Summary: It's all about the lens, really. 30X optical zoom going from ultra-wide to beyond super-telephoto with a mechanical link and stabilization. The Fuji Finepix HS10 presents the most versatile zoom ever and this lens performs really well. There is corner softness near the ultra-wide end but that's it for the lens.
Pros: Mechanically-linked ultra wide to super telephoto, Better than most image noise, Consistent sharpness except near ultra-wide, Very low optical distortion, Impervious to chromatic aberrations, Good color response, Accurate focus system, Short shutter-lag, Generally responsive, Eye-sensor switching between EVF and LCD, Responsive manual focus ring, Generally good ergonomics, Plenty of direct controls, Relatively compact for such an optical zoom, Good build quality
Cons: Strong edge softness at ultra-wide end of zoom, Smudging of fine details at all ISO settings, Poor LCD and EVF accuracy and coverage, Very prone to flare, Shutter speed limit drops by 1 stop per ISO, Useless live-histogram, Tiny low-resolution EVF, Sluggish shot-to-shot speed, Slow autofocus, 4s delay starting movie recording, Waking up camera requires power cycling, Changing ISO requires two hands, Some very small buttons, Poorly placed tripod mount, Finicky about ba...
Excerpt: It’s been a while since we reviewed an ultrazoom or a superzoom camera. The latest product from this section comes from Fujifilm called the FinePix HS10. One of the key features of this new camera is the built-in 30x optical zoom lens. Now, Fujifilm isn’t the most popular brand around when it comes to digital cameras. A huge feature set and hopefully performance might do the trick.
Excerpt: In an era of small digicams this is a monster. The size of a DSLR, it weighs a little under 750g and, mounted into the front of the body, is its big, big feature… a 30x zoom that stretches from a 35 SLR equivalent of an enjoyably wide 24mm starting point way, way out to 720mm! Naturally, the zoom has manual operation.
Excerpt: The Fuji FinePix HS10 ($499) is an SLR-style super zoom camera with a whopping 30X lens, a back-illuminated, high speed CMOS sensor, large articulating LCD display, full manual controls, and Full HD video recording -- to name but a few features. As of this writing, it's tied with the Olympus SP-800UZ for the "biggest lens" award (though the Olympus has a more telephoto-slanted 28 - 840 mm zoom range), but knowing camera manufacturers, that's bound to change soon.
Summary: Up to the point where FedEx delivered the HS10, the Canon SX10 IS was my favorite long zoom digicam. Having now spent some quality time with Fuji 's newest ultrazoom, that's no longer the case. Budget and space constrained photo enthusiasts looking for a point-and-shoot that competently substitutes for a DSLR and a bag of lenses could do much worse than the HS10.
Pros: Versatile, 30x zoom, Excellent image quality, Very good feature set
Cons: Low resolution LCD, Expensive, One-touch video button not instant-on
Summary: The HS10 is extremely good value, especially when you consider the equivalent cost of an interchangeable-lens camera with such a focal length range. The lens or lenses alone would cost at least double the price. Its current street price brings the camera to around £360, which puts it below the likes of the Canon G11 and just above rivals like the Sony HX1 and Casio FH20, though only by a small amount.
Pros: Long zoom, Motion Panorama, free-angle LCD, HD video modes
Excerpt: The Good 30X lens with few artifacts. Good image quality up to ISO 1,600. 1080p video and HDMI out. Powerful, comfortable DSLR-like controls. Articulating display. Fast autofocus. Panorama mode. The Bad Sometimes imprecise autofocus. Pro Low-light mode not very effective. 1080p video bitrate could be higher; motion blur. Still an insistence on proprietary USB out. Odd choice of AA batteries for power.
Pros: 30X lens with few artifacts., Good image quality up to ISO 1,600., 1080p video and HDMI out., Powerful, comfortable DSLR-like controls., Articulating display., Fast autofocus., Panorama mode.
Cons: Sometimes imprecise autofocus., Pro Low-light mode not very effective., 1080p video bitrate could be higher; motion blur., Still an insistence on proprietary USB out., Odd choice of AA batteries for power.
Summary: The Fuji HS10 is in a unique position as it has the look, feel and operation of a DSLR camera; however, it still delivers the image quality of a compact camera. For most casual users, this will be a perfectly acceptable trade-off. The zoom range is truly astounding on the HS10, and will be enough to seal the deal for many.