Fujifilm Finepix F200 EXR Review
The F200 EXR offers six white balance presets (Fine, shade, fluorescent day, fluorescent warm white, fluorescent cool white and incandescent) as well as the usual auto white balance and a custom (manual) setting.
In your normal daylight shooting situation white balance is generally very accurate and the 'Auto' setting will produce fine results. Indoors, under artificial light, the story is a slightly different one. The Auto setting's results under tungsten light are poor and the shot taken under fluorescent light shows a color cast as well. The white balance presets offer slightly better results, but if you're shooting in artificial light and want your whites to be properly white, custom white balance is the way to go.
|Incandescent - Auto WB
Red 10.9%, Blue -12.8%
|Incandescent - Incandescent preset WB
Red 4.7%, Blue -7.8%
|Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red 2.1%, Blue -5.0%
|Fluorescent - Fluorescent preset WB
Red 4.1%, Blue -4.3%
The F200 EXR's small built-in flash has a range of around 0.6 - 4.3m (2.0 - 14.1 ft) at the wide angle and 0.6 - 2.8m (2.0-9.2 ft) at the tele end of the zoom and using Auto ISO. The camera offers Red-eye removal and Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash and Slow Synchro modes.
Like most compact cameras the F200 EXR uses Auto ISO (up to ISO 800) to increase their flash range. The Fujifilm is quite eager to increase sensitivity when shooting flash but you can avoid that by setting your ISO manually (just make sure your subjects are still within the flash range). Flash exposures are generally spot on.
Good color and exposure
Slight cool tone, good exposure
The F200 EXR's macro capabilities are pretty average for this kind of camera. It can focus down to as close as 5 cm at the wide end of the zoom, capturing an area around 58mm across. At the tele end of the lens the minimum focus distance is a less impressive 50 cm in macro mode, capturing an area 118 mm across. Distortion is hardly visible at the long end of the lens. However, the corners are a little soft. At wide angle the image is visibly more distorted but there is a little less corner softness.
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
Distortion is hardly a problem on the F200 EXR. At wide angle barrel distortion is visible but low at 0.8%. At the telephoto end of the zoom pincushion distortion is just about measurable at 0.1%. We did not find any evidence of vignetting either.
|Barrel distortion - 0.8% at Wide angle
Equiv. focal length: 28 mm
|Pincushion distortion - 0.1% at Telephoto
Equiv. focal length: 140 mm
Specific image quality issues
The F200 EXR is a pretty well sorted affair that can be trusted to meter and focus extremely well. If it's occasionally frustrating to not be able to apply exposure compensation to the automated EXR mode, that frustration is mollified when you look back at your photos and find it's very rarely required.
However, the F200 EXR also suffers from a problem we've seen in previous Super CCD cameras - odd artefacts instead of fine detail (almost certainly the result of the unusual arrangement of the photosites). In this case, these artefacts appear to trigger the camera's noise reduction, resulting in strange smudged patches, particularly in areas of fine, low-contrast detail. The problem is particularly prevalent in the 12MP mode, which implies it may be a side-effect of the sensor's unique color filter array. It's not a problem we encountered in many images, but it's pretty disconcerting when it happens.
In fact, at a pixel level, the output from the 6MP DR mode is generally cleaner than the full 12MP output. As we'll see on later pages, in many respects the DR mode is where the F200 is at its best.
|28 mm equiv., ISO 100||100% crop|
|28 mm equiv., ISO 100||100% crop|