Last update (Nov 18, 2009): Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR review at Macworld.
This post is a compilation of Fuji FinePix F200EXR professional and user reviews, owner opinions and experiences, tests, conclusions, ratings and feedback.
Full attribution is given by linking to the source and where available, the author’s homepage or photo gallery.
Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR review at Macworld — Tim Moynihan, the reviewer, writes:
In our lab’s jury evaluations, the FinePix F200 EXR achieved an overall score of Good, but with weaknesses noted in a couple of areas: Flash exposure is uneven (which isn’t that big a deal, thanks to the camera’s stellar low-light, no-flash picture quality), and it registered higher-than-normal levels of distortion in test shots. Key strengths: In well-lit settings without the flash, and in our color accuracy tests, the FinePix F200 EXR was among the best point-and-shoots we’ve seen this year.
F200EXR Express Review at The Imaging Resource — The reviewers were not too happy with the camera in daily use, and concluded:
In the end, the F200EXR doesn’t outperform its predecessors, nor its peers.
And the camera itself is too difficult to use. The poor zoom control, and horrible menu system make it not fun to use, let’s say. And competing technology, while not as glamorous perhaps, is generally more competent at extending dynamic range if not reducing noise.
Though we thought for sure that the Fujifilm F200EXR’s image quality would earn a Dave’s Pick, it doesn’t quite measure up, and its difficult personality keeps it from our top recommendation.
Short comparison of the Fuji F200EXR and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 at DigitalRev — The article says:
With the Fujifilm F200EXR, the camera is more automatic in the sense that most of the settings can be determined by the processor to achieve your results. While it offers a number of different modes, you may find yourself fully entrusting all your shots to the EXR mode which makes full use of the advances in F200EXR. While the High Sensitivity and High Dynamic Range modes would restrict the resolution of the images to six megapixels, the results are excellent and the resolution sufficient for most use.
There are two full-sized images posted at the end of the article to compare the image output from the Fuji F200 and Panasonic LX3.
Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR Review (PC Magazine) — PJ Jacobowitz, the reviewer, says: “Real-world performance with the F200EXR generally reflected its lab results: Pictures were spectacular. In photos taken outdoors on sunny days, colors really popped and looked extremely realistic because they weren’t interrupted by noise. Images taken in low light looked about as good as they can with a point-and-shooter, but don’t expect levels as low as you would get with a D-SLR.”
An overall rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars (GOOD) was awarded to the camera.
Not many compact digital cameras get the highly coveted “Highly Recommended” rating, but the F200 did just that.
Richard Butler, the reviewer, has the following conclusion:
Ultimately, even without the EXR modes, the F200 is a nice and well-specified camera. It’s built around a very useful lens (28-140mm is not a range you’ll find matched by other cameras this small), and offers image quality at least up to the standards of its contemporaries. And the EXR modes are worth having — the high-ISO ‘SN’ mode may not be world-beating, but the dynamic range mode is astonishingly capable if you’re happy with the 6MP output (which is plenty for most applications).
Be sure to read the section of the review that dwells on the astonishing, 10 EV dynamic range capability of this camera which is not matched by any non-DSLR digital camera at the time of writing, thanks to its EXR sensor technology.
Luminous Landscape compares Fuji F200EXR vs Panasonic ZS3 vs Canon SX200
Michael Reichmann, the reviewer, has this to say of the F200:
But, what sets the EXR apart, and why it’s included here, is that it has a few tricks up its sleeve that produce very good image quality for a camera of this size, and some unique features to boot. Firstly, its 12MP sensor is quite large for the camera’s size, measuring 7.78 X 5.83mm, and producing 25 MP/CM2. The Canon SX200, by comparison, is just 6.16 X 4.62mm and has a very dense sensor with 43 MP/CM2. The Panasonic ZS3 is in between, at 6.13X4.6mm and 36 MP/CM2.
This lower pixel density in a larger sensor allows the F200EXR to produce clean images up to and including ISO 400.
Battery life on the F200
I got about 450 shots with one charge in about one week with a lot of reviewing. I think on one day you could easily reach 500+ shots with one charge. Remember, the CIPA-test is extremly stressful, it is very unrealistic to get that low numbers in real usage.
Jeff Keller, the reviewer, found the AF (autofocus) performance of the F200 to be very quick, rarely exceeding one second even in low light situations, and has the following conclusion:
Thanks to its new SuperCCD EXR sensor, Fuji has created arguably the most capable low light compact camera since the FinePix F30 and F31fd. Sure, the camera needs some improvement in some areas, and I’d love to see the sensor in a more “prosumer” body (and Fuji has hinted that this will happen), but for a go-anywhere camera that can handle low light with ease, the FinePix F200EXR is well worth checking out.
Mark Goldstein, the reviewer, reached the following conclusion for the F200:
In a world of look-a-like digital cameras with ever-increasing megapixel counts, the Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR is a veritable breath of fresh air. If you’re even remotely interested in getting the best-quality photos straight out of the camera, then the F200EXR is for you.
Adam Crawford, the reviewer, gives some feedback on the image quality of the F200:
Whether combining two 6 megapixel exposures together in Dual Capture EXR, or making the photosites larger by combining the adjacent areas in the Pixel Fusion Mode, the dynamic range — and especially the high-ISO capabilities — achieved with EXR are vastly improved over other cameras with similar-sized sensors. The pixel binning mode, or the Pixel Fusion Mode, offered the most dramatic results, providing a superior (albeit smaller) image in low light. This is a significant feature, proving that more megapixels won’t necessarily give you better detail; in the case of the F200EXR, this smaller image with larger photosites often showed as much or more fine detail than shots from any other mode — even when analyzing the images at more than 500 percent view. This is something I’m certainly not used to with a point-and-shoot camera.
