on 8 May 2010
If you want to see all the pluses and minuses of this camera, head on over to the DPREVIEW Forums and lurk in FujiFilmTalk. The opinions differ widely there, from those who hated it and sent it back, to those who love it and regard it as almost faultless. You will certainly be able to see plenty of sample images taken with the HS10.
This review is my opinion.
I bought this camera for the extreme range of the manual zoom lens and was worried that the image quality would suffer because of that lens. At normal printing sizes up to A4, I can honestly say that this camera delivers exemplary images all the way from the wide angle end (a very wide 24mm) to the very close up telephoto (a stunning 720mm reach). It encompasses all the needs of myself as an aspiring amateur photographer in that it delivers over Macro, Landscape, Portrait and Wildlife photography, in a single package with no lens changing, no danger of getting dust or dirt on the sensor and without a tripod being essential (although having one helps!).
It has good ISO performance down to ISO800 and can be pushed further if needed. It has all the modes and settings that I need to get creative in my own, less than expert, way but can also be used in a variety of automatic modes when I am feeling lazy. This will suit the less experienced. The on-board flash is very good.
Although it will take good pictures out of the box, this camera can take some getting used to to get the very best out of it. The manuals (you get a slim printed one and a more comprehensive one on CD) are pretty awful, but reading the CD manual twice will make the learning curve less steep.
The HS10 shoots video in lots of modes from full HD with stereo sound to 1000fps slow motion. There are some downsides to it (like camera noise on the audio and the zoom being less than perfectly smooth). This doesn't concern me because I bought it as a stills camera.
This camera lets you shoot RAW images, but the write times to the card are extremely slow.
Lots of owners have had problems with old rechargeable batteries giving erroneous low battery indications. A new set of ENELOOP type AA cells seem to sort this out. These are available under various brand names.
Despite its quirks, this is a superb value camera for this sort of money. You cannot buy, anywhere, a single body/lens combination with exactly this performance for any money. You can get close to it, but at enormous expense (severral thousands of pounds) and only by post processing images after taking them.
IN MY OPINION, OVERALL, THE BEST BRIDGE CAMERA FOR MY NEEDS, TO DATE.
on 1 July 2010
. . . the good far outweigh the bad.
I suppose it all comes down to what you want to use it for and what your criteria are. Mine are:
a) must be able to take good still photos of:
landscapes and outdoor scenes
rock concert scenes
b) I also want a camera that's got the facility for HD video (now we've got a grandchild)
c) needs to have a good manual zoom
d) isn't too heavy
e) reasonably priced
I could satisfy all the above apart the last two with a decent DSLR - and I've looked at these in the past - but DSLRs are nearly twice the price (and even more if you want a decent 30x zoom lens) and heavier (and heavier still if you have to have the sort of zoom that's integral to the HS10).
I've had my HS10 for around three weeks now, and I'm still getting to know my way around. I've tried most of the basics, and it seems, so far, pretty-well exemplary. I had a wren family nesting right outside my back door and set up the camera on a tripod in HD movie mode and got some terrific half-hour movies at the touch of a single button (and the stills from the movie were good too). I've tried it on full extension of the zoom for photos of birds, the early evening moon (even without a tripod, it produced brilliant results) and aircraft at my local gliding club. I've used the macro setting (much better than that of my previous Fuji S9500 zoom) to great effect. It's comparatively light (well under a kilo). And, as has been remarked, it takes standard AA batteries (and I haven't had a problem with battery life to date).
There are some downsides though and it's only fair to point them out:
The printed brief manual that comes with it is very brief indeed - it just tells you the basics. As well as being provided on disc, the full manual is available to download from Fuji in PDF format. In many ways this is better than a printed version as you can do a search on your computer for key words - and find things far faster than thumbing through a booklet (and you can, of course, print out relevant pages if you're going to be using the camera out and about).
The manual zoom doesn't glide smoothly, so is not entirely satisfactory for video work (though for many people the HD video will be a bonus, so this won't be a big factor).
Start up time is slow, and it can also be slow to change mode. This speed issue is something which seems to be endemic to Fuji cameras (this is my fifth Fuji digital camera, so I speak from experience) and really should have been addressed by now. I don't, as a rule, use raw mode but again, long write delays are unacceptable these days.
The default is for the image to show on the screen rather than through the viewfinder (VF). The camera is clever though, and if you place your eye close to the VF, the display switches to the VF. But that produces a delay. I prefer to use the VF for most work, though for video it can be useful to use the screen. I've not worked out yet if there's an override (let me know if there is!).
Despite these flaws, overall I'm very pleased. It's well built, solid, compact, and good to the touch, with a positive response from the controls. It's very reasonably priced for a camera with such good specs. So, if you're looking for a high-spec all-in-one bridge camera, this could well be the one for you.
on 30 September 2010
This is my first serious camera and although I am really an honest to goodness beginner and dont really have a clue about all the technical jargon, I have had some amazing results.
