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Review Price £218.00

Super-zoom digital cameras have been around for a long time, but it seems that recently most of the manufacturers are treading water with their designs, with only one or two models in their range and only updating them at irregular intervals with more powerful sensors and ever-longer zoom ranges. The only company that seems to put any effort into the super-zoom market is Fujifilm, which has no fewer than nine such cameras in its range, including the FinePix S2500HD, the outstanding FinePix S200 EXR and today's review camera, the new FinePix HS10.

The S200 EXR was always going to be a tough act to follow, so Fujifilm has pulled out all the stops and loaded the HS10 with every feature they could think of, including several new ones that are unique to this camera. Its basic specification is impressive to say the least. It has an amazingly powerful but very compact 30x zoom lens, the longest zoom range of any current camera, with a focal length range equivalent to 24-720mm, a maximum aperture of f/2.8-5.6 and manual zoom control. It has a 10.0-megapixel 1/2.3-inch back-illuminated CMOS sensor, a 3.0-inch 230k articulated monitor, a field-sequential 0.2-inch 200k resolution electronic viewfinder, and can shoot full 1080p HD video with stereo sound.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 front

With most other manufacturers concentrating their development efforts on long-zoom compacts and new mirrorless system cameras the HS10 doesn't have a lot of direct competition. The newly announced Panasonic FZ100 offers full HD video and a 24x zoom lens, but its closest competitor is the 18-month-old Canon PowerShot SX1 IS, which features full HD video, stereo audio and an articulated monitor, but only has a 20x zoom lens. It's also about the same price. The Fuji HS10 is currently selling for around £399, but Fuji cameras tend to fall in price quite dramatically after a few months.

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July 22, 2010, 11:27 pm

Now you're 'having a laugh', aren't you? The camera in the previous review go 9/10 for image quality. Sure, it was good for the price - but I thought that was what the 'value for money' category was for. Surely you don't load every category witha sort of 'value for money' weighting? Yes, I understand that the words in the review or important but the 'scores on the doors' are what's in the header, aren't they? and how many people will bother to read past them if a cheap pocket camera has a higher image quality rating than this, or if the rating for this is the same as some poorly performing Pentax?

I understand where you are coming from, but frankly I think it is time you reviewed this rating policy.


July 23, 2010, 12:10 am

interesting review, cliff. i've been looking into fujifilm's super-zoom cameras recently, and don't really want to spend too much. i've been looking into the s1600, but there's only really one review on it. any chance it'll be reviewed on here soon?


July 23, 2010, 1:40 am

Might be a dumb question - just bought this 2 days ago

after the review. I would in an ideal world like a great still camera and camcorder that does low light ok so I can travel with only one device.

Not sure whether to stick with the camcorder or should I have bought this camera with it's HD mode ?

I don't really need hi resolution for video as 1900 rez is ok for me, but I'm not photograph enthusiast neither. Perhaps I've been spoilt by my old FujiF31FD for low light still shots

Maybe I just need some reassurance that I purchased the right item of the two ..comments ?


July 23, 2010, 3:42 am

Ye gods, that must be one heckuva stabilisation system if it lets you shoot handheld at 1/40 on 720mm equivalent (720mm... the mind boggles). This is some piece of kit.

@Splogbust: It's not just value for money, surely? Image quality has got to be related to the class of cameras a particular model is in. Otherwise nothing but a Hasselblad will get anywhere near 10, and most cheap point-and-shoots will be slugging it out in the 1s and 2s. I think most readers of a site like this will realise that, won't they?

Cliff Smith

July 23, 2010, 6:24 am

Splogbust - Image quality is a combination of several factors, including overall detail, exposure accuracy, dynamic range, noise control, lens quality, colour reproduction and the presence or absence of compression artefacts. There's no simple way to numerically quantify it, and the score awarded is therefore necessarily subjective and also relative, with each camera being compared to other cameras of a similar type or in the same price bracket, so inevitably there is an element of 'value for money' involved. A camera costing £400 is expected to perform better than a camera costing £200, so if it doesn't then it will be marked down accordingly. It's also worth noting that a score of 7/10 is still a 'good' score, with 6/10 being 'average'.

