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To begin with, I must convey that I had great expectations for this particular camera. Nonetheless, the end product wasn't as easy to manoeuvre as it had been advertised to me by my local Comet chain - the quality is there, however you can find issues which should not be present in a camera worth upwards of GBP300 - added to that, it's not exactly easy for beginners to function if they want to produce some dramatic effects.
There is a brilliant zoom lens with this specific camera; the picture's quality is affected very little regardless of how far you zoom in, so that it is not bad if you would like to get something captured to every last aspect. Image stabilisation is very strong regardless of how much the zoom is functioning at. Regrettably, for filming video, this really is far from the instance. It's undoubtedly not impossible to at precisely the same time and record zoom in or out, but the phase transitions are much from easy - also, throughout the movie you might also hear the camera while you're correcting your set, zooming. There's so much clicking and whirring in the backdrop, and it's very off-putting during playback. Besides that, I wouldn't say the video quality is as remarkable as advertised - occasionally, the picture was distorted or often blurry in some areas of the screen.
I usually found it tough when filming in a few regions to find the right colour balances. Filming in indoor or low-light areas does not give the best results, and even though there are specialised modes for these specific scenarios, I found it quite disappointing. Nevertheless, outdoor photographs or video normally is frequently of rather high quality, which is precisely what i might have anticipated for the cost I paid. However, I found it hard to combine the tone and colour settings to your level that I want. For those who are ambitious I would not generally worry as this camera remains efficient in its original state. For people who are searching for a bit extra, I am not completely certain that it could afford the desired effect based on what you are looking for.
To round off the negative facets of this camera, I would say that the processing of images and jpeg files is to the slow side, plus it's impossible to do anything else throughout the procedure - additionally, for raw photos, this can be even more of a problem. If you're a dedicated photographer, you can look to work with raw images for the best optimisation.
On the plus side, myself cannot deny the pictures I've captured with this particular camera (in the environment that is right) have not been more or less imperfect. My issue is that nearly all of the work I'd do with this camera will maintain states that compromise its performance, hence of using this camera, my enjoyment was endangered also.
If you're are patient enough to develop your capability in applying this camera, or ready to put up with its flaws, then I'm sure you'll be after becoming used to its punishing learning curve, quite satisfied. If not, you might be left frustrated when nothing will wind up getting lost in the ocean of features that are contained with this particular camera. Iwill try to find alternative options for this, I have refunded it and am trying to find something which is tailored to my ability. My final word would be to purchase with warning - although if you are a guru, you must probably not be unable to understand the features of the camera in a sense that I cannot.
I got this camera about 3 years ago, and it's finally time to give an honest opinion. It's a camera that left me with mixed feelings, and you'll see why, in just a bit. While most people would call it a bridge camera, it's actually more than that, it's a hybrid. That means it not only takes the shape and some of the settings a DSLR would have, and what most bridge cameras do, but also features a manual focus-ring and a 30x exclusively manual optical zoom. Design-wise it looks exactly like an entry-level DSLR, so if you're aiming to impress, you definitely will.
Nowadays 10 mega-pixels is nothing to write home about, but that's actually not the downside of the camera. As long as the lighting is good, and I mean "I'm walking in sunshine" kind of good, you'll take great photos. Sharp, good and natural looking colours, even at 30x zoom. However, on a cloudy day, inside or any other low-light situation, without flash you'll end up with a ton of blurry, ugly, noisy, ashamed of yourself and your camera kind of pictures. With flash it does deliver a lot better, but still, make sure you have steady hands because the image stabilization is something I hardly dare to mention. Tripod is a must, especially if you want to take a nice photo of the moon, which I did, and the result was quite impressive.
