• Recommended by TR
Fujifilm FinePix F200 EXR


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Back in 2006, Fujifilm launched the FinePix F30, a six megapixel compact camera which quickly built itself a near-legendary reputation for its class-leading low-light capabilities and high-ISO image quality. Naturally Fuji wanted to maintain this lead, so later the same year it followed up with the FinePix F31fd, which was virtually identical but featured the then-new technology of face detection. The F31fd also won many accolades for its low light image quality. The secret of Fuji's success with these cameras was the sophisticated Real Photo image processor and relatively low-powered 6.3 megapixel Super CCD sensor, at a time when most of its rivals were fitting 10MP sensors.

Fuji maintained this trend-bucking approach in 2007 with the launch of the 8.3 megapixel F40fd, and had another success, winning more awards including a well-earned "Recommended" from me. However by the end of 2007 Fuji finally caved in and stuffed a 12-megapixel sensor into its next model, the F50fd, introducing the usual problems of image noise and poor dynamic range, and spoiling the one thing that made the F-series special. Last year's F100fd had the same problems, despite claims to the contrary.

Now it appears that people are finally becoming disillusioned with pointless increases in sensor resolution, and Fuji would very much like to reclaim the advantage in low-light image quality that it had with the F30, so we segue seamlessly into today's review of the new FinePix F200 EXR, an exciting new luxury compact camera that Fuji claims will outperform even the F31fd in low light image quality. It had better do, because at a current price of around £290 it's one of the most expensive compacts on the market.

The basic specification is exactly what one would expect from a modern high-end digital compact. It has a 12-megapixel sensor, a 5x zoom lens equivalent to 28-140mm with optical image stabilisation, a three inch wide-view LCD monitor with 230k dot resolution, and a strong metal and plastic body of the same design as the F100fd, coloured a slightly metallic slate grey. It's quite large by compact camera standards, but the build quality is excellent and it certainly looks and feels like you're getting your money's worth.

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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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