Fujifilm Finepix HS10 Review

Fujifilm Finepix HS10 Review

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In an era of small digicams this is a monster. The size of a DSLR, it weighs a little under 750g and, mounted into the front of the body, is its big, big feature… a 30x zoom that stretches from a 35 SLR equivalent of an enjoyably wide 24mm starting point way, way out to 720mm! Naturally, the zoom has manual operation.

17. HS10_RIGHT_FRONT_.jpg

In the hand the Fujifilm Finepix HS10 is well balanced, thanks to a prominent speed grip, convenient placement of power button, mode dial, four way jogger and command dial which, among other things, cycles through shutter speed and lens aperture settings when the camera is in aperture or shutter priority.

The mode dial is worth a look in detail: there are auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority well as manual exposure; then there are auto scene recognition, advanced mode, custom settings, motion panorama (similar to Sony’s shoot and stitch in-camera trick) and ‘scene position’ that provides entrée to scene modes like beach, portrait etc.

Added to the external controls is a weighty viewfinder menu, totalling 40 plus shooting options that range from tweaks to white balance, sharpness, face detection, flash, the level of the shutter sound, LCD brightness, image stabiliser and quite a bit more. I suggest you spend a day getting to know this menu!

At this point it becomes obvious that the HS10 is not for the raw beginner or occasional shooter. Its talents will test many a hardened, experienced photographer, added to which you need to deal with the 30x zoom… handheld photography at the 720mm equivalent is out of the question for most people, unless you twist the ISO setting to 1000 or above; even then you will face serious difficulties in focusing and framing.

A welcome feature is the tilt out and up rear LCD screen added to the turret viewfinder, useful for shooting in the bright outdoors. Unfortunately both possess a relatively low resolution of 230,000 pixels.

Fujifilm Finepix HS10 Features

Fish 6.JPG

With such a long zoom a decent image stabiliser is essential and Fujifilm have chosen to install a more than capable dual image stabiliser that, in the main, acts to mechanically stabilise the CMOS sensor plus there are two options for digital stabilisation, which I would tend to avoid.

More: high speed shooting is also well served with tracking autofocus; in Best Frame Capture mode the camera continuously captures images from the moment you focus then saves up to seven shots before or after you press the shutter release.

On top of all this the HS10 can shoot Full HD 1920×1080 pixel movies at 30 fps with stereo sound, although the latter is of low capture quality.

Then there are the high speed movie modes that should set your sports heart a-racing. How about 240 fps? Or 1000 fps? Gotcha? The HS10 can shoot at these incredible speeds, although the image size is only 442×332 and 224×64 pixels respectively.

Even more incredible is the camera’s Motion Remover Mode where a rapid bracket of five frames is taken, then the group is analysed and combined in-camera to create a single sharp image — anything moving in the scene disappears. One use is to shoot crowded cityscapes and remove the crowds!

Oliver Hardy 2.JPG

There’s a lot more in the camera: 10 million pixel image with a maximum size of 3648×2736 pixels, printable to a 31x24cm print; JPEG and RAW capture; in-camera movie trimming, an HDMI output; four AA battery compartment for alkalines or rechargeables.?

ISO Settings

Fuji FinePix HS10 ISO 100 f4.5 1:28 sec.jpg
ISO 100 and going well.

Fuji FinePix HS10 ISO 800 f4.5 1:223 sec.jpg
ISO 800 and doing surprisingly well: OK for noise and overall image quality.

Fuji FinePix HS10 ISO 1600 f4.5 1:446 sec.jpg
ISO 1600 and we start to hit the barrier for noise and a drop in image quality.

Fuji FinePix HS10 ISO 3200 f5.6 1:500 sec.jpg
ISO 3200 and well past its prime.

Fuji FinePix HS10 ISO 6400 f6.4 1:750 sec.jpg
ISO 6400: OK only if you like lots of noise; colour and definition well down.

Distortion

In optical terms the 30x Fujinon lens is quite remarkable with no sign of distortion at either end of the zoom. Let’s see other companies match this performance at this price point.

Comment

(insert Fishing boat)
Quality: I found the image quality to be well above average and the system well able to bring in excellent images in poor conditions. A good substitute for a DSLR.

Why you would buy it: the idea of a 30x zoom appeals; you like a mountain of controls.
Why you wouldn’t: you don’t have the skills or patience to cope with a long zoom; your photo needs are simple; the camera is too heavy or bulky for your needs.