- it has a manual 30x optical zoom
- it takes four AA batteries, so draining your rechargeables always leaves you with the option of getting some regular batteries at any shop
- has a pop-up quite capable flash, plus a hot-shoe for external flash
- loads of dedicated buttons, dials and settings to choose from. You do feel in control, just like with a DSLR
- features a manual focus-ring
- though all plastic, still feels quite sturdy
- very good grip with a rubbery feel to it
- good day-light photography
- fantastic macro capabilities
- lots of scene-modes
- great and quite accurate auto setting
- you can pre-set 2 scene modes
- has full manual settings
- features manual aperture (don't expect miracles though) and shutter mode
- tiltable LCD screen
- has 45Mb of internal memory (for about 10-12 pictures)
- the lens allows for filters and other accessories
- works with SD card (above class 6, recommended class 10)
- with four 2500mA batteries you get around 350-400 shots
- only 10 mega-pixels (unless you're easily impressed by the numbers, disregards this)
- disappointing low-light capabilities
- image stabilization is next to non-existent, especially in low-light conditions
- on a hot day (above 30 Celsius) it can overheat after extended use, and will shut itself down
- sometimes images end up corrupted when viewed and zoomed in-camera (but there is a firmware update for that)
- manual aperture setting is far from what a DSLR would give you
- the electronic viewfinder is of low quality and almost pointless
- low resolution LCD screen
- slow auto-focus: so slow that you'll miss the action most of the time, so not for action photography
- burst-mode and RAW images capabilities are nothing to write home about
- video, while up to full HD, is sub-par and shaky
- quite heavy: around 600 grams with batteries
The Finepix HS-10 is a camera that impressed everyone else but me. There were times I loved it, and times I absolutely hated it. Takes too much time, too much effort, and a lot of luck to get a really good picture, however given the tiltable screen combined with the 30x zoom, it is a nice camera for candid photography.
I managed to pick this camera up at the Fuji online shop for £165 delivered. The camera was refurbished, but as usual for Fuji, arrived as new (but in a white refurb box) with a full 12 month warranty. The full price should have been £200 but I applied some discount codes to reduce the price significantly.
The first thing that should be noted is that it is not a DSLR despite very much looking like one. This is what's called a 'bridge' camera. Pretty much meaning it gives certain DSLR features and styling, but usually with a compact specification sensor. The Fuji HS10 gives a lot more control over your pictures than a standard point and shoot, allowing you to shoot in a variety of preset modes as well as shutter, aperture and full manual mode. The huge 30x optical zoom enables you to get really close to the action, but unlike a true DSLR, this lens is permanently attached to the camera body so you can't attach specialist lenses. It does however give you massive versatility as it excels at both telephoto and wide-angle focal lengths without the need to lug around lots of equipment.
These cameras do have a much bigger optical zoom than your standard compact camera. The only downside of this is that the camera itself is less portable due to the larger lens barrel required to house such a zoom. The camera itself looks like a slightly smaller DSLR, and that alone gives the impression and feel of a quality item.
**In the Box**
As this is a refurbished product, you benefit from a much lower price than buying new. I had purchased the S1800 which was Fuji refurbished, and never had a problem with it. If I ever do with the HS10, you get a full 1 year warranty to cover any problems which is reassuring to know.
The camera arrived in a white box which is similar to the retail box except that it had the words 'refurbished' printed on it. Inside the box you get the camera itself, fully wrapped in a brand new, sealed plastic bag. There is a plastic Fuji branded lens cap which just clips onto the end of the lens barrel and is easily removed and fitted during use, and a length of cord to attach it to the camera strap, so you don't lose the cap when you remove it to take pictures. A basic Fuji shoulder strap is included, as well as an installation CD, a cable to attach to a PC or Television and a basic instruction manual and warranty card. Not forgetting 4 standard batteries just to get you started.
A more detailed set of instruction which delves deeper into the cameras options and capabilities can be found on the supplied CD or can be downloaded on a .pdf file from the Fuji website.
