How does the first camera to feature Fujifilmʼs exr technology fare?
Image Quality And Value For Money
On the whole, images from the F200 EXR are impressive. The metering system takes some persuading for it to err into under or overexposure, which only happens when subject to strong lighting. Even so, whenever this does happen, the dynamic range option noticeably lifts shadows and pulls highlights to optimise the image and make it appear more pleasing.
Colours are pleasantly vibrant without being too oversaturated, and white balance is generally sound, though a number of images I shot could do with a slight boost in contrast and saturation to get them looking their best. Iʼm happy to report that chromatic aberrations, while noticeable towards the edges and corners of the frame, are also far better controlled than on previous Fujifilm models, though I did notice some magenta lines take on a rather unnatural and jagged appearance in some images.
Centre sharpness is very good, and when stopped down this extends towards edges and corners, and though the lens displays some barrelling at its 28mm extremity, only close-up linear subjects should show this to an objectionable level. As regards noise, images shot at the lowest sensitivities are impressively clear and smooth, and Iʼm surprised by how little colour noise is exhibited in images throughout the sensitivity range. There is a watercolour-like texture that begins at about ISO 400 in both flash and ambient exposures, though images still retain good detail. Detail can still be made out at the highest few sensitivities, but thereʼs plenty of noise, texture and a little banding that would deem them suitable only for small print sizes.
Value For Money
At around £290, the F200 EXR is pitched between style-oriented and enthusiast compacts, and the cameraʼs feature set fits this criteria, too. If you want a camera with manual control and flexibility then itʼs probably best to turn your attention towards the excellent Panasonic LX3 and Canon G10 duo, but if you donʼt fancy post-processing and just want a dependable compact then the F200 EXR is a fine choice.