Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


Fujifilm FinePix HS10 Digital Camera Review

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 Digital Camera Review - No sooner have Fujifilm wowed us with the EXR sensor, than they launch the HS10; a superzoom camera priced at 375 with 10.3Mp on a BSI-CMOS sensor, a 3in tilting screen, bags of features and a mind boggling 30x optical zoom.

 Add Comment

Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Fujifilm FinePix HS10
Price : £375
Rating :
Share :

Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 front image
The Fujifilm FinePix HS10 flagship superzoom sports a 30x optical zoom but also features a back-illuminated sensor and sweep panoramic mode.

Fujifilm have some pretty exciting cameras under their belt. They have the models with the EXR sensor, the 3D camera and now they're pushing the features on the superzooms. The HS10 has a 30x optical zoom and so many features, I'm losing track.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10: Features
We've all seen the superzooms being churned out but what has the HS10 got that the others don't? What makes it worth the hefty price tag? For a start, there's that eye watering 30x optical zoom. That gives a total coverage of 24 - 720mm in 35mm terms. That will surely destroy the amount of light that can be captured, so the HS10 has been fitted with a new BSI-CMOS sensor. BSI standing for Back Side Illuminated. With a name like that, I'm unsurprised they decided to abbreviate. The way it works is in the construction. The wiring that normally sits on top of the photodiode layer has been placed behind the photodiodes to allow more light to hit the sensitive layer. It means faster shutter speeds in lower light, higher frames per second and less noise due to being able to use a lower sensitivity.

More experienced photographers will be happy to know that the HS10 shoots in Raw although this has to be enabled in the main menu and certain features will be disabled such as the dynamic range compensation.

Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 back image
The back has a similar layout to other Fujifilm compacts.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 control buttons
These buttons down the left side of the screen are similar to a Nikon design.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 command dials
The two dials on the shoulder are angled to make using them easier.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 screen
It's a shame that the 3in tilting screen won't swivel left and right as well.

A new processor has been developed for the HS10 to cope with the huge zoom, extra performance of the sensor and additional features such as motion panorama, multi motion capture and pro light mode. However, I found in the tests that the processor is exceptionally slow, especially when recording JPEG and Raw together. With a normal SD card, it took three seconds to get the preview on the screen and a total of nine seconds before the preview disappeared. This doesn't sound a lot but when you're out in the real world, it can be an age. This improves slightly using an SDHC card with the image showing on screen in just over 2 seconds and being ready for the next shot after five seconds. I still think this is a long time though and I got frustrated waiting at times.

Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 panoramic image
Sweep panorama is taken in one long exposure as you twist by your waist. Problems such as the moving car on the right can spoil it though.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10: Handling
There are number of quirky features that the HS10 has to help with your photography. The most noticeable is the tilting screen which is great for shooting high or low viewpoints. Unfortunately, it doesn't twist sideways so it's useless if you're shooting portrait orientation.

The command dial on the top shoulder has been placed at a jaunty angle so it's easier to grip onto without moving as much. This helps lessen shake which will help with that large zoom. Pro Low-light mode has been featured on the Fujifilm compacts since the introduction of the EXR sensor and it's been expanded to include a Multi-motion capture mode and Motion Remover which I think is possibly the most interesting one.

Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 rear buttons
The back buttons are very easy to use, they're firm to the touch and very responsive to your commands.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 flash
The built-in flash aids the hot-shoe for external flash systems although I couldn't get it to power a slave trigger in the studio.

It works by taking five images in succession, and mapping them together. It then analyses anything that has moved in the frame and removes it. This ingenious feature is great for touring the sights of a famous city where other tourists will get in the way but not so good on landscapes or on a windy day.

The chunky grip is great to hold and I like the manual zoom ring on the lens as well as a function ring next to the body. The buttons and dials are easy to use and could be susceptible to getting knocked if you aren't careful. A lot of people are happy with the inclusion of AA batteries and I think it's subjective on whether you prefer them or not. I personally don't like them but I know many people see the pros outweigh the cons.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10: Performance
All images were taken in Raw where possible and converted using the Fujifilm Raw converter that comes with the camera.