This camera is going to be as close to a DSLR as you get, without actually owning one. It feels comfortable to hold, although people with larger hands may find it a little cramped and the knuckles on your right hand can sometimes rub against the lens barrel. The 5 main control buttons for quick access to important settings such as ISO, white balance and focus options are found neatly down the rear left hand side of the camera giving the feel of a DSLR. It also has the main mode dial on the top of the camera next to another dial that is used to control shutter speed and aperture size whilst in those particular modes. The 3″ LCD screen is big enough for the overall size of the camera and gives a good idea of the quality of the shot just taken. It automatically dims after a short period of inactivity, and has manually adjustable brightness to help save on batteries.
The impressive 30x optical zoom extends from 28mm Wide Angle to 720mm Tele-photo (35mm equivalent). ISO sensitivity can be changed from 64 up to 6400 but anything over 800 tends to be affected by noise on the pictures (basically pixilation along edges and lines in the photos) but does really help out in low light or indoors. I usually set the ISO to Auto 400 which will allow the camera to choose an appropriate ISO between 100 and 400 depending on the situation. The camera also has a pop up flash which can only be operated manually by pressing a small button on the left hand side of the flash housing. The flash can be bright indoors which casts shadows but a diffuser sock may help out with that, and in camera settings can be changed to affect how powerful the flash is..
Despite being made primarily from plastic, the camera has a weighty, solid and well built feel to it, coming in at a meaty 636g before you've put the battery and SD Card in. The dimensions are; 5.1″(W) x 3.6″(H) x 5″(D) inches (excluding accessories and attachments).
Initial photos have been impressive once I changed the custom settings in areas such as dynamic range, sharpness and colour. I found this impressive guide to all the settings and can recommend following his instructions for custom setup:
**The Good and Bad**
The HS10 takes 4x AA batteries and the cheap set supplied did not last too long! It's my advice to get a few sets of high capacity rechargeable batteries to carry around in your case. Good rechargeable AA's (recommend over 2500mAh) can last for a few days worth of shooting in my initial experience, and several 'experts' recommend Sanyo Eneloop batteries amongst others, for power-thirsty digital cameras. Out on location, I find 2500mAh and 2900mAh batteries last very well, even using the electronic viewfinder lots when reviewing pictures. I usually carry a fully charged set but have never had to change them whilst out shooting. The camera also has an option to discharge rechargeable batteries which helps prolong the life of batteries when recharging them.
The HS10 has a threaded 58mm lens which allows you to use a variety of additional lenses and filters such as UV, Neutral Density, Macro, Polariser and Lens Hoods. This gives the user much more freedom and variety of shots and effects they can create, and just adds to the overall value of the package. A good quality UV filter would be recommended as it will protect your lens from dust and scratches.
Unlike the cheaper 'S' series, the 'HS' series have a manual twist barrel zoom which other reviews mention can be quite stiff but I've found it to be fine. It gives me more control than the motorised zoom on my previous camera, which sometimes seemed to have a mind of its own!
This is 'only' a 10mp pixel sensor, but numbers aren't everything here. The bridge cameras have smaller sensors than true DSLR cameras and generally the larger the resolution with a small sensor, the poorer the picture quality will be. Unless you're wanting to print out huge prints, the 10mp resolution is perfect for this camera at prints up to A4.
The camera has several shooting modes to make sure you can always get a good picture. As well as the usual ones like; Auto, Custom, Movie, Panorama, Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod) and Fireworks, there are a few that many beginners won't have encountered:
SR AUTO - Automatically recognises the conditions and changes settings accordingly
S - Shutter Priority (set the shutter speed, camera sets aperature for correct exposure)
A - Aperture Priority (Set the aperture size, camera sets shutter speed for correct exposure)
M - Manual mode (set both shutter and aperture, adjust exposure if desired)
P - Program Auto Exposure (Camera determines the exposure automatically when pointed at a subject)
Sunset, Snow, Natural Light, Natural Light & with Flash, Beach, Party, Flower, Text and Smile modes are fairly self explanatory.
Zoom bracketing mode takes 3 separate pictures. 1 normal, 1 using an additional 1.4x digital zoom and 1 using 2x digital zoom. This enables you to get even closer than full telephoto zoom allows and is the same as performing a digital crop in photo editing software.