Fujifilm Finepix HS10 Specs

Image Sensor: 10 million effective pixels.
Metering: Multi zones, averaging, spot.
Sensor Size: 11mm CMOS.
Lens: Fujinon f2.8-5.6/4.2-126mm (24-720mm as 35 SLR equivalent).
Shutter Speed: 30 to 1/4000 second.
Memory: SD/SDHC cards plus 46MB internal memory.
Image Sizes (pixels): 3648×2736, 3648×2432, 3648×2056, 2592×1944, 2592×1728, 2592×1440, 2048×1536, 2048×1360, 1920×1080. Movies (pixels): 1920×1080, 1280×720, 640×480, 320×240 at 30 fps. High speed: 1000 fps to 60 fps.
Viewfinders: Turret 5mm: (200,000 pixels); rear LCD Screen: 7.6cm LCD (230,000 pixels).
File Formats: RAW, JPEG, Motion JPEG, WAV.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 6400.
Interface: USB 2.0, AV, HDMI, DC.
Power: AA alkaline/lithium/NiMh, DC input.
Dimensions: 130.6×90.7×126 WHDmm.
Weight: 730 g (with batteries and card).
Price: Get a price on the Fujifilm FinePix HS10 at Amazon (currently 13% off)

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Fujifilm Finepix HS10
Author Rating
3

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

Some Older Comments

  • Kevin Harwin October 25, 2010 02:38 am

    My Dad has this Camera and he thinks it brill but the only problem is the battery life. The Camera eats them that fast, you need to get more very soon.

  • Mithun Saha October 21, 2010 04:16 am

    it is a good camera for beginner like me...
    see my flickr photos taken using HS10
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mithun_saha/
    it is quite good because i can capture the moon a also......

  • EyeMindSoul October 12, 2010 02:13 am

    I've been using the HS-10 for several months now. I agree with the reviewer that you need to 'work' the camera.

    I have a few articles, tips and images at my blog if any wish to look - http://eyemindsoul.blogspot.com/

    Cheers.

  • Anna McCullough October 11, 2010 10:28 pm

    I own this camera and can vouch for the overall conclusion. This is not a true DSLR replacement in that it has a small sensor and as such, its image quality cannot exactly equal a DSLR's BUT it does come pretty darn close. I've taken well over 2,000 photos with mine and while there is indeed a learning curve, once you get used to the camera you'll be stunned at the quality of the output given the sensor size. I have been able to take fully-zoomed-out, handheld images at 800 ISO that are more than acceptable, and its macro capabilities are just as amazing - you can get to 1 cm of an object. The aperture range is decent for a bridge camera, thus allowing one to get images with pretty good bokeh, and the lens is indeed surprisingly sharp across its range with decently-controlled chromatic aberration (very little "purple fringing".

    I do NOT use the "bells 'n whistles" features - I don't use the in-camera panorama or motion remover features, for example, nor do I use a still camera to shoot video, so I really can't speak to those. But for its core functionality - its ability to take a good photograph - it's really a great model. It is indeed bulky, but I have not had any problems shooting it and I'm a 5' 6" female who weighs in at all of 125 pounds. I have small hands and the camera's controls are well laid out, very easy to reach - never posed a problem.

    The only two things I dislike is that a) there's nothing resembling a printed manual, you have to print it out yourself from the PDF (and you MUST READ THE MANUAL to get the most out of this camera!) and that b) this is NOT a "live-view" type of camera - what you're seeing in the electronic viewfinder or LCD is not necessarily what your final shot will look like. You must learn to depend on the built-in exposure meter to get an accurate shot, otherwise you will constantly under- or over-expose your images. This is a little disconcerting if you're coming from a point-and-shoot background where most of those cameras' LCD's reflect what the final image should look like.

  • Linda October 11, 2010 01:03 pm

    I have had this camera for just over a month, and still have not worked my way theough the menu. The basic manual which comes with the camera, has only 22 pages, I sugest down loading the 'owners manual' from the internet, for much more information. So far, I am very pleased with pictures, one excellent feature is a super macro mode.

  • kirpi October 11, 2010 07:31 am

    Fujifilm knows its business: this camera, though far from being very interesting compared to many others, shows a lot of steps ahead.