RSS Twitter YouTube

Fuji Finepix HS30 EXR Review

16 Megapixels16 MegapixelsUltra-Zoom: At least 10X optical zoom.Ultra-Zoom: At least 10X optical zoom.Electronic View FinderElectronic View FinderStabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Stabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Level: Measures camera tilt and helps to keep the horizon level.Level: Measures camera tilt and helps to keep the horizon level.Continuous DriveContinuous DriveFull 1080p HD Video: 1920 x 1080 resolution or more but less than 4K.Full 1080p HD Video: 1920 x 1080 resolution or more but less than 4K.Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Spot MeteringSpot MeteringAccepts Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), SDHC and SD memory.Accepts Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), SDHC and SD memory.Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed reviewDiscontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.Discontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.

Performance - How well does it take pictures?

The Fuji Finepix HS30 EXR produces reasonable quality images with average noise and noticeable smearing of details at its full 16 megapixels resolution. In the 8 MP EXR modes, Low-Noise Priority and Dynamic-Range Priority, images look dramatically better. While 8 megapixels is not headline grabbing, it is more than the vast majority of people need. High-quality prints up to 9"x12" are easily possible with that resolution. Electronic use such as online sharing, web-galleries, HDTV and digital projectors all require much less. Unfortunately, this performance prevents it from catching up Fuji's own S100FS
Fujifilm Finepix S100FS
and even X-S1
Fujifilm X-S1
.

The HS30 EXR has three noise-reduction setting which compromise between noise and details. In all cases, print quality does not change much as noise and details get smeared away. ISO 100 and 200 are acceptable with a little noise and noticeable softness. ISO 400 is only slightly noisier but considering the resolution there is not much to worry about. ISO 800 clearly affects print sizes yet still looks great at 9"x12". Even ISO 1600 works for a medium sized prints despite looking much nosier and softer at 100%. We cannot say the same for ISO 3200 which only remains acceptable for small prints and limited web use.

Fuji Finepix HS30 EXR

The ultra-wide 30X optical zoom lens is the biggest achievement of the HS30 EXR. It performs incredibly well for such a range. Except for a softening towards the edges of the frame near the ultra-wide end, around 24-27mm, sharpness is quite good. There is some noticeable barrel distortion near the ultra-wide end too. Zooming-in slowly replaces barrel distortion with some measurable but rarely visible pincushion distortion. There is no sign of vignetting throughout the zoom range. The HS30 EXR seems unaffected by chromatic aberrations.

The lens starts at a bright F/2.8 maximum aperture and it closes down slowly while zooming in, only reaching the smallest maximum of F/5.6 passed 320mm. There is a 58mm thread for using optical filters.

Fuji's exposure system is better than average and is tuned to produce a medium-bright image. This means it clips highlights slightly more often than its predecessors while producing more directly printable results. The unfortunate issue is that the LCD and EVF are not Exposure-Priority, so results are often be surprising. When it misses though, it is rarely by more than 2/3 EVs.

Colors are generally good but over-saturated by default, even using Provia Film-Simulation. Setting the Color parameter to Low corrects the problem and produces more natural-looking colors. Automatic White-balance also performs well, better than the majority of ultra-zooms. For difficult lighting, there is a Custom White-Balance option which is close to perfect.

Fuji Finepix HS30 EXR

The speed of the Fuji Finepix HS30 EXR is really improved compared to its predecessor. The following measurements characterize its performance:

  • Power-On: 1½s. Very good. The mechanical lens does not need to extend on startup.
  • Autofocus: ¼ to ½s in moderately light. Down to 1s in very low light. Better than average.
  • Shutter-Lag: Virtually none. Great.
  • Shot-to-Shot: 1¼, better than most.
  • Playback: ½s to enter or exit.
  • Power-Off: 1s. Very good, for the same reason as power on.

Since this is a shooting-priority camera, it instantly goes back into shooting mode when pressing the shutter halfway. Scrolling and zooming through images is fast. Panning speed is very good at high magnification but gets slower as magnification decreases.

Unlike the HS20 EXR and its near-twin the NH25 EXR, this digital camera uses a proprietary Lithium-Ion battery. This is now the standard battery type for the vast majority of recent cameras. The Fuji Finepix HS30 EXR is quite efficient with its power usage and manages 600 shots per charge, according to the CIPA standard. As usual, your mileage will vary with use of the rear LCD and power-hungry features like Flash and Video. Going through a day of shooting should be no problem for most users.

Conclusion

Fuji Finepix HS30 EXR

This ultra-zoom provides an excellent feature set in an ergonomic design which emphasizes efficiency and quick access to photographic controls. Its unique mechanical 30X ultra-wide angle optical zoom lens, shared with its predecessor, is a pleasure to use. This lens combined with a EXR CMOS sensor capable of capturing 1600% dynamic-range images makes it the most versatile fixed-lens digital camera to date. Adding the 8 FPS continuous drive at 16 megapixels and full 1080p HD video with stereo sound, the Fuji Finepix HS30 EXR marks itself as truly exceptional.

Optically, results are impressive with good sharpness away from the ultra-wide end of the zoom, low distortion, no vignetting and extremely good control over chromatic aberrations. The high resolution EXR CMOS sensor of the HS30 EXR improves over the first generation and provices more usable results by one stop compared to the HS20 EXR. Noise levels are average for a modern ultra-zoom with, unfortunately, more smearing of details than usual. Still, the full 16 megapixels resolution is more than needed and images scale down well, producing nice mid-size pritns up to ISO 1600. That being said, Low-Noise Priority mode delivers much cleaner results at 8 MP. Dynamic-Range Priority mode is another winner that captures scenes of very wide dynamic-range.