Shutter speed and Aperture are basically settings used for achieving better depth of field (how much of the field of view appears in focus) and creating intentional blur (waterfall effects maybe) or freezing the action as it happened (Sport/Live action). It is however, so much more complicated than this, but it's a good area to start and experiment with!
This camera can produce some really good pictures and I recommend steering clear of the auto settings as it won't give you the best shots, and learn the relationship between Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO and exposure. A basic tripod might be a good additional purchase for long zoom shots as at full zoom, focusing and camera shake can be difficult to control.
For the price I paid, this camera is exceptional value for money considering there is no need to purchase any extra lenses. I have so far purchased a tripod and a Neutral Density 4 filter which when used in conjunction with a slow shutter speed, enable me to produce some good milky water shots of streams and waterfalls. I also have a Hoya UV Filter which I use permanently to protect the lens and a circular polariser which helps darken and pick out the detail in the sky in landscape shots.
I have already produced some pictures that I would judge worthy of a DSLR and have been impressed with the level of detail attainable on such a 'budget' camera.
Although a few years old now, it's still one of the best bridge camera's available with its successor, the HS20EXR also a worthy, but slightly more expensive purchase. At the end of the day, it would depend on your budget as to which one you'd be tempted to go for, but with the HS20 costing £220 upwards, you're beginning to get into entry level DSLR territory. It just depends what serves your needs better. I for one believe I will continue learning and using the HS10 for a long time yet!
Digital cameras are a very strange thing. The huge variety and baffling list of specifications makes it difficult to choose a product which best suits your ideal requirements. It is safe to assume that the majority of users are now digitally minded but what do we look for in a potential purchase?
From personal experience and also anecdotal evidence the main choices seem to cover three basic areas:
1) Strong brand name
2) Megapixel value
3) Optical zoom
Let's quickly establish the common misunderstandings:
1) Buying an established brand is a guide only. Manufacturers generally make products for the whole market and may specialise in a particular area.
2) Megapixel values mean very little in real world terms. Picture quality is determined by the quality of the hardware and the optics.
3) Having a huge zoom is no indication of the final quality of the workable image. All you are getting is a close up of what the camera sees and if the quality isn't there, it's not there.
Wether you wish to simply point and shoot or want to access the professional settings of the camera you need to shop around. You are looking for quality and this usually comes with a heavy price but not always.
Searching through websites and technology magazines my wife came across this particular model - the Fujifilm Finepix HS10. Aside from consumer reviews my main tech bible of choice is T3 magazine which I subscribe to. The outright group winner was this camera and it retailed at a hefty, but still reasonable, £400. Of course we read the reviews of all the cameras completely but were impressed by wealth of options and impressive specification. As a tech mag T3 can be sometimes elitist and perhaps a little hard on some gadgets as they seem to have very high expectations. Even so this camera merited a 5 star review and so was deserving of a closer look.
Our previous camera was an Olympus 10Mp model which to be honest took a poor picture unless in bright conditions and even then they could be somewhat variable. This camera is again 10Mp but had a quality BSI-CMOS sensor capable of capturing resolutions up to 3648*2736. The optics are developed in house by Fuji to very high standards. Potentially a very good start then. There is a top sited flash which pops up when required or when selected and the camera is also able to accept a seperate flash unit via a dedicated slot.
To compliment the quality sensor is a large ranging optical zoom which can capture images at up to 30x magnification with a 'quoted' no loss of quality. Like I said a big zoom does not a camera make but this a substantial piece of well built kit and the quality is evident. The zoom can be be manually adjusted as you would on a DSLR and there is also a manual focus ring to hone the shot you are taking. At full extension the lens is quite long and very professional looking but this is reflected in the additional weight.
The list of specifications is huge and most people will probably want to opt for the simple default profiles, perhaps adjusting ISO levels and compensating for movement. Selecting the most simple 'auto' function allows the camera to do all the hard work for you leaving you to worrying about aiming straight and sharpening the focus if needed. It also detects up to ten faces in a shot to establish the best settings for group photos.
