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Old Dec 27, 2010, 3:55 PM   #1
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Default Poor lowlight pics from Fuji F200EXR

I bought a Fuji F200EXR about a year ago mainly based on the fact that the reviews said its EXR sensor gave great lowlight performance. My main use of a camera is for social events and nights out so lowlight performance is key.

The 200EXR takes excellent outdoor photos in daylight but lowlight shots both indoors and outside are absolutely woeful - far, far worse than the Canon Ixus I had previously. I've tried it on the EXR setting and on different manual settings (including shooting at 6MP not 12MP) but I still get poorly detailed shots with poor colour definition and a terrible level of pixelation: these photos are generally not worth printing.

I have since stopped using the camera altogether as it's not worth the hassle for the results I get. I just wanted to check if anyone has had a similar experience and also to find what settings you are using if you are getting decent lowlight shots. As it's over 12 months since I got it, I can't return it, but I might write to Fuji anyway to let them know how disappointed I am with it and to let them know that it will be putting me off ever buying any of their products in the future (unless there's something they can point out I'm doing wrong or maybe find a defect with my unit).
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Old Dec 27, 2010, 7:11 PM   #2
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You really should've tested your camera's low-light performance right after you bought it !

Complaining to Fuji won't solve much...unlikely that they'll refund after 12 months !
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 5:28 AM   #3
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I don't do a lot of low light shooting but I have shot quite a few pictures of my parakeets indoors and it's been fine. I think you need to experiment a bit more with it. I find the automatic modes to be less than satisfactory in many of the most challenging circumstances so get yourself into manual mode and take a lot of shots till you see results you like.

There aren't a lot of people using this camera and posting on here so I suggest you also try another forum. This is pretty much HS10 territory right now.
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 5:51 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear you're unhappy with your F200EXR - in theory it ought to be giving you above average low-light photos, thanks to the ability to double-up the pixels. I have an F70EXR, and I'm pretty happy with low-light performance, but I do make sure I set the camera up as follows:

In P or M mode, DR100 and 5MP (or 6MP in your case). This causes pixel-pairs to be operated as single double-sized pixels, to give a 30% reduction in image noise. Operation at DRs greater than 100 is counter-productive, since it splits the pixel-pairs, but will allow highlight detail to show through, if that's important.

ISO as low as I can get away with (i.e. commensurate with acceptable shutter speed and avoiding subject motion blur). Don't expect brilliant results above about ISO 400. If you do need higher ISOs, you can transform the results with decent noise reduction software - I would recommend Neat Image, the demo version of which is free (for non-commercial use only).

I usually use Astia film simulation, as I don't like the default Provia. Both Astia and Velvia will give more vivid, punchier results with nicer colours (in my view, anyway).

Finally, I try to ensure the camera isn't under-exposing (maybe due to in-frame highlights), and this is why M mode can be the most useful in really low-light situations.

You may well have tried the above, in which case maybe your IXUS was especially good (though I would somehow doubt this), but if not, DO give it a try!
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Old Jan 1, 2011, 3:05 PM   #5
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You decided to wait too long in making a case about what you don't like about the camera. I would have in fact, first thing started using the camera for what I intended to use it for. I would know within a week whether I want to keep it for what it was advertised to do or return it because it does not deliver.
There is only one camera I kept even after my initial findings were less than I would have liked. I found with diligence and sharing of information that the camera is at/or beyond my expectations. The Fuji HS10.
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Old Jan 2, 2011, 3:55 PM   #6
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i think its a fuji thing. every one i have ever tried is riddled with noise. i have a s8000fd and i am considering craigs listing as we speak. i have been getting HORRIBLE noise in every setting indoors and outdoor. automatic mode is useless. i have been experimenting for about 4 months now and it is the same. it has about the same quality as my aiptek multifunction(both are 8mp). i compared it with some of my old pics with a 7mp kodak camera i used to own it is almost depressing.
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Old Jan 4, 2011, 7:27 PM   #7
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Both Panasonic and Samsung offer cameras with F2.0 (F1.8 on the Samsung) lenses and 24mm which are very decent indoors.

They aren't cheap, but are certainly viable solutions for indoor shooting.

Nothing in Fuji's current lineup can compete at this time.
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Old Jan 21, 2011, 4:51 AM   #8
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turn dial to EXR
mode: shooting mode: SN high ISO & low noise
f: iso: auto 400
f: film simulation: astia

the f200exr in this exr/sn-mode has much better low-light performance than my fujifilm e900, ricoh gx8, or canon a2000is. it is about the same as my fujifilm f30.

unfortunately the f200exr lens is a slow f3.3
the f2 lens on the canon s90 and s95, or panasonic lx3 or lx5 transmits much more light to their sensors. i have a canon s90 and at f2 it makes less noisy low-light pictures than the f200exr.

by the way, i always keep my f200exr in EXR-mode. when lighting is adequate I set the camera to mode: shooting mode: DR 400. I prefer the look of the astia film simulation for people, but sometimes I use velvia for cityscape photos.

i my opinion the mode: shooting mode: HR (12Mpel high-res) mode should never be used, and fujifilm should not have put that option on the camera menu.

if you've not already done so, upgrade the firmware to version 1.2 to pickup some improvements in auto white balance.
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 5:21 AM   #9
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AldPixto, you're right in what you say, but are you aware that expanded-DR and low-noise are available in both P and M modes? All you have to do is set size to M (i.e. 6MP), then set DR100 for low-noise mode or DR200/DR400 for DR-expansion. In other words, as long as you're not at 12MP, you don't actually need to be in EXR mode.

The advantage this gives you is that you can set different DRs in EXR and P modes, and switch quickly between them using the Mode dial.

Here's a couple of helpful links:



Note that Letkeman warns against Astia and Velvia, and I suppose I would have to agree - but you'll certainly need to be tweaking the colour in PP if you stick to Provia. As I mentioned above, I, like you, have a definite preference for Astia.
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Old Jan 28, 2011, 1:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by pentode View Post
are you aware that expanded-DR and low-noise are available in both P and M modes? All you have to do is set size to M (i.e. 6MP), then set DR100 for low-noise mode or DR200/DR400 for DR-expansion. In other words, as long as you're not at 12MP, you don't actually need to be in EXR mode.
Pentode - thanks! And your lnks are quite interesting.

You've inspired me to take dozens of test photos with my F200EXR. I left my camera in 6MP resolution. Then I picked some scene and shot it in EXR-SN, EXR-D100, D200, D400 [,and D800 for provia] then repeated in "A" setting D100, D200, etc.. I did observe that during playback the LCD indicates "SN" or "DR" mode, so that "SN", "DR D100" and "A D100" all indicate as separate modes, and their jpeg files are slightly different sizes.

Shooting at night the D400 (and D800) mode renders pin points of bright lights 'sharper' than the D100 and SN settings.

Perhaps my laptop's LCD monitor is too limited, but I couldn't see grain/noise differences between the "SN" and "DR D100" settings. Most of my shooting was either at night or cloudy days with lots of snow on the ground.

The visual differences between Astia and Velvia, or Provia and Velvia were most striking. The visual differences between D100 and D200 are very slight.

What I found interesting was that shooting in DR D800 B&W produced the largest jpegs, followed closely by Sepia. Does this mean we're getting more details in B&W, or is this just an artifact of how the in-camera jpeg compression works?

photo: F200EXR, 1/160 s at f/9, ISO 100, EXR, SN, B&W
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Last edited by AldPixto; Jan 30, 2011 at 1:16 AM. Reason: add photo info
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