The subjective nature of review scores means that inevitably some people will disagree with them, and in the 13 years that I have worked as a technology journalist it has been the single most common subject of reader letters. This is why we have this comments section, so that you can have your say, and we can explain and hopefully justify our opinions. If you have a suggestion as to how the image quality score could be made more accurate I'd certainly be very happy to hear it.

AJ10 - I'm hoping to get the S1600 in for review very soon; watch this space!


July 23, 2010, 8:27 am

Cliff - Thanks for the review. Too bad the HS10 wasn't as capable when it came to image quality as it was with most of it's other features.

But I wanted to correct you on one point. You say that the HS10 has "the longest zoom range of any current camera", that "Its focal length range equivalent to 24-720mm is bigger than anything else on the market". But you seem to be forgetting about the Olympus SP-800UZ that also has a 30x optical zoom lens, with a focal lenght range equivalent to 28-840mm. Just thought I'd remind you..

Have a good one!


July 23, 2010, 4:06 pm

I understand the points raised by Lensman and Cliff. However, the images produced by a camera are just images and as far as 'image quality' is concerned do not become magically better because the camera that produced them was cheaper or of a different type. There is an interesting site, DXOMark, which carries comparisons of cameras based on their raw output and the differences are indeed staggering but that is probably a closer reflection of reality - shame they can't do something similar with the processed JPEG image.

I will probably have to replace my camera soon and frankly it's no use to me that these scores are weighted by price / type of camera. I could easily be fooled into buying a cheaper / different type of camera because it has a 'higher image quality' rating whereas in reality I could have much better image quality perhaps by paying more and the price may well be still affordable or buying a different type of camera.

I would certainly prefer something that would slip nicely into my shirt pocket but if I knew the true image quality difference, as opposed to this weighted version, were so great I would forgo the convenience for the sake of getting better pictures. I'd hate to be stuck with an 'inferior' camera just because it was good for it's price and type.....

No, unfortunately I don't have an immediate answer of how it should be done, but will think about it. However, I doubt if marks out of 10 is the way to go as if these things 'continue to improve' then the meaning of the scale may need to be revised regularly.


July 23, 2010, 4:33 pm

Sorry to go on and on:

what is not clear to me here on TR (I may have missed it) is what category / type / price range individual cameras are being measured in / against. Perhaps further clarity in this would be a way of silencing the usual questions about what it all means....


July 23, 2010, 5:23 pm

maybe good way to help is add some caption above the scoring, for this one, something like: the score is subject to prosumer bridge camera(well, I do not know what catogory it belong to)

so for the previous samsung st70. maybe the score is subject to consumer compact camera. so everytime people view it, they have an idea how the score compare to others


July 23, 2010, 5:57 pm

splogbust: If you feel so strongly about it, then may I suggest you ignore the image scores, and instead look at photos taken with that camera that are helpfully included in the review - usually the same scene each time - and draw your own conclusions. That is probablty the easiest solution ;-)


July 23, 2010, 7:39 pm

Personally, I don't know why fuji keep on releasing S series cameras with next to worthless sensors. 1/2.3" was always going to give rubbish image quality.

John Shewsbury

July 23, 2010, 8:03 pm

Finally after a long wait, the review of Fujifilm HS10 finally appear in TR. After reading thoroughly, I agree with what Mr. Cliff Smith revealed in his review.

I actually owned this camera and have been using it for 2 months now and all the weakness that Cliff highlights are actually the same issue that I experienced with this camera.

The EVF is totally disappointing and there is nothing great about the image quality if compared to other cameras in the same league. I used Panasonic FZ28 last year, bought it after reading the review in here. On broad daylight outdoor the image quality is very good but indoor and in low light situation, I think it's kind of average - thus I can understand why the Image Quality points given by Cliff is only 7 out 10 and I totally agree with that rating.

About the in-depth lens analysis, I don't know much about that, I'm just an amateur or rather a beginner but it's really a joy to be able to go from 24mm to 720mm in just a single lens. As for the auto focus, again I agree, I personally feel it's a little slow.

The handling is awesome, from January to May this year I was using Canon DSLR EOS-1000D and when I start using this Fujifilm HS10 by end of May, I feel like I'm still using a DSLR without the need to change lens.

