Fuji FinePix S200EXR

The Fuji FinePix S200EXR is a 12-megapixel SLR-styled camera, which features Fuji’s popular Super CCD EXR sensor.  The S200EXR carries a retail price tag of $599.95 and is clearly geared toward the enthusiast crowd.  The built-in lens offers a 14.3x zoom capability and the larger sensor size is sure to aid in noise suppression at high ISO, particularly coupled with the EXR CCD sensor technology.

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Fuji S200EXR Reviews

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The S200EXR is one of the best bridge-style cameras that we’ve reviewed, with the manual zoom and focus rings almost replicating a true DSLR experience.

Fuji S200EXR Press Release

Valhalla, NY, July 22, 2009 – FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc. today unveiled the FinePix S200EXR digital camera, its most advanced SLR-styled camera to date. Combining the pin-sharp 14.3x Fujinon optical zoom lens (30.5mm-436mm equivalent) so popular in its predecessor, the award-winning FinePix S100FS, with Fujifilm’s latest 12-MegaPixel Super CCD EXR sensor, the FinePix S200EXR is aimed at top-end camera enthusiasts looking for excellent picture quality without the hassle, bulk and expense of a D-SLR system.

Compact, lightweight ‘bridge’ cameras offering long zoom and high image quality have proved a big hit with those looking for an alternative to bulky interchangeable lens systems. Users of the FinePix S200EXR will find their results equal or superior to D-SLRs, principally due to the revolutionary design of Fujifilm’s EXR CCD sensor technology. The key improvements of the FinePix S200EXR over the FinePix S100FS are:

• 1/1.6″ 12 megapixel Super CCD EXR sensor
• EXR Priority modes and EXR Auto
• Pro Focus Mode and Pro Lowlight Mode
• 5 Film Simulation Modes (Black & White mode and Sepia mode added)
• A new 2.7″ high contrast 230k-pixel LCD
• New ‘Super Intelligent Flash’
• Improved battery life – almost a 50% increase on the FinePix S100FS
• Combined CCD-RAW (EXR)/JPEG shooting

“This camera benefits from the culmination of Fujifilm’s Super CCD EXR technology and EXR Processor development,” said David Troy, marketing manager, Consumer Digital Cameras, Electronic Imaging Division, FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc. “This powerful combination allows the FinePix S200EXR, with its wide dynamic range, to capture the subtleties in color, tone and detail to deliver perfect shot conditions every time.”

Super CCD EXR

The EXR sensor on the FinePix S200EXR was built to perfectly match the optical qualities of its 14.3x Fujinon optical zoom lens. The goal was to produce a sensor/lens combination that works as close to that of the human eye as possible. The EXR sensor is essentially a switchable sensor; changing its complex electronic behavior to suit the subject, changing its characteristics as the photographer demands, and producing the very best picture without making compromises.

This sensor has already won great acclaim with the FinePix F200EXR. Combined with the much bigger, more powerful 14.3x lens, it delivers quite astounding results. The FinePix S200EXR offers 3 switchable modes in one sensor:

High Resolution (HR) Mode: Deploys all 12 million pixels and is designed to offer the finest detail of intricate subjects when light is full and even.

Wide Dynamic Range (DR) Mode: Captures different exposures with two sets of 6 million pixels, which, when combined, gives an excellent level of detail in highlights that would otherwise be lost.

High Sensitivity and Low Noise (SN) Mode: Caps two adjacent pixels together to produce 6 million large photodiodes, which are big enough to absorb light in the darkest of conditions, to produce low-light shots of extraordinary quality with minimal noise and grain.

Advanced Intelligence

The FinePix S200EXR also offers EXR Priority Mode, which is the most efficient mechanism yet invented to quickly optimize the camera’s settings to allow the photographer to concentrate on capturing the perfect shot. The photographer can decide which sensor setting is preferable by choosing High Resolution Priority (HR) to maximize resolution, High ISO and Low Noise Priority (SN) for high quality low-light work or D-Range Priority (DR) for the best detail with contrasting subjects.

In addition, the FinePix S200EXR features the EXR Auto Mode, which offers 6 different modes depending on the setting: Portrait, Night, Macro, Landscape, Night Portrait and Backlit Portrait. The camera will automatically recognize the scene and not only optimize focus, color balance, exposure, flash and sensitivity, but will also automatically switch the sensor to HR, SN or DR mode depending on the lighting conditions of the scene.

Super Sharp Lens

The massive 14.3x Fujinon manual zoom lens is truly a delight to use in such a compact, lightweight design. The ultra-high precision Fujinon lens achieves maximum resolution at all focal lengths of 30.5mm-436mm equivalent with maximum aperture of a bright F2.8 (wide angle) to F5.3 (telephoto). Because of the composite body and lens structure, there is no need to worry about dirt or dust on the Super CCD EXR sensor and they are perfectly aligned for the very best results. The manual zoom offers faster image framing with fingertip precision as well as offering a user experience that closely matches the use of a high-end DSLR.

