The Fujifilm FinePix HS10 is one of the first ultra-zoom cameras to tout a 30x zoom lens -- "the pinnacle of the zoom totem pole," says Mike Perlman at InfoSyncWorld.com. Yet unlike the rival Olympus SP-800UZ, the HS10 has a manually operated zoom for more control, manual exposure settings and RAW (uncompressed image file) support. Experts praise the sturdy SLR-like design, and with its loaded feature set. Mark Goldstein at PhotographyBlog.com deems the HS10 a "Swiss Army Knife camera." There's a 3-inch tilting LCD and an electronic viewfinder (EVF) with a proximity sensor that automatically switches from LCD to EVF when you put it to your eye. The HS10 also has full 1080p HD video with slow-motion and a "copious amount of manual controls," says Perlman.
Despite its high-end appearances, the HS10 comes up short on quality. The LCD, which lacks the swivel range of the Canon PowerShot G12, has a "pedestrian" 230,000-dot resolution, says CNET's Joshua Goldman, and an EVF is "no match" for even the cheapest optical viewfinder, says Goldstein. Several experts say Sony's Sweep Panorama mode is superior, and Perlman says the HS10's Motion Remover mode, which is supposed to help you remove unwanted objects from a photo "left the object intact or butchered it into a mosaic of convoluted pixels." Critics say performance and image quality are mediocre. A user at Amazon.com says his older Fuji camera is "so far ahead of the HS10 it's not worth mentioning," and the Nikon Coolpix P100 (Discontinued) "smote the HS10 in every degree" for HD video in Perlman's tests.
CNET, CNET Asia, InfoSyncWorld.com and PhotographyBlog.com provide rigorous test-based evaluations with comparison to market rivals such as the Olympus SP800-UZ and the Nikon Coolpix P100. Enough users have weighed in at Amazon.com to establish a consensus that helps confirm expert findings.
With its professional looks and handling, the HS10 "mimics" a DSLR, but also weighs as much as one, says Leonard Goh. The HS10 packs features that "advanced shutterbugs will appreciate," and it has a manually operated zoom lens that offers more control than the Olympus SP800UZ. However, the HS10 comes up short on image quality.
Review: Fujifilm FinePix HS10, Leonard Goh, May 18, 2010
For Mike Perlman, the 30x zoom on the Fujifilm FinePix HS10 is the "current pinnacle of the zoom totem pole." He appreciates the plethora of external controls, oodles of scene modes and manual settings, but he contends that the "bushel of gimmicky features" doesn't "specialize in quality."
Review: Fujifilm Finepix HS10 Review, Mike Perlman, May 29, 2010
Although the Fujifilm FinePix HS10 may look like the ultimate bridge camera, it delivers the photo quality and performance of a common point-and-shoot, says Joshua Goldman. The camera excels with an impressive feature set, and the lens has "surprisingly" little barrel or pincushion distortion, but Goldman finds the mediocre images and shooting speeds "ultimately very frustrating."
Review: Fujifilm FinePix HS10, Joshua Goldman, May 21, 2010
"At the heart of the HS10 is the frankly incredible non-interchangeable 30x zoom lens," says Mark Goldstein, who considers the camera one of the best super-zooms around and a "viable alternative" to a digital SLR. Though setbacks are few and far between, the expensive HS10 has "less than stellar" low-light image quality and pokey RAW processing speeds.
Review: Fujifilm FinePix HS10 Review, Mark Goldstein, April 14, 2010
Users are split about the Fujifilm FinePix HS10, with nearly half pegging it as a great camera while the rest are less than impressed. "Below average IQ, above average zoom, mediocrity in everything else," says one user, while another adds that the HS10 lives up to Fuji's claims albeit "at its own pace."
Review: Fujifilm FinePix HS10 10 MP CMOS Digital Camera, Contributors to Amazon.com