+
Fact Sheets on the Best Digital Cameras
 
 
 
 
    Bookmark and Share  
 
Home
News
Articles (RSS Feed)
Press Releases
Site Map
 
Best Digital Cameras
Buyer's Guide
Point-and-Shoot
Beginner
Serious
Advanced
Ultra Compact
Ultra Zoom
User Manuals
 
Digital Camera Reviews
Reviews Matrix
Photoxels Awards
 
Fundamentals
Tutorials
Glossary
 
History of Cameras
Featured Sites
Contests
 
About Us
Contact
Privacy Statement
 
Photo Store
Digital Cameras
Accessories
 
 

 
You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR

Fuji Digital Cameras

   

Fujifilm S200EXR Review

Review Date: Oct 19, 2009

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR

Photoxels Editor's Choice 2009 - Super Zoom
Photoxels Editor's Choice 2009 - Super Zoom

IMAGE QUALITY

The Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR is targeted to serious and advanced amateur photographers, though beginners will also find it easy enough to use. It features 12 megapixel resolution on a 1/1.6-in. Super CCD EXR image sensor, a 14.3x wide-angle optical zoom (30.5-436mm equiv.) lens with optical image stabilization, and a maximum aperture of F2.8(W)-F5.3(T).

We find the overall image quality of the Fujifilm S200EXR to be very good at ISO 100 with low noise and good image detail. Image quality is very good up to ISO 400 and ISO 800 is very usable; at higher ISOs, images suffer from noise and loss of detail.

14.3x Wide Optical Zoom
Wide-angle 30.5 mm Tele 436 mm
Wide-angle 7.1mm
(30.5mm, 35mm equivalent)
Telephoto 101.5mm
(436mm, 35mm equivalent)

The Fujifilm S200EXR has a 14.3x wide-angle optical zoom lens. In the above pictures, we show the coverage for 30.5mm and 436mm. The 30.5mm is a good medium wide-angle though we would have preferred a wider 24-28mm range. Optical image stabilization helps reduce camera shake at the long end of the telephoto and when using slow shutter speeds.

The lens has a very good manual zoom ring for fast and precise zooming. If you have never used a manual zoom ring before, you are in for a treat. The lens is threaded and will accept 67mm (2.6 in.)-diameter filters. If this lens is similar to the one on the FinePix S100FS, you would want to use thin type filters since apparently standard filters may cause vignetting. An optional remote release RR-80 can be attached with a cable into the USB connector.

Macro
Macro
Macro

Macro mode is 10 cm (3.9 in.) and Super Macro mode at 1 cm (0.4 in.).

AF is fast, works very well in good light and in low-light with the help of the AF-assist illuminator. There is the standard metering modes: Center-Weighted Average, Multi-Pattern and Spot.

Auto White Balance Indoors
AWB Custom WB
AWB Custom WB

As the above two pictures show, the Auto White Balance (AWB) is not that bad indoors under artificial lighting [I have two energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs on the ceiling], though with a slight pink tint. The Fujifilm S200EXR allows WB to be easily set manually [not thru the MENU, but using the WB button on the left side of the body] and this brings out the real colors. AWB works very well in natural light.

ISO Comparisons
ISO 100
ISO 100
 
ISO 200 ISO 400
ISO 200 ISO 400
 
ISO 800 ISO 1600
ISO 800 ISO 1600
 
ISO 3200 ISO 6400
ISO 3200 ISO 6400 [6M]
ISO 12800  
ISO 12800 (3M)  

You can set the ISO on the Fujifilm S200EXR from 100 to 3200, plus the ability to "boost" to higher ISO settings equivalent to ISO 6400 [at 6M resolution] and a high ISO 12800 [at 3M resolution]. The 100% crops above (area delimited by the white square) demonstrate that noise at ISO 100, 200 and 400 is under control. Noise starts to be visible at ISO 800 but is still very usable. At ISO 1600 and above, the presence of noise is visible at full image size and with visible loss of detail, but usable in small prints and for Web display only. This low noise characteristic is comparable to that of entry-level DSLRs. ISO 6400 is at 6M [2816 x 2112 pixels] and ISO 12800 at 3M [2048 x 1536 pixels], both with lots of noise and detail loss.

