FujiFilm FinePix HS10 Review

Billed as the ultimate all in one photographic solution, the Fujifilm FinePix HS10 packs virtually everything you can think of in one very DSLR-looking camera body. While a good portion of attention is focused on the HS10’s 30x zoom lens (that’s 24-720mm for those keeping count), the HS10 also offers a 3″ tilt screen LCD, shoots RAW, captures stills at 10 fps, shoots 1080p HD video, and for fun even shoots lower res video at 1000 fps.

Photographer’s wonder cam or camera overload? Perhaps a bit of both, but the HS10 is a very compelling option for photographers looking for the convenience of covering all the bases, with just one camera.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

  • Sensor: 1/2.3 ” BSI-CMOS, 10.3 million effective pixels
  • Lens: 30x optical zoom, 24-720mm (35mm equiv.), f/ 2.8- F5.6.
  • ISO: 100-6400.
  • Continuous Shooting: 10 fps for 7 frames.
  • LCD: 3″ 230K dot.
  • Shooting Modes: Auto, SR, Adv, SP1, SP2, PANORAMA, Custom, Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual
  • Scene Modes: Portrait, Portrait Enhancer, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Flower, Text,
  • Natural Light, Natural Light & Flash
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 pixels, 1280 x 720 pixels, 640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels, 30 frames/sec., Stereo sound
  • Dimensions: 5.1 x 3.6 x 5.0 in. (131 x 91 x 126 mm).
  • Weight: 25.0 oz (709 g) includes batteries.

EXTERIOR AND INTERFACE

1. While Fujifilm’s marketing will emphasize the HS10’s compact-ness, it is decidedly not compact, easily being the size of a small DSLR camera, which it indeed greatly resembles. Relative to a DSLR with a 720mm lens attached, the HS10 suddenly does seem a good deal more compact, but even for a super-zoom type camera the HS10 is a big bulbous beast of a camera.

2. Build quality is quite good, a textured plastic shell will likely be pretty resistant to abuse over time, and overall fit and finish is pretty satisfying. Ergonomically the HS10 also scores well. It offers a substantial grip, covered in large swath of rubber grip material, together with a thumb recess on the rear, the HS10 feels secure and comfortable.

Oriented to more experienced photographers, the HS10 provides plenty of physical controls, a dedicated movie record button, and even a command dial, so at least on the outside the HS10 is friendly for on-the-fly camera changes. The 3 inch tilt screen is nice right up to the point that you realize that 230k of resolution can make focusing and playback much less satisfying than a 460K or higher LCD would have.

3. On the interface front, the HS10, like the other Fujifilm cameras we’ve tested recently looks rather archaic…like Panasonic’s interfaces, the HS10 packs a good deal of info and camera setting options onto the screen in a not so pretty way, it’s mostly intuitive, just not neat or attractive.

Regardless, pressing a dedicated camera function button (ISO for example), and turning the command dial with the thumb makes quick work of adjusting the camera, similarly, the command dial also works great for changing things like aperture when in one of the program modes (the HS10 does provide program, aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual shooting modes).

4. Unlike most super-zooms, the HS10 doesn’t provide a zoom lever, focal length changes are done manually (just like a DSLR), which provides the advantage of dialing in exactly the right needed distance, and eliminates the need for waiting for a lens motor to do the chore for you.

It does eliminate zooming in or out during video as the action on the lens is far to stiff for such duties (not to mention a lack of an effective continuous focus). Finally, a 200K EVF is available for photographers who don’t care for composing on the rear LCD. Our unit’s lacked the clarity for prolonged use, but in bright light, an EVF is better than not being able to see the LCD.