I love all the features and the handling of this Fujifilm HS10 and I can swallow all the weaknesses as well. If there is 1 thing that I want badly is a bigger and better EVF or even better, an Optical View Finder.

You can read my amateur review in here =

As for the point/rating systems, it's an old unique issue and it's never easy to find "the perfect solution" to pleased everyone as different sites may have different approached but I personally prefer to read the review thoroughly rather then just make my decision after barely looking at the final point/rating given by the reviewer.

After all, the reviewer have put in their effort to write the review, so might as well we read it.

I'm planning to get Panasonic LX3 as my 2nd camera but now since Panasonic will release LX5, I might as well wait a little while - this time I will wait till I read the review in TR before I buy it - just like I did before I bought FZ28.


July 23, 2010, 9:34 pm


feel strongly? Not really, it's not the end of the world after all.

The scores are useful for narrowing the choice down. Having done that, one can, as you say look at the photos provided here, but I also use other sites which then provides a greater range of examples / conditions - one for example includes a longish exposure night shot. The interest in TR is that I, like many TR users, find Cliff's guidance on the subject invaluable. In my case I have not yet decided which type of camera to get and it's a balancing act between image quality, convenience, features etc. I don't really know where to start!

Absolute scores in these areas would help to narrow down the choice, but for those who know what category / price they intend to buy then these scores provide that initial guidance.

It's merely a bit frustrating;)


July 24, 2010, 12:33 am

My suggestion

Short term - Make clear which sub section the camera being reviewed comes under. It’s clear when you go into the historic data but not when reviewed.

Longer term - Have a top five. What does this mean? Camera reviews are of the moment so a Trusted Review rating in 2007 is not worth any thing in 2010. So at the end of each review show the current top 5 in that section with a hyperlink to those reviews. If the current camera replaces one of them, make it clear, if not it gets added to the history of the cameras Trusted Reviews has covered.

I think this solves the issues raised?


July 24, 2010, 1:05 am

Trouble is when you start using tech reviews to compare products - you end up getting hung up on the tiniest details & differences between devices (because the reviewers HAVE to find & point out these differences) - but in reality you probably couldn't tell/wouldn't notice the difference in normal use anyway if it hadn't already been pointed out to you! Sometimes it makes the choice even harder!

John Shewsbury

July 24, 2010, 8:28 pm

I think to make it easy and to avoid future complains, just remove the rating and point system once and for all... hahahaha.... no matter how TR change it, I don't think it will pleased everybody anyway...

I prefer to read the review accordingly and those point/rating system is just an added bonus that I don't mind to skip...

As a suggestion, in the next camera review, if it is possible, I would hope that Cliff Smith and TR team to also include some suggestions about additional accessories or add-ons for the reviewed camera like lens tube, filters and conversion lens, external flash, view finder etc. (though this mostly applied to super zoom bridge camera and high end advance compact as well as DSLR) - then again this is just a mere suggestion...

Otherwise, I will still enjoy all the simple reviews in TR as it is now and look forward to read more review in the future.

To all in TR, keep up the good work...

p/s - when will that renovation work on the outside of the church/cathedral will be completed? hehehehe...

Richard 30

July 28, 2010, 10:20 pm

Does anyone have any comments about the camera itself? I can appreciate that some people have thoughts and concerns about the reviewing process, but this is a thread about a particular camera that I have a particular interest in. Let's try to shift the focus back to the camera, so that the discussion can benefit people considering the purchase of this camera.

I've had this camera for 2 days now. It's a mixed bag with image quality being my biggest concern. I had a 5MP Canon S2IS before the HS10 and when comparing pictures taken at the max zoom of each camera I am suprised that the S2IS seems to produce much sharper images with more vivid color when viewed at 100%. I'm still working through all the settings on the HS10 and may be able to produce better results with more customized settings, but in comparing to the S2IS with both cameras on full auto setting, the HS10 has me a little concerned.

John Shewsbury

July 30, 2010, 7:19 pm

Richard, I have used Panasonic FZ28 last year and I personally feel that the image quality of Fujifilm HS10 cannot matched the quality of Panasonic FZ28 and FZ38.... they are in the same league but HS10 have the longest zoom and plenty of more features.