There are 3 EXR modes: RESOLUTION PRIORITY, D-RANGE PRIORITY and HIGH ISO & LOW NOISE. Or, select EXR - AUTO to let the camera determine which of the 3 EXR modes applies best to your scene.

To test out the various EXR modes, we do two sets of tests: 1) a high contrast daylight scene where the highlights would normally be blown and the shadows would normally not contain much, if any, detail; 2) a low light scene to see how noise is handled at high ISOs.

HIGH CONTRAST DAYLIGHT SCENE
EXR - AUTO
EXR - AUTO    
ISO AUTO
ISO 100 - DR AUTO
   

Set to EXR - AUTO, ISO and DR are automatically set to AUTO. Here, the camera settles on ISO 100. You can see that EXR AUTO works quite well by retaining detail in the sky, which would normally be blown highlight (see shot below).

HIGH CONTRAST DAYLIGHT SCENE
EXR - RESOLUTION PRIORITY
EXR - RESOLUTION PRIORITY    
AUTO [400]
ISO 100 - DR 100%
   

When set to EXR - RESOLUTION PRIORITY, DR is automatically set to DR 100%. You can select the ISO you want. Here, I select AUTO [400] and because there's lots of light, the camera settles on ISO 100.

EXR - RESOLUTION PRIORITY favors capturing detail using the full 12M resolution. Not unexpected, the highlights are blown. This is what you get on most digital cameras.

HIGH CONTRAST DAYLIGHT SCENE
EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY
EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 100% EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 200% EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 400%
AUTO [400] - DR 100%
ISO 100
AUTO [400] - DR 200%
ISO 100
AUTO [400] - DR 400%
ISO 100
EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 800% EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY AUTO  
AUTO [400] - DR 800%
ISO 200
AUTO [400] - DR AUTO
ISO 100
 

When set to EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY, you get to also select the ISO and DR. For the above set, I select AUTO [400] and vary the DR from 100% to 800%. Because there's lots of light, the camera settles on ISO 100 in each case, except for DR 800% where it selects ISO 200.

This Extended Dynamic Range is the feature that sets the S200EXR apart from its competitors. You can see that there is quite a difference between DR 100% and the other values. From the samples above, it seems that DR AUTO favors 200%. I like how the sky is reproduced in DR 400% and DR 800% best. Remember that your images will not be saved in full 12M resolution, but at 6M resolution.

Fujifilm does not claim that D-RANGE PRIORITY will retain details in the shadows, only prevent blown highlights.

Not sure what DR value to use? Dynamic Range Bracket [select it using the Continuous Shooting button] takes three shots at 100%, 200% and 400% -- to ensure that you retain some detail in what could otherwise be blown highlights.

Note that you can also select the DR % in PASM modes, though the value you can choose from (100%, 200%, 400%) depends on the ISO you select.

HIGH CONTRAST DAYLIGHT SCENE
EXR - HIGH ISO & LOW NOISE
EXR - HIGH ISO & LOW NOISE    
AUTO [400]
ISO 100 - DR 100%
   

EXR - HIGH ISO & LOW NOISE automatically sets DR to 100%. You can also specify AUTO [400], AUTO [800] or AUTO [1600] as the maximum ISO that can be used. The camera automatically sets DR to 100% and settles on ISO 100.

This high contrast daylight scene is, of course, not really the best situation to test out the EXR - HIGH ISO & LOW NOISE mode and we show it here just for comparison purposes. See sample images below taken in a low light situation that is more appropriate to using this EXR mode.

The following set of images are taken in a low light situation. We show a whole set for comparison purposes.