Exposure
In diverse lighting, the HS10 copes really well, it manages to expose areas bathed in bright sunlight without burning out highlights and still manages to retain detail in shadow areas. The same goes for strong side-lighting, the cameras metering system copes nicely.

Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 backlit subject Fujifilm FinePix HS10 direct light
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 diverse light
Top left: Backlit subjects still retain information in the shadow areas.

Top right: With direct sun, the camera suffers from lens flare.

Bottom left: The camera meters well using the multi metering option.

Bottom right: A good dynamic range retains detail images with strong light.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 side-light

With sunlight directly in the frame, the camera suffers badly from lens flare which manifests in the form of hexagonal spots and light streaks. With digital cameras, a type of lens flare can occur that looks like a cluster of rainbows. This phenomenon is caused by diffraction on the image sensor.

Backlit subjects look really good with plenty of detail still in the shadow areas although there's noticeable chromatic aberration in the form of a thin line of purple fringing on high contrast edges.

Focusing

Focusing is speedier than other superzooms I've reviewed in the past and although the camera hunts through the focal range before settling on the optimum area, it gets through that range pretty fast. There are a number of focusing modes, three of which are available on the rear navigation pad.

Because of the diversity of the camera, it has to be able to cope with all styles of photography, so sports not just a macro mode but also a super macro mode that has a close focusing of 1cm. This can only be used at full wide-angle setting so be prepared for some distortion.

Aside from the macro modes, on the left side of the screen are two buttons, one marked AF C-S-M which scrolls through continuous, single or manual focusing while the button above rotates through the focusing point options such as multi-point, centre-point, area select and tracking. The AF tracking system is a simple idea enabled by pressing the left key on the navigation pad, but it's not efficient and can't keep on the subject if they move quickly.

Resolution
Images straight out of the camera are a little soft and in need of some sharpening in an editing suite and for this reason the camera seems to not be able to show as much detail as it's capable of recording. They're not out of focus though, so I don't think it's a dodgy focusing system but I got a new model to test to be on the safe side.

Raw files come out of the computer at 15.18Mb while JPEGs are a more modest 3.95Mb. When a Raw file is compressed to JPEG through the Fujifilm Raw processing system, the finished image comes out at 3.67Mb.

Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 detail and resolution
Images are a bit soft and benefit from sharpening in editing later.

Noise
In a similar way to the Ricoh CX3 which was reviewed on 15th April 2010, the backlit sensor helps improve noise performance because the increased light on the sensor allows for lower ISO in darker situations. Also, the shutter speeds don't have to be as long and long shutter speeds make the pixels heat up because they're active, which also creates a type of noise.

This improved performance has seen the manufacturers dare to add an extra step of sensitivity on the camera and the HS10 has a top setting of ISO6400 which also remains at a full size image.

Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 outside ISO test
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 outside ISO100
The ISO100 test.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 outside ISO200
The ISO200 test.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 ISO400 test
The ISO400 test.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 ISO800 test
The ISO800 test.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 ISO1600 test
The ISO1600 test.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 ISO3200 test
The ISO3200 test
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 ISO6400 test
The ISO6400 test.
 

Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 ISO100 test
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 ISO100 test
The ISO100 test.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 ISO200 test
The ISO200 test.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 ISO400 test
The ISO400 test.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 ISO800 test
The ISO800 test.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 ISO1600 test
The ISO1600 test.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 ISO3200 test
The ISO3200 test.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 ISO6400 test
The ISO6400 test.
 

Noise reduction on the HS10 works really well and in natural light, I can't see noise appear at all until ISO800 where the image starts to get the painted look because the detail is starting to be smoothed out. Multi-coloured pixels start to appear in low and mid-range areas of the pictures and these get worse as the ISO settings are increased.

At ISO3200 most of the detail in the scene has gone and the only difference between ISO3200 and ISO6400 is the addition of blue and purple spots in contrasting areas of the frame.

