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Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR - Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


The S200EXR is certainly light on its feet for such a large and complex camera. It starts up in a little over 2.5 seconds, and shuts down again in just under two seconds. In single-shot mode it has a shot-to-shot time of approximately 1.1 seconds at full 12-megapixel resolution, although after six shots it does slow down to approximate 1.7 seconds as the buffer fills up. There appeared to be no detectable benefit from using a faster class 10 SD card. The camera has several burst shooting modes including first six or last six at full resolution, or high-speed first 24 and last 24 at three-megapixel resolution. It also has exposure, film simulation and dynamic range bracketing, but it has no actual unlimited continuous mode. In the full-res modes it shoots at 1.6fps.

The autofocus system works exceptionally well in all lighting conditions, focusing quickly and accurately even in total darkness thanks to a very bright AF lamp that has a range of around four metres. I think the AF lamp may use ultraviolet light, because it appears much brighter in the monitor than it looks to the naked eye. The only problem I found was some difficulty in focusing on moving subjects, but this is common to most contrast-detection AF systems.

One issue I found with the older S100FS was that the lens, while certainly impressively fast and sharp, did suffer from significant chromatic aberration, especially at wide angle. Although the S200EXR uses what appears to be the same lens this problem seems to have been addressed, possibly by software adjustment in the new EXR processor. There is still a hint of green/red fringing at the edges of the frame, but I've seen worse from some DSLR lenses. In all other respects the lens performs brilliantly. It is nice and sharp from corner to corner, produces virtually no distortion at any focal length, and retains a good wide aperture throughout most of the zoom range.

Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR LCD display

Of course the big question is whether or not all that fancy sensor technology actually produces better pictures, and the answer is an unequivocal "yes". In HR mode the level of detail from the full 12-megapixel sensor is outstanding, rivalling most digital SLRs, while in DR mode the dynamic range is superb, capturing excellent shadow detail while avoiding burned-out highlights, and in SN mode it produces effectively noise-free images at up to 800 ISO. Colour reproduction is superb, To get better noise control you'd have to move up to a digital SLR with a larger sensor.


Fujifilm has once again produced a superb feature-packed super-zoom camera that sets new standards for image quality and versatility, providing more control than most entry-level DSLRs. As a hobby photographer's camera the S200EXR is in a class of its own, and at its current price it's outstanding value for money.

H Aryan

November 26, 2009, 9:07 pm

If only this camera either had an articulated LCD like it's predecessor or HD movie recording then I could ignore it's huge weight and size and easily choose it over Canon SX20 or Panasonic FZ35.


November 26, 2009, 10:35 pm

Is it me or does the jpeg compression in those pictures look really ugly? If you look at the 'centre sharpness' concrete wall test image, it's been smushed and it looks like it's made of rice cakes. Did they use the watercolour filter to remove the noise??


November 26, 2009, 11:16 pm

"but but in the third shooting mode it also" (Page 1)

I was tempted to say, no ifs or buts in that review and score, then two come along at the same time.

Where's Simouth Harbour this trip ? all together now, We want Sidmouth harbour !

Another good review Cliff, the introduction with the overview of the market niche and products provided a good perspective.

@jopey, sorry, no, I didn't see the effect you refer to, maybe though if I stared at it long enough : - )


November 26, 2009, 11:55 pm

Looks amazing. This could suit me better than an entry level DSLR... hmmmmmmmmm!


November 27, 2009, 12:42 am

@Cliff - Is this a worthwhile upgrade over the last camera? I finally managed to talk my boss into spending a few pennies on the last version this year after being stuck with a little compact for 2 years. Should I start my moaning to him for this one? In two years time he should break lol

Geoff Richards

November 27, 2009, 1:17 am

@joose. Haha. Typo fixed. Thanks

Klaus Nordby

November 27, 2009, 5:51 am

@Cliff, thanks for another fascinating review of a sexy camera! I read almost all your camera reviews -- but I have a big plea: would you please begin to post at least ONE downloadable original raw file from each camera you review? I don't ever shoot JPG, as I hate how all cameras maul and chew the data into a lossy mush, and I want to see how my raw converters handle handle the various sample files. Thanks!

Peter Hague

November 27, 2009, 11:47 pm

Nice one Cliff i have a Ricoh R7,Fuji S9600 and a Nikon D5000 cant afford one of these as well!!Great review its nice to read good reviews for non DSLR cameras.Is the work ever going to finish on the Cathedral.


November 28, 2009, 10:33 am

Nice review. I'm happy with my Sony Alpha A200 but before I got it I tried my sister's Finepix S9000 and Oh boy! It's such a good camera. I wonder why you didn't make a review of the Sony HX1 this year. It was awarded the best super zoom camera by the TIPA association.


