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Hands-on with the Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR: The sensor-tive type

The Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR boasts a new sensor that will work out what's the best kind of photo to take. It might just change all our lives

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Richard Trenholm

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The recently announced Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR sports a new kind of sensor, and we got our hands on it today to see if this camera is going to change our lives.

The first impression is the F200 is a solid beast. The sleek cinched-in curves borrowed from the slender Fujifilm FinePix F100fd disguise that this is closer to chunkycams like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ6.

Round the back there's a 76mm (3-inch) LCD screen, lined on the right by the controls. It's been a criticism of ours in the past that FinePix cameras have fiddly controls, and there's nothing new on this model. For example, the F-mode button and the menu button call up slightly different menus, and we can never remember which menu specific features lurk in.

On the mode wheel there's a new addition: EXR mode. This activates the all-singing, all-dancing new sensor with its new pixel arrangement and allows you to select how you'd like the camera to capture the scene. You can choose from HR resolution priority, which uses all 12 megapixels, or go for low-noise shots with the SN mode for high ISO without the usual gritty speckles. Or you can aim for DR dynamic range booster. As if that's not enough, the camera can also choose for you, switching automatically based on lighting conditions and even changing scene mode if it spots a portrait or macro subject. Look out for our forthcoming full review to see how effective the EXR feature really is.

Manual mode allows you to set the shutter speed from 8 seconds to 1/1000 of a second. The aperture option only allows you to choose between a minimum or maximum aperture. While selecting, there's a handy onscreen sliding scale to give you an idea of exposure.

As well as portrait mode, there's a portrait-enhancer mode which smoothes skin and touches up your subject's picture. It's the sort of feature that other manufacturers trumpet as beauty shot and other such nonsense, but the F200's too classy for that. It doesn't bang on about its assorted scene modes and film-effect options, or the intelligent flash feature that adjusts flash output based on lighting conditions. It doesn't harp on about its 28mm wide-angle lens with 5x optical zoom and optical image stabilisation. It won't bore you talking telling you about Face Detection 3.0, oh no. So neither will we. Click through the photos to see this innovative new camera emerging blinking into the light of day.

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The mode wheel shows off the new EXR option.
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The F200 supports both xD and SD memory cards.
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Here's the F200 next to the chunky Panasonic TZ6.
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With its 5x zoom and 28mm wide-angle lens, the Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR is available now for around £280.

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