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Fujifilm FinePix F200 EXR - Fujifilm FinePix F200 EXR

By Cliff Smith



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Fujifilm FinePix F200 EXR


Our Score:


The F200 EXR is a large and complex camera for a compact, so it's not too surprising that its overall performance is a bit of a mixed bag. It takes nearly four seconds to start up, which is pretty slow, but it shuts down again in just over two seconds, which is pretty quick. In single-shot mode is has a consistent shot-to-shot time of approximately 1.6 seconds, which is impressive considering the amount of processing that's going on. The F200 has a variety of continuous shooting and burst settings, which vary depending on the shooting mode, but in the auto mode long-period continuous mode it shoots at approximately 1.8 seconds per frame. It does have a high-speed burst mode that can shoot at 5fps, but only at 3MP resolution.

Fuji makes a great deal of the camera's low-light focusing abilities, and with good reason. I tried the camera both indoors and outdoors in a number of low-light situations (alright, they were parties) and I was unable to find any situation in which it wouldn't focus, apart from deliberately pointing it up into the featureless night sky. In any situation where there was actually something to photograph, the camera would focus on it quickly and accurately, with the help of its extremely bright AF assist lamp. Without question the F200 EXR has the best low light focusing ability that I've yet seen from a compact camera.

Of course the big question is; does the EXR sensor actually perform as advertised? Fujifilm claims that the F200 EXR has superior low-light image quality to the F31fd, and I'm happy to report that indeed it does, although to be honest the F31 was so good that there's not much in it. Shooting in the EXR High ISO/Low Noise setting, producing 6MP images, from 100 to 400 ISO it is effectively noise-free, and while there is some noise at 800 ISO it has a fine grain-like texture with accurate colour reproduction. 1600 ISO does show noticeable noise effects, but with none of the colour artefacts seen in other cameras at this sensitivity setting. Again, the noise texture resembles film grain, and isn't an unpleasant effect. While it doesn't produce results comparable with a larger DSLR sensor, the EXR sensor does have a clear advantage over conventional 12MP compact camera sensors in terms of image noise.

Shooting in the High Dynamic Range mode also produced impressive results, with good detail in both shadow and highlight areas, certainly superior to other 12-megapixel cameras. In the normal 12-megapixel high-definition mode the camera performed much like any other premium 12MP compact, recording a high level of sharp fine detail. The lens performs well, with excellent edge-to-edge sharpness, although it does produce significant wide angle barrel distortion and a little chromatic aberration. Thankfully Fuji's usual purple fringes are kept to a minimum.


The Fuji FinePix F200 EXR is well-made premium compact that represents a major technological breakthrough in terms of sensor design and performance, and a welcome return to form for Fuji's flagship compact series. It is capable of taking good quality pictures in virtually any light conditions, and has better high-ISO image quality and low-light focusing than any other compact on the market. It is expensive at the moment, although the price will almost certainly fall over the next few months.

John Wards

April 28, 2009, 9:33 pm

Have they fixed the hot pixels issues? Or is it hard to tell with no manual shutter control?


April 29, 2009, 9:26 am

There seems to be a problem with the review page pertaining to dynamic renge.The only picture that is available is the one in standard 12mp mode.


April 30, 2009, 9:12 am

OOps, typo.Range.


April 30, 2009, 1:50 pm

John, the F200 EXR gives you full control of the shutter speed. You can manually set shutter speeds manually from 8 seconds to 1/1000 second and also use shutter priority auto. The only limitation of the camera is the poor control over apertures in manual and aperture priority modes with just 2 settings availale at any time.

What's this hox pixel issue? I haven't heard anything about it. The F100fd had a problem with a pink line on the edge of the frame but there was a update to fix that. The F200 EXR uses a differnt sensor.


April 30, 2009, 7:32 pm

PeterB666 - I think what Clovis is getting at is that Cliff hasn't taken a photo of the underground carpark to show the improvements over the standard mode. I was surprised by that decision as well.

John Wards

May 2, 2009, 3:50 pm

The f30-1 and the 6500 and 9500 share a similar sensor. these sensors have hot pixels with long exposures. I generally take shots in the pitch dark with exposures of 20-30 seconds so i'm of the midset that 8 seconds isn't all that long ;-)


May 3, 2009, 3:24 am

Cliff, I believe lots of other readers besides me would really like to see the dynamic range EXR mode included in the review, seeing as that particular feature of the f200 is what seems to be the greatest improvement in IQ the sensor brings. Could you post it?


May 10, 2009, 7:17 am

It does seem a bit odd that there aren't any EXR shots on the ISO or dynamic range pages - I'd be very interested to see these.

I'm considering picking up an F200, due to the good low-light performance - most pictures I take are at parties or clubs. The good dynamic range and a bit of manual control is also very appealing. However, Fuji F series cameras have always seemed a bit clunky, both physically and software-wise. I can't decide whether I'm prepared to sacrifice aesthetics and ergonomics even though my main use for a camera is night shots.

Can anyone suggest any other cameras which perform well in low-light conditions? I've been using a Panasonic FX33 but it didn't survive a snowboard season (or 11 months). I paid £120 for it on sale and have a PC World coverplan so can either get it repaired or put that amount towards another camera - anyone know if May/June sales on cameras are a regular thing? I'm tempted to buy a newer Panny (FX40, TZ7 or FX550), but don't want to downgrade to the FS range, which are around £140, which makes the repair option appealing if there isn't going to be another sale by mid June.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received. I would put this in the forum but I can't sign up!


May 18, 2009, 4:03 pm

Just bought the F200EXR and even compared to my Olympus SLR 520 it is producing better pictures on the Auto EXR setting.

Gold Award in the What Digital Camera May 2009 edition. No wonder !


June 4, 2009, 11:10 pm

I have just received a F200 EXR for my wife's birthday present and was interested to compare it with my Panasonic LX3. Having taken all kinds of pictures in both low light and very bright conditions I've come to the conclusion that the LX3 gives the better result. In just about every case the LX3 produced a better picture, only when using flash did the F200 EXR produce a more pleasing result. The LX3 is obviously a more specialist camera, but for what I bought the F200 for as an automatic point and shot with a reasonable zoom that will give good results in most conditions it fits the bill.


July 9, 2009, 5:57 am

Clive (or anyone who has used both), which is the best p&s, 200EXR or the Panasonic TZ7?


July 16, 2009, 4:14 am

Just a thought... it would be interesting to see how well the TZ7 and/or the 200EXR stand up against the Fujifilm Finepix F30.


August 1, 2009, 1:22 pm

F200EXR is still not launched in middle east. Why ??? Fujifilm is launching all cameras 4 or 5 months later in middle east than other parts of the world. Now F70EXR (new camera) is about to come in US, Europe and Japan but here in UAE we are still waiting for F200EXR.

Richard Adkins

September 1, 2010, 4:39 pm

It took me some time and some spoilt pictures before gravitating back to the AutoEXR setting. I now produce very pleasing pictures every time and prefer using this camera to my digital SLR on most occasions. These excellent cameras are now very cheap if purchased as a 'refurbished camera' from the FUJI website


September 5, 2010, 11:10 am

I concur with Richard Adkins, The F200EXR is one of the best P&S camera that I've ever used. The F200EXR camera perform beautifully in dark condition, and the 1/1.6 inch sensor also produced excellent color. The great prices on the refurbished cameras at the Canadian Fujifilm website is true, but they are seldom available(at lease the top rated cameras).

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