The LCD display on the rear is large and clear measuring 3" with a 230k pixel count. What makes it standout however, excuse the pun, is that it can be extended and tilted for shooting at difficult angles or from high/low positions. Should you wish to conserve battery power you can use the EVF view finder is is set to sleep and is activated by the proximity of your eye as you bring the camera towards your face. A very cool little trick.
There are obviously video functions on the camera which I guess most people don't normally use to limited memory or quality. Rest assured with the HS10 however as it is capable of capturing video at full HD levels of 1920*1080. There is a one touch quick record and you can use the zoom as normal throughout the shooting process.
A nice inclusion is a high quality panoramic function which allows the camera to continuously capture an image as you move the lens. This is great for long landscapes or more edgy shots and there is no need to line up the images as the work is all handled locally. Simply connect to your photo app to get great widescreen images.
The camera is powered by four AA batteries which should give around 350 shots depending on the type and the settings you are using. Connectivity is courtesy of both USB and HDMI so you can output your media to your HDTV. There is limited onboard storage at 45Mb which is all but useless but the camera accepts both SD and SDHC cards
In use I found the camera very easy to use though it is very tempting to mess with the zoom function which wastes time for simple shots. Point and shoot photography renders excellent results and the shots look very good even on the onboard LCD screen.
Personally I believe that to get the best from a camera you need to spend some time with it and take a few thousand shots to get a feel for the settings. I was very happy with the majority of the photos I took on this camera which were bright and sharp with natural looking colours. Some lowlight shoots were weaker but there were also some very good ones too so again it is case of working with what you have. Put a high capacity card in and shoot three times more pictures than you need to get a good average reference point.
I did notice on the first big shoot of around 350 photographs the results were excellent even though the camera was set on a medium quality level. Of course I would have set it to maximum had I realised but this indicates that the camera is very capable.
Worth noting is that with some online searching I managed to get this camera at just over £300 which is a large saving over the original retail price of £400. There are many deals which include bundled accessories such as cases or memory cards.
With the HS10 Fujifilm have created a camera which is as at home in the pub as it it is taking professional looking portraits and landscapes. The default settings render excellent quality pictures and if you dig that little bit deeper you will find a treasure of options more usually seen on DSLR cameras at a much higher price.
Previously I have used photos that were taken from a mobile phone and they have been at a quality well in excess of some dedicated compacts had ever previously managed. No amount of convergence however will make a smartphone a real usable alternative to a high quality camera such as this.
As always opinions are subjective but from the extensive research I have done using professional sources this camera is as good as it currently gets in this category. DSLR options on a point and shoot camera with an excellent focal range means the HS10 is an excellent choice perhaps the only choice.
Taken from here: http://fujifilm.co.uk
Number of effective pixels
10.3 million pixels
Internal memory (Approx. 45MB). SD memory card. SDHC memory card*2
Still image: JPEG (Exif Ver. 2.2 *3), RAW (RAF format), RAW+JPEG. Movie: MPEG4(MOV, H.264/AVC, ISO standard) with stereo sound. Audio: WAVE format, Monaural sound
Fujinon 30x optical zoom lens, F2.8 (Wide) - F5.6 (Telephoto)
Lens focal length
f=4.2 - 126.0mm, equivalent to 24 - 720mm on a 35mm camera
Auto focus (Area, Multi, Center, Tracking), Continuous AF, Manual focus (One-push AF mode included), AF assist illuminator available
Normal: Wide: Approx. 50cm / 1.6ft. to infinity Telephoto: Approx. 5.0m / 16.4ft. to infinity Macro: Wide: Approx. 10cm - 3.0m / 0.3ft. - 9.8ft. Telephoto: Approx. 2.0m - 5.0m / 6.5ft. - 16.4ft. Super Macro: Approx. 1cm - 1.0m / 0.4in. - 3.2ft.
(Auto mode) 1/4sec. to 1/4000sec. (All other modes) 4sec. to 1/4000sec.
