Fuji HS10 review
Review Date : Tue, 8 Jun 2010
Author : Mat Gallagher
- Sample Photos: View sample shots of the Fuji FinePix HS10
A DSLR-styled fixed-lens BRIDGE camera but, with a 30x zoom and a host of EXTRA features, could be the best yet
|Pros:||Long zoom, Motion Panorama, free-angle LCD, HD video modes|
|Cons:||Viewfinder, menu, Raw compatibility|
Long before budget DSLRs, Fuji led the way with the bridge camera. As DSLRs have become cheaper and compacts cleverer, however, there has been an obvious squeeze on this area of the market and the bridge camera has had to offer more for the user.The HS10 is considerably lighter and cheaper than its DSLR and lens equivalent, and is still relatively compact, making it easy to carry with you. While a DSLR gives you various lens possibilities, cameras such as the HS10 provide a single lens solution, without the worry of getting dust inside the body. So on paper, at least, there are many reasons to choose it. But how does the camera hold up?
The HS10 features a new 10.3 MP 1/2.3in CMOS sensor, with Back Side Illumination (BSI) to provide better low-light performance. One surprise is that this isn't one of Fuji's EXR-type sensors as seen in its recent models, however sensor illumination has certainly been shown to be effective in other brands. The size of the sensor is also more in line with compacts, although a full APS-C size would have been nice. For low light, the ISO offers a range from 100-6400, and combined with the sensor-shift stabilisation and digital processing, boasts shooting capabilities in almost any situation.
The HS10's biggest achievement though is its focal range. The relatively compact barrel offers a 30x range from a 35mm equivalent of 24mm-720mm, and an impressive f/2.8-5.6 aperture. It's not shy at fast shooting either, offering a 10fps burst rate for up to seven shots at full resolution, making it ideal for action shots.
The shooting modes include the full assortment of creative PASM options for the more experienced photographer, as well as Auto and scene modes for quick use. The Pro Low Light mode, Motion Remover and Multi Motion Capture are accessed separately, as is the impressive Motion Panorama; this allows you to produce an instant panoramic image by simply panning the camera slowly across the scene, and the HS10 will produce a seamless vista.
The autofocus system is contrast-detect based and offers a choice of centre, multi-point, a selected area, and an AF tracking mode. Metering also offers a choice of Multi, Spot and Average settings, and an exposure compensation of +/- 2EV for correction.
The rear 3in LCD screen, though a fairly low 230k-dot in resolution, is mounted on a tiltable mechanism, which allows easy viewing from above or below. The viewfinder is an electronic screen, or EVF, which features a sensor for automatic activation when your eye approaches.
In addition to still images, the HS10 is fully adept to shooting video. The camera features Full HD 1080p video recording at 30fps, and can also shoot extreme slow-motion video at 240fps, 480fps or 1,000fps at reduced resolutions. Unusually for a premium compact camera, the HS10 uses AA batteries as standard, though will accept a range of Alkaline, Ni-MH or Lithium units, and is therefore easy to find spares for.