Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR Reivew - Digital Photography School

Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR Reivew

And on they roll: the maxi zooms, filling a strong consumer demand. Buyers of bridge cameras like this make their choice to avoid DSLRs, feeling they can happily enjoy enormous zoom reach without the hassle of lugging a bulky camera bag full of expensive lenses.

Sure, they miss out on the finesses of DSLRs but, I figure, there are plenty of people out there quite happy to live with a single camera, lens attached, easy to tote and use. And my bet is these (also) keen photographers bring home the bacon in the form of great shots, more often than the other crowd.

Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR front.jpg

Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR Features

The HS30EXR sure is a big beast, close to the size of many DSLRs.

Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR Lens.jpg

Nice touches: the 30x zoom lens at full wide has a maximum aperture of f2.8; the mode and command dials are angled to the operator; the manually driven zoom has its focal length marked on the lens barrel; the prominent and easily-accessed power switch is placed at right front of the camera, above the speed grip; up/down angled rear LCD screen is useful; the bright and sharp turret viewfinder can be activated manually or by an eye sensor; a top button activates continuous shooting at 3-11fps; important controls, such as AF, AWB etc are placed to the left and right of the LCD.

Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR top.jpg

Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR back.jpg

The camera feels well balanced in the hand and could be operated single-handed in non-critical situations.

Maximum image size is 4608×3456 pixels and output as a 39x29cm print.

Vintage camera miniature.jpg

Movies? Full HD video capture is onboard at 1920×1080 pixels in MPEG4 format. A High Speed Capture at 320fps is available provided you can use the 320×112 pixel screen size.

As with the F770EXR, exposure and white balance continually correct as you shoot video. Selectable are two focus actions: one where the camera focuses on the subject in centre frame; or you can have focus at the near centre of frame continually alter.

Take stills while you shoot movies? You can choose to interrupt the movie while the still shot is taken or opt not to interrupt the movie while catching a still.

The stabiliser worked well both while walking and when handholding. Overall, a top performance in movie shooting.

Menu 1.jpg

Menu 2.jpg

Menu 3.jpg

There are also some interesting exposure options: choose from High Resolution Priority for high image quality; use High ISO and Low Noise Priority for low light conditions; Dynamic Range Priority captures two photos and combines them to provide a single image with a wider dynamic range.

I found the LCD screen to perform very well, even in bright sunlight.

It appears that there is no GPS mode on board: travellers be warned.
In-camera panorama shooting/stitching is included up to a size of 1624×11,520 pixels at 180, 240 or full 360° degree panoramic spreads.

If you’ve not used a camera with an on screen level before, the HS30EXR will be a revelation: it’s surprising how often the camera can be unknowingly held at a tilt, however slight!

Distortion

Some barrel distortion is evident with the zoom at full wide but the tele end of the zoom appears to be distortion free.

Startup Time

The camera took nearly three seconds to get going; each subsequent shot needed an interval of just over a second to capture.

Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR ISO Tests

Fujfilm HS30EXR ISO 100.JPG

Fujfilm HS30EXR ISO 400.JPG

Fujfilm HS30EXR ISO 800.JPG

Fujfilm HS30EXR ISO 1600.JPG

Fujfilm HS30EXR ISO 3200.JPG

Fujfilm HS30EXR ISO 6400.JPG

Fujfilm HS30EXR ISO 12800.JPG

It would appear this camera uses the same sensor as the F770EXR, reviewed earlier. My notes for that camera apply to this model: at ISO 3200 noise was very visible; at ISO 12800 it was so bad it was even visible on the camera’s 7.6cm LCD screen! A very poor performance

Full tele 1.JPG

Full wide 1.JPG

Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR Review Verdict

Quality: very sharp, accurate colour.

Why you’d buy the Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR: a 30x zoom has enormous appeal; easy to use.

Why you wouldn’t: poor high ISO performance; no GPS feature.

A very appealing camera!

Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR Specifications

Image Sensor: 16 million effective pixels.
Lens: Fujinon f2.8-5.6/4.2-126 mm (24-720mm as 35 SLR equivalent).
Effective Sensor Size: 12.7 mm EXR CMOS.
Metering: multi, spot, average.
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Shutter Speed: 30-1/4000 second.
Continuous Shooting: 3-11 fps.
Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC cards plus 25MB internal memory.
Image Sizes (pixels): Stills: 4608×3456 to 1920×1080.
Movies: 1920x1080p, 1280x720p, 640×480, 320×240, 320×112.
Viewfinder: 7mm turret (921,000), 7.6cm LCD screen (460,000 pixels).
File Formats: RAW, JPEG, RAW+JPEG, MPEG4, MPO 3D.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 12800.
Interface: USB 2.0, AV, HDMI mini.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
Dimensions: 130.6.1×96.6×126 WHDmm.
Weight: 687 g (inc battery and card).
Price: Get a price on the Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR at Amazon.