Wide: F2.8 / F11.0, Telephoto: F5.6 / F11.0
Auto / Equivalent to ISO 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400 (Standard Output Sensitivity) Number of recorded pixels: ISO6400: "M" or "S" only
Programmed AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual
Automatic scene recognition Preset: Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light, Custom
3.0-inch, Approx. 230,000 dots, color LCD monitor, Approx. 97% coverage
Approx. 10sec. / 2sec. delay
HDMI (Type C) NTSC/PAL selectable
USB 2.0 High-speed
Lithium batteries (sold separately), Ni-MH rechargeable batteries (sold separately), 4x AA type alkaline batteries (included). DC Coupler CP-04 with AC power adapter AC-5VX (sold separately)
130.6 (W) x 90.7 (H) x 126.0 (D) mm / 5.1 (W) x 3.6 (H) x 5.0 (D) in. (excluding accessories and attachments)
Approx. 636g / 22.4oz. (excluding accessories, battery and memory card)
High Speed Movieï¼^60/120/240/480/1000fps), SR AUTO (Scene Recognition Auto), Motion Panorama, Best Framing, Frame No. memory, Histograms, Zoom Bracketing, Best frame capture, Face Detection (with Auto red-eye removal), Pro Low-light, Motion Remover, Multi Motion Capture, Silent mode
1,920 x 1,080 pixels (Full HD) / 1,280 x 720 pixels (HD) / 640 x 480 pixels / 320 x 240 pixels (30 frames/sec.) with stereo sound
Face Detection (with Red-eye removal), Crop, Resize, Image rotate, Slideshow, Multi-frame playback (with Micro Thumbnail), Sorting by date, Voice Memo, Image search, Histograms, Highlight warning, Movie trimming, Movie join
WAVE format, Monaural sound
I replaced this camera about 2 months ago for my girlfriend with a newer sony model. It definitly did its job and has great zooming capabilities. However, it only has about 10 megapixels which is a downside to it. The sony I bough her had 14.1 and is less than half the price. Don't get me wrong it takes great pictures and she had it for a long time. However a smaller sleeker model with better megapixels is much better.
This is a pretty big camera it won't just fit in your pocket which makes traveling with it a bit difficult sometimes. Especially if you're going somewhere like an amusement park. As one of the other reviewers said it does seem to generate a lot of red eyes in the photos. I suggest this camera if you like taking pictures of scenery and nature, but as far as taking pictures of people at a party or something I would suggest something else. Its big, expensive, and there are other more compact cameras for way less that offer a better picture quality. So in other words i would not really recommend this camera unless you have money to blow or need a camera for long distance photography. Normal photographers can do better with a normal £100 camera.
I bought this camera the day before a safari type holiday after testing. The camera feels sturdy in hand, the major plus point being the 30x zoom giving an equivalent lens range of 24-720mm. Although the pictures are not as sharp as a conventional SLR the scope of this camera made up - the auto mode adapting to all situations.
Crisp LCD display that can nicely show off both the Hi Def and High Speed capture video modes (up to 1000 fps, although pixel quality is significantly reduced as the fps rate is raised).
I find that while holding the camera it is easy for the auto-focus light to be blocked by my hand - sometimes affecting picture quality. It also took a while to get used to some of the advanced features. I have not yet managed to have the shutter open for longer than 30s but was still able to capture the southern cross satisfactorily.
Overall suited my need for a reasonable price camera that could point-and-shoot, possess a significant zoom, video in HD and provide some manual control. and found using (easily rechargeable/replaceable) 4XAA lithium batteries lasted around 350 photos and about 10mins of video.
My old Olympus CZ4000 was on it's last legs - so it was time to search for another reliable, great value camera.
Whilst I have always wanted a Digital SLR, the prices were a little too heavy for my budget - considering the additional cost of extra lenses if you want a reasonable range of focus. The Answer - a bridge camera. A bridge camera sort of 'fills the gap' between a compact and an SLR.
