Fujifilm brings EXR sensor to its megazoom line

The replacement for the FinePix S100FS has the same lens but incorporates Fujifilm's latest version of its Super CCD.

Fujifilm Corp.

A bit lighter, a bit smaller, and with an improved sensor, the Fujifilm S200EXR replaces the S100FS at the top of the company's megazoom line. Though it uses the same lens as its predecessor--the effective focal lengths differ because of the differences in sensor size--the new model incoporates Fujifilms latest generation of sensor, dubbed Super CCD EXR, which debuted in the F200EXR. (The S200EXR has the same sensor-related features, such as High Resolution Priority, D-Range Priority, High ISO & Low Noise Priority, and Auto EXR modes, which you can read about in the F200EXR review.)

Here's how it stacks up to some of the competition:

 Fujifilm FinePix S200EXRFujifilm FinePix S100FSCanon PowerShot SX1 ISSony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1
Sensor12-megapixel Super CCD EXR11.1-megapixel Super CCD HR10-megapixel CMOS9.1-megapixel Exmor CMOS
Lensf2.8-5.3 30.5-436mm (14.3x)f2.8-5.3 28-400mm (14.3x)f2.8-5.7 28-560mm (20x)f2.8-5.2 28-560mm (20x)
LCD230,000 pixels, 2.7-inch fixed230,000 pixels, 2.5-inch fixed230,000 pixels, 2.7-inch articulated230,400 pixels, 3.0-inch tilting
Max ISO sensitivity at full resolutionISO 3200ISO 3200ISO 1600ISO 3200
Movie captureVGA 30fpsVGA 30fps1,920 x 1,080 30fps1,440 x 1,080 30fps
BatteryProprietary Lithium IonProprietary Lithium Ion4 AA sizeProprietary Lithium Ion
Dimensions (inches, WHD)5.3 x 3.7 x 5.75.3 x 3.7 x 5.95.0 x 3.5 x 3.54.6 x 3.4 x 3.6
Weight29.5 (empty)32.4 (empty)23.7 (actual)17.7 (actual)
Mfr. pricing and availability$599.95; August$699.00; now$599.99; now$499.99; now

The body remains very similar to the S100FS. Fujifilm takes a leaf out of Sony's book with its Pro Low-light mode, which snaps a burst of frames and combines them into a single lower-noise image, plus adds a Pro Focus mode which merges several photos and defocuses the background to simulate a shallow depth of field. The newer model also supports raw+JPEG shooting.

Fujifilm Corp.

Given the relatively high price, you're paying a lot for the sensor performance, because the S200EXR can't keep up on the other features. Though it has a full set of manual and semimanual exposure options like its predecessor, its movie capture specs are pretty disappointing--monoaural VGA without zoom capability--and the LCD is fixed.

Still, photo quality has traditionally been the weakest aspect of megazoom cameras, so it'll be interesting to see how it compares in that respect to the current crop.

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