Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR Digital Camera (16MP EXR-CMOS Sensor, 30x Manual Optical Zoom) 3 inch Tiltable LCD Screen Customer Reviews
- 16MP EXR CMOS Sensor
- 30x Fujinon Manual Optical Zoom
- 3 Inch Tilting LCD Screen
- Full HD Movie
- Raw File Option
About this item
Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR Reviews
Almost brilliant, but one or two flaws to be aware of
I have been using my HS30exr for 18 months now, and thought I'd provide a reasoned review of the pros and cons of this bridge platform. I would say I'm an enthusiastic amateur photographer who was looking for a camera with which to expand my skills.
Build Quality: Overall, I find this to be impressive compared to others at this price point. It feels like a small DSLR. The barrel zoom is a major advantage over the mechanical button variety found on most bridge cameras. It is silent, more accurate and best of all you feel like a proper photographer! The extending screen is solidly built, though it doesn't pivot horizontally, only vertically. There is a hot shoe for additional flash, but the built in pop up effort is actually very good for most situations. There are a couple of issues to be aware of: 1) the battery compartment shutter is flimsy to say the least. 2) THE TRIPOD MOUNT IS PLASTIC AND WILL CRUMBLE VERY EASILY. I have just fallen foul of this problem and a bit of online research reveals it is a common fault. I did not overtighten the tripod mount and only ever removed it to change battery, which you have to do. Moreover, Fuji seem to be very reluctant to repair it under warranty. It defies belief that a camera that cost me nearly £300 at the time can be hamstrung by poor build quality in such a high stress area. I'm taking mine to a dedicated camera repair centre and getting them to manufacture a metal replacement. Costly, but less so than if the camera falls off the tripod. This issue isn't a deal-breaker, but be aware that it WILL happen to yours at some point.
Shooting: The camera has both RAW and Jpeg modes and I must say I am impressed with the quality of the shots. Obviously, since the sensor is smaller than a full SLR, there is some compromise on image quality (megapixels aren't everything) but the trade off is the superb zoom range, which would require many thousands of pounds and a pet Hulk to carry around around. I love going from macro flowers one minute to a wide angle landscape the next with no hassle. For the enthusiastic amateur this is ideal and the image quality is comparable to an entry level DSLR. Batteries last forever: one of my colleagues has the model which takes conventional AA cells, but I opted for the lithium Ion version. You can pick up spares fairly cheaply (though check the source) which means you don't have to pay the rip-off £70 for a Fuji approved one. I added the Raynox 2.2 teleconverter to double up on the zoom- this is a good price at around £120 and the image quality is actually very good, as long as you use a tripod or a beanbag. Perfect for those safari shots. The menus are clear and easy to operate and the camera is packed full of clever features. Everything on this camera feels intuitive: the design is comfortable and ergonomic meaning it's easy to get a good grip and shake free shots. The flagship EXR mode is handy, but realistically, once you figure out the maual settings, you won't go back. It features continuous shooting mode and the best frame capture mode is surprisingly useful though it does burn through memory cards- make sure you have plenty back up. I also love the partial zoom assist to help with manual focus. The auto focus can be a little clumsy at times: this is the one area where the HS30 falls down compared to an SLR. You aren't going to get that crystal clear shot of an Osprey diving to pluck a trout from a loch. But for everything other than rocket propelled predators, the camera performs admirably. The movie mode is decent, though the adjusting of the cameras autofocus does come through in the soundtrack and the microphone sounds like people are whispering into a crisp packet. The super slow motion feature is quite cool however and can be shot at up to 160fps I think. One thing I would say is that due to sensor size, don't be expecting to get above f11- that's the realm of the DSLR. That said, I have found a neutral density filter to be an essential addition and the camera can then cope well with just about all shooting conditions. I shoot exclusively in RAW, then post edit in Adobe Lightroom before converting the finished file to jpeg and the colours remain true throughout. There are presets available for this camera within Lightroom. One final point: on very rare occasions, when shooting into the sun, I have found vertical lines distorting my images. When this happens, the image is unusable. Again, not a deal breaker, but something to be aware of and now I always check my shots taken in these circumstances.