In controlled light, a similar result occurs than what I found outside. The images are really nice and smooth at low to mid-range ISO settings. ISO800 shows a slight change in the quality as noise starts to creep through and break down the edges of sharp lines. To be fair to the camera, you have to view the images at 100% magnification to see the changes taking place and it's not until ISO3200 that the quality degrades enough for it to be an issue at normal viewing distance.

Even though ISO6400 is suffering from a big noise problem, the camera still tries to hold onto its dignity by producing a half decent image. In fact if these were the results I get all the time, I'd have no problem using a high ISO setting.

Colour reproduction
One area I think the Fuji could be improved on is colour saturation. I found in natural light that cool colours such as blue and green just didn't come out as rich as I'd like or expect. Still, this could be attributed to Fujifilm programming sensors to give the look of 35mm film that they make because it has a coolness to it. Bold colours are reproduced nicely, although in bright light, I got some bleeding of really strong red onto darker colours. Foliage and sky blue aren't unpleasant when looking at the picture but compared to the actual scene, they're ever so slightly off.

In controlled light, blue is over saturated as I expected from Fujifilm while warmer colours appear more pale. Tricky colours such as purple are handled well and I like that even in images with strong colours, pastels and subtle hues aren't ignored. Earthy browns and greens look a bit darker than I like but mono tones, I think they've come out nicely.

Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 colour test
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 bright colours Fujifilm FinePix HS10 foliage and sky
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 saturated red
Top left: Bright colours look good but the camera suffers from colour bleed.

Top right: Foliage comes out a fraction off true colour.

Above: Saturated reds are bright and vivid.

Right: I love the way the camera handles skin tones. They're balanced, realistic and there's no over sharpening done either.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 portrait test

Emma B is a model for hire, you can visit her portfolio here:

Emma B

Dynamic range
The Fujifilm FinePix HS10 has the dynamic range compensation system which is found in the main menu and has three settings of DR100, DR200 and DR400.

At ISO100, only DR100 is available, at ISO200, DR200 also becomes available and from ISO400, all three are open to use.

White-balance
I got some balanced results from the HS10 in natural daylight, it cooled down the warmth of sunlight while warming up shaded areas. There are three fluorescent settings to combat the strong cast of strip lights. The reason being that there are different types of strip light that give a different cast, so it's simply looking at the scene in each setting and using the closest match. Luckily, the camera will show the scene behind you so you can see the colour change as you select the setting. It's best to have something white in the frame so you can teel the correct setting easier.

The nearest setting that I had came out quite well unlike the auto setting that gave a very green finish. The tungsten setting also worked well enough in the preset mode while the auto setting gives an orange cast as it can't cope with the warmth of the lights. It's always best to take a manual reading if you can and it's easy enough to do with the Fujifilm FinePix HS10. Choose the custom white-balance setting in the list, hold the camera over something pure white such as a piece of paper and press the shutter release button. Once the camera has registered the new setting, press Ok and the setting is saved.

Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.

Fluorescent  
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 auto white-balance fluorescent
Auto white-balance fluorescent.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 white-balance fluorescent
White-balance fluorescent.
Tungsten  
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 auto white-balance tungsten
Auto white-balance tungsten.
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 white-balance tungsten
White-balance tungsten.

Battery life
The Fujifilm FinePix HS10 uses 4x AA batteries which aren't my cup of tea in the slightest, I prefer a rechargeable Lithium Ion type. Sure I know the advantages of AA batteries, but it still annoys me when they don't last as long. I don't like batteries dying on me at all regardless of the variety they are. For that reason. Even using rechargeable batteries irks me so I tend to gravitate towards cameras that I'm more confident won't run out of power.

That being said, the standard pack of batteries that came in the box lasted me the entire test period with around 200 - 300 images being taken, using the screen on the back mostly, reviewing every image and recording to Raw/JPEG which takes more processing time. I also shot some video footage which isn't thrifty on power a the best of times.

Sanyo Eneloop batteries are a popular choice for people who like to use cameras that have AA battery compatibility and you can get a pack of these batteries and a charger for £24.99 from Park Cameras here:

Sanyo Eneloop x4 AA and charger

Buffer read/write times
There are a two continuous shooting modes and they're accessed using the button on the top plate between the shutter release and mode dial. You can choose from Top7 (Top6 if you're shooting in Raw) and Best frame capture.

