great P&S camera with very good good low light performance

Started Jul 11, 2011 | User reviews thread
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zanypoet
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great P&S camera with very good good low light performance
Jul 11, 2011

I've had a number of Fujifilm cameras over the years (A303, E550, S5100 to name a few) and they've always performed well, as long as you understood the limitations and compensated for them. 200 EXR is no different. I've had this model for a while now and here is my 2 cents.

First of all, there are some who b%@tch about the shrinking of the sensor size from 2/3 (S100FS) to 1/1.6 (200 EXR); if you do the math, the difference is about 7%, not a significant decrease versus comparing 1/1.6 sensor vs. 1/2.33 or 1/2.3 (found in most all megazoom P&S camera, including Nikon P500, Fujifilm HS10, Panasonic FZ35), which represents a whopping 40% decrease in sensor size. As for comparing the performance of Fuji's EXR CCD sensor against newer backlit CMOS sensors, so far as I can tell, they hold their own quite well, although the trend is moving rapidly toward newer CMOS sensors. Some also complain about how the sensor goes into 6mp under EXR setting is also misguided. 6mp is a byproduct of sensor design and the sheer # of sensor mp rating really has no bearing on final image quality as I've seen plenty of cheap, under $200 14 mp sensor models with very mediocre pictures. It is more of a problem when the manufacturers keep cramming more megapixels onto those dinky 1/2.33 sensors with no apparent improvement in image quality. I would trade less mp numbers for more light sensitive larger pixels.

I already have several P&S zooms that do well in normal lighting but fare poorly in low light settings. I wanted to get a zoom model (greater than 10x) that performed well in low light setting. If you already own newer generation DSLR with improved low light sensors, and expect the same type of performance, you will be disappointed as you are comparing apples to oranges. I also own D90, and compared to it, the low light performance, speed, burst and buffer capacity of this unit lags behind quite a bit. However, compared to other P&S cameras, the low light performance is quite good, especially without the flash. Steady hand also helps. This model does best in low light conditions than any other megazoom P&S cameras.

PRO:
1) EXR sensor really works well
2) sharp lens and manual zoom is way better than rocker switch; bigger size of the lens usually translates to better performance. Fuji's lens on this thing is much bigger than the zoom lens on other P&S cameras. It takes 67mm filters.
3) If you are used to handling DSLR and have large hands, it is very ergonomic.
4) I like the lithium battery versus AA's but some people consider this a con.
5) lighter than a DSLR
6) Some have complained about the color accuracy but I think the colors are quite good, reminds me of old Velvia film color formulation.

CON:
1) I feel like a bit of a poseur carrying it around as it does not have the performance cred of a DSLR but the size is about as large as my Nikon D90.
2) Not for fast action photograph but what P&S is? You want speed, get a DSLR.
3) 14.3X zoom not as far-reaching as the competition but this is due to limitation of the sensor size. To go greater than 20X, they have to go to smaller 1/2.3 sensors (although FUJIFILM's HX20 has 1/2 sensor, 15% bigger than 1/2.3 sensors).
4) No HD video; I think Fuji certainly could have included it but probably chose not to for marketing reasons.
5) No lens hood like previous S100FS

Mega-zoom P&S camera remain popular because they are so convenient and versatile. This Fuji model is little short on zoom but makes it up with better low light performance than most other P&S. In my book, that's a winning combination.

zanypoet's score
4.5
Average community score
4.4
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