The F200 also scored well in terms of pre-focused shutter lag and focus acquisition performance vs the competition, and Adam finds the F200 to be a comparatively fast camera.
He concludes the following on the F200, and reveals its differentiator from the F100fd:
The Super CCD EXR sensor alone is the F200EXR strongest selling point, and primary differentiator from the F100fd. With a broadened dynamic range that most digital compacts can’t even touch, the technology behind the sensor is certainly innovative and worth trying for yourself.
Chris Jager, the reviewer, shared a couple of interesting points about the F200’s features.
On the F200’s sensor:
No doubt these impressive results were helped by the FujiFilm FinePix F200EXR’s enlarged sensor. At 1/1.6 inches, it is nearly twice the size of the average compact camera’s CCD.
On the F200’s SN (Signal-to-Noise) / High-ISO and Low Noise mode:
While it won’t work miracles, the EXR sensor definitely produced better results at higher ISO settings than other compact cameras. This makes it an excellent choice for nocturnal socialities who want to chronicle their nightlife.
The final verdict for the F200 EXR is Highly Recommended:
If you care about taking great looking photos with a minimum of fuss, the FujiFilm FinePix F200EXR is definitely worthy of consideration. It might not be the sexiest camera on the market, but its superior imaging performance makes up for this superficial shortcoming.
The F200 gets an overall rating of 8.5 out of 10, and Margaret Brown, the reviewer has some practical advice for those thinking about getting this camera:
Buy this camera if:
- You’re looking for a well-built, slimline digicam with moderate zoom, good wide-angle coverage, image stabilisation and plenty of point-and-press shooting modes.
- You can cope with using the monitor for shot composition and tolerate relatively small control buttons.
- You want to record shots with a wide dynamic range, particularly with respect to highlight detail, and can tolerate high levels of automation to achieve this objective.
Don’t buy this camera if:
- You require a full suite of adjustable controls.
- You want to shoot raw files (this camera is JPEG only).
- You require high-quality images in dim lighting (above ISO 800 quality deteriorates rapidly).
- You want to shoot widescreen or high-definition video (the FinePix F200EXR can’t).
Brief F200 EXR hands-on by PhotographyBay
PhotographyBay reveals a couple of points about the F200’s EXR modes:
Auto ISO mode allows you to cap the high end of the sensitivity range at ISOs 400, 800 or 1600 depending on your liking. A couple more points on ISO settings:
1. In Wide Dynamic Range mode, as would be expected, ISO cannot be designated to anything other than Auto ISO; however, you can still cap the max-ISO to ISO 400, 800 or 1600.
2. In High Resolution mode, the sensitivity range can only be set between ISO 100-800.
CNET Asia Review of the F200EXR
CNET Asia had the following review summary of the Fuji F200:
The good: Good quality images even at high ISO; reliable automatic EXR mode switches between different settings accurately; wide dynamic range. The bad: Boring design; limited manual exposure function; no HD video-recording feature. The bottom line: Despite minor flaws, we were captivated by the incredible image quality from the F200EXR, considering it is just a point-and-shoot. By far one of the best midrange compacts we’ve tested.
The F200 earned an “Excellent”, 8 out of 10 stars, and is also the Editor’s choice.
Read their full review.
First F200 impressions and test photos at fotografovani.cz
The DR demonstrations are near the bottom of the page, and you see the effects of dynamic range increase when you mouse over the thumbnails.
F200 review at ASCII.jp
This F200 EXR review is written in Japanese, but what’s interesting are pages 2 and 3 where sample photos are provided, so here’s a crude Google translation of the article to English for pages 2 and 3.
Page 2 presents an ISO comparison between the F200 vs F100fd. The comparison images are not full-sized, but reduced to 800 x 600 pixels. It’s useful to evaluate how noise reduction (NR) at higher ISO levels affect overall color and detail, for instance compare F200 at ISO 800 vs F100 at ISO800.
Page 3 attempts to show how the F200 performs with various settings in high contrast scenes.
Comment by Hugo Poon on the DR of the F200
Hugo left a reply regarding the F200 EXR’s dynamic range to IanSmith on this blog post, saying:
Yes, the one thing that the new cam impresses most is its DR… and the extra DR option is also available in all Program, Aperture and Manual Mode as long as the image size is limited at 6 million pixels or below.
High ISO comparisons of 4 cameras
Dimitar Ivanov has kindly provided a few 100% crops which compare test shots from several cameras, namely the Fuji F31fd vs. the new Fuji F200, the popular Panasonic LX3, and the Panasonic DMC-G1. These are useful in helping to evaluate the character and amount of image noise from the different makes.
Because the FX200EXR has a special high ISO, low noise mode which outputs images at 6MP, two sets of crops are provided for the Fuji compact. Following are the links to the crops:
The FX200 images show very good chroma (color) and luminance (detail) NR (noise reduction) control when shot in High ISO and Low Noise Priority mode.
Fuji F200 vs Canon G10?
Based on the Fuji F200 EXR samples released on dc.watch.impress.co.jp, Kim Letkeman is of the opinion that in terms of resolving fine detail, the F200 falls behind the Powershot G10 due to heavy-handed NR (noise reduction), even at ISO 100.
The G10 also offers more manual controls and features designed for the serious photo enthusiast.
Read that blog post for an excellent and simple explanation on the technology that Fuji introduced in the EXR sensor. Kim is impressed with the “binning” performance of the camera that outputs relatively clean, fine-grained, high ISO images at 6MP. The extended dynamic range is also equally impressive, and Kim makes it a point that this is not achieved via in-camera software (also know as D-Lighting) like what is being done in every other camera.