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Good: Flexibility for most situations
Bad: Power button too easily actuated
Comment: Fed up of lugging a Nikon D300 around I purchased the Fuji 200 EXR for reasonable quality casual snapping. Firstly build. The camera is a little thicker than the average compact but easily fits into a jacket pocket or even a shirt pocket if you want to be flash. It is a fairly weighty item and appears to be solidly built with firm but small press buttons. The mode selector on the back of the camera seems reasonably positive and without any noticeable excessive play. Unlike another make of camera that I was attracted to the Fuji automatically operates a lens shield on switching off! All in all a substantial piece of kit. I would add one rider and that concerns the power switch located on the top panel of the camera. If you put the camera inside a fairly close fitting bag this control will operate with barely a touch. This causes the lens housing to try and deploy which it can't. The cameras safety device will operate and causes an error/fault message to display. I don't know what strain this would put on the drive train of the lens mechanism if this was repeated too many times?
Shooting experiences. I personally use program mode for most of my snapping as this gives me control over most of the parameters including dynamic range, iso etc. Through trial and error I have settled on settings in P mode that give me good reults for outdoor use. Of course there are other self descriptive modes on the rotary selector which will suit novices or others that want a quieter life with acceptable results. Regarding the EXR setting. This setting can be used in full auto and uses a scene recognition system. In my opinion the full auto EXR setting is of main use to a novice/starter photographer. This works fairly well in most situations however parameters for the most part are set in stone and cannot be altered. When used indoors or low light it is inclined to use high iso settings which are fairly good when printed at 7x5 but anything larger will start showing noise. The next setting,resolution priority uses all of the pixels on the sensor but gives some bias to gain on some (I believe) of the photodiodes. This gives high definition with a slight increase of dynamic range, as I have mentioned I prefer to use P for my shooting. Next comes the high iso low noise setting. I have used this setting indoors without flash on an iso setting of 800. It appears to do as it says, however for larger prints it can show noise although not as much as would be shown in a high resolution shot at the same iso. Finally the extended DR setting. The good and the possibly not so good. As has already been explained previously in the Cnet header the sensor splits between over and under exposure and then amalgamates the result (12 meg.pixel divided by 2). This gives extremely good (for a small sensor) dynamic range and a very faithful reproduction of the scene. There lies a possible disappointment. Because the full dynamic range is shown on the photo' it is faithful to the scene and hence quite often rather flat in appearence. Most of the people that I know want their photographs to 'pop' i.e. excessive saturation and contrast/gamma alteration being expected. This camera will give these characteristics but not(in my experience) on the extended DR setting.
So there we have it, a well built camera that can be used by a novice or an experienced snapper who wants a camera of some substance that he can slip into his/her pocket. Obviously it has it's limitations such as some optical distortion at very wide angles etc. Also what isn't explained is how some of the DR bias is achieved. Is it software/firmware based or the result of the unique sensor manipulation characteristics. As it says in the advert, noise is very well controlled and the dynamic range is by far the best available in a compact camera.
Hope this helps.
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