This innocuous-looking Fujifilm is hiding something exciting beneath that unassuming skin. Fuji is hoping the F200’s EXR technology is going to sway anyone looking for the ultimate image quality from a compact.

Bigger is better

The 1/1.6-inch Super CCD EXR sensor – bigger than the average – is aimed at making the F200EXR more versatile in all light conditions by reducing noise.

The EXR setting on the mode dial is essentially an auto mode that attempts to give you the best image quality, regardless of picture size. If light is bad enough that ISO 6400 is required, the image size is dropped to 6MP to achieve it, and down to 3MP if ISO 12800 is needed.

It just adds another dimension that assists in making the most of your camera, and it works incredibly well. Of course, it wouldn't work so well if the sensor wasn't so capable – at ISO 12800 the quality is actually more acceptable than the ISO 1600 setting on some compacts.

On the lighter side

It's not all about taking pictures in the dark, though, and the F200EXR is a class leader in the best of light, too. The shots are detailed, have an excellent range of tones, and exposure is generally spot-on. The auto white balance was fooled every now and again, but not beyond repair in Photoshop or the like.

Control-wise, this is much like the previous F-series cameras from the Fujifilm stable. The zoom control is around the shutter-release button, just where we like it, the mode dial is on the back right, and the F button provides a useful shortcut to certain functions (such as ISO and image size).

The lens has a useful 5x optical zoom, which starts at a 28mm-equivalent wideangle, while the 3in LCD is bright and super-sharp – just as well, as there's no optical viewfinder to help framing in strong sunlight.

RAW deal

The only real weakness, given that this is a pricey compact, is that there's no RAW mode for uncompressed picture capture. The good news is that its JPG pics are excellent, so the majority of people won't consider this omission a weakness – let's face it, only the most serious enthusiast wants a compact that shoots RAW.

This is a superb camera that's capable of great results from an excellent sensor, but what makes it even more appealing is that it'll help even the most talentless snapper take better photos.


Stuff says... 

Fujifilm F200EXR review

The low-noise sensor and EXR setting make a great compact camera into a versatile little powerhouse