Seven Days review : Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR

· 5 min read
f200exr I asked a few months ago what camera would be good for low-light shooting and one of the cameras that kept getting mentioned was the F200EXR. When I asked it was about to be released, I was unable to get it back then, but now that I had the opportunity I went back and picked one up. I should have done this back when I meant to. The F200EXR is not my only camera, I have a Nikon D80 but it has proven to be a on the bulky side for going to rock shows and just normally walking around aimlessly. This role was fulfilled by a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-P200 which has since been passed on to my youngest brother since he helped me purchase it back in the day. With all this said, I went around and took random pictures with the camera trying to see what its range was and how it performed in each situation. I have created a set on Flickr with the images I took. Keep in mind, these were mostly random and have not been touched in any way.  (maybe I rotated them, but no Photoshop manipulations) Heres the link: Flickr Set Shots like this one make me think that I will be taking way more pictures during the day but as I mentioned before, the main reason I got this camera was for night shooting, so a few of the shots that I liked had back-lighting and or were otherwise lit from various angles: Market Street Station and the Ross neon. While I like the colors, the pictures came out way too grainy using the EXR mode, something I was able to fix by using the manual controls (to set the shutter speed and aperture). The Good The EXR mode does a very good job of automatically selecting what the best settings for the camera are for the given lighting conditions and subjects. It does take a few seconds for it to get there though, which is not bad, but its not instant. There is a portrait mode that takes two pictures back to back, one with flash one without, this is not only good for picking between the two, but I am personally going to try and play around with it on some HDR modifications. The camera while it is not the lightest or slimest does not feel bulky to me and fits nicely in a pocket. Boot up takes about 2 seconds, which is not bad from pocket to shooting. The camera has enough presets and shooting modes to keep you entertained through the new-year. Oh and I guess I've been missing out but this image stabilization thing, its pretty damn sweet. The Bad Maybe it's just me but I don't like that the LCD does not have a cover. I may be too used to my D80 or something, but its something I ordered this week because it was really getting to me having such a big screen just uncovered in my pocket. While I was researching the camera I kept reading reviews that mentioned the menu system being too cumbersome. I found this to be silly, there's a manual how complicated can the menu system really be? Well, they were right. The 'menu' button is contextual, which  means you get different options depending on the setting you have the camera on. This might confuse many which don't have the patience to really understand their device. There are some things that are always the same however, like the 'set-up' option is always at the bottom of every menu, but its enough to either make my mom shoot on 'EXR' mode, or just recommend a different camera. While we're on the subject, EXR mode is noisy. When I got the camera it was on EXR mode and once I was done talking about the camera and started to take some shots, I noticed the camera was making noises. I had to immediately go online to check if my camera was busted or something. The Bottom Line It could be easy for me to tell you that I am very happy with my purchase and that I have no doubt in my mind that I made the best possible decision. Sadly I can't do that. While I like the F200EXR the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX1 has me intrigued.  Sure, its a newer camera, and its a different sensor, but after reading David Pogue's review I really wanted to give it a shot. Then I came to my senses and no matter how excellent the Sony camera may be, I was just not about to go back to Memory Stick. So I picked the FujiFilm. For my uses this camera is perfect. I am okay learning new menu systems and fiddling with controls to get something to work the way I want it. I find that the FujiFilm gives me enough control like that. If I needed a perfect shot then I would most likely be using the D80 anyways, which leads me back to, would this work for my mother? I believe the answer is no. The decision to hide the specialized presets just doesn't sound like a very friendly decision for me on my old Sony camera I could just show her the icons and she can figure it out, a person and a moon, night portrait. This is available in the Fujifilm of course, but not on the wheel, you have to set the wheel to SP then click 'menu' and pick the option from there. The FinePix does help the situation by using the LCD to give you a clear explanation of what it is that every mode does however, for example 'Sunset' has a picture taken in that mode and then reads 'For shooting sunsets, making colors more vivid'. I would like to point out that the DSC-WX1 seems to have a control system similar to the one of this camera, and not like my old DSC-P200, so if I were writing a DSC-WX1 review instead, I would most likely still complain about this. I believe that if you want a solid point and shoot to tide you over between your uses of a DSLR the FujiFilm is a pretty solid alternative. If you just want to take pictures without having to think about it that much I don't think this camera is for you. I must admit though, I do like that this camera is all camera and zero gimmick. It does not have a touch-screen on the back and it does not have a projector either. It just takes great shots, as it should! Where To Buy For more information about the FujiFilm FinePix F200EXR you can visit it's official site. I purchased the camera for $284.95  from (referral link)