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
Resolution, noise and sensitivity
Image: An effective focal length of 720mm is useful for tight compositions of small, distant subjects
My images and our resolution tests confirm that at the lower sensitivity levels the HS10 is capable of capturing a reasonably high level of detail for a camera with a 1/2.3in sensor and 10.3 million pixels. I would avoid using the highest sensitivity settings, though.
Its impressively wide focal range makes the HS10 a very attractive camera to take on holidays, day-trips and family days out, when a DSLR kit with a full selection of lenses is impractical. At 720mm (equivalent), the longest point of the lens also gives it great potential for shooting wildlife and distant subjects. Unfortunately, although the autofocus system performs reasonably well at shorter focal lengths, it is slower when the lens is used at its longest focal length.
Even in bright light and when there’s a subject with contrast under the AF point, the lens can hunt and fail to find its target, making it unsuitable for use with moving subjects.
Shooting Motion Panoramas with the HS10 is easy and quite addictive. Once the Panorama option is selected on the mode dial, the LCD screen display indicates the direction that the camera should be panned (left to right) and an arrow moves across the monitor tracking the progress of the movement.
I found it tricky to judge the framing at first as the height of the image can be shorter than what is visible on the screen, but after a couple of attempts I got the shots I wanted.
When scaled to fit on screen or to print on an A4 page the 720pixel-wide panoramas look good, but closer inspection reveals that some elements are ghosted.
Fuji’s Motion Remover mode works by taking a series of five images that the camera then merges to produce a single five-million-pixel picture, with any moving element, such as a tourist, eliminated.
Using this mode is easy, as it is simply a case of selecting the correct mode from the Advanced options and setting the total time (0.5sec-20secs) over which the images are shot.
Slower moving subjects require a longer time so there is more movement between the images, but the camera needs to be stationary so that framing remains constant.
I found the Motion Remover very hit and miss. On one occasion I took a sequence of five images, only two of which had a person in the frame, yet they still appeared in the final picture.
Chart: These images show 72ppi sections of images of a resolution chart, captured with the lens set to its 105mm point. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution is at the specified sensitivity setting.