LOW-LIGHT SCENE
EXR - AUTO
EXR - AUTO    
ISO AUTO
ISO 800 - DR AUTO

Set to EXR - AUTO, ISO and DR are automatically set to AUTO. Unlike the previous set where the scene was a bright one, here we are in a low light situation, and the camera settles on ISO 800.

LOW-LIGHT SCENE
EXR - RESOLUTION PRIORITY
EXR - RESOLUTION PRIORITY - ISO 400 EXR - RESOLUTION PRIORITY - ISO 800  
AUTO [400]
ISO 400 - DR 100%
AUTO [800]
ISO 800 - DR 100%

When set to EXR - RESOLUTION PRIORITY, DR is automatically set to DR 100%. You can select the ISO. Here, I select AUTO [400] for one picture and AUTO [800] for the second picture. Because we are in a low light situation, the camera settles on the maximum ISO allowed in each case.

LOW-LIGHT SCENE
EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY - AUTO [400]
EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 100% EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 200% EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 400%
AUTO [400] - DR 100%
ISO 400
AUTO [400] - DR 200%
ISO 400
AUTO [400] - DR 400%
ISO 400
EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 800% EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY AUTO  

AUTO [400] - DR 800%
ISO 200

AUTO [400] - DR AUTO
ISO 400

When set to EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY, you get to select the ISO and DR. For the above set, I select AUTO [400] and vary the DR from 100% to 800%. Because we are in a low light situation, the camera settles on the maximum ISO in each case, except for DR 800% where it settles on ISO 200.

LOW-LIGHT SCENE
EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY - AUTO [800]
EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 100% EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 200% EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 400%
AUTO [800] - DR 100%
ISO 800
AUTO [800] - DR 200%
ISO 800
AUTO [800] - DR 400%
ISO 800
EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 800% EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY AUTO  

AUTO [800] - DR 800%
ISO 200

AUTO [800] - DR AUTO
ISO 800

The above set is similar to the one before it, except I select AUTO [800]. Again, the camera settles on the maximum ISO allowed except for DR 800% where it settles on ISO 200.

LOW-LIGHT SCENE
EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY - AUTO [1600]
EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 100% EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 200% EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 400%
AUTO [1600] - DR 100%
ISO 1600
AUTO [1600] - DR 200%
ISO 1600
AUTO [1600] - DR 400%
ISO 1600
EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY 800% EXR - D-RANGE PRIORITY AUTO  

AUTO [1600] - DR 800%
ISO 200

AUTO [1600] - DR AUTO
ISO 1600

Above set is ditto as the previous two, except that I select ISO to be AUTO [1600]. Same observations as above.

LOW-LIGHT SCENE
EXR - HIGH ISO & LOW NOISE
EXR - HIGH ISO & LOW NOISE - ISO 400 EXR - HIGH ISO & LOW NOISE - ISO 800 EXR - HIGH ISO & LOW NOISE - ISO 1600
AUTO [400]
ISO 400 - DR 100%
AUTO [800]
ISO 800 - DR 100%
AUTO [1600]
ISO 1600 - DR 100%

If you want to optimize your pictures to reduce noise at high ISOs [6M resolution], select EXR - HIGH ISO & LOW NOISE. You can also specify AUTO [400], AUTO [800] or AUTO [1600] as the maximum ISO that can be used. The camera automatically sets DR to 100% and settles on the maximum ISO allowed in each case.

Still consfused about which EXR mode to use in which situation? Then just leave it on EXR AUTO and the camera will select for you.

LOW-LIGHT SCENE
SCENE MODES
NATURAL scene mode PRO LOW-LIGHT scene mode  
NATURAL [12M]
ISO 1600
PRO LOW-LIGHT [6M]
ISO 1600

NATURAL LIGHT scene mode captures images in full 12M resolution without using the flash.

PRO LOW-LIGHT scene mode captures images in 6M resolution. It is an interesting scene mode that takes up to 4 pictures and merges them together in an attempt to reduce blur. Use it in low-light and when using telephoto, when the risk of camera shake is greatest.

