Fujifilm Finepix F200 EXR Review
In addition to its low-light pixel-binning mode, the F200 EXR also has a mode to allow the capture of a wider range of tones (and therefore offer greater dynamic range). Again this takes advantage of the neighboring pairs of same-colored photosites but also makes use of another new capability of the underlying hardware. The F200's sensor has two readouts with each receiving the output from alternate rows of photosites. In EXR DR mode, the readout process for one half of the sensor begins before the end of the full exposure, giving underexposed information for half of the photosites. This underexposure helps prevent the brightest areas of the image becoming overexposed. The camera then combines the information from these underexposed photosites with the other, fully exposed ones, providing additional detail in the highlights.
In its 12MP modes, the camera also offers the more conventional dynamic range boosting modes seen on previous Fujifilm cameras. These underexpose the entire shot to retain highlights, then apply a different tone curve to present the correct final exposure. The downside of this process is that additional noise tends to be generated as the dark, potentially noisy, regions of the image are 'pulled-up'. These modes limit the sensitivity settings that are available, so that 200% dynamic range is only available at ISO 200 and upwards (because the camera is under-exposing its base ISO by a stop and hence appearing to use an ISO 200 exposure).
However, thanks to the EXR technology, the F200 can underexpose half of its photosites and incorporate that additional highlight data without creating additional noise in the shadows (the detail for which is captured by the other half of the sensor). This allows it to offer up to 400% DRange expansion at ISO 100 (with half the photosites reading out a quarter of the way through the full exposure to provide two extra stops of dynamic range).
At ISO 200 the camera can even provide 800% DRange expansion, but still with the level of shadow noise you'd expect to see in a normal ISO 200 exposure. The results are astonishing for a compact camera, with impressive amounts of additional detail being retained in some scenes. Confusingly, some of the capability (but not the 800% option, oddly), appears to be available in the non-EXR modes if you reduce the resolution to 6MP. Certainly it's possible to engage 400% DR at ISO 100 in 6MP mode but don't expect the user manual to come to your aid in understanding the camera's capabilities.
It's worth being aware though, that you can manually select the amount of dynamic range expansion being used in EXR DR mode, (though you can't set the ISO, as the camera needs to retain the ability to push to ISO 200 to use the 800% mode). The risk is that it's possible to accidentally leave the camera locked at DR 100% - substantially limiting the DR mode's capability.
In the real world...
|HR mode (12MP) DR 100%||100% crop|
|DR mode (6MP) DR 100%||100% crop|
|DR mode (6MP) DR 200%||100% crop|
|DR mode (6MP) DR 400%||100% crop|
|DR mode (6MP) DR 800%||100% crop|
As can be seen, the effects in terms of retaining highlights are extremely impressive, with a great deal more detail being retained. And, since the camera has kept the overall ISO to 200, there isn't the same noise penalty to be paid as when conventional sensors try to underexpose and then pull the brightness back up. There's a slight increase in shadow noise but the F200 seems to be very good at using data from its underexposed photosites to build the highlight areas of the image and the normally-exposed photosites for the dark regions.
For this shot, setting DRange to 'Auto' saw the camera select 400% but it can sometimes be a bit conservative (it rarely appears to select the 800% setting), so it's often worth making sure you've specified a high DRange expansion if there's a high degree of contrast in your scene.
It's worth remembering that if you're want to fit a broader range of tones into your image (by capturing more data between complete black and clipped white), then the tone curve of the image has to be made more gentle, resulting in lower overall contrast. On the whole the F200 EXR seems to strike this balance about right, pulling additional detail into the image without making it look too 'flat' or gaining too much of the 'unreal' appearance that can mar poorly tonemapped HDR images.
In the studio...
We were so intrigued by this result that we subjected the F200 EXR to a version of our dynamic range test. Because the F200 EXR does not offer full manual control or fixed ISO in its DR mode, it was impossible for us to conduct our dynamic range test in as controlled a manner as we'd like. As such, the results should not be considered absolute or comparable to other cameras.
The graph gives a good idea of how the F200 is reintegrating the highlight data that its underexposed photosites are capturing. With DRange set to 100% the camera has a very conventional tone-curve much like the result we'd expect to see from any other compact camera. As dynamic range expansion is applied the top end of this curve is noticeably flattened to accommodate the additional highlight data. Also significant is the way that the tone curves for all settings are identical from middle gray downwards. You appear to get an additional 1EV of highlight range for each step you take up through the range as you might expect (meaning around three additional stops of highlight DR at the 800% setting).
Our tests seem to suggest that the F200 can, in its DR mode, capture in excess of 10 EV - a great result even if you choose to compare this camera to DSLR standards. You're still going to get washed-out skies and tiny areas (such as reflections) of high-contrast images clipping to white but, if you can live with 6MP and a minimum of ISO 200 you'll also find fine highlight detail being retained in circumstances in which most other cameras would simply give up.
|Autumn by valenttin|
from Harvest Festivals
|Cardinal, Male by paul katinas|
from A Big Year - birds
|.. by Amar Vignesh|
from Unintentional Blur
|Freeze Time by WhistlerOne|
|Sir Mick Jagger by HetFotoAtelier|
from - Concerts : When The Lights Come On -
If you're set on investing in a seriously capable compact, no doubt these two cameras will be on your list. Here's how they square up.