Summary
Reviewer
Barrie Smith
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR
Author Rating
3

Read more from our Cameras & Equipment category.

Barrie Smith is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

  • Traciatim

    So . . . it basically has all of the disadvantages of a dSLR . . . but none of the benefits?

  • Woodlander

    Why, oh why, all the Fuji camera reviews leave us without information how EXR SN mode low light photos look like.

    For us who never owned a Fuji with EXR this is important.

  • Zvi Harduf, Israel

    Why I didn’t purchase the HS30.
    I own the HS20 over a year, and am satisfied.
    I use 2 sets, each of 4 GP’s Recyko rechargeable 2100 mAh niMH batteries, one- in camera, second- back home (or Zimmer) being charged.
    Important situations I shoot in 3-exposures auto bracketting mode- (we just came back from 2 week vacation in Germany, with ca 2000 exposures. Never did the batteries run empty at midday.
    I have some ideas regarding what I would like my next camera to have, but Fujy declares they won’t listen to users’ ideas.
    So, having the same excellent lens and not enough innovations, significant to me, comparing to my HS20, and changing to expensive, short half-life-charge decay lithium batteries, I wait to the HS40 or different model or make.

  • MannyM

    To Tracyatim, all the disadvantage of a dSLR and none of the benefits? Have you ever thought of how you would cover the wide angle to long telephoto on a dSLR that this camera covers? With one simple twist of your lens barrel, you can cover 24 mm to 720 mm in an instant. Imagine the kind of flexibility you have with that kind of range. Try doing that with your dSLR – you have to lug around maybe two or three zoom lenses just to get the coverage, not to mention the accessory bag you need to carry those things in, the huge amount of money you have to spend to buy those lenses, plus the risk of exposing your sensor to dust, sand and water every time you remove one lens and replace it with the another. And by the time you get the needed lens in place, the opportunity of a life time shot will most likely be gone. That’s just one of the advantages of this camera and the disadvantage of a dSLR. Unless you want to take a picture of a black cat inside a coal bin in the middle of a moonless night, I think the kind of capability of this camera would be good enough for majority of the shooting population.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimcontract/ Jerry
  • Traciatim

    Jerry, wouldn’t you much prefer to have something like an S95, XZ-1, LX5 or similar small carry around camera so that you wouldn’t have to carry around this monstrosity, and then use your SLR for times when you don’t mind carrying a camera bag?

  • http://flic.kr/ps/s5v6z Sabrina

    Hello!
    I am a semi-proof actually and I do frequently use the previous model (it arrives till 6400 Iso). And the reason why I love to do it is that ‘noise’ you talk about in this article. As long as the light is good and you do not get to 6400 it greatly serves everyone who wants a grainy effect without any squared or rounded annoying pixel sensation (I mainly work in B/W).
    In my view: it is a light and cheap camera but has many great performances, therefore it stays a great choice for whoever wants to get an film grain effect without spending 5-6 thousand EU.
    Best to u all

  • http://www.leisuretask.com/photopedia/ Britul

    seems to be a total package …

  • http://majide2009.aminus3.com Jerry Sorrow

    These are not monsters and certainly not beast. I bought the HS30 EXR to carry along with my Nikons but am planning to buy the X-s1 as well. To me they’re light and do everything I want as I live on and island and almost everything I do is landscape or seascape. These have all the zoom I want and with digital zoom even better, plus I’m not having to swap lens all the time. Here in Okinawa the sand and humidly keep me busy cleaning so a fixed lens camera that has that much range is a blessing.

  • http://www.oceans-edge.com/blog/ Ocean’s Edge

    Having had a Fuji bridge camera in the past (S5500) – which I bought then for all the reasons mannym mentions – loved it … loved it… and more importantly USED it. It was easy to always have it handy – rather than having to plan to take my camera bag, and lenses and what lenses with me.

    The poor old S5500 has finally packed it in after 6 years (god love it it still shoots, but the viewfinders have gone dark), so this one is going to be my next camera (soon as they go on sale prices in the next couple weeks).

    Considering you’re not getting noticeable noise till 3200 ISO (and if I ever need to get to that point I *can* borrow hubby’s Canon), I’m rarely if ever going to exceed that. For the price, the features, the zoom and the image quality – for what I want, once again Fuji has come out with a camera that for my needs, can’t be beat.

  • Ricardo Rocha

    I really have to agree with Sabrina and Ocean’s Edge … It is a wonderful camera, full-featured, lightweight and VERY FAST if you use a memory card like mine: SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB, SDHC, UHS-1.