The Top7 mode takes six or seven quick succession images which it transfers to a temporary buffer to process onto the card once the camera has finished. That way, speed isn't affected by the processor trying to work on the images. It took the seven JPEGs in half a second which is a speed of 14fps. Very fast and a shame it can't do more than seven pictures. It's also a shame that the pictures take a total of 29sec to take, preview and process the images.

In Raw, the speed is noticeably slower to take the pictures but takes a similar total processing time. The six Raw images are taken in a little over a second.

Lens performance
Considering a Fujinon lens has been used on the HS10, I'm surprised at the lack of quality. As well as the previously mentioned softness all over, chromatic aberration and lens flare, the lens also suffers from much softer resolution at the edges. Because of the all over softness, centre sharpness is dicey at best although the massive zoom does make it a bit better if you zoom in.

A lens hood would've been a great addition to the extras in the box because it would've helped with the lens flare problem although judging by the amount of flare showing, it would have only reduced it.

Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 wide angle
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 wide angle
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 zoomed in
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 zoomed in.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10: Verdict
When we drill down to the nitty gritty, is a massive feature-set and a few unique systems really enough to warrant getting a camera such as this one? Colours can be pale and the lens isn't the best I've seen on a Fuji camera.

Comparable models include the Olympus SP800 UZ at £329.99 which also has a 30x optical zoom but Olympus have sacrificed 4mm at the wide end to add 120mm at full zoom, so it depends on if you prefer the Fujifilm 24mm wide-angle or the Olympus 840mm top end. The Pentax X90 has a smaller 26x optical zoom but has a 26mm wide angle view that extends to 676mm in 35mm terms but comes in at a more appealing £294.99.

There's tonnes of features on the camera, more than enough to keep you busy for a long time, there are innovative features such as the motion remover, 30x optical zoom and Fujfilm are pushing the technology by being one of the first manufacturers to use a backlit sensor. Despite all this I can't help but feel that the camera has to come down in price to nearer the £300 mark. I think then it will be a good price.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10: Pros
30x optical zoom
Backlit sensor increases light sensitivity
Loads of interesting modes
Great noise performance at low to medium settings
Feels good to hold and use with the manual zoom and chunky grip
Brilliant metering system and dynamic range

Fujifilm FinePix HS10: Cons
Bad chromatic aberration from lens
Pale colours in natural light
Soft images
Bad lens flare

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE
OVERALL

Fujifilm FinePix HS10: Specification
Price £374.99
Contact www.fujifilm.co.uk
Optical zoom 30x Fujinon f/2.8 - 5.6
Resolution 10.3Mp
Sensor size 1/2.3in
Sensor type BSI-CMOS (back-side illuminated)
Max. Image size 3648x2736
Aspect ratio 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Focusing system TTL
Focusing points  
Focus type Area, multi, centre, tracking, continuous AF, manual focus
Focus distance 50cm - infinity, 10cm - 3m macro, 1cm - 1m supermacro
File types JPEG, Raw
ISO sensitivity ISO100 - 6400
Metering system TTL
Metering types Programme AE, aperture-priority AE, shutter-priority AE, manual
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3 step increments
Shutter speed range 4sec - 1/4000sec
Frames-per-second 10fps for 7 frames (JPEG) or 6 frames (Raw)
Image stabilisation Yes, CMOS shift & High ISO & Hyper digital Image stabilisation
Monitor 3in colour tilting LCD
Media type SD, SDHC
Interface USB 2.0
Power 4x AA batteries
Size 130.6x90.7x126mm
Weight 636g (excl. batteries and card)

The Fujifilm FinePix HS10 costs £374.99 and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Fujifilm FinePix HS10


Explore More

Photographs taken using the Fujifilm FinePix HS10

A Tribute to Dame Edna....Leaving....My WorldLooming StormBlue Skimmer.Bee Happy....Just Before The StormHoar FrostMessy SkyNeon Skimmer.Brief VisitHover flyDamselflyThe Fly!Painted Lady and Bumble Bee
Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Comments


Leif 9 722
23 Apr 2010 10:45PM
You say:

"Sanyo Eneloop batteries are the preferred choice for people who like to use cameras that have AA battery compatibility "

What makes you say something so blatantly biased towards one company's products? Where is your evidence for that statement?

