Fujifilm HS10 Image Quality

Review Date: June 06, 2010

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

Fujifilm FinePix HS10

Fujifilm FinePix HS10

IMAGE QUALITY

The Fujifilm FinePix HS10 is targeted to beginner and serious amateur photographers with 10.3MP resolution on a 1/2.3-inch BSI-CMOS image sensor, a 30x ultra wide-angle optical super zoom (24-720mm Equiv.135) lens with Sensor-shift image stabilization, and a maximum aperture of F2.8(W)-F5.6(T).

We find the overall image quality of the Fujifilm HS10 to be very good at ISO 100 with low noise and good image detail. Image noise increases with loss of detail as the ISO increases.

30x Ultra Wide Optical Zoom
Wide-angle 24 mm Tele 720 mm
Wide-angle 4.2mm
(24mm, 35mm equivalent)
Telephoto 126mm
(720mm, 35mm equivalent)

The Fujifilm HS10 has a 30x ultra wide-angle optical super zoom lens. In the above pictures, we show the coverage for 24mm and 720mm. Sensor-shift image stabilization helps reduce camera shake at the long end of the telephoto and when using slow shutter speeds.

The lens has a very good manual zoom ring for fast and precise zooming. If you have never used a manual zoom ring before, you are in for a treat. The lens is threaded and will accept 58mm diameter filters, such as a thin-frame polarizing filter [warning: standard polarizing filters will black out the edges of pictures]. The lens barrel is conveniently labeled with the 35mm equivalent (Equiv.135) focal lengths.

Macro

Macro

Macro mode is 10 cm (3.9 in.) and Super Macro mode at 1 cm (0.4 in.). Note that Tele Macro also works: simply select Macro or Super Macro, step back and zoom in. This allows you to keep a distance between your subject and camera to let more light in (or not to spook a live subject).

AF is fast, works very well in good light and in low-light with the help of the AF-assist illuminator. There is the standard metering modes: Center-Weighted Average, Multi-Pattern and Spot.

Auto White Balance Indoors
AWB Custom WB
AWB Custom WB

As the above two pictures show, the Auto White Balance (AWB) is not accurate indoors under artificial lighting [I have two energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs on the ceiling]. The Fujifilm HS10 allows WB to be easily set manually and this brings out the real colors. AWB works very well in natural light.

ISO Comparisons
ISO 100
ISO 100
 
ISO 200 ISO 400
ISO 200 ISO 400
 
ISO 800 ISO 1600
ISO 800 ISO 1600
 
ISO 3200 ISO 6400
ISO 3200 ISO 6400

You can set the ISO on the Fujifilm HS10 from 100 to 6400. The 100% crops above (area delimited by the white square) demonstrate that noise at ISO 100 is under control. Noise starts to be slightly visible at ISO 200 but image quality is still good up to ISO 400. At ISO 800 and above, the presence of noise is visible at full image size and with visible loss of detail.

You can conveniently select Auto (400), Auto (800), Auto (1600) or Auto (3200) to limit the maximum ISO you want the camera to use.

D-RANGE PRIORITY attempts to prevent blown highlights. You can select the DR% in PASM modes, though the value you can choose from (100%, 200%, 400%) depends on the ISO you select.

There is a Live Histogram that you can display by holding down the Exposure Compensation button. Caution: Do not rely on what the Histogram shows you until you have first half-pressed the shutter release button to get the camera to take an exposure reading.

CA (Purple Fringing)

CA (Purple Fringing)

CA is visible in some of our very high contrast shots. In the above photo, the top left area delimited by the red square, and reproduced at 100% crop at bottom right, shows some purple fringing.

Long Exposure

Long Exposure - 11.8mm, Manual, Spot, 29 sec., F8.0, ISO 100, Custom WB, Self-timer (2 sec.), Tripod Used

Our Long Shutter Speed test is a torture test for digital cameras. Here we test whether (and how well) a camera can lock focus, provide accurate WB and obtain a correct exposure in extreme low light situations. The Fujifilm HS10 easily passes this test.

The FinePix HS10 allows the use of a long shutter speed of 30 sec. in PASM modes at ISO 100. [It’s a strange feature (probably a characteristic of the BSI-CMOS image sensor) that as you increase the ISO, the slowest shutter speed you can use decreases correspondingly: 30s at ISO 100, 15s at ISO 200, 8s at ISO 400, 4s at ISO 800, 2s at ISO 1600, 1s at ISO 3200 and 1/2s at ISO 6400.] This allows us to take some very nice Night Shots [at the low ISOs]. The Fujifilm HS10 has noise reduction (NR) and the exposure time will double when NR kicks in. Note that we set the shutter speed to a full 30 sec. but the EXIF INFO is reporting only 29 sec. Curious. [To see what other image editor reports, we tried a couple and saw one report 29.9 sec.]

Overall, we are very happy with the image quality, the low CA, and how easy it is to obtain accurate focus and to take correctly exposed pictures in all lighting situations. The Fujifilm FinePix HS10 delivers very good quality images at ISO 100 and good image quality up to ISO 400. Beginner and Serious amateur photographers will find it easy to get really great results by taking full advantage of all the exposure and zoom flexibility the HS10 provides.

View the Fujifilm HS10 Photo Gallery [In the Photo Gallery, click on the picture of the camera to return here.]

Next: Fujifilm HS10 Handling & Feel


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