It was so easy, I have been getting some truly fabulous pictures just from messing sround with it. I'm a mum, who bought this primarily to take pics of my son/holidays/dog etc, but I've found myself doing all sorts of things with it and the picture and video quality has been great.
I will try to get to grips with the more technical side of this amazing camera, but for now, I'm happy with pointing and snapping.
If you're a beginner, dont be scared of this camera, its the bees knees and the price is great too.
on 12 August 2010
If it had a larger, slightly higher resolution sensor of around 12+ MP I reckon that many people currently in the market for an entry-level DSLR would buy this Fuji Finepix HS10 instead - mainly due to its chunky feel, fantastic manually-operated 30x zoom lens (with manual focus) and use of four ordinary AA rechargeable batteries. However, in terms of pure image quality I don't think HS10 takes pictures on a par with those from another bridge camera I bought recently - the Panasonic DMC-FZ38, which is smaller, lighter, cost over a hundred quid less and was much easier to source.
But FZ38 only has an 18x 'power' zoom lens and uses an expensive Li-ion battery.
This comparison aside though, HS10's brilliant lens combined with its ability to shoot RAW makes it very worthwhile having. The other thing you should know is that the Silkypix RAW Converter as bundled with HS10 is not a fully-functional version of the program. For example, the 'trim' feature is disabled and you can only save to JPEG as opposed to uncompressed TIF. Meanwhile I believe that HS10 RAW files are supported by Serif's recently-launched PhotoPlus X4. So this might be a reasonably-priced alternative worth investigating.
On the video front HS10's 1280x720 efforts are pretty impressive, especially when you consider that long lens. But be aware that any videos you shoot will be hampered by rattling and clicking noises made by the automatics inside the camera. This is a well-documented issue with HS10. Although switching off the automatics via the menu system will ameliorate these noises somewhat, better positioning of the on-board mics would have done that better, while the provision of an external mic input would have banished the problem entirely. Take note please Mr Fuji.
Would I buy HS10 again?
Yes. Definitely - because of its wonderful zoom lens. If you need to get 'really' close from 'afar', right now there's nothing comparable for the same sort of money. HS10 could be a proper boon to serious wildlife photographers on a budget.
on 1 December 2010
Before I bought this camera, I spent a considerable amount of time reading reviews, looking at example photos etc, and there are a lot of them out there. But what I didn't find were too many reviews from people upgrading from a far more basic camera (like me), rather they were mostly people comparing to other bridge cameras and better. In that respect, I'm sure there are some aspects of the HS10 which aren't so great. But so far as I'm concerned, I've had pretty few causes for complaint so far.
Just a few things to highlight, the speed of writing photos really isn't a problem in JPEG mode, unless you're using some of the more complicated features or taking multishots, in which case you would expect it to be a bit slower. The zoom is great, the slow motion videos are highly entertaining, although the really high speed ones are at a slightly pointless resolution. The tourist removing and multi motion features aren't quite so straightforward, and so far I've not had too much luck with getting the timing right, but everything else has been pretty easy to use almost from the start. The automatic settings seem to work well most of the time, and it didn't take too long to familiarise myself with at least how to use all the other options, if not when to use them and what to set them to!
On the whole, I've really enjoyed using the FUJI HS10, and am very glad I decided to go for it. So if you're wondering whether or not to buy it, I would say buy! But don't blame me if you find yourself becoming a bit too obsessed with taking videos of running water or pigeons taking off in slow motion...
on 6 July 2010
This camera is truly spectacular. The wide angle 30x zoom is brilliant. On a bridging camera i feel the manual zoom is far more convenient than a fiddly button for an auto zoom (also saves on battery). The wide angle is great for capturing groups and the zoom is just truly awesome, occasionally on extreme close ups I've had to use the view finder to steady the camera, not often though. The quality of photo's is brilliant, I have viewed images on my 42" TV and they are very clear, on my computer they are excellent, i don't feel the need to zoom right into each pixel as other reports have done, after all i have a stonking optical zoom to do it for me. This camera also takes beautiful low light photos, only starting to get grainy at iso 1600. Pop up the flash for night time or for backlit photo's it's a synch. Optional manual settings including focus are easily accessed if you like that sort of thing, as are a multitude of other settings; i did have to cheat and read the manual to make use of the extra settings. The tilting screen is also i nice toy. The video recording is better than i expected but then again i didn't buy a still camera to take video. If you are stepping up from a compact camera, as i have and are considering his camera, consider no more, just buy it.
on 13 November 2010
I have not tried it in all the ways I use a camera but to date it has performed well producing good pictures under all sorts of conditions. the high asa modes are more than acceptable being able to take atmospheric pictures and not having to use flash which is banned in many places I photograph. The antishake is good especially at maximum magnification. The autofocus did get confused once but that turned out to be me not the camera - when all else fails read the instructions.