Tests by a German magazine show that Eneloops are no better than several competing products including Panasonic Infinium. In fact the Panasonic cells won their tests.

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.chip.de/artikel/Ready-to-use-Akkus-im-Vergleichstest_33343906.html&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dpanasonic%2Binfinium%2Btest%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-GB:official%26sa%3DN%26start%3D30&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&twu=1

My own tests, where I kept some fully charged cells for 3 months, confirm the findings. The Panasonic won, although sample variation probably means it should be declared a draw. There are also several AA cells that are rebadged Eneloops, including the made in Japan white top Duracell Low Self Discharge NiMH cells.

If you are sponsored by Sanyo, then I think you should declare that fact up front.

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

24 Apr 2010 5:30PM
Unfortunatly i belived the hype on this camera so sold my trusty FZ28. When the camera arrived it had 'issues' shall we call them.The auto focus was mediocure at best. Soft focus too the centre and just blured and no detail to the outside. My old Fz had better IQ. Unable to use the 1080p video due to sticky zoom lens and terrible Image stabalization. The position of the mic's just picked up the sound of you hands holding the cheap plasitic. Took over 300 shots and then sent it back and bought the FZ38 which i should have done in the first place and not be taken in by the 'jack of all trades and master of none' HS10. Check out the feedback on amazon and Fujitalk on DPReview. There maybe some good examples out there but ther is also alot of bad ones.
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
26 Apr 2010 9:03AM

Quote: You say:

"Sanyo Eneloop batteries are the preferred choice for people who like to use cameras that have AA battery compatibility "

What makes you say something so blatantly biased towards one company's products? Where is your evidence for that statement?

Tests by a German magazine show that Eneloops are no better than several competing products including Panasonic Infinium. In fact the Panasonic cells won their tests.

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.chip.de/artikel/Ready-to-use-Akkus-im-Vergleichstest_33343906.html&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dpanasonic%2Binfinium%2Btest%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-GB:official%26sa%3DN%26start%3D30&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&twu=1

My own tests, where I kept some fully charged cells for 3 months, confirm the findings. The Panasonic won, although sample variation probably means it should be declared a draw. There are also several AA cells that are rebadged Eneloops, including the made in Japan white top Duracell Low Self Discharge NiMH cells.

If you are sponsored by Sanyo, then I think you should declare that fact up front.

Hi,
no I'm not sponsored, I can see where you got that idea from and I've amended the review to reflect it further. In my review of the Pentax K-x, I mentioned that I thought the camera was heavy on the AA batteries. I had many, many comments about using Eneloops instead of any other brand.

While I wasn't saying it was the sole choice, I felt that after the amount of comments I got, it was a very popular choice of battery.

Pentax K-x review
Leif 9 722
26 Apr 2010 6:27PM
Matt: Okay, thanks for the clarification. Just for the record, I have no connection with any battery manufacturer, or retailer of batteries, just in case someone wonders.
28 Apr 2010 12:48PM
Fuji released a firmware update for the HS10. You can download it here: link .

It corrects these problems:
1. Some distorted images with pin-cushion type can be captured at AE bracketing mode
2. Sometimes unclear details in images
3. In RAW + JPEG mode, JPEG images are sharper
4. Soft image or not smooth enough color gradation in D-range 200, 400% than in 100%
6 Apr 2011 9:30PM
I have just taken delivery of the HS10 and have to say this is a brilliant camera. When I have read some of the (negative) things people have said about it I wondered if they have been using the same camera as this!! You can talk all you like about mega pixels, noise etc etc etc, but if you can't take a decent picture with this thing then you will not be able to take a decent picture with any camera! The sharpness of the 720mm telephoto is incredible - I took a hand-held picture of a bird approx 40m away from me and the picture is as sharp as anything I have seen from a DSLR - amazing quality!

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.