My requirements were good value, reputable brand, manual control features (ie manual exposure and manual focus), availability for external flash connection and good high speed shooting mode.
I searched far and wide for something that ticked all the boxes and eventually come across the HS10.
Was I gobsmacked? . . too right. This unit provides superb value for money and a cornucopia of features. It even has HD video recording feature (1080P). The tilting 3" lcd screen is a fantastic feature. There are many controls to get your head around and all are sensibly positioned so you aren't scratching your head trying to find how to use the feature.
The built in lens (being a bridge camera and not an SLR) is fixed to the camera and cannot be removed / changed. It has a fantastic range (from 24mm - 720mm [35mm equivalent]). The shutter speeds range from 30 seconds to 4000 th of a second and the ISO range goes up to 6400 ISO.
The camera can be connected via a mini HDMI socket directly to an HDMI tv input for great quality output from to 10MP images and 1080P video.
I am not entirely satisfied by the range of apertures available (limited) and the quality of images in ISO's of 800 or greater due to the amount of noise that creeps in but overall, the pluses far outweigh the minuses. The overall picture quality is outstanding with little loss of detail at the edges of your shots. Do note - when using the extremes of the camera's zoom facility you are advised to use a tripod / monopod to aid stability.
The camera is capable of up to 10 fps in high speed shooting (at full 10MP quality) - but do remember you will need a fast memory card to take advantage of this. A hot shoe is provided for external flash connections and a panarama setting makes easy work of stitching three shots together (in camera) - it's so easy and the results are fantastic!
To tidy this package up nicely, the camera runs on 4 x AA batteries so if you're caught short whilst out and about, you should be able to get hold a new set of batteries quite easily (which I've found last in excess of 600 shots).
I'd give this camera an overall 9/10 (due to noise on high ISO's and limited f stops). I fine successor to my trusty old Olympus CZ4000. It's well worth every penny and is comparable with medium range dSLR's costing twice as much!
I personally purchased this camera to use for capturing more memorable moments, it is considerably more professional standard than a regular pocketdigital camera (which I also own and think is extremely useful) yet it is not by any means a fully fledged professional quality camera.
This camera takes amazingly high quality pictures, it even captures video at a slightly lower quality. Anyone who own this camera will tell you that the zoom is amazing and quite often there is no obvious difference between photos taken at full zoom and photos taken with no zoom at all - once again when capturing video the quality is reduced, and I wouldn't advise zooming in too far whilst recording footage.
Now, this camera is not easy. If you wish to use it in a professional environment then you most certainly will need some previous knowledge, and be willing to spend some time experimenting and playing with the settings in order to gain full control of the options that this camera has to offer. But for those of you who simply wish to use it for capturing great photos that are higher quality than those your digital camera captures then the settings need not be changed.
Just a side note, the problems I mentioned with configuration will require you to visit website forums and use other sourced of knowledge if you aren't completely camera tech savvy as the manual isn't particularly helpful.
On the plus side, I cannot deny that the images I have captured with this camera (in the correct environment) have been more or less perfect. My problem is that most of the work I would do with this camera would be in conditions that compromise its performance, hence my enjoyment of using this camera was compromised also.
To conclude all I can say about this camera is that it does do what it's description says it can do, however if you aren't up to scratch with your camera abilities then it will prove difficult to handle and you will struggle to get the best out of it. Overall, for the price, I think this would qualify as an 'average' offering on the market, and there may be better options available to you.
I would just like to add a little side note, I realize I didn't make it completely clear in the original review that this camera does have an auto mode that takes great photos - this of course is extremely easy to use for the less tech savvy users. So please don't be too put off by the tricky settings.
This is a great camera for with all round good functionality and quality. It's a bridging camera at the end of the day and you have to remember that but it's so much better than using a compact camera in terms of results and option and there are situations where the lens is so useful that it's better than having an SLR around - it's much smaller than an SLR too so you can still carry it around without too much hassle.