November 29, 2009, 1:41 am

Ahh, the Fuji superzoom.. makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and takes me back to those early digital days where the sun always shined.. Ask many a professional what was their first "serious" foray into digital, and it's a good chance it was one of this camera's illustrious predecessors'. I worked my way through a S7000, S9500 and a E900 (like a S9500 in miniature) and loved every minute. I picked up a S5800 a few months ago in that big blue red and white supermarket chain for the bargain price of £75. I have absolutely no need for it, but nostalgia feels so good!

Ian Pullen

December 3, 2009, 11:38 pm

Thanks Cliff. Any comment on the smaller sensor compared to the 2/3 in the s100fs? Got the s100fs and chuffed to bits with it, is there enough between the two justify an upgrade?

Roberto Brandao

December 28, 2009, 1:57 am

Hi Cliff, Happy Holidays from Winter Springs, FL!!!

I am very inclined to get me a Fuji Finepix s200ESR or the older S9600... Could you help me make that decison by giving me your opinion whereas it is really worth the price difference?

Rgds, Roberto Brandao - aromatrading@juno.com


December 30, 2009, 8:28 pm

I have just bought a Fujifilm S200EXR on the strength of Cliff Smiths'review above.It came down to the S200EXR and the Panasonic FZ38. Please assure me that I have made the right choice. This was a once in 30years decision as I part retire my faithful Olympus OM1 and enter the spectre of the digital age. Funnily enough despite the wizzardry of the Fuji, it all harks back to basics, which could be done with a little trial and error on the OM1.Wonder if I or the S200EXR will be around in thirty years?


December 31, 2009, 3:30 pm


Heh, a buyer's remorse :) I know it, I bought MP640 printer yesterday.

I'm sure you made the right choice after a careful consideration. The camera will be surely useful even after 30 years, but I think you will move to something better anyway. The technology is developing.

Geoff Richards

December 31, 2009, 4:41 pm

@JKL - I haven't used this camera myself, but a 10/10 Editor's Choice award from Cliff is certainly a good start; it takes a lot for a camera to score that highly. I suspect either model would've worked well for you but it sounds like the newer Fujifilm may just edge out the older Panasonic.

Welcome to The Digital Age. I'm sure you will enjoy it! :)

hamidreza heydari

January 1, 2010, 11:04 pm

i want a sample video by s200 exr please

hamidreza heydari

January 1, 2010, 11:11 pm

s200 or fz38 ????

i need video by s200

Philip Swan

January 6, 2010, 9:13 pm

The video quality is rather poor and the zoom is only useful if you intend to use another soundtrack because the focusing noise is picked up and is very intrusive. This is a wonderful camera but not for video.


January 31, 2010, 4:34 pm

I currently own an s9600 which I bought after reading the review here to replace my s5600, which in turn replaced my first digital, a fuji a330 (I was 12 at the time!)

I noticed improvements in image quality with each transition, but I have studied some of the pictures I've taken with my s9600, and they are higher in quality than those produced by the s200EXR. Theres no doubt about it, the S9600 handles detail better when you compare the highest res on the two cameras.

Mr Ed

February 16, 2010, 5:00 am

hi, to buy the s200EXR or fz38 that is the question?

a bigger zoom of the fz38(is it worth it?) & hd vids or better sensor & all round quality of the 200exr??? hmmm anyone used both yet??? any thoughts on the trade off would be usefull here.

Gary Thompson

February 19, 2010, 12:43 am

Have just ordered the S200. Reason for choice over the FZ38, better IQ and I kind of see the extra weight as a positive.


March 21, 2010, 12:31 am

I am torn between this camera and the new Finepix HS10, coming out in april. Any thoughts on this?? I realize the price will be higher, but is the BSI CMOS going to be a better choice over the one in this S200??


March 23, 2010, 1:20 pm


I am not sure BSI CMOS is better than EXR, it's size is 1/2.3, while S200 has 1/1.6. The second is 70% bigger(!) sensor than that the HS10 has.

Also HS10 has 30x optical zoom, which I am not sure about the IQ, especially with that small sensor. Only thing I miss from S200 is the HD movie...

Regardless, I think this is the king of the compact now


March 29, 2010, 2:18 pm

On the strength of this review and the segment on Five's Gadget Show I bought this camera and am expecting delivery tomorrow. I've previously used a Fuji F30fd and S5500, both are excellent cameras and have assimilated me fully to fuji for cameras. This has what I'm looking for as an upgrade from the S5500 (now 5 years old) while I keep the F35 for compact size and underwater use, I also have compact Sony HD camcorder to make up for this cameras video failures. Thanks to TR for the good in depth review and great score, though video sample would be useful.


April 7, 2010, 3:19 pm

@JKL. Ah the OM1 truly was a great camera. I cut my teeth on this one. It was absolutely bulletproof, kept on working and when you got used to it, was incredibly (manually) flexible. My all-time favourite. I was working on a mine in the desert at the time using a Mamiya and Hasselblad, too. I think I'm going to have to get the S200EXR to replace my trusty S5000 which has just been lost/stolen.

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