Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR Review

4.5
October 16, 2009 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4Mb.

The Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR produced images of excellent quality during the review period. The 12 megapixel sensor produces noise-free images at ISO 100-400, with some limited noise starting to appear at ISO 800. ISO 1600 exhibits fairly visible noise and loss of fine detail but is still very usable, while the fastest 3200 setting is even noisier. The fastest but reduced-resolution settings of ISO 6400 and 12800 aren't really worth using.

Setting the camera to EXR - High ISO & Low Noise Mode produces slightly less noisy images at each equivalent setting, but the image resolution drops to 6 megapixels, the range is only 100-1600, and to be honest the difference between the two modes isn't as pronounced as we'd have hoped. The D-Range Priority (DR) mode is much more successful, resulting in images that have noticeably more dynamic range that those shot in the Resolution Priority (HR) mode, and far surpassing most other compact cameras. If you want to shoot images that retain detail in both the highlight and shadow areas, this mode and this camera are made for you. The new Pro Focus and Pro Low Light modes are useful additions, although their reliance on combining multiple exposures limits their versatility.

The S200EXR suffered from chromatic aberrations, with obvious purple fringing effects appearing in high contrast situations. The zoom lens also exhibited fairly obvious barrel distortion at the 30.5mm wide-angle setting. The pop-up flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and adequate exposure. The night photograph was good, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds allowing you to capture enough light in most situations. Anti-shake works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the 14.3x zoom range. Macro performance is excellent, allowing you to focus as close as 1cm away from the subject. The images were a little soft straight out of the camera and ideally require further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, although you can also change the in-camera setting if you don't like the default results.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting. On the right are 100% crops showing the ISO range of the EXR - High ISO & Low Noise mode, which captures 6 megapixel images from a more limited ISO range of 100-1600.

Program Mode EXR - High ISO & Low Noise Mode

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

 
 
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

 
 
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

 
 

Focal Range

The Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR's 14.3x zoom lens offers a very versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:

30.5mm

436mm

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft and ideally benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR handled chromatic aberrations fairly well during the review, with some purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR offers a Super Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is just 1cm away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR are Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro, Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash and Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Suppressed Flash - Wide Angle (30.5mm)

Forced Flash - Wide Angle (30.5mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Suppressed Flash - Telephoto (436mm)

Forced Flash - Telephoto (436mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Forced Flash setting or the Red-Eye Correction option caused any red-eye.

Forced Flash

Forced Flash (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction Auto

Red-eye Reduction Auto (100% Crop)

Night Shot

The Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds in the Manual mode, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 20 seconds at f/8 at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Anti Shake

The Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/5th / 30.5mm
1/5th / 436mm

EXR Mode

The Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR's offers three EXR options. Resolution Priority (HR) mode uses all 10 megapixels to capture the highest resolution image. High ISO & Low Noise (SN) mode combines adjacent pixels to create larger photodiodes and improve low-light quality in the resulting 5 megapixel image. D-Range Priority (DR) mode simultaneously takes two images and then combines them to produce a 5 megapixel image with increased dynamic range. Here are 2 examples which were shot using each EXR mode, with links to the original full size images, 100% crops and histograms.

 

Example 1

 

Resolution Priority (HR)

High ISO & Low Noise (SN)

D-Range Priority (DR)

Full Size Image

Full Size Image

Full Size Image

     

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

     

Histogram

Histogram

Histogram

 

 

Example 2

 

Resolution Priority (HR)

High ISO & Low Noise (SN)

D-Range Priority (DR)

Full Size Image

Full Size Image

Full Size Image

     

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

     

Histogram

Histogram

Histogram

Dynamic Range

When the Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR is in EXR - D-Range Priority (DR) mode, you can set the Dynamic Range to either 100%, 200%, 400% or 800%, or Auto.

When the camera is in the Program / Aperture-priority or Manual shooting modes, you can set the Dynamic Range to between 100%, 200% or 400%, but the full range is only available if the ISO speed is also increased (ISO 100 only allows 100%, ISO 200 allows 100% and 200%, and ISO 400 allows 100%, 200% and 400%).

Here is an example which was shot using EXR - D-Range Priority (DR) mode at each % level, with links to the original full size images and histograms.

100%

200%

Full Size Image

Full Size Image

   

Histogram

Histogram

   

400%

800%

Full Size Image

Full Size Image

   

Histogram

Histogram

Pro Focus

The Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR's Pro Focus scene mode creates images with a shallow depth of field, with the camera taking a rapid series of exposures at different focal points and aligning them to produce a single frame showing a sharply focused subject against a soft, out-of-focus background.

Pro Focus Off

Pro Focus On

Pro Low-Light

The Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR's Pro Low-Light scene mode produces better image clarity at high ISO levels, with the camera taking a series of four high sensitivity/low-noise shots in quick succession which are then combined together using in-camera processing into an image with less noise than the single exposures.

Pro Low-Light

Pro Low-Light (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

12 megapixel, 2.7 inch LCD, super-zoom, fujifilm, finepix, EXR, 14.6x zoom, s200 exr, s200exr, Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR Review