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July 22, 2009

New Fuji S200EXR has smaller sensor and price - first to offer EXR-RAW files

Without an entry-level DSLR and a lens-mount to worry about (stealing sales from), Fuji is in theory "free" to push its top-tier digital camera to its limits. And this is what they are trying to do with the brand new Fuji S200EXR. It follows up on their first attempt at a giant-sumer, the S100fs, which was announced in January 2008. You may have also noticed the slight change in the name, the "fs" was dropped and the "exr" was added, although out of habit we will probably be calling it S200fs for a few months until we get used to the new name!

One pitfall that Fuji has managed to avoid with this announcement is the starting price. The S100fs came out of the gate at $800, while the S200EXR's starting price is a more reasonable (market-wise) $600.


Fuji S200EXR details

One noticeable difference between the new model and the S100fs, is that the S200fs is "downsizing" to a 1/1.6" SuperCCD-EXR sensor with 12-megapixels. A company the size of Fuji probably does not have the luxury to maintain too many separate lines of sensors, so it's not a big shocker. We do not know if this sensor is the same as the one used in the F200EXR or a newer/modified edition.

The lens maintains the 14.3X optical zoom ratio, but it is not as wide, it is the equivalent of 30.5-436mm f2.8-5.3, while the S100fs lens starts at 28mm. Unlike the other new releases of today, this one has optical image stabilization, just like its predecessor.

This is the first Fuji camera to offer an EXR-sensor RAW feature, so this is something that will definitely get analyzed and pixel-peeped a lot once the camera comes out. The big question will be, how much can you squeeze out of the RAW EXR file? It also offers RAW+JPEG which the memory card manufactures love ;-)

Some of the newly launched features, like the two misnamed "Pro modes" of the F70 EXR and the EXR-related features of the F200 can be found here as well, including the five film simulation modes.

Video fans however will be furious, because just like the F70, this camera is "stuck" at 30fps VGA. Not a big deal for the general population, but for people who love to shoot video, this is quite frustrating, and even perhaps a deal-killer.

The secondary features
The display is a 2.7-inch (230K), while the EVF is a 0.2" (200K).

Storage-wise, it is offering SD/SDHC which should please most photographers out there since SDHC is very very common and affordable too.

The camera will use the same battery as the S100fs, the NP-140 LiIon, which according to Fuji it will provide CIPA-370, which is not a bad number, but it won't make you start jumping up and down.

The camera is expected to be released around September 2009 with a starting price of $600 (pre-orders).

Further Reading
+ Fuji UK
+ Imaging Insider
+ dpreview

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