So if you think your old Canon S2 IS can give better image quality at full telephoto than Fujifilm HS10, most probably you have good points there but overall, the image quality of HS10 is just good - but not great....

I am the user of Fujifilm HS10... I love all the features and yet feel annoyed with all the weakness of HS10 - but somehow, I can still love the HS10 due to the "DSLR-like" handling and operation method...

Good luck in exploring your new Fujifilm HS10.


August 2, 2010, 3:08 pm

Thanks for reviewing the HS10 camera Cliff. I almost bought one to replace my Canon 720 and was waiting for your review but in the meantime I tried one and read other reviews and forum posts. It seems to be a `love it or hate it' camera, loved by those who want extreme zoom. The weight put me off and the concerns about image quality. I was surprised too by the way when I changed a setting on the HS10 the screen was unusable for longer than I would expect due to large icons appearing. Yes, it's normal for icons to pop up when you change settings but these seemed obstructive and hung around too long. Or maybe the one I tried was odd.

I couldn't wait any longer for your review and decided instead, after much research, to go for the Canon G11 with its 1/1.7 sensor. and much lower weight (it still qualifies as a true compact and goes in my jacket pocket easily). I know it's only got 5x zoom but I don't need extreme zoom. In fact when I really do need it occasionally I can use the Canon Safety Zoom feature or simply take a 5x photo and crop the result to effectively `zoom' it.

David Spence

August 6, 2010, 7:56 pm

As a fairly happy Fuji S100fs owner I'm wondering if the HS10 would be a worthwhile upgrade or am I being seduced by the 30x zoom and other features. The question really should be 'is the image quality of the HS10 as good as or better than that of the S100fs?' Care to comment Chris? Anyone else in a position to advise? Thanks

Doug Sinnott

August 24, 2010, 11:31 pm

I think "carlos" is missing the point a bit,Superzooms have these small sensors in order to accomodate these big lenses,plus all their advanced features,in a compact body as possible.

Fit a bigger sensor,and the weight and size go up,removing one of the advantage of these superzooms.

And as for his comment about Fuji's S series cameras having "rubbish sensors",that is a puerile statement.Has he ever used a Fuji 602,a S7000,or a S9600? Or printed out any prints from a Fuji superzoom?

I have owned all of these cameras at some point,and they all produced many excellent,colourful A4 prints(even the 3mp S602!)

In fact Fuji's cameras regularly win awards from the photographic press,and the HS10 won an award for"Best Superzoom of 2010".Not bad for a camera with a "rubbish sensor""

Get real,Carlos,stop reading reviews,and go out and take some photos!


September 3, 2010, 11:32 am

Hi, Cliff , good review but I just do not get it that you gave FZ40 a 9 in image quality and a 7 to this one, in my opinion it should be other way around.

Please mention image quality more thoroughly in your reviews, as you have said so ,after all it is a camera ,meant to take images, all else is secondary and point out the really bad things that the user might face with the product.

Please mention shot to shot time and there should be a table to compare at least 3 similar category products on the same page.

Doug Sinnott

September 3, 2010, 8:56 pm

Please note all you Fuji HS10 Users.

I have just had my HS10 camera returned from Fuji UK who have installed the third,and latest,firmware update.It's that new it's not even on Fuji's website yet!

They have not listed the improvements it has made,(I have asked for more info)but the focussing is better,particularly at the long end of the zoom,and overall,it's feels more responsive.

This latest V3 update has made an alredy very good camera,even better,so get your camera up to speed,and contact FUJI UK ASAP!!!


September 15, 2010, 11:14 pm

100% novice here.

Having rooted around for a few weeks now I will be inesting in the FinePix HS10.

Intrigued by the technical updates, that I clearly know nothing about and resigned to the fact that the HS10 has no remote shutter release.

Have assumed that's an oversight which will be included in the next version they release.


November 16, 2010, 12:05 am

Please can cliff or anyone whos used both recommend one of the hs10 or fuji s200exr for surfing/ sports photography predominantly? thanks. had sony a200 til stolen in canaries, now want either of the aforementioned as a one lens solution!

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