is not covering it when recording movies.

Startup is slightly above 2 sec. (from Power ON to LCD ready for capture) and shot to shot times are also about 2 sec. (@ 5 shots in 10 sec. in P mode, if you turn Image Display to OFF). The LCD screen blanks out for about 1 sec. after each shot. In good lighting, there is no practical shutter lag and AF is fast and precise. In low lighting, AF takes about 1 sec. to lock. It can take up to 3 sec. to fully write a 4000x3000 (12M) image to memory card (though you can take the next shot after 1.5 sec.). There is no RAW file format.

STYLE
- Colors: overall black with shiny chrome accents
- Looks: classy, elegant
   
FEEL
- Comfortable to hold and operate
- Controls and Menu are easy enough to use
   
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
- Ultra Compact: fits in a pocket or purse
- Dimensions: 97.7 x 58.9 x 23.4mm /
3.8 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.
- Weight: 175 g / 6.2 oz.
- Takes 1 rechargeable Li-ion battery NP-50 3.6V 1000mAh
   
SPEED OF OPERATION
- Startup with lens extending and LCD turning on in about 2+ sec.
- Shot to shot time about 2 sec.
- No practical shutter lag in good lighting
   

The Terminal compartment is located on the right side of the camera (viewed from the back), and the terminal cover opens up to provide unimpeded access to the connector that is used for USB, A/V and HD devices. Note that instead of separate USB and A/V cables, there is a combined USB-A/V cable.

Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR Top View

The top of the camera has the Power ON/OFF button, Shutter Release button, and the Zoom control around the shutter release button. The lens extends about 24mm (0.9 in.) at wide-angle and 33mm (1.5 in.) at full tele. It takes about 1.5 sec. to zoom from wide to tele and I counted approx. 14 intermediate steps.

Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR Back View

There is no optical viewfinder but there is an extra large 3.0-inch LCD monitor on the back of the camera with 230K dots resolution. The display is bright and clear and gains up in low light. I've found auto focusing to be quite fast and precise in good lighting conditions. In low-light situations, AF takes approx. 1 sec. to lock and there is an effective AF-assist Illuminator to help. It is not possible to select where on the screen you want the camera to focus.

As you can see, there is not much space to rest your thumb at the back, though there are five raised dots to help provide somewhat of a grip. The Mode Dial can be rotated with your thumb so you do have to be careful not to inadvertently rotate the dial and change shooting mode as you pick up the camera and especially when you retrieve it from your pocket or purse. Besides AUTO, P (Program AE or Aperture-Priority AE), M (Manual), Movie, SP (Scene Position), Natural Light, and Natural Light & Flash, there is the brand new EXR AUTO shooting mode.

EXR refers to Fujifilm's new Extreme Super Sensor CCD EXR that captures images three different ways depending on the scene: "Resolution Priority" uses the full 12MP to capture the image in as fine detail as possible; “High ISO & Low Noise Priority” takes advantage of high sensitivity and FinePix's original pixel binning technology to capture the subject with minimal noise (6MP); the new D-Range Priority" simultaneously captures two images to produce a single image (6MP) with Wide Dynamic Range up to 800%. It's like having 3 sensors in the same camera. More information can be viewed on the Fujifilm Super CCD EXR Special Contents Site. Set the camera to EXR AUTO shooting mode and it will automatically recognize the scene and select the appropriate EXR priority.

Note that in EXR AUTO mode, ISO is AUTO, Film Simulation is OFF (i.e. VELVIA and ASTIA are not available), you cannot select Macro (the camera automatically determines if it's in a Macro situation). You can however still indicate that you do not want to use flash and set self-timer.

To turn ON/OFF the Sensor-shift Image Stabilization, you need to go into the Shooting Menu and turn Dual IS mode ON/OFF.

In Night scene mode, shutter speeds range from 1/8 s - 1/1,500 s; in Night Tripod scene mode, 3 s - 1 s; in Fireworks scene mode, 4 s - 1/2 s; in Manual mode, 8 s - 1/1,000 s; in Aperture-priority mode, 1/4 s - 1/1,000 s; and in all other modes, 1/4 s - 1/1,500 s.

A nod to more advanced photographers is the Aperture-Priority AE (there is no Shutter-Priority AE) and Manual modes. To set Aperture-Priority AE, you set the Mode Dial to P and go into the Shooting Menu to switch the Shooting Mode from P to A. In Manual mode, you can set both shutter speed and aperture; an Exposure Indicator gives an approximate indication of under- or over-exposure.

This probably won't matter to point-and-shoot photographers, but a note to advanced photographers: in all the shooting modes, aperture is all of 2 values at any focal length, e.g. f/3.3 or f/9 at wide-angle, f/5.1 or f/14 at full tele. This tells me that for all intents and purposes there is probably really only one aperture and the other one is effected by the use of an internal ND filter.