Overall: A great piece of kit for the price and one which has enabled me to expand my photographic skills without breaking the bank. With virtually all the features of a DSLR, and an enormous zoom range, this camera is great for travel, hiking and active pursuits. Be aware of the aforementioned issues regarding the tripod mount, as it's an question of when, not if, it cracks. Sorry Fuji, you were so close to 5 stars, but your cost cutting on one tiny piece of plastic blew it. And don't give me that rubbish about it being polycarbonate... it's plastic.
Down or across?
After using SLRs for many years-film originally and latterly digital, both time and the long term effects of hauling a heavy bag full of camera gear around for several hours a day, often for weeks at a time have caught up with me and I have finally been forced to put the DSLR kit to one side in favour of a bridge camera.
When I made the decision to downshift I did so with the expectation that I would sacrifice both image quality and, more importantly the sense of enjoyment that using an SLR have always given me.After all, this is not a DSLR so it would be pretty unfair of me make direct comparisons, but it is, to a certain extent inevitable.
Firstly the camera looks and, to an extent handles like a small DSLR-think Canon D1100 size and you won't be hugely far out.Set up is fairly obvious-if you are used to cameras you will know that to an extent they are all pretty similar, it is simply a matter of finding out which button does what and getting it set to your personal tastes.The manual is pretty basic but the one on the CD is much more comprehensive.
A few pics in the garden just to make sure everything was fine-shutter lag slower than a DSLR, as is the write speed, but all in all very good.The zoom lens is very impressive-especially the fact that it is a manual zoom-much more precise and lighter on battery than the power zoom that so many have these days.Macro and super macro modes are also great if, like me you enjoy nature photography.
One of the features that made me choose this model was the ability to shoot in RAW format as well as the more standard JPEG.For anyone unfamiliar with file formats RAW is totally uncompressed data, it gives a very large file but hold a huge amount of data-massively more than you get with JPEG.This gives you many more options for adjusting exposure etc in applications such as Photohop etc.Downloading onto the computer gave me a slight problem, my Photoshop version-Elements 10 did not support the Fuji file format, but a free camera raw update from the Adobe site soon fixed that problem.
Once open in Photoshop I needed to make a few, small adjustments to the picture-it was slightly overexposed and the colour saturation was a bit under for my taste, so a slight bit of exposure compensation dialled in and a switch to Velvia in the settings menu solved the problems.Maybe problems is the wrong word, slight differences in exposure and saturation are often more a matter of preference as opposed to something cast in stone.
Two slight issues: noise in the shadows when the camera is set to a high ISO rating.Nothing hugely problematic, but if you do a lot of low light photography you may be slightly disappointed.Secondly, which doofus at Fuji decided that a plastic tripod bush was a good idea?MEtal would have been much better and given more confidence when attaching it to the tripod.
I made a couple of A4 prints which are really good-even on sectional enlargements.
To sum up: a great buy, easy to use out of the box with the potential for more advanced interaction if you want to.Ok, I have not used the program modes or the EXR settings etc, I probably never will, but they are there for those that choose to use them and, if they are as good as the modes I have so far used-Manual and Aperture Priority you will not be disappointed with the results.
A good bridge camera.
The FujiFilm FinePix HS30-EXR is something of a mixed bag. On paper, it is much to recommend it, 30x zoom, electronic viewfinder, built-in flash, wide-ranging customisation facilities, good build quality. So, how does it stack up? the short answer is that, for the most part it is a very creditable bridge camera capable, in the right hands, of very good image quality most of the time. Certainly when compared to other similar bridge cameras, it is up there with the best.
Remember though, although this looks like a DSLR, it is not, and its images should not be judged as one would a DSLR. Extended focal length lens such as this 30x Fujinon zoom can only be had if their image circle is fairly small. This means a small sensor, and with this camera it is 6.4mm x 4.8mm. Onto this sensor Fuji have crammed 16MP, and consequently the sensor is fairly noisy since each photo-detector is so small that it cannot capture many photons. This is not to say that it is worse than other similar cameras, far from it, but there is no free lunch and you cannot even negotiate with the laws of physics - small sensors are inherently noisy. In practice this means that for the best images you need to select the low noise/high dynamic range shooting option which gives you 8MP and uses pixel averaging techniques to integrate out the noise rather than the highest resolution 16MP images, particularly in poor lighting. If the camera is set to the AUTO mode, then it tends to select higher film speeds, and this allows noise to intrude into the final image. I found it better to take control yourself and use the manual modes and pre-select the lowest ISO setting you can get away with. Bear in mind that the lens is fully stabilised, and thus you can safely hand-hold it even at maximum zoom, so try and choose a suitable ISO setting and avoid the higher ISO settings unless it is unavoidable.
