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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.
I have had the Finepix HS10 for 3 week now and it is a very good camera. If there is one thing that I find a bit of a pain with it, it is that it can have lag on the shutter when taking slow shots, but I still like it and I am very pleased with it.
First impressions are good. Handles like a DSLR due to manual zoom operation and plenty of dedicated buttons around the body which means you don't have to trawl through menus for ISO settings, exposure compensation, white balance and the like. The lens is capable of very good definition at both wide angle and max zoom. The 30x zoom means you can get really close to the action but it needs good light conditions to get good results. Macro quality is very good. The actual lens build is not perfect and there are slight problems of smoothness of operation. Nothing too obvious though. The camera has an excellent grip and handles very well.
Manual focus is possible but works best when tripod mounted. Auto focus speed is reasonable for a bridge camera but slow compared with even entry level DSLR. As previously mentioned shutter lag is quite obvious and needs anticipation with high speed action.
Build quality is very good and gives the impression of being quite rugged. The use of AA batteries may not appeal to all users but they are readily available and give quite good return on number of shots. The viewfinder is a little small but quite bright.
Chromatic abberation is better controlled on this camera than many similar models and noise is only really apparent at 800 ISO and above. Now that the camera has fallen in price it represents a very good option for users who do not wish to carry several lenses and the 35mm equivalent of 24mm to 720mm would take some carrying.
I am impressed by the camera so far and it will appeal to a broad spectrum of users. It cannot compete with an entry level DSLR but it does come very close and has the advantage of fixed lens.
Amazing performance at this price. The 30x (24-720 35mm equivalent) lens is a joy to use. Unusually for a bridge camera this is a manual zoom - no faffing around with buttons trying to get it to stop when you want it to - the control is right there in your hand.
As regards the batteries, I get around 300 shots from a set of Kodak alkalines (£1 for 6 at Poundland) and well over 600 from GP Recyko NiMh rechargeables.
Of course if you have the viewing screen on all the time and make a lot of use of the flash thses numbers will come down a bit.
I came to the HS10 from a Fuji S6500 which I bought in 2007. The only complaint I have is that the lens hood and the lens-cap retainer that came with th S6500 have been discontinued with the HS10. The one from th S6500 fits so now I share it between the two cameras. It's a comment on the quality of the results I get from the S6500 that I stiill use it.
Had this camera for approx 12-months and had to return to manufacturer. Fortunately I invested in extended warranty and the unit was replaced FOC. Took the opportunity to upgrade to the HS20 for a nominal sum. Still having some problems with the view - it sometimes has a pinkish band of filtered view - does not interfere with the shots but is annoying.:)
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