PRO FOCUS
without PRO FOCUS with PRO FOCUS
without PRO FOCUS with PRO FOCUS

PRO FOCUS scene mode is another interesting scene mode that takes up to 3 pictures at different focus points and merges them to create a picture with a clearly focused main subject and blurred background. It's for daylight use and it simulates the shallow depth of field effect of using a large aperture to isolate your main subject from its background. In the shot on the right, you can see that the background has somewhat blurred. Best results are obtained when the camera is on a tripod (since you have to hold the camera pointed at the subject for the whole 3 shots) and your subject is some distance away from the background.

Film Simulation
Standard (PROVIA) Vivid (VELVIA) Soft (ASTIA)
Standard (PROVIA)
Vivid (VELVIA)
Soft (ASTIA)
B&W Sepia  
B&W
Sepia

The Film Simulation feature is useful for those who take lots of nature and landscape shots. All you have to remember here is that Velvia produces more vivid colors, which is what you really want in nature and landscape pictures. Use Soft/ASTIA for more pleasing portraits.

Not sure which FS mode to use? FSB, Film Simulation Bracket [selected using the Continuous Shooting button], takes three shots: at Standard, Vivid and Soft.

Chromatic Aberrations
CA

7.1mm, EXR AUTO, Pattern, 1/80 sec., F6.4, ISO 100

CA is visible in some very high contrast shots but is improved over previous models. In the above photo, the top right area delimited by the red square, and reproduced at 100% crop at bottom right, shows some purple fringing.

CCD-RAW is available and you can choose to record only RAW or RAW+JPEG. Since the current version of FinePixViewer does not support editing of CCD-RAW (apparently a new version that does will be available for download November 2009), your best bet for now, if you want to shoot RAW, is to shoot RAW+JPEG.

Long Shutter Speed
Long Exposure
7.1mm, Manual, Pattern, 30 sec., F4.0, ISO 100
Custom WB, Super Macro, Self-Timer (2 sec.), Tripod Used

The Fujifilm S200EXR allows the use of a long shutter speed of 30 sec. in M mode. This allows us to take some very nice Night Shots. The Fujifilm S200EXR has noise reduction (NR) but you will not notice it working since there is no extra wait time.

A histogram can be displayed in Shooting mode and Playback mode by holding down the Exposure Compensation button.

Overall, the Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR delivers very good quality images. Though the large number of exposure choices can prove confusing and intimidating to the Point-and-Shoot photographer, EXR AUTO mode works very well. Advanced photographers has PASM modes for total control over their camera.

The pictures in the Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR Photo Gallery page provide a good sample of what the camera is capable of. I have provided samples at 800x600 pixels (compressed to Quality 60/100 in Photoshop Elements) as well as the 4000 x 3000 [12M] or 2816 x 2112 [6M] pixels original size (click on the image for the original version).

You can safely assume that most macro shots and slow shutter speed shots required the use of a tripod. Any image that is adjusted for levels in Photoshop has "_adjusted" appended to the file name.

I have defaulted the image size to 800x600 pixels. For those who have their monitor resolution set to 1024x728 pixels, everything should snugly fit and you should not have to scroll to see the whole image. If your monitor is set to 800x600 pixels resolution, start the slide show and then scroll to the right to position the image within your screen width. Then, press F11 (if you are using Internet Explorer) to switch to full screen mode, and the image should fill your screen nicely. Press F11 again at any time to switch your monitor display back to normal mode.

To return to this page from the Photo Gallery, click on the animated graphics of the camera.

Please open and download the original size version only if you need to and only once to your hard drive -- and save me some precious bandwidth. Thanks!

 

<< Executive Summary

Handling & Feel >>

 

 

 

 


 


 

  Home | Best Digital Cameras | Digital Camera Reviews | Tutorials | Special | About | Shop  
 

Product technical specifications are as represented by the manufacturer
and subject to manufacturer's change, so please do not rely on them without verification.
All trademarks, service marks, and Copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Privacy Notice. Copyright © 2002-2015 Photoxels. All rights reserved.