The only minor problems i've had are:-
1.the instant zoom (which crops the picture), I sometimes inadvertently hit the button, but thats as much me as it is the camera's fault.
2. the auto switching from screen to viewfinder gets confused if you are holding the camera low and close to your body and using the screen tilted up, it would switch off the screen in favour of the viewfinder, disabling the auto function and using the manual button solves this.
There are many features that I have not yet investigated and will probably never need but it is excellent at low light levels and the zoom is superb.
on 3 October 2010
Very impressed with the build quality and features - you need to play about with it for quite a while to get the hang of each of the features but good results are easy to achieve with the 'auto' functions whilst you're busy getting to grips with the rest of it. Pity there isn't a motorised zoom - manual is brilliant for stills photo's but it's hard to keep the camera steady when zooming and videoing at the same time. The HD video is otherwise excellent. A handbook would be good - but as is more popular it seems these days it's a 'digital handbook' - I just find it a pain having to be sat in front of the PC or printing out the bits I need - much easier to just thumb trough an instruction manual.
on 12 August 2011
After reading all the reviews and comments I could find on both the HS10 and the HS20, I decided on the HS10.
Before using it I downloaded the manual on to the computer and printed it out using the booklet printing on the printer. I got 2 pages to each side of an A4 sheet, so not too bad. I then read it thoroughly. I searched the internet for anyone who had suggestions as to what settings they preferred on the camera and found several so printed those out too. I also found out that a lot depends on what type of SD card you use so I got a Class 10 16GB SDHC card, which seems to be excellent.
Now I am a 72 year old woman with a NOT very technical mind but if I can do this, so can anyone else. My next task was then to get to know the camera. I have been taking photos for 40 years now, first with SLR's and then digital cameras and this one is my 5th bridge camera. Like many other people I do not want to be carrying lots of gear around but want a camera that feels good in my hands. Well the HS10 certainly does that. It is a good weight, I don't find it heavy at all and there are no buttons to get in the way of my thumb as there was with my last one which was a Canon.
I have found that everything is so easy to understand and follow. Now to try out the actual photography. I like mainly to take landscapes and flora and fauna, so I took several photos of the same things on all different settings, using also the manual zoom which I love. Wow! I got some fantastic shots. Some settings are obviously better than others, but now I know what I am doing to get the best shots. The zoom is fantastic and I got clear sharp photos at full zoom just hand held. I may be knocking on in years but my eyesight is good and I am very critical. Macro is excellent also with clear and sharp detail.
If you are new to bridge cameras then I suggest you really read the instructions carefully and try test shots like I did until you find the best settings to suit yourself. Even if you have used bridge cameras before don't think you know all about them as each one is different.
All in all I find the HS10 a great camera so far. I love everything about it and I am looking forward to using it when I go on holiday to Scotland in a few weeks time to really try it out. If I encounter any problems I will post another comment.
on 24 July 2011
I have now had this camera for nearly a month and was lucky to get it here for £..... Not bad.
My only bugbear has been the awful British weather (rain rain rain and more rain)
I have had perhaps 3 nice days when I have been able to get out with this camera and Im very happy with it, but I have to say there is quite a sharp learning curve and the manual could be more helpful.
I have been interested in photography for over 35 years and so have had a few 35mil SLR's.
This is one hell of a sophisticated camera, and hardly a days goes by when I dont learn something new about it. I suggest that the rules of physics regarding digital bridge cameras are the same as the old 35 mil camerae of yesteryear - and so, if you want to get good sharp images STOP IT DOWN! Back in the 'old days' you had a choice, 64 ASA 100ASA 200ASA and - if you were really daring 400ASA.
I mostly purchased 200ASA film and so that is how my HS10 is set up. I use it in 'A' Aperture priority mode and 100 to 200ASA. I get good colorful sharp photos all the time. Of course its amazing to be able to chose practically any ASA you want but you risk mottling noise. So I have mine on 400Auto which means it will not go past this point. I also love wildlife photography and so its very useful to be able to switch everything off, shutter, bleeps , everything! Totally silent camera and another very useful thing , if your old like me ahem! IS to be able to change the diopter on the eyepiece. It worked for me.
Learn to use the AF lock - very useful, especially with the manual focus mode.
I go round the forums and I cant believe the moans I hear about this camera from people who just cant be bothered to learn to use it and give up. Back in the 1970's and '80's we would have killed for a camera of this sophistication and technology.
1/4000 shutter speeds, any ASA from 100 up to 6400, AND HD1080 video too!! Amazing! Some people dont know their born!!