I had the chance to perform a side-by-side comparison of this camera with the FujiFilm FinePix XS-1 and except in good lighting situations, the XS-1 with its larger sensor and small number of pixels gave images that were somewhat better. Having said that, the downside is that the XS-1 costs more than twice as much. This is not to say that the images produced by the HS30-EXR are poor or inferior - quite the opposite, they are excellent, when the camera is used within its capabilities, and where you take full control. In the full auto mode the default settings tend towards the higher ISO speeds, and better results can often be had by deliberately selecting the ISO speed setting. Nevertheless, even in poor lighting conditions the camera is capable of producing very good images.
In summary, when used sensibly, and using the low noise/high dynamic range image option in preference to the high resolution option, the camera is capable of producing very good image quality. The images tend to be somewhat 'soft' such that a minor amount of sharpening in your favourite photo editor can enhance the final result. The exposure is nearly always perfect, and the image saturation producing nice vibrant colours. The film simulation modes also provide a wide range of image options from which to choose. The only slight drawback is that the auto-focus, being of the contrast detection variety, sometimes fails to find focus, especially in poor lighting.
Overall, a very good bridge camera.
Versatile camera with great options
I actually took a step down from a DSLR to this camera and while I still hanker after the DSLR from time to time, what I don't miss is the faffing about looking for different lenses!
This camera is highly versatile, great for everything from a macro of a daisy in grass to taking close ups of action at the far end of a rugby pitch.
I will say this though, it's taken a fair amount of time and experimentation to get the camera doing what I want to do, but now that I have the knack of it, it's all good.
For the money you pay for this, you certainly wouldn't do any better in terms of a feature loaded bridge camera.If you don't like to experiment with the manual settings yourself, there are plenty of automated options to keep you happy and give you results that look great.EXR is by far the best fully auto setting I have come across in any camera, offering great results in all conditions.The "Pro-focus" gives great results if you have a very steady hand - basically it puts the subject in sharp focus and everything in the background out of focus, much like reportage style photography.The only drawback is if you look close enough at the results on a HD monitor you can see where the software has been at work.A very minor grumble as the printed images give no hint of the processor's black magic!All that said, there are so many options that all you need to do is just point and click and let the camera do all the work, if you so choose.
All in all, three months in with this and I'm really happy with my purchase.It feels good in my hands, if a wee bit smaller than a DSLR, looks the part and the manual zoom ring offers so much control it is brilliant for sports photography.
One heck of a bridge camera.
Very good value. All you will ever need for amateur, bridge camera photography?Build quality though could be better as controls seem flimsy. The on, off switch is temperamental. Not sure wether its an item or design fault - as the camera does power up, but only sometimes after several attempts?Can be fatal when you see a good, momentaryphoto opportunity - when the camera doesn't switch on and power up. Not too sure whether or not its my impatience and eagerness, depressing the controls immediately after switch on?It is in essence a computer, so I suspect you have to wait until the unit has booted up, I would suppose? Having said that though, my brother has purchased the HS 50 and he has had no wait, boot up experiences with this particular, upgrade model.
The HS 30 has great, Battery longevity and you can snap away without worrying about the power letting you down. I get an average of around 300 shots using the viewfinder (not live view).The RAW feature is nice to have, but let down by the software only being supported by Fuji specialist format. Some of my photography software program's cannot convert the Fuji RAW files to JPEG - so I have to use the cameras, supplied program; which is very basic.
In final summary, it may not be a good quality build camera, but in caring hands, it is a GREAT buy for the beginner or amateur photographer on a small budget. Fuji have really upped their game in terms of now using lithium batteries in their bridge camera models. The SD card located on the side is refreshing, as you don't have to unscrew your tripod to simply change the card. Unlike other brand models.
