The body of the S200EXR is of course very similar to the S100FS, but it isn’t identical. It’s a physically large camera, designed in the traditional SLR-like style with a large and comfortable handgrip. It measures 133.4 x 93.6 x 145mm and weighs a substantial 850g including battery and memory card, which is larger and heavier than some digital SLRs; the Canon EOS 500D is 129mm wide and weighs 670g with a kit lens. The body is made of plastic apart from the metal lens barrel, but it feels solid and durable although a couple of the fit lines could be better, and I’d be happier if the hatches at least had metal hinges.
One major way in which the S200 body differs from the S100 is the monitor. The new camera has a fixed 2.7-inch 230k monitor instead of the 2.5-inch tilting monitor of the earlier model. Why Fuji has done this I’m not sure, since other manufacturers have managed to fit larger articulated screens to smaller cameras. The quality of the screen is very good though, with and extremely wide viewing angle of approximately 160 degrees in all directions, so perhaps it was felt that it didn’t need to tilt as well.
Like the S100 the S200 has an electronic viewfinder. It is a 0.2-inch display with a resolution of 200k dots, and appears to be what is known as a “field sequential display”, in which each pixel display red, green and blue in rotation. This produces a much sharper image than conventional EVF displays for still images, and is certainly sharp enough for accurate manual focusing, however if you pan the camera quickly you can see a slightly trippy multi-coloured trail following the highlights.
The S200 not only looks and feels like an SLR, it handles like one too. The control layout is much more reminiscent of a DLSR than a compact camera, with individual buttons for ISO setting, white balance, drive mode and exposure compensation, rotary switches for focusing and metering modes, and a large thumbwheel for adjusting parameters. The controls layout is well considered, and the controls themselves feel reassuringly solid with excellent tactile feedback. The camera is obviously designed for two-handed operation, with the left hand operating the manual zoom by rotating the lens barrel. The zoom has a very nice smooth action with a large textured grip that is quick and easy to turn.