I have a new camera! I’ve been waiting for it for a while, and chose it despite some mixed reviews from various photo sites and users. Some of the complaints, such as slow writing times even with Jpegs, seemed to be issues with following instructions. Others, such as long RAW writing times are generally true of most compacts. There was also an issue with jerky zooming during video filming. Not something that bothers me.
So, my first impressions. It’s a pretty solid and hefty feeling camera, bigger and heavier than my Panasonic FZ35. Which isn’t mine any more, actually – it was sold to finance the new camera. But I will be comparing the HS10 with it quite a lot. The HS10 generally feels well made, although there are a few plasticky touches which seem to have been cost cutting measures. The four direction button ring at the back has a tiny bit of play in it too. Not a problem really. But it could be more solid.
The features that sold me on this camera? The 30x manual zoom lens for one. That’s serious reach. The CMOS 10mp sensor, which promises good low light image quality and full 1080p HD video. Both valuable to me. And an absolute plethora of options, which I will be exploring more as I use it. But there seems to be an option to change everything. And top marks go to Fuji for the ease of accessing the options. The menu system works well, and there are plenty of buttons on the camera for quick access to key settings.
I’ve been out for a couple of photo shooting sessions with it, and my initial thoughts on image quality are happy ones. The images sometimes, especially of people, feel a bit soft. But there are in-camera sharpening options, and they’re not so soft as to be a problem. The colours and white balance are very pleasing out of the camera. The overall image quality as my eye sees it is excellent. But I’ll be doing more posts on the image quality over the next week or two.
I am going to mention two specific features today though. There are three ‘Advanced’ settings, two of which have been called gimmicks by the photo experts. I agree. One of them promises to remove moving objects from images, by taking four snaps in quick succession. Another offers the opportunity to make a motion shot by taking four snaps and keeping the moving subjects in.
Do they work? Not for me, so far. I suspect in the right situation you could get them to work. With fast moving objects. Otherwise, no. My efforts were as the photos below. So these aren’t features you should be using as a reason for buying the camera! The 30x zoom might be though – that’ll be my next post. There’s some sample photos on Flickr to see till then.