The HS20EXR replacement has some savvy improvements. We get hands on with the Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR...

Fujifilm has announced the new FinePix HS30EXR; a 30x optical zoom bridge camera which is set to replace the HS20EXR. What Digital Camera is on hand at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012, where we’ve been able to get hold of a working sample.

The HS30EXR features a host of key improvements on what was already a popular superzoom, so it looks set to prove popular.

First up there’s the improved 16-megapixel EXR-CMOS sensor which, Fujifilm claims, will deliver 30% less digital noise at higher ISO settings, thus displaying smoother tones and better low light images. It’s not something we’ve been able to thoroughly test at the show, however, as the model isn’t a final product and Fuji wouldn’t allow us to take sample images away for publication.

What is a big improvement, and one that immediately stands out, however, is the HS30EXR’s brand new electronic viewfinder (EVF). It’s an all-new 0.26-inch, 920k-dot version that ups the ante compared to the HS20EXR’s 0.20-inch, 200k-dot model. The viewing angle is an improvement and the increase in physical size make for a better experience. It’s still fairly small though, but this is a step in the right direction and one of the very things we were hoping that Fujifilm would address in the series. Although the HS30 may not quite match up to the X-S1’s impressive 1.44m-dot viewfinder, it’s other small improvements such as an increased 22 degrees viewing angle that help make the experience all the better.

The HS30EXR keeps the same 3in, 460k-dot LCD screen as found on the HS20EXR although it now features a ‘Sunny Day’ mode for improved visibility in difficult conditions. This is the same mode as per the X-S1, but it wasn’t possible to test this to a high degree in the artificial light on the Fujifilm stand.

Several new elements of functionality with a view towards improved usability have also been added. These include a new Intelligent Digital Zoom function, the option to manually focus during movie recording and a customisable function (Fn) key, as well as an electronic level gauge.

There’s one other big change – a new rechargeable li-ion battery replaces the previous generation of AA batteries and we think this is a big step forward. It makes the camera seem like a far more serious snapper. Fuji claims this will up the capacity from 350 shots to 600 shots per charge. None too bad.

Fans of the HS20EXR’s 30x optical zoom with be pleased to know that the optics remain unchanged, with the 24-720mm focal range in tact, while Raw and 1080p HD video capture also remain unaltered.

All in all the HS30EXR isn’t too different compared to the HS20EXR, but the all important adjustment of viewfinder and battery are big steps forward.

Price and availability have yet to be announced, so stay tuned for more information as and when we get it as well as a full What Digital Camera HS30EXR review.

  • Monica

    I am new and I got this camera for a gift and know nothing about it. I am wanting to take action shots in a guy of my child playing basketball. Do not know the first thing about taking this kind of picture. The ones I have tried are blurry. Can any help me.

  • Micky

    Purchased this camera after extensive trials with this and the Sony 200, the Nikon P510 and the Canon…without a doubt the Fuji delivers in most respects as well as or better than the others…the deciding factor was the EVF, the superb build quality, the manual zoom , impressive controls and ability to keep control over everything. Bargain.

  • Paul Wharton

    I just bought this camera and am very impressed with its x60 option (1440mm Lens on a 35mm DLSR) with impressive results on wildlife close ups and good scenery photos. Compatibale with 58mm filters, it has all the facilties for the more serious photographer and for a price of £350-£450 is a cracking bargin

  • doug sinnott

    It’s a lot faster to use than the HS10,and the write speeds to the memory card are a also better.It’s almost as quick now as my DSLR,and the flash actually recycles quicker!
    The HS10 was a lot slower in use than the HS20,and the HS30 is better still!The zoom can be digitally extended now to 60X,and the quality is still very useable,so all in all,the upgrade has been well thought out by Fuji.Well done I say!

  • Salome

    I would appreciate if the authors of the Hands-on First Look Review replaced it with a full review since the camera is already available not only on Amazon.

  • Greg Fester

    I have the HS10! I skipped the HS20 due to indifferent reviews. I would like a comparison between mine and the HS30,it will be down below £300 by August a good time to buy for my holiday in October.

  • Ron Smith

    I’ve just bought the Finepix HS 30. Quality is surprisingly good for such a massive zoom lenghth. Focussing is fast and this camera does seem to be “do it all in one” job. my personal preference for settings is the spot metering combined with + and -e.v. Gor some great photos of the moon showing craters on this setting at full zoom.

  • Mark Burgess

    The most important thing is whether it has improved its predecessors lamentable write speeds – you can make a cup of tea between shots on my HS10.

  • Doug Sinnott

    I think the rechargeable battery is a big improvement.AAs are quite heavy,and the new battery lasts longer as well.
    Already people are trying to pick holes in what seems a significantly inproved camera!
    My HS20 is great,this looks even better!

  • mark yates

    I see a few people complaining about AA batteries! But this is what stopped me buying the HS20. Changing batteries requires taking 4 or 8 items with you. Then you confuse the sets. ebay usually has generic lithium batteries for

  • david anon

    users are going to have to decide between the HS30 HS25 and the X-S1.why oh why do manufacturers have to complicate things.Perhaps it is a straddle policy hoping that one of the three will be a HIT!!

