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.

Features

The Fujifilm HS10 is powered by a 10.3 MegaPixel sensor, unlike many other cameras that you find today. Most cameras today come with 12MP sensors and higher. We’re not craving for large resolutions from existing sensors either. The HS10 uses a BSI CMOS sensor unlike many point and shoot cameras that use CCD sensors. The BSI CMOS sensor was designed keeping low-light performance in mind. The key feature of the HS10 has to be the large 30x optical zoom lens that spans a range of 24 – 720mm.

The massive 30x optical zoom lens

The massive 30x optical zoom lens

Fujifilm has provided a 3-inch screen with a hinged design that allows users to take photographs from someone odd angles. The screen isn’t foldable either. There’s a built-in flash like on any other camera but also a mount for attaching external flash units. Being a point and shoot camera, the camera has an electronic viewfinder. The quality of the image on the viewfinder is pretty bad and it’s best to stick to using the large screen at the back. 

Foldable screen in view

Foldable screen in view

One of the unique features of the HS10 is the manual zoom ring and even a manual focus ring, something that most point and shoot cameras lack. This is handy and it gives the user better control while operating the camera. The downside of the camera is that the zoom is no longer operated by a motor, which means you have manually use the zoom ring like on a DSLR. 

These days, it’s hard to imagine cameras at this price range to be powered by AA batteries. The HS10 uses four AA batteries to operate. We ate through a set of four batteries within an hour or two of shooting with no flash enabled.  

Design and Build Quality

Although the HS10 looks like a DSLR, the HS10 is somewhat compact. The folding screen does take up a little more space. The quality of the dials used on the HS10 isn’t too bad but we aren’t too fond of the directional buttons at the back of the camera. The buttons are made of plastic but have a chrome-like finish. It has a somewhat cheap feel to it. Even the plastic used on the rest of the body isn’t too great.

SD memory card slot

SD memory card slot

There are two dials, one of them for the mode selection dial and the other for changing the values of settings. There a loads of buttons placed all over the camera. The placement of the buttons isn’t ideal. For example, the Playback button is placed at the right bottom corner at the back of the camera which is unconventional and it takes a while getting used to. There are plenty of buttons on the other side of the LCD screen as well. For example, the ISO, autoexposure, autofocus and white balance buttons can be operated easily but holding the respective button and then using the directional buttons. This is something like the cameras on a DSLR camera and is handy. 

Built-in flash unit on the HS10

Built-in flash unit on the HS10

Most camera manufacturers update their user interface by adding more features and making it more user-friendly and intuitive. The Fujifilm user interface still looks outdated and it looks like the very same one you find on their cameras from a year or more ago

Publish date: March 18, 2011 6:43 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 7:28 pm

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