FujiFilm FinePix F200EXR Looks Interesting

Finally someone in the point-and-shoot camera business is fronting up with some better sensor technology, rather than just adding Megapixels.


The FujiFilm FinePix F200EXR has a bunch of the regular point-and-shoot features, but the ones that really gets me going are the Pixel Fusion and Dual Capture modes:


Pixel Fusion Mode (High Sensitivity and Low Noise), which caps two adjacent pixels together to produce six million large photodiodes, which are big enough to absorb light in the darkest of conditions, to produce low-light shots of extraordinary quality with minimal noise and grain; and

Dual Capture (Wide Dynamic Range), which captures different exposures with two sets of six million pixels, which, when combined, gives an excellent level of detail in highlights and low lights that would otherwise be lost.


You see, one of the reasons (among MANY others) that the Canon EOS 5D MkII is so much better in low light than many other cameras, is the sheer size of the pixels on its sensor.

Compare 20 Megapixels on the 5D?s giant 24x36mm full-frame sensor to 14MP on a modern 6×4.5mm point-and-shoot sensor and you don?t have to be a genius to realise that the pixels on a point-and-shoot are just tiny. If you think of the pixels as little buckets that can fill up with light, then it?s pretty obvious that the average point-and-shoot?s pixel cup is always runneth-ing over. Hence noise, grain, and blur when you try to take low-light shots.

Of course we don?t know how well Pixel Fusion Mode will play out in the real world, and a point and shoot will never capture light the way a big aperture DSLR can. But it warms my cockles to finally read that this massive megapixel race might finally be changing.


  1. [DISCLAIMER: I work for the ad agency that works for Panasonic]

    I think this bigger diodes / never mind the megapixels approach is a great thing, but not Fuji’s specifically — I literally just found out about the whole thing this this week, while writing about the mega-droolworthy LX3.

    (From DPReview (http://www.dpreview.com/news/0807/08072102panasoniclx3.asp):

    “The old formula equating pixel count with image quality does not always hold true. In general, if two CCDs have exactly the same physical size but different pixel counts, the one with more pixels is not necessarily better ? in fact, it’s likely to generate more picture noise, especially in low-light parts of the image…

    “In the LX3, Panasonic responds to this problem by boldly reversing the industry trend of pushing toward ever-higher pixel counts. Rather than cramming in the maximum number of pixels possible, it has limited the LX3’s 1/1.63-inch CCD to 10.1 megapixels. The result is a CCD that provides a generous amount of space for each pixel while offering superb sensitivity and a wide dynamic range made possible by maximizing the size of the photodiode.”)

    Although… Fuji’s approach to Pixel Fusion is an interesting software “enhancement”. But… having said that, I would expect / like to see more cool HDR options with this setup – or in fact anyone’s setup, given cameras like the G1 can bracket 3x and output to 3x “film” types in one go.

    Eh, and sorry about any of teh marketing bullshytt** creeping in. I wouldn’t normally write about a brand or product outside of office hours if I didn’t just lerv it terribly! Mmmmmm, LX3, Leica lens, leather case…

    **[see Anathem]

  2. Couldn’t agree more.

    If only more people understood that megapixels are not everything. Sure, great, you’ve got a 4 MP camera phone but it’s still got a shitty lens!

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