  • Tashi

    I hope there is a version of the HS30 whch can use AA batteries, whether it be an adapter or a new model. While AAs have far less capacity, they are cheaper and far more common.

  • Tashi

    I hope there is a version of the HS30 whch can use AA batteries, whether it be an adapter or a new model. While AAs have far less capacity, they are cheaper and far more common.

  • Tashi

    It would be nice if there was an adpater for the HS30 to take AAs or another model that could take AAs. While AAs have far less capacity, they are far cheaper and can be bought almost anywhere.

  • Michael

    Looks good, I almost bought a HS20 for my wife a couple of weeks ago, but when I realized it was AA Batteries I didn’t

  • Tony Mead

    I have got the HS 20 and its not a year old yet. I have been very impressed with it. The few weaknesses seem to have been sorted by Fuji on the HS 30. The main one being the poor AA battery life. I often take out two extra coplete sets just to make sure I do not run out of power. I guess the new lithium will more than double shooting time but we all know manufacturers charge you an earth forextra battery until ourfriends from China start prucing copies. At least my AAs are cheap to buy. The other issue is being te HS 20 is not good onceyou go over 200 ISOso I wouldbe interested to see how this has been improved. Finally most reviwers seem to dislike the EVF but for composing my shots the existing one is fineso upgrading to a HS 30 could not be justiied by this alone. I also noter the list price is way above that on the HS10 and HS20 when they came out. I paid just over £300 for mine but now you canget for less than £250 so it pays to wait awhile for prices to drop.

  • Kathy

    Battery upgrade is good but More Expensive cos I ALWAYS have 2-4 spare batteries – like All Good Photographers would have. I have had s7000, still got s9600, i have s100fs but hardly used it cos the Hs10 came out and I NEEDED More Zoom. I HOPE the HS30 has GOOD DIGITAL photos after it goes out of the 30x optical zoom into the Dogital mode… im suprised Fuji didnt bring out a 50 X Optical Zoom in this camera… I LOVE 30x optical zoom but am HUNGRY FOR MORE – 50 x optical zoom or MORE on a manual barrel twist ATTACHED lens.. saves carting stuff around or HAVING to buy extra things and chargers and batteries etc etc etc THATS ANNOYING.. but.. ya gotta take the good with the bad. If i get the HS30.. I WILL HAVE TO get at LEAST ONE extra battery then be forced to carry ANOTHER CAMERA around with me JUST cos i cant afford another battery.. ANyway I havent expereience EXR yet .. so im HOPEING The QUALITY of PHOTO IS BETER than the HS10. i was ALMOST Considering trying another brand of camera as i thought the HS10 REALLY DROPPED in Photo QUALIY – will i noticed they arent as clear or crisp and the colours are FADEy insyead of strong as in my other above listed Fuji Cameras. mORE ZOOM. We Want MORE ZOOM PLEASE.. 50 or more wud be GREAT THANKS

  • E GRAY

    I own a fujifilm S9500 AND HS10 AND A HS20 YES I WOULD BUY AN HS30 LOVELY CAMERAS

  • Joe Prete

    WOW, Fuji is really on a roll They made some big promises, now they’re keeping their word!

  • EddieMitchellArtist

    I ALREADY HAVE THIS CAMERA AND I HAVE HAD SINCE OCTOBER LAST YEAR. THE HS30EXR IS AS GOOD OR EVEN BETTER THAN MOST PROFESSIONAL CAMERAS BRILLIANT FOR WILDLIFE AND LANDSCAPE SHOTS ALSO EXCELLENT FOR GROUP PHOTOS AS I USE THIS IN CHURCH. FOR ME THIS IS THE ULTIMATE CAMERA AS YOU DONT NEED TO BUT EXPENSIVE LENSES. A FRIEND OF MINE WAS TAKEN PHOTOS OF BIRDS AND HE HAD A MASSIVE 500MM LENSE I GAVE HIM A SHOT OF MINE AND HE WAS VERY IMPRESSED CONSIDERING THE FUGI IS 220MM MORE POWERFUL IN THE MAGNIFICATION AND HE IS A PROFESSIONAL WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER

  • Cliff Occomore

    I may be a Luddite, but don’t consider a Lithium Ion battery is an improvement, even with and increased shooting time. At least initially, you are tied to the expensive manufacturer’s type battery if you want a backup. I much prefer the AAs used in my HS20. I have heaps of rechargeables and even if I I should not have spares in my pocket, high power non rechargeable AAs are available everywhere

  • Russell Adams

    I own a FUJIfilm S200EXR, a predecessor to the HS series, and have been very pleased with it. The EXR sensor does a really good job in low light as well as turning out beautiful pictures in good light as well. I’m glad to see them go back to the Li-on battery. Mine are rated at 350 frames using the LCD, but I once pushed 1100 frames out of two batteries w/o recharging either of them during the shoot. Great camera, but I would definitely buy this new one because of the better feature set than mine has, i.e., 16meg vs 12 meg, 30x vs 14x, HD vs VGA video, a really good camera (that I still like) vs an even better camera (that I would like to step up to.)

    http://russelladams.smugmug.com

  • M Malpaso

    Swivel display would have been ice.

  • Mark Collins

    Looking forward to trying this one out to see how it compares