Can Fujifilm's HS30EXR reshape the superzoom and right the wrongs of last year's HS20 model? The What Digital Camera Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR review...
Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR review – Design
Unlike many compacts that depend on a ‘zoom toggle’ to extend the zoom range, the HS30 is rather different: the inclusion of a manual zoom ring means it’s possible to quickly jump through the zoom range with a literal hands-on approach. It’s a lot like using a DSLR lens.
Like the HS20 before it, the HS30 is a nigh on identical machine, bar for some subtle changes to the grip around the lens barrel. That being the case the protruding built-in flashgun – while necessary in order to avoid drop-shadow on account of the large lens – makes it tricky to rotate through the zoom in one single movement. Similarly the manual focus ring is set so far back towards the camera’s body that it can be a touch fiddly in use. It’s a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other though – to compromise one aspect of these design points would only have a knock-on effect to other areas of the design.
So overall the HS30 is a well designed camera. The grip is deep and easy to hold, buttons and dials are clearly marked out and sit within easy reach of the hand.
The rear LCD screen can be angled 45° down or (in excess of) 90° upwards on the vertical bracket for waist-level or overhead work.
In addition more advanced users will be pleased at the inclusion of a three-pin TTL hotshoe that can be used with external flashguns.
In some areas the HS30 steps up a level beyond its HS20 predecessor. The electronic viewfinder is now slightly larger and far more resolute, at 0.26inches in size and with 921k-dots of resolution to be precise. It makes a huge difference in use and is the single biggest advance in this latest model.
But that’s not all. Gone are the 4xAA batteries of the HS20, instead replaced by a rechargeable li-ion battery that comes included in the HS30’s box. For our money that’s a far better deal.