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Fujifilm FinePix HS10 review

Ben Pitt
24 Jun 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
375
inc VAT

Fantastic controls, a massive zoom, lots of fun features and excellent low-light performance make this the best ultra-zoom camera we’ve ever seen

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Specifications

1/2.3in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 30.0x zoom (24-720mm equivalent), 775g

The HS10 is expensive, but it’s easy to see why. The 30x zoom lens is the biggest we’ve ever seen, and the lens rings for adjusting zoom and focus are so much more responsive and accurate than levers or buttons.

There’s a strip of buttons to the left of the screen for ISO speed, white balance, metering mode, focus mode and focus area, and adjusting them simply involves holding down the button and turning the command dial. There are lots of other options in the menu, but it’s not the easiest to navigate. RAW mode is buried in the Setup menu rather than located alongside the JPEG compression option.

There’s an accessory shoe for an external flash, although the lack of TTL flash support means the flashgun’s power must be set manually. The 3in screen tilts up and down, while a sensor switches to the electronic viewfinder as soon as the camera is raised to your eye.

Videos are captured at 1080p, or in slow-motion video at reduced resolutions at up to 1,000fps for 1/33x playback. Slow-motion video is great fun but the 1080p mode was disappointing. Details were crisp but low-light footage was under-exposed, optical stabilisation failed to keep telephoto shots steady and autofocus and aperture adjustments spoiled the otherwise high-quality soundtrack.

Fortunately, photo quality was much better. Focus was reasonably sharp throughout the zoom range which, for a 30x zoom lens, is a remarkable achievement. It didn’t excel at most focal lengths, but took a clear lead at the 720mm telephoto position, allowing us to take breathtaking photos of the moon’s craters.

Thanks to the modest-resolution back-illuminated sensor, noise was low at ISO 1600, helping to capture sharp telephoto shots in overcast weather. Performance was a little slow, though, taking 2.8 seconds between shots and rising to 11 seconds with the flash at full power.

It’s not perfect, but while the HS10 fails to stand out at modest settings, it excels at the extremes – telephoto, low light, slow-motion – and is a delight to use.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
CCD effective megapixels10.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.3in
Viewfinderelectronic (200,000 pixels)
Viewfinder magnification, coverageN/A
LCD screen size3.0in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Articulated screenYes
Live viewYes
Optical zoom30.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent24-720mm
Image stabilisationoptical, lens based
Maximum image resolution3,648x2,736
Maximum movie resolution1920x1080
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG, RAW; MP4 (AVC)

Physical

Memory slotSDHC
Mermory supplied45MB internal
Battery type4x AA
Battery Life (tested)400 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV, mini HDMI
HDMI output resolution1080i
Body materialplastic
Lens mountN/A
Focal length multiplierN/A
Kit lens model nameN/A
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables
Weight775g
Size91x131x126mm

Buying Information

Warrantyone-year RTB
Price£375
Supplierhttp://www.parkcameras.com
Detailswww.fujifilm.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed4 to 1/4,000 seconds
Aperture rangef/2.8-11 (wide), f/5.6-11 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution)100 to 3200
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 6 presets, manual
Additional image controlsdynamic range, color, tone, sharpness, flash compensation
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus1cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, face detect
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, zoom bracket

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