Pro Focus Mode / Pro Low-light Mode

The FinePix S200EXR also sports a Pro Focus Mode which is created by using Fujifilm’s new Multi-Frame Technology. A burst of two or three frames is taken and by taking the distance information off, the main subject is crisply matted against a defocused foreground and background. This mode is perfect for portrait or nature photography, where professional results are needed quickly with minimal adjustment to the camera and without the need to use a PC.

Meanwhile, Pro Low-light Mode can be applied to help solve the problems of noisy low light shots. With current digital cameras, it is possible to achieve relatively blur-free low light shots using high ISO and CCD shift (or optical image) stabilization, but this comes at a cost, as the ISO 1600 setting will invariably produce distracting and ugly noise.

Once switched to Pro Low-light Mode, the FinePix F200EXR will take a burst of four high sensitivity images using Pixel Fusion Technology [*1] in quick succession. By using the camera’s Multi Frame Technology, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th images are overlapped to create one image with extremely low noise.

Film Simulation Modes

One of the more popular features on the FinePix S100FS is reproduced and extended on the FinePix S200EXR. The FinePix S200EXR offers five modes as follows:

• Velvia/Vivid mode for rich and luscious landscapes
• PROVIA/Standard mode for excellent, sharp, standard photography
• ASTIA/Soft mode for soft, fine, smooth tonality
• Black & White mode captures the dramatic honesty of your image in black and white
• Sepia mode creates a sense of nostalgia with the warm brown “antique” tones of Sepia

In Provia, Velvia and Astia modes, the dynamic range can be now be set to 800% to improve and highlight details further.

New High Contrast 2.7″ LCD

The FinePix S200EXR is fitted with an improved high contrast 230k-pixel 2.7″ LCD. The high contrast LCD is a considerable benefit in bright light and the camera can be pitched at various shooting angles to enable framing of awkward shots. Viewable at 160-degrees both vertically and horizontally, the LCD is bright and clear for beautiful rendition of shots in playback.

Super Intelligent Flash

Fujifilm’s Super Intelligent Flash system is a flash control technology that lets you take flash-assisted shots without the danger of flash wash-out. Integrated into the AUTO mode, this next-generation flash system makes it easy to capture both subjects and background in bright, clear and natural detail over the full flash range. This allows for much better flash control when shooting in macro and makes sure that the subject is brightly lit and the background clearly defined when shooting in night mode.

Dual Image Stabilization

The FinePix S200EXR features Fujifilm’s Optical Image Stabilization technology to ensure clean, sharp and blur-free images, even in low-light conditions. This combines image stabilization by Optical Image Stabilization to reduce blur from the photographer’s hand-shake, with Fujifilm High ISO, to reduce blur caused by subject movement (by automatically increasing ISO), for the ultimate in stabilization technology.

Manual Settings

The FinePix S200EXR also allows you full manual control with the ability to set shutter speeds of between 1/4,000 second and 30 seconds. It is possible to take photos with combinations of ISO sensitivity, which has a broad range of setting choices, and multiple apertures of between F2.8 – F11 at 1/3EV steps. Using the manual exposure setting, bulb exposure of up to 30 seconds is possible. The color, noise reduction control, tone and the sharpness can all be individually set as well.

Multi Bracketing

The FinePix S200EXR has 3 bracketing functions useful for high level photography: Film Simulation Bracketing (which automatically sets Film Simulation to PROVIA, Velvia and ASTIA for simultaneous capture of 3 frames), Dynamic Range Bracketing (which automatically sets dynamic range to 100%, 200% and 400% for simultaneous capture of 3 frames) and AE Bracketing (which automatically sets exposure range to even, under and over for simultaneous capture of 3 frames).

Other noteworthy features in the FinePix S200EXR:
Combined CCD RAW (EXR)/JPEG shooting: New to the FinePix S200EXR is the ability to shoot both a RAW and JPEG shot simultaneously [*2], like the award-winning S5Pro digital camera. RAW is for ultimate quality shots via post processing, JPEG is for great quality with no need for further work.
Battery life extended: With improved power management, the FinePix S200EXR can now provide 370 shots per charge of the included NP-140 Lithium Ion battery, so there is no need to worry about power running out half way through a photo shoot.
Movie Mode: The FinePix S200EXR can record movies in 640 x 480 at 30 frames per second. The optical zoom can be used during movie recording.
Electronic View Finder: The camera is fitted with a 0.2″ 200K-pixel EVF, for sharp and clear images.

The FinePix S200EXR will debut in August 2009 at a retail price of $599.95.

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