The superzoom is amazing: 30x optical zoom just can't be beaten. The starting point for the lens is a wide angle which can then be zoomed to an amazing level so you have the best of both worlds. bought this for a safari trip and it was perfect: other cameras couldn't zoom in close enough to the subject and those that could had SLR lenses that were not suitable for use in between taking pictures of the animals. With the Fuji I could just concentrate on taking the shot I wanted.
There is a lot in the way of control that you can have with this camera and many of the options can be accessed via buttons on the back of the camera quickly instead of having to trawl through menu options. All the usual suspects such as different exposure types, white balance, focus options etc. etc. and there is even an option for manual focus using the ring at the back of the zoom lens. When you use manual zoom the view finder magnifies so you can be sure your image is in focus.
There are lots of good things about this camera and everything you read from the manufacturers listing seems to work as intended and is generally useful or else a great little add on to play with on occasion.
My only gripe is shutter speed in that it can be a little slow but then you do tend to get this with bridging cameras so I can't hold it against this model in general.
Also, the use of 4 AA batteries is a mistake in my opinion as it makes the camera much heavier than it needs to be.
The camera feels good to hold and is well balanced and all of my shots so far have been great, from sunsets to animal shots, to nice scenes, tropical beaches, stormy weather and so on. The results have been fantastic .
First of all, I have to say that I had great expectations for this camera. However, the end product was not as easy to manoeuvre as it had been advertised to me by my local Comet chain - the quality is there, but there are problems which shouldn't be present in a camera worth upwards of £300 - added to that, it's not exactly easy for beginners to operate if they want to produce some spectacular results.
There's a brilliant zoom lens with this camera; the quality of the picture is affected very little no matter how far you zoom in, so it's good if you want to get something captured to every last detail. Image stabilisation is very strong no matter how far the zoom is working at. Sadly, for filming video, this is far from the case. It's definitely possible to record and at the same time zoom in or out, but the phase transitions are far from easy - also, during the film you can also hear the camera zooming while you're adjusting your set. There's so much whirring and clicking in the background, and it's very off-putting during playback. In addition to this, I wouldn't say the video quality is as impressive as advertised - sometimes, the picture was often blurry or distorted in some parts of the screen.
I generally found it difficult to find the correct colour balances when filming in certain areas. Filming in low-light or indoor areas does not give the best results, and even though there are specialised modes for these particular scenarios, I found it rather disappointing. However, outdoor photos or video generally is often of very high quality, which is what I would have expected for the price I paid. Nevertheless, I still found it difficult to combine the colour and tone settings to a level that I desire. For people who are less ambitious with tweaking the settings, I would not generally worry as this camera remains efficient in its original state. For those looking for a little bit extra, I'm not entirely sure that it would yield the desired effect depending on what you are looking for.
To round off the negative aspects of this camera, I would say that the processing of images and jpeg files is on the slow side, and it's impossible to do anything else during the process - also, for raw shots, this is even more of a problem. If you're a dedicated photographer, you may look to use raw images for the best optimisation. I believe that the whole process requires knowledge of a lot of extensive post-production methods, little of which many would know of or know how to outtake well enough to wield into something they want. The manual was not detailed enough for my liking and I was left to figure a lot of stuff out for myself, via research from other people and browsing the internet to find out more intuitive ways of dealing with my problems.
On the plus side, I cannot deny that the images I have captured with this camera (in the correct environment) have been more or less perfect. My problem is that most of the work I would do with this camera would be in conditions that compromise its performance, hence my enjoyment of using this camera was compromised also.
If you're willing to put up with its flaws, or are patient enough to develop your ability in using this camera, then I'm sure you will be very satisfied after getting used to its punishing learning curve. If not, you may be left frustrated when nothing you're able to do seems to work, and could end up getting lost in the sea of features that are included with this camera. I'm going to look for alternative options to this, I have already refunded it and am looking for something which is more tailored to my ability. My final word would be to purchase with caution - although if you're a pro, you should probably be able to appreciate the features of this camera in a way that I cannot.