Tired of being limited by short clips? On the F200EXR, you can record movies with monaural sound until the memory card is full at either 640 x 480 or 320x240 pixels @ 30fps. You can preset optical zoom before movie recording but cannot zoom during movie recording.

Video Storage Capacity
(min. sec.)
Internal
Memory
(48MB)
1GB
640x480
30fps
42s
14m35s
320x240
30fps
1m24s
28m50s

About 48MB of Internal Memory comes with the camera and no memory card is included. Only 8 sec. of movies can be saved in the 48MB of Internal memory. If you plan to do lots of movies, best to use a large capacity xD-Picture Card or SD/SDHC memory card.

SD Memory Card Storage Capacity (approx. # images)
Quality
Pixels
48MB
1GB
L 4:3 (12M)
4000x3000
10
210
L 3:2 (11M)
4000x2664
11
236
L 16:9 (9M)
4000x2248
13
280
M 4:3 (6M)
2816x2112
16
338
M 3:2 (5M)
2816x1864
18
382
M 16:9 (4M)
2816x1584
21
448
S 4:3 (3M)
2048x1536
30
629
S 3:2 (3M)
2048x1360
34
708
S 16:9 (2M)
1920x1080
46
944

As the above chart shows, at L 4:3 (12M) image quality, only 10 images can be saved in the 48MB of Internal Memory. We recomend that you purchase a 1GB SD memory card (or xD-Picture Card) or a higher capacity one, depending on the number of images you normally shoot in one session.

FUNCTIONS ACCESSIBLE BY CONTROL BUTTONS (clockwise starting from the Mode Dial)
- Mode Dial: AUTO, EXR AUTO, P, M, Movie, Scene Position, Natural Light, Natural Light & Flash
- Playback: If you just hold it down for about 1 sec. without turning on the camera, it will automatically go into Playback mode
-

Photo (F-mode) button:
= ISO: Auto, Auto 3200, Auto 1600, Auto 800, Auto 400, 12800, 6400, 3200, 1600, 800, 400, 200, 100
= Dynamic Range: Auto, 100%, 200%, 400%, 800%
= Image Size: L 4:3, L 3:2, L 16:9, M 4:3, M 3:2, M 16:9, S 4:3, S 3:2, S 16:9
= White Balance: Auto, Custom, Sunlight, Shade, Fluorescent 1 (Daylight), Fluorescent 2 (Warm White), Fluorescent 3 (Cool White), Incandescent, Underwater Lighting
= Film Simulation: PROVIA/Standard, VELVIA/Vivid, ASTIA/Soft, B&W, Sepia

-

Selector - 4 Way Arrows:
= UP: Exposure Compensation, Delete
= RIGHT: Flash (Auto, Forced, Suppressed, SLow SYnchro)
= DOWN: Self-timer (10 s, 2 s)
= LEFT: Macro

- Intelligent Face Detection/Red-Eye Removal
- DISPLAY (Info, No info, Best Framing, HD 16:9 Framing) / BACK
   
CONTINUOUS SHOOTING
-

Accessed in MENU.

-

Final 12: max. 5fps
Top 12: max. 5fps
Long Period: @ 0.5fps
Final 3: max. 1.4fps
Top 3: max. 1.4fps

- The drive mode is kept after each shot but not when the camera is turned off.
   
EXPOSURE COMPENSATION
- Exposure compensation is accessed directly by pressing the Exposure Compensation button
- Once set, the Exposure Compensation Indicator conveniently stays displayed on screen until it is reset to "0"
- Range: -2 EV to +2 EV (1/3 EV increments)
- The screen brightness will increase or decrease to reflect the value you use
- Note: the exposure compensation value selected is retained even when the camera is turned off (so remember to reset to "0" after using it or the next time you turn the camera on, your shots may be over- or under-exposed.)
- No Histogram is available, either Live in Shooting mode or in Playback
   
DISP/BACK
- Besides acting as a Display button to select whether info is displayed on screen or not, this button also serves as a "Back" button to back out of MENU choices -- something like the Cancel key on your computer keyboard
   

Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR Bottom View

On the bottom of the camera is the metal tripod socket. Just besides it is the Battery / memory card Compartment. There is a small latch to secure the battery from falling when the door is opened. You will not be able to change battery or memory card while the camera is mounted on a tripod.

Included in the box is a rechargeable Li-ion battery that can take approx. 230 shots with LCD on (CIPA standard) on a fresh charge and a battery charger (that plugs directly into the wall outlet) that will recharge a new battery in-camera in approx. 2.5 hrs.

The Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR is well-built in construction and design. Controls are logically placed and intuitive to use, with only a few niggles that should not detract from either the capability of this camera or the enjoyment of its user. It retains good low-light capability and now adds wide Dynamic Range. The FinePix F200EXR is a great take-anywhere digital camera for the point-and-shoot photographer in your family.

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