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Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR -- Generation next.

Fujifilm is one of the world's largest photographic and imaging companies and has been around for ages in the photographic film market. The company made a smooth transition into the digital photographic equipment market and today their 'FinePix' models are quite well know around the globe.

The FinePix S-series of digital cameras consists of DSLRs and bridge camera models. 'Bridge cameras' are typically the super-zoom models which offer most of the features of a typical DSLR, without the interchangeable lens options and without the optical viewfinder system found in DSLRs.

In late July 09, Fujifilm introduced the FinePix S200EXR advanced super zoom model, an improvement over the acclaimed FinePix S100FS. The S200EXR combines the superb 14.3x zoom lens system from the S100FS, with a 12 mega pixel Super CCD EXR sensor. This combination offers close to top-end DSLR level quality images, without having to stretch your budget as much.

My first impression of the S200EXR was 'it looks quite bulky!' When compared to super-zoom models from some of the other companies, this model certainly is somewhat bigger, but hold it in your hand and it is quite well balanced and has a comfortable, ergonomic feel to it.

Since the S100FS is an amazing machine by itself, I'll use it as a benchmark to compare the S200EXR. First of all, the improved electronics and power management systems results almost a 50% improvement in battery life.

With the new 'EXR Priority' Mode, you can choose from the High Resolution Priority (HR), High ISO Low Noise Priority (SN) or Dynamic Range Priority (DR) sensor setting options and let the system automatically adjust all other settings to the optimum levels. To simplify things even further, there is the 'EXR Auto' Mode, which has 6 settings - Portrait, Night, Macro, Landscape, Night Portrait and Backlit Portrait, which not only result in optimum settings of all the image parameters, even the sensor will go into the HR, SN or DR mode.

In the new 'Pro Lowlight' Mode, the camera will shoot four images in quick succession and combine them to create one, single image with extremely low noise. This feature makes it a lot easier to get great photos in very low light conditions.

Other commendable features are the Super-intelligent flash, which automatically adjusts to the shooting conditions, the dual image stabilization option which results in sharp images and the superb multi mode - Multi Bracketing option.

One last thing I would like to mention is the 'Film simulation' option, which is carried over from the predecessor, that allows you to simulate the image quality of some of Fujifilm's best known traditional films, such as the 'Velvia'- for landscapes, the 'Provia' - for sharp standard photos or the Astia - for soft, muted image effects.

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 20:48:29 +0000

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