Even better than expected but EXR mode could still improve
I was curious about the Fujifilm EXR technology for quite a while, but never had a need to replace our current Panasonic Lumix cameras until recently, when my wife's FZ30 broke after many years of good service. I immediately ordered the HS30EXR for her, because it seemed a good buy for the price it had come down to, and all it offers with it. To start with, the viewfinder is brilliant, quite a step up from the Lumix. The camera is nice to handle too and feels like a quality item, and this includes the manual zoom which my wife wanted and loves. It's quite big but sits comfortably in a camera shoulder bag. Being enthusiastic fotographers, we went out and took a huge number of pictures with any combination of settings. I didn't quite know what to expect, there are mixed reviews out there concerning the picture quality, but I have to say, once we discovered what we consider the best settings the pictures are just brilliant. Sharp, vibrant, no digital artifacts. I'm not so sure about the EXR auto mode, it seemed a bit hit-and-miss, we stick with P mode, exposure -1/3, digital sharpening on, dynamic range 400%, ISO max 400, and most importantly, medium resolution at fine setting, which brings the sensor down to 8 megapixel but produces much clearer pictures. If you struggle to get a clear photo, try these settings. I would give this camera 5* if the EXR technoloy would be better, but it is sufficient (decent HDR), and having it also helps with pictures taken in P mode. Overall, a very good camera, and well worth the money, it won't (or shouldn't) disappoint you. I now have my eyes on the recently released HS50EXR should my Lumix break, based on the positive experience with the HS30.
Update, October 2013: Have since bought the HS50EXR for my wife. It is all the HS30 should have been, everything is greatly improved. Go straight for the HS50 if you can, to avoid certain disappointments with the HS30.
Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR
After spending many hours searching for a replacement for my ageing Nikon Coolpix 4300, I decided on the HS30 EXR after reading very pleasing reviews from various sources.
I ordered this camera, a bag, spare battery and a memory card on the Tuesday evening in hope that it would arrive for me to open on Christmas morning. By the Friday, all my orders from Amazon had arrived and in excellent condition so five stars for the delivery service.
First impressions were good with all the described items carefully packed in the box with nothing missing or damaged. The battery was put on charge immediately so to allow me to take those precious Christmas scenes of the day and found the first charge took around two hours to fully charge. This was a pleasant surprise as some camera's of the past have taken as much as eight hours to complete. The camera itself looked as I had hoped from the picture images on the web and not plastic y and toy like. It is a good size to handle, not too small where your hands become clumsy nor too big and heavy where your arms ache after holding for any length of time. Everything is at easy reach and battery/memory card are straight forward to insert.
As for the main issue, photographs etc, I am more than impressed. There are many different functions to learn and keep you busy for a while as well as the point and shoot for those who just want to get some shots off as soon as the power switch is turned on. The zoom is very impressive at 30x which is more than ample for most situations. The LCD view screen is clear but remember to adjust the viewfinder lens to suit your own eyesight.
All in all, I give this five stars for prompt delivery, excellent condition on arrival and the camera is a great option for those who want all the different functions to play around with or simply point and shoot. If I was to find any negative remarks to make about this service and product, I have to say I am at a loss to find one at present. I do recommendthat you purchase some screen scratch protectors when ordering this camera as it may save some tears later, plus a memory card is essential as the built in camera memory is very small.
I would recommend this camera to anyone as a step from the compact to a fully blown DSLR. Buy this and enjoy. Merry Christmas.
A step down from DSLR but fun to use.
I am a DSLR user who was looking for a camera that I could just throw in the bag and take out on family outings without the hassle and expense of bringing lenses.
This is where the HS-30 comes into its own.It takes good macro shots and landscapes are fairly good.The lens is non detectable and has a range from 24mm(for wide angle) right up to over 700mm. I must add that the Aperture (telephoto) decreases to f5.6 from f2.8 which for those who don't know reduces the light meeting the sensor .So using the zoom inlow light canbecomes problematic in some situations.
The size of the camera is slightly larger than most entry level DSLR cameras like the canon 1000d, so if you are looking for a compact bridge that is actually compact then this cam is not for you.It feels great in hand and the large flip up screen is fantastic and very clear to use.
This camera is packed with settings and function that you need to spend quite a bit of time with it to learn how best to get the pic you want.I have found the point and shoot EXR mode to be quite good but has the tendency to overexpose a little on the default setting. But playing around and discovering the camera's settings will fix this. The menus are clear but again take time to learn.In comparison with a DSLR, I find the hs30more complicated to use. I know that the basic shutter speed and aperture are the only setting I have to worry about on a dslr but there are far more factors with the hs30.For example.What dynamic range it is set at, is the IS on.Is it in macro mode .How do I get the flash to fire even though the flash is up. and so on. It all seem a bit over complicated and the list of setting on the menus compound this. But again with time you should learn.This cam would be perfect for those want to step it up a notch from a compact.But then again if you are serious about photography the camera is priced around the same as the canon 1100d with a kit lens.
