A 30x zoom range, DSLR-style handling, tilting LCD screen, a clever tourist-removing mode and a sub-£400 price tag make the Fujifilm FinePix HS10 an interesting proposition
Build and handling
With its deep, comfortable fingergrip, the HS10 looks just like a small DSLR. As its 1/2.3in BSI-CMOS sensor is smaller than an APS-C-sized device, at its shortest point the 4.2-126mm lens, which has angles of view comparable with a 24-720mm optic on 35mm, is about the same size as a standard DSLR kit lens.
Although the grip provides a secure hold and the main body of the HS10 feels quite tough, the memory card port cover feels a little flimsy and it’s possible to wobble the lens barrel very slightly.
There are a few nice touches on the HS10, such as the mode dial on the top-plate, which is angled so that it is more clearly visible from the back of the camera. The shortcut buttons to the left of the LCD screen also work well in conjunction with the navigation controls when selecting the focus mode or white balance setting and sensitivity settings. However, there are also a few quirks.
The flash mode, for instance, cannot be changed in aperture/shutter priority or manual-exposure mode, and in program mode it can be changed only if silent shooting option is deactivated. I also find it frustrating that it is only possible to scroll through the four-page record menu one feature at a time and not jump from page to page. It is particularly annoying that the option to record raw files is buried in the set-up menu, as some functions, such as the dynamic range expansion modes, cannot be used if raw files are being recorded.
Although the HS10’s EVF isn’t up to the same standard as the units found in some Micro System Cameras, it is reasonable. However, it makes colours look very saturated, and even with the enlarged views I found focusing manually quite tricky because there’s not quite enough detail visible in either the EVF or the 230,000-dot LCD screen. On the plus side, I found that the LCD screen provided a fairly clear view of the scene even in bright ambient light.