    I leave here a good tip for all those who love the Fuji HS30 … Buy these 2 kits listed below on amazon.com, they are cheap, and required very useful:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00804UT90/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005H0OTMS/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i01

    Here’s the memory card also
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005LFT3QG/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00

Some older comments

  • Ricardo Rocha

    August 30, 2012 01:34 pm

    I really have to agree with Sabrina and Ocean's Edge ... It is a wonderful camera, full-featured, lightweight and VERY FAST if you use a memory card like mine: SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB, SDHC, UHS-1.

    I leave here a good tip for all those who love the Fuji HS30 ... Buy these 2 kits listed below on amazon.com, they are cheap, and required very useful:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00804UT90/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005H0OTMS/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i01

    Here's the memory card also
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005LFT3QG/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00

  • Ocean's Edge

    August 5, 2012 08:32 am

    Having had a Fuji bridge camera in the past (S5500) - which I bought then for all the reasons mannym mentions - loved it ... loved it... and more importantly USED it. It was easy to always have it handy - rather than having to plan to take my camera bag, and lenses and what lenses with me.

    The poor old S5500 has finally packed it in after 6 years (god love it it still shoots, but the viewfinders have gone dark), so this one is going to be my next camera (soon as they go on sale prices in the next couple weeks).

    Considering you're not getting noticeable noise till 3200 ISO (and if I ever need to get to that point I *can* borrow hubby's Canon), I'm rarely if ever going to exceed that. For the price, the features, the zoom and the image quality - for what I want, once again Fuji has come out with a camera that for my needs, can't be beat.

  • Jerry Sorrow

    July 25, 2012 09:10 pm

    These are not monsters and certainly not beast. I bought the HS30 EXR to carry along with my Nikons but am planning to buy the X-s1 as well. To me they're light and do everything I want as I live on and island and almost everything I do is landscape or seascape. These have all the zoom I want and with digital zoom even better, plus I'm not having to swap lens all the time. Here in Okinawa the sand and humidly keep me busy cleaning so a fixed lens camera that has that much range is a blessing.

  • Britul

    July 14, 2012 08:27 pm

    seems to be a total package ...

  • Sabrina

    July 10, 2012 06:00 pm

    Hello!
    I am a semi-proof actually and I do frequently use the previous model (it arrives till 6400 Iso). And the reason why I love to do it is that 'noise' you talk about in this article. As long as the light is good and you do not get to 6400 it greatly serves everyone who wants a grainy effect without any squared or rounded annoying pixel sensation (I mainly work in B/W).
    In my view: it is a light and cheap camera but has many great performances, therefore it stays a great choice for whoever wants to get an film grain effect without spending 5-6 thousand EU.
    Best to u all

  • Traciatim

    July 8, 2012 12:23 am

    Jerry, wouldn't you much prefer to have something like an S95, XZ-1, LX5 or similar small carry around camera so that you wouldn't have to carry around this monstrosity, and then use your SLR for times when you don't mind carrying a camera bag?

  • MannyM

    July 7, 2012 05:05 am

    To Tracyatim, all the disadvantage of a dSLR and none of the benefits? Have you ever thought of how you would cover the wide angle to long telephoto on a dSLR that this camera covers? With one simple twist of your lens barrel, you can cover 24 mm to 720 mm in an instant. Imagine the kind of flexibility you have with that kind of range. Try doing that with your dSLR - you have to lug around maybe two or three zoom lenses just to get the coverage, not to mention the accessory bag you need to carry those things in, the huge amount of money you have to spend to buy those lenses, plus the risk of exposing your sensor to dust, sand and water every time you remove one lens and replace it with the another. And by the time you get the needed lens in place, the opportunity of a life time shot will most likely be gone. That's just one of the advantages of this camera and the disadvantage of a dSLR. Unless you want to take a picture of a black cat inside a coal bin in the middle of a moonless night, I think the kind of capability of this camera would be good enough for majority of the shooting population.

  • Zvi Harduf, Israel

    July 6, 2012 05:19 am

    Why I didn't purchase the HS30.
    I own the HS20 over a year, and am satisfied.
    I use 2 sets, each of 4 GP's Recyko rechargeable 2100 mAh niMH batteries, one- in camera, second- back home (or Zimmer) being charged.
    Important situations I shoot in 3-exposures auto bracketting mode- (we just came back from 2 week vacation in Germany, with ca 2000 exposures. Never did the batteries run empty at midday.
    I have some ideas regarding what I would like my next camera to have, but Fujy declares they won't listen to users' ideas.
    So, having the same excellent lens and not enough innovations, significant to me, comparing to my HS20, and changing to expensive, short half-life-charge decay lithium batteries, I wait to the HS40 or different model or make.

  • Woodlander

    July 5, 2012 08:24 am

    Why, oh why, all the Fuji camera reviews leave us without information how EXR SN mode low light photos look like.

    For us who never owned a Fuji with EXR this is important.

  • Traciatim

    July 5, 2012 05:54 am

    So . . . it basically has all of the disadvantages of a dSLR . . . but none of the benefits?

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