Adobe's experimental Project 'Deep Fill' is an incredibly powerful and impressive, AI-powered version of Content Aware Fill. Watch the demo to see this amazing tool in action.
LEE has released a new series of Reverse ND filters that are most opaque in the middle and become progressively clearer towards the top. This makes them ideal for capturing scenes where the sun is close to the horizon.
A former New York Times photographer is suing both the newspaper and its photography director Michele McNally for over $500,000 for age discrimination and unfair classification as a freelancer for nearly a decade.
"CPS Platinum members will now enjoy next-day service, with equipment serviced and shipped the business day after an estimate is approved. For repairs that will take longer, Canon will offer next-day loaner equipment."
Irix is introducing a new filter system called the Irix Edge 100. The ultra-light, ultra-thin system is build specifically for wide angle lenses like Irix's own 15mm F2.4.
After conducting a series of safety tests, the FAA is recommending that all airlines ban cameras and other electronics with Lithium Ion batteries from checked baggage. The agency believe the risk of a catastrophic fire and explosion is too great.
The Pixentu jackets keep you and your gear warm and dry, offering useful features like lens and tripod pockets, in addition to some quirky ones like an extended hood to protect your camera from the rain.
Adobe gave the audience at MAX a sneak peek at some exciting new technology its developing. It's called Adobe Cloak: a highly capable Content Aware Fill-like feature for video editors.
Earlier today, Flickr moved its photo book printing service over to a third party services, and stopped offering any wall art options entirely.
The patent details a flipping rear LCD screen so large, Canon has had to hide the rear dial and several buttons underneath.
We've added a selection of extra images to our Nikon D850 gallery. As part of the process of rounding off the review we made sure a number of us had shot the camera in a variety of situations, we've added those shots to the gallery to give a broad cross section of how the camera performs.
Wiral LITE is an affordable, easy-to-use cable cam system that can do things a portable slider simply can't do, and go places no slider would dare go.
Not happy with the recent demise of Lightroom as a stand-alone, subscription free service? Macphun's got your back... or they will in 2018.
Once connected to a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone, Pholio automatically searches through the device storage and backs up all images and videos—complete with auto-tagging and intelligent search capabilities.
The 360 Round uses eight horizontally positioned camera pairs and one upward-pointing single lens to capture and livestream panoramic 4K 3D content.
Introduced just three years ago, the Samsung NX1 was both a technological tour-de-force and a great camera to use, earning one of the highest scores we've ever awarded and winning our 2015 Innovation Award. But its short-lived run in the photo world leaves us wondering what could have been.
The Fujifilm X-E3 is styled like a classic rangefinder, but features a built-in touchscreen, AF joystick, and electronic viewfinder – truly an old school meets new type of camera. Lay some eyes on our sample gallery to see how it performs in the real world.
Like it or not, Adobe is embracing a cloud-centric, AI-rich future with the introduction of Lightroom CC. And that's a great thing, though you may not see it now, argues Rishi Sanyal.
The announcement of a more cloud-integrated Lightroom product sees the death of the company's standalone version. This need to make payments in perpetuity (whether you choose Lightroom Classic or CC), chips away at the idea that your Lightroom library is a long-term solution, argues Richard Butler.
The XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger that Godox released for Canon users last month now has a Nikon equivalent—the aptly named XPro-N. Sony, Fujifilm and MFT versions are in the works.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, camera and lens maker Sigma is extending its standard product warranty to cover damage caused by these three natural disasters.
The F4 Plus can can capture 360° stills, videos and broadcast livestream footage at 8K resolution... that's 7680 x 3840 pixels!
Lightroom is hogging the spotlight at Adobe MAX, but Photoshop CC got some substantial improvements as well. Find out what's new in the latest version of Photoshop CC.
The aptly-named 'Nude' app automatically detects NSFW images on your iPhone, moves them to a protected vault and deletes the original files in the camera roll and on iCloud.
The Zeiss Milvus family of manual-focus full-frame lenses just gained a new member. Meet the Zeiss Milvus 24mm F1.4: a fast, rugged new lens designed primarily for landscape and architecture photography.
Lightroom has built a brand new Lightroom CC from the ground up to be faster, easier to use, and cloud-based. The application formerly known as Lightroom CC will continue to exist, and will go by "Lightroom Classic CC."
Google Research did a deep dive on the Pixel 2 smartphone's background-blurring portrait mode that uses neural networking and dual-pixel technology instead of a dual-camera setup.
With the arrival of the PowerShot G1 X III, there are now seven Canon cameras built around the 24MP Dual Pixel sensor and Digic 7 processor. We take a look at the differences and what might prompt you to choose one over the others.
Meet the HP ZBook x2. The so-called 'world's most powerful and first detachable PC workstation,' it was built with creative professionals in mind, and is being debuted at Adobe MAX.