The sensor is very very small . For a cam of such size I would have expected a bigger sensor and maybe less pixels.This is very apparent in low light situation.Your subject will appear grainy on cropping and the digital noise is quite high.
I guess im happy enough with this cam but with the newtrend in crop sensorcompact bridge cams from Sony and panasonic out now I feel this cam will soon be redundant.
I am comparing with a DSLR here but as the dimensions of the camera are similar and FugiFilm are styling it on a dslr so why not.
Need more time to play around with it
after much debating and budgeting i decided to go for a bridge instead of a DSLR, after much research and reading reveiws i decided on a fujifilm SL300, but shops said it had been discontinued so I researched into the upgrade the HS30 and decided I liked it - after shopping round - the price was expensive Jessops was £310 and Tesco was £334, I decided to order online because i could get an entry level DSLR for £350 (canon 110d - one of the first cameras i looked at) so i decided Amazon had a price I was willing to pay. I ordered it and recieved it in fair time only took 4 days I think. Dispaointed that the charger supplied was the EU one and I had to call Customer services however the girl was very freinly and sent one out using next day delivery and I didn't have to pay anything, and the manual was in Eng - I noticed several reveiws mention the manual wasn't in Eng.
on to the main camera, I haven't had much chance to play with it so far because I am doing A levels and its near winter so dark nights drawing in and so on. So I cant comment too much. However there are many functions and knobs and buttons which I am yet to experiment with and learn about. In a way I'm glad I didnt get a DSLR because this camera is complex enough for the time being - disapointed I cant use Shallow Depth of Field I was aware of this when i bought it but it would be nice to have.
when using the longer zoom it does get very shaky and blured so a tripod is a must.
The flash doesnt seem very powerful when I use it so I am thinking about buying an external flash for it - it's a good job it has the option of external flash guns.
overall not a bad purchase for the price and could recomend it for others if they have the time to learn the functions nad buttons etc - although this is my first upgrade from a point and shoot i have had for years so i have no experiance in this, however on a personal note now i have a "big black sexy camera" I'm not sure wether its as good as i hoped - i wanted one for ages but now i have one it doesnt seem so good however thats the kind of person i tend to be most of the time.
Not bad. Not quite an SLR but worth the money
I bought the HS30 after having had a Fuji Finepix s6500fd for approximately 6 years. The s6500 was a 6MP bridge camera and took very good photos. I was looking for something with a bigger range of settings as well as taking bigger Mega Pixel photos. When I first got the camera I was a bit disappointed in that there was quite a bit of noise in my initial shots, however no more than my old s6500fd (after doing a head to head) and I thought it was perhaps due to my lack of knowledge about the camera's settings. I then took the new camera to a family wedding and the camera really started showing its class. I took about 150 shots and the results were pretty impressive, even when taking zoomed shots from long range. It's also pretty fast at taking and processing the images (perhaps 2-3 times as fast as my old camera).
The only problem I have with it is that the lens barrel is slightly narrower than the s6500 meaning that in low light/indoor (no flash) it captures less light than the s6500 meaning that it needs a lower shutter speed to capture the same light as the s6500, this sometimes leads to blurred shots, and a conundrum where you have to increase the ISO sensor speed to get a decent low light/no-flash shot, but the noise in the photo then becomes more apparent. For me thats manageable since all I am doing is looking at my photos on a computer/tablet and publishing to websites/Facebook. For more professional uses this low light issue may be a show stopper, and going for a camera with a larger sensor might be a better option.
Overall I would say its a pretty decent camera for the price, if you're looking for something near-SLR like then the Finepix X-S1 is definitely a step up, but it is £200 more expensive and is much larger physically (which I wasn't willing to put up with as I want to be able to take my camera in a small bag on holiday).
Another tip is while its much cheaper to buy these cameras online through Amazon I would definitely check the camera out in person in a shop first as the use of a camera involves so many physical aspects that you just cannot make an informed decision by pictures on the web alone.