A bit lighter, a bit smaller, and with an improved sensor, the Fujifilm S200EXR replaces the S100FS at the top of the company's megazoom line. Though it uses the same lens as its predecessor--the effective focal lengths differ because of the differences in sensor size--the new model incoporates Fujifilms latest generation of sensor, dubbed Super CCD EXR, which debuted in the F200EXR. (The S200EXR has the same sensor-related features, such as High Resolution Priority, D-Range Priority, High ISO & Low Noise Priority, and Auto EXR modes, which you can read about in the F200EXR review.)
Here's how it stacks up to some of the competition:
|Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR||Fujifilm FinePix S100FS||Canon PowerShot SX1 IS||Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1|
|Sensor||12-megapixel Super CCD EXR||11.1-megapixel Super CCD HR||10-megapixel CMOS||9.1-megapixel Exmor CMOS|
|Lens||f2.8-5.3 30.5-436mm (14.3x)||f2.8-5.3 28-400mm (14.3x)||f2.8-5.7 28-560mm (20x)||f2.8-5.2 28-560mm (20x)|
|LCD||230,000 pixels, 2.7-inch fixed||230,000 pixels, 2.5-inch fixed||230,000 pixels, 2.7-inch articulated||230,400 pixels, 3.0-inch tilting|
|Max ISO sensitivity at full resolution||ISO 3200||ISO 3200||ISO 1600||ISO 3200|
|Movie capture||VGA 30fps||VGA 30fps||1,920 x 1,080 30fps||1,440 x 1,080 30fps|
|Battery||Proprietary Lithium Ion||Proprietary Lithium Ion||4 AA size||Proprietary Lithium Ion|
|Dimensions (inches, WHD)||5.3 x 3.7 x 5.7||5.3 x 3.7 x 5.9||5.0 x 3.5 x 3.5||4.6 x 3.4 x 3.6|
|Weight||29.5 (empty)||32.4 (empty)||23.7 (actual)||17.7 (actual)|
|Mfr. pricing and availability||$599.95; August||$699.00; now||$599.99; now||$499.99; now|
The body remains very similar to the S100FS. Fujifilm takes a leaf out of Sony's book with its Pro Low-light mode, which snaps a burst of frames and combines them into a single lower-noise image, plus adds a Pro Focus mode which merges several photos and defocuses the background to simulate a shallow depth of field. The newer model also supports raw+JPEG shooting.
Given the relatively high price, you're paying a lot for the sensor performance, because the S200EXR can't keep up on the other features. Though it has a full set of manual and semimanual exposure options like its predecessor, its movie capture specs are pretty disappointing--monoaural VGA without zoom capability--and the LCD is fixed.
Still, photo quality has traditionally been the weakest aspect of megazoom cameras, so it'll be interesting to see how it compares in that respect to the current crop.