In my last post I said that I was selling my two month old Fuji HS10. Which I am. It’s pretty easy to sell in Mexico, as it’s an imported item and I can undercut the prices in the stores here by several thousand pesos. Or a couple of hundred dollars, if you want me to speak American money. Or about a hundred and fifty quid, if pounds sterling is your thing. Baht, Euros and Roubles you’ll have to work out for yourself.
I have a prospective buyer already, and enquiries from another source, but I still need to convince them that this is the right camera for them. Actually, I’ll rephrase that. They are friends and students, and I don’t fob stuff off on people who
might ask for their money back I like. That’s what eBay is for. What I need to do is show them how the camera works, what results it can produce, and let them have a play with it. I’m intending to offer the chap with ‘first option’ on the camera a photowalk for an hour or so, where I can show him how to use it, and let him shoot and see his own results.
I’ve also assembled a collection of 18 of the best shots I’ve gotten out of the Fuji for him to see, 15 of which are in the picture below. You can see the whole lot by clicking here. I have processed a lot of them (if not all of them!) in Lightroom and/or Photoshop. Some would say that’s cheating. I say that some people talk rubbish. The final result is what matters, and the camera is always the main contributor to that result anyway. The Fuji, like every camera on the market, has plus points and minus points. Here, from my experience, based on my preferences, are the pros and cons:
- It’s a nicely sized camera. Not too big, not too small and feels good in the hand. It has a whole bunch of buttons to give quick access to key features, all placed logically. It looks professional, and I must admit, purely from a vanity point of view, it makes me feel professional! But that’s a good thing.
- The lens is simply awesome. The range the 30x zoom gives you makes it such a flexible unit – you can get virtually any shot that you see.
- Accompanying the lens is a great image stabilisation system, that has allowed me to shot at lower ISOs. Even at full zoom and in low light. That makes a big difference.
- It takes AA batteries. Some like this, some don’t. I do. It means if I’ve ever forgotten to load the batteries from the charger, which I’ve done more than once over the years, I can buy some cheap AA’s from the street to get me through.
- It has a manual zoom ring, which I find is faster to operate and more accurate than the electronic zooms you normally get on a compact.
- It has a full resolution burst mode of 10fps, for a max of 7 frames. This is pretty useful when you’re trying to capture a moving object at a specific point.
- The 3″ screen is large and can also be swivelled up or down which is great for shooting discreetly at the waist, or shooting overhead shots when in a crowd.
- It reproduces colours nicely in my opinion, and gets white balance right in auto mode pretty consistently. The flash also does a pretty good job.
- As I mentioned in a recent post, it produces more noise at high ISO’s than most cameras, although MOS sensors in a compact tend to do this. However, as I pointed out in the pros, the IS helps avoiding shooting at high ISOs and anyway, when viewed in the real world and not at 100% crops, you can rarely tell.
- The screen is large but its low resolution. Only 230k pixels, when most compacts are 460k pixels. That was a little disappointing.
- The EVF is pretty useless. But it has to be said, the EVF’s on all compacts are pretty useless.
- The Fuji does have a manual focus ring too, but because the screen is low resolution and the EVF useless, so is the focus ring!
- The Fuji shoots RAW but Adobe doesn’t currently support the .raf RAW files in Lightroom or Photoshop.
The good far outweighs the bad. I love the Fuji. It’s a lot of fun. So why would I sell it? The Panasonic FZ100 has a microphone socket for improved audio, a 360 degree swivel LCD at 460k pixels resolution, a few extra pixels (although that’s really not terribly important), a higher burst shooting rate with the capability of storing a few more photos, fast RAW processing and the RAW files it produces are actually supported by Adobe. I’ll miss the Fuji HS10’s longer zoom and manual zoom ring, but you can’t have everything. I strongly suspect image quality will be about the same. The FZ100 will possibly be a little better, but not by so much that you’d get excited about it.