Overall, the Fuji Finepix HS30 EXR is very versatile and most suitable for travel and product photography. This is a rich and complex camera which can deliver good performance using its special 8 MP EXR modes depending on the lighting situation. Image quality is not class-leading but certainly sufficient for most common print sizes even at relatively high sensitivities. The HS30 EXR is surprisingly speedy and keeps up extremely well under most non-action situations.

Good
Buy from these sellers:Buy From Amazon.com

By on 2012/06/20
2

Fujifilm HS30 EXR Facts


Large digital camera

Sensor-Size: 6 x 5mm

1/2.3" Sensor

Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI

16 Megapixels Ultra ZoomISO 100-3200
30X Mechanically Linked Ultra-Wide Optical ZoomShutter 1/4000-30s
Built-in StabilizationFull manual controls, including Manual Focus
0.26" Built-in EVF 920K PixelsCustom white-balance
Automatic Eye-Start sensorSpot-Metering
1 Axis Digital LevelHot-Shoe
8 FPS Drive, 8 ImagesLithium-Ion Battery
1920x1080 @ 30 FPS Video RecordingSecure Digital Extended Capacity
3" LCD 460K PixelsInternal Memory
Buy from these sellers:Buy From Amazon.com

Camera Bag

Clear

Your camera bag is empty. To add a camera or lens click on the star next to its name.

Your camera bag is empty.

Add cameras or lenses by clicking on the star next to their name.

Updates

    2020.01.01

  • 2020.01.01

    Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Review

    Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Review

    This highly capable and compact mirrorless ranked as Best Beginner Mirrorless Digital Camera of 2019. Its 20 MP Four-Thirds CMOS sensor with Anti-Alias Filter is pared with 5-axis stabilization to maximize sharpness. Features a tilting 2.8 MP 0.39" EVF with large 0.7X view and Eye-Start sensor in a body with dual control-dials.

  • 2019.12.10

  • 2019.12.10

    Best Digital Cameras of 2019

    Best Digital Cameras of 2019

    The Best Cameras of 2019 awarded by Neocamera: Best Travel-Zoom, Best Premium Compact, Best Ultra-Zoom, Best Mirrorless and Best DSLR.

  • 2019.11.26

  • 2019.11.26

    10 Gifts Photographers Will Love

    10 Gifts Photographers Will Love

    The 2019 gift guide for photographers showcases photography gear that amateur and enthusiasts will enjoy. It is divided into 3 price categories to suit different budgets from $50 to $200 USD.

  • 2019.11.25

  • 2019.11.25

    Sony Alpha A7R IV In-Depth Review

    Sony Alpha A7R IV In-Depth Review

    The newest Sony high-resolution mirrorless packs a 61 MP Full-Frame BSI-CMOS sensor on 5-axis Sensor-Shift system. It shoots at 10 FPS, records 4K Ultra-HD video and focuses with a new 567-Point and 425-Area Hybrid AF system with Realtime tracking. This professional-grade camera features a 5.8 MP 0.5" EVF with 0.78X magnification, 100% coverage and an Eye-Start Sensor plus triple control-dials in a weatherproof body. This review shows exactly how the A7R IV performs and compares to top Full-Frame and Medium-Format digital cameras.

  • 2019.11.04

  • 2019.11.04

    Olympus OM-D E-M1X Review

    Olympus OM-D E-M1X Review

    Professional Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless sporting an ultra-high speed 20 MP sensor with 121-Point Phase-Detect AF on a 5-axis image-stabilization system effective to 7-stops. 60 FPS drive with blackout free view on a huge 0.83X magnification 2.4 MP 0.5" EVF. Even a builtin GPS in a dual-grip double dual-control-dial IPX1-rated weatherproof and freezeproof body.

  • 2019.10.17

  • 2019.10.17

    Nikon D3500 Review

    Nikon D3500 Review

    The lightest DSLR packs a 24 MP APS-C sensor with ISO 100-25600 sensitivity-range, 5 FPS drive and Full HD video capture. Basic features with simple ergonomics.

  • 2019.10.16

  • 2019.10.16

    Time-Lapse Photography for Beginners

    Time-Lapse Photography for Beginners

    Learn how to get started with time-lapse photography in 4 easy steps.

  • 2019.10.07

  • 2019.10.07

    Fujifilm X-T30 Review

    Fujifilm X-T30 Review

    The newest 26 MP 4th-Generation X-Trans CMOS sensor and X-Process 4 from the flagship X-T3 in more compact body. ISO 80-51200, 1/32000-30s, 20 FPS Continuous drive, Cinema 4K video. Dual control-dials and 2.4 MP EVF with Eye-Start Sensor.

  • 2019.09.30

  • 2019.09.30

    Nikon Z6 Review

    Nikon Z6 Review

    Nikon Full-Frame Mirrorless with 24 MP and 5-Axis Built-In Image-Stabilization effective to 5-Stops. ISO 100-202400. 12 FPS Continuous Drive. 3.7 MP 0.5" EVF with 0.8X Magnification and 100% Coverage. 4K Ultra-HD video.

  • 2019.04.22

  • 2019.04.22

    Fujifilm GFX 50R Review

    Fujifilm GFX 50R Review

    Medium Format Mirrorless Digital Camera based on 50 MP 0.8X-Crop CMOS sensor without Anti-Alias Filter. ISO 50-102400, 1/16000s-60m Shutter-Speeds, 3 FPS and Full 1080p HD video at 30 FPS. Large 0.5" EVF with 3.7 MP, 100% coverage, 0.77X magnification and an Eye-Start Sensor. Dual control-dials in a weatherproof and freezeproof body.