ReviewGist Report for Fuji FinePix HS10
The Fujifilm FinePix HS 10 was released in February 2010 and is the latest member of Fujifilm's famed big-zoom 'bridge' cameras. Below we enumerate the salient features of the Finepix HS 10 as advertised by Fuji. We further dissect the reviews provided by 31 expert reviewers including those by CNet, The Washington Post and PhotoReview and look at whether the HS10 delivers on Fuji's promise.
What the Manufacturer Says
As per Fuji's press release, The FinePix HS 10 features the world's first 30x optical zoom with manual zoom mechanism, advanced photographic features and full HD movie capture. The extreme long-zoom, high speed capture and other unique features make for an 'all in one' photographer's camera.
The HS10 boasts a 30x wide-angle optical zoom lens and is the most appealing feature of the camera. This lens enables capturing images on the spectrum ranging from true wide angles to ultra telephoto. The lens is not removable as it is fixed to the camera body. Fuji claims this protects the lens and the sensor from exposure to dust, when the lenses are being replaced.
The HS10 encapsulates a 10 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. The technology utilises what Fuji calls the Back-side Illumination CMOS capture to produce well-detailed images.The 'Pro-Low light' mode combines multiple high-sensitive and low noise-exposures to produce a sharp image. The HS 10 allows the user to click photos at 10 frames-per-second at the maximum megapixel (10 MP) setting.
Other features include,
1. 10.3 Megapixel Resolution
2. HD Recording
3. Electronic viewfinder
4. Allows movie capture at 1000 frames per second for slow-motion movies.
What the Reviews Say
First things first. EVERYBODY loves the lens. If there's one thing the experts are willing to swear-by it is the whopping 30x lens. The folks at CNet and DigitalCameraInfo are highly impressed with Fuji's offering in terms of the lens. Cameras.co.uk absolutely loves the "definition" when the lens is fully zoomed in. Fuji which offers both manual and auto focus, with this camera, doesn't evoke any complaints regarding the lens from the reviewers' community.
The experts seem to be satisfied with the image quality in good light at ISO levels under 800. The consensus from the reviewers at CNet, PhotoReview, and others is that this camera photographs well for low ISO levels. However, above ISO 800 , the experts feel the tiny image sensor (1/2.3 inch) compromises the image quality. CNet felt the intricate details were lost due to high levels of noise. The T3 Gadget website and PhotoReview seemed to echo CNet's findings.
The experts aren't exactly chuffed with the video quality either. While the HS 10 promised HD resolution recording, the video quality was "pretty ordinary" according to PhotoReview, while The Washington Post felt the video was "weak" in colour. PhotoReview, however, liked the existence of a High-Speed movie mode that allowed for a viewing of the video in slow-motion.
The HS 10 is pretty efficient for a camera that uses 4 AA batteries, according to Steve's Digicams. There isn't much of a hulla-baloo regarding battery-life, so the battery seems to work adequately. This would indicate that the battery life and functioning aren't cause for any concern.
While the camera delivers big-time on the lens, it seems to leave the photographers yearning for more image quality at higher ISO levels. Fuji promised "legendary" image quality seems to be fulfilled at low ISO levels only.
The HD video quality also leaves a lot to be desired.
To summarize, the FinePix HS 10 works as a 'bridge camera' providing a wonderful lens, good design and satisfactory but not excellent image and video quality.
The Finepix HS10 is one of the more affordable ultra-zooms in the market and is a good bridge option for the point-and-shoot photographer to use before stepping onto the DSLR world.
In the market, the HS10 has some rather fierce competition from the older Fuji Finepix S200EXR and the Finepix S100FS - both of which are pretty accomplished ultra-zooms with mechanical image stabilization's and the slightly expensive but highly rated Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100.