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New Fujifilm camera shows its sensitive side

The FinePix F200EXR incorporates Fujifilm's new Super CCD EXR sensor for an ostensibly wider dynamic range.

Fujifilm UK

The next generation of Super CCD sensor that Fujifilm announced last September, the Super CCD EXR, makes its debut this month in the FinePix F200EXR compact point-and-shoot. The sensor technologically weds Fujifilm's older Super CCD HR (high resolution) and Super CCD SR (more sensitive) in a single chip with 12 million photosites. It can generate 12-megapixel images by using the data from each site individually, or 6-megapixel images by combining adjacent same-color sites. Although the latter technique, known as binning, isn't new, Fujifilm claims it does it better job because it doubles up the adjacent same-color pixels.

The F200EXR's implementation will offer shooters access to these capabilities via three different modes: a standard 12-megapixel mode; a 6-megapixel Pixel Fusion mode, which bins the pixels to increase light sensitivity for theoretically better low-light photos; and a 6-megapixel Dual Capture mode, which combines two simultaneous exposures where every other pixel captures either shadow or highlight detail. All in all, a pretty intriguing idea. The camera will also have an EXR Auto mode, which uses scene detection to automatically choose which of those three modes to use.

Fujifilm FinePix F200 EXR
Fujifilm USA

The rest of the camera seems like pretty typical fare. It has a 5X 28-140mm lens and 3-inch LCD, and incorporates sensor-shift image stabilization. Though the company states a maximum sensitivity of ISO 12,800, that's at 3 megapixels; it does ISO 3200 at full resolution and ISO 6400 at 6 megapixels. It includes all the standard Fujifilm features, like film-style simulations, flash output compensation for shooting in macro, and dual-shot (with and without flash), plus category standards like enhanced face detection. And--yay!-- this model will take SD cards in addition to the company's albatross xD-Picture Cards.

It's slated to ship this month for $399.95.