PMA ’09: Fujifilm’s FinePix F200 EXR has a sensor for all scenes

Fujifilm-F200EXR

Although it was announced last year, many at the show were taking a closer look at Fujifilm's new compact digital camera, the 12-megapixel FinePix F200 EXR, $400, which includes a 5x optical zoom lens, wide-angle capability and a 3-inch LCD. All are respectable features and specs, but it's the large Fujifilm Super CCD EXR sensor that is getting most of the buzz.

Using a feature called EXR mode, you can adapt the sensor to the subject you're shooting. There are three modes: high sensitivity and low noise; wide dynamic range; and high resolution. If you're shooting in low light, for example, you'd switch the sensor to high sensitivity and low noise to capture the image without using a flash. If you're shooting in bright sunlight, where there are subjects both in sunlight and in shadows, you can switch to the wide dynamic range setting to better handle the extremes. Lastly, you use the high-resolution mode for full 12-megapixel resolution. What this implies is that the low noise and dynamic range modes don’t capture images at full resolution. In fact, both modes cut the resolution in half, leaving you with just a 6-megapixel image.

In addition to the ability to set this sensor setting yourself, the F200 EXR has an EXR Auto mode that makes the decision for you on which mode to select. On the LCD screen, you'll see one of three symbols indicating which mode has been selected: HR (high resolution), DR (wide dynamic range) and SN (high sensitivity and low noise).

The camera is available in stores now.

—Terry Sullivan