Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR

Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR

  • Manufacturer: Fuji
  • Price Range: $449.00 to $449.00 at 1 store
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    • Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR Compact Digital Camera

      Direct to Your Door. Australian Warranties
    • $449.00
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  • Shopbot Review
  • 4.5 / 5
    • The good:
      Great controls, quite light and fairly compact, extremely long zoom
    • The bad:
      Slow to start up, slightly slow video compensation for lighting changes

    The Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR is a large superzoom with an impressive, albeit slightly soft, 30x zoom lens. The 16-megapixel camera is about the same size as a compact D-SLR, and is styled in the same manner, right down to a manual zoom control and focus ring. It's got a very nice electronic viewfinder, is responsive when shooting, and generally just feels like a well-built camera.


    The HS30EXR follows the same design blueprint of its predecessor ( Fujifilm FinePix HS20EXR) with the overall size and shape of the camera not dissimilar to that of a small, entry-level DSLR. Overall build quality is very high with the HS30EXR encased within a tough plastic outer shell that feels strong enough to survive the odd knock or two.


    The handgrip, while relatively deep, feels slightly thinner than it did on the FinePix HS20EXR – on account of it not having to accommodate four AA-sized batteries anymore. The ergonomic shape and rubberised finish allows you to get a good, secure hold of the camera. This is further aided by a ridge on the back of the camera that is perfectly placed to brace your thumb against. Together these make the HS30EXR a very comfortable camera to hold overall.


    The zoom ring is covered in small ridges making it easy to get a good firm hold of. The manual focus ring, however, is a little too close to the camera body. Given how far forward the EVF/pop-up flash housing extends, getting a good hold on this ring can be a little fiddly. That said it is nice that the camera displays a focus bar indicator on the rear monitor/EVF when the camera is being used in manual focus mode.


    The FinePix HS30EXR is well adorned with a good selection of buttons that enable you to quickly select and chance regularly used settings such as ISO, White Balance and AF mode. The command wheel to the right of the main mode wheel is a nice touch too and well placed within easy reach of the thumb. Also the inclusion of an AE/AF Lock button as this can really help out in tricky metering situations.


    The in-camera menu is relatively simple to navigate, the menus and sub-menus are all well laid out, making it easy to find and adjust the camera’s various settings.


    The HS30 remains a bit on the slow side. Start-Up is one area where performance has improved though. With the Quick Start option set to ‘on’ the camera takes approximately two seconds to switch on and lock focus, which is a big improvement over the 3.5seconds of its predecessor.


    Autofocus speed feels much the same, although the slight delay between the act of half-pressing the shutter button and the AF system actually kicking into gear still seems to be a bit of an issue. Once the AF system is up and running it’s fast enough and in general you’re looking at less than a total of 0.5secs for the AF system to lock on; however the slight delay at the start of proceedings does make the Fujifilm HS30EXR feel slower than its main rivals.


    Processing times remain one of the bigger chinks in the HS30EXR’s armour though. The times taken to process images will, of course, vary depending on the complexity of the scene you are photographing and the quality level and drive mode you have the camera set to.


    While the HS30 offers a good range of continuous shooting options, the memory buffer does fill up quite quickly, after which the camera will slow down considerably.


    Used on the lowest ISO settings, image quality isn’t at all bad. It’s important to bear in mind that while the FinePix HS30EXR might resemble a small DSLR it has much more in common with compact cameras and, as such, uses a sensor that is much smaller than the APS-C sensors found in the vast majority of entry-level to mid-range DSLRs. In this sense, it’s important to judge the HS30 on its merits as a compact camera and to be realistic about what it’s capable of producing in terms of overall image quality.


    That said, the HS30 is more than capable, and certainly able to hold its own against other superzooms currently on the market.


    The HS30 doesn’t offer any built-in digital filter effects, although there is quite a bit of scope to ‘shape’ the in-camera image processing as you like. In addition to selecting basic Colour, Tone and Sharpness levels the Fujifilm HS30 also offers number of Film Simulation options that essentially mimic the look of classic old 35mm film stock from Fuji.


    Overall, the Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR is a very full-featured and now responsive camera that delivers appealing pictures, particularly in more helpful lighting conditions. It definitely fits the bill as a great all-rounder and a real alternative to a DSLR, just so long as you don't expect DSLR-like image quality.