9
Safari Guide Rating "Excellent"
Build Quality: 8/10
Features & Functions: 8.5/10
Zoom Control: 9.5/10
Focusing Speed: 8/10
Size & Weight: 7.5/10

Page 3 – Comparisons

 

Main Improvements – HS30EXR vs HS20EXR

As I already own the older HS20EXR model, I thought I would first take a look at the improvements that Fujifilm have managed to include in the newer model:

Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR Fujifilm FinePix HS20EXR

Physically the two cameras look and feel very similar although the HS30 is a little lighter, The most noteworthy improvements of the Fujifilm HS30EXR over the HS20EXR include:

Improved Viewfinder

Last year when I looked at getting a new bridge camera, one of it’s selling points for me on the HS20EXR over the Panasonic FZ100 which I was also looking at at the time was it’s slightly better 0.20-inch, 200k-dot Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) that had a viewing angle of 16°.

Impressively Fujifilm have improved on this again as the HS30EXR comes with an all-new and slightly larger 0.26-inch EVF that has a 920,000 dots, compared to only 200,000 dots on the HS20EXR, making for a far clearer viewing image. The viewing angle has also been improved to 22° and when you add this to the increase in it’s physical size, it makes for a better viewing experience.

This Electronic Viewfinder still comes with an “Eye Sensor”, so if you put your eye to the EVF, the sensor automatically switches display from the LCD to the viewfinder. This saves time as well as batteries.

The FinePixHS30EXR keeps the same 3in, 460k-dot LCD screen as found on the HS20EXR but includes a ‘Sunny Day’ mode that improves visibility in bright conditions.

Lithium-ion battery

Fujifilm have also decided to switch to using a chargeable Lithium-ion battery as opposed to the 4AA batteries on the HS20 that Fujifilm says will now take up to 600 pictures per charge.

This for me is both a good and a bad thing. With AA batteries, you have the security of knowing that should you run out or loose them you can get some more pretty much anywhere. I also already have a whole stack of high quality Lithium AA batteries in my camera bag.

With a dedicated Lithium-ion battery you get longer battery life, even compared to the best NiMH or Lithium AA batteries. But because I often go deep into the bush where there is no electricity to charge my batteries, I would probably have to buy a second battery as a backup.

Even Better EXR Sensor

The already good EXR-CMOS sensor on the HS20 has been improved on the FinePix HS30EXR as it gives you even more versatility, especially in low light conditions.

According to Fujifilm, they have redesigned the shape of the photo diodes used in the EXR-CMOS sensor and you now get what they say is 30% less digital noise at higher ISO settings, the result being that you get smoother tones and better low light images.

The new EXR-CMOS sensor also allows you to select from 3 different options:

High Resolution (HR) that delivers the best results in bright lighting conditions or when fine detail in an image is of paramount importance.

Wide Dynamic Range (DR) Priority is ideal for capturing images in high contrast light situations, when the user wants detail in both shadow and highlight areas, while High Sensitivity

Low Noise (SN) Priority is the one to choose in low-light.

All of these modes can be manually selected, or you can let the HS30EXR decide through the EXR AUTO function.

For more details take a look at my section on the EXR CMOS Sensor.

Faster Start-Up & Write Time

The time it take the camera to start up is now about half that of the of HS20EXR. The writing period after continuous shooting has also been dramatically cut to approximately 2 seconds (compared to 20 seconds on the HS20EXR).

Better Movies

Whilst the HS20EXR could take Full HD movies (1080p) at 30 frames per second, it did have the annoying habit of continuously hunting for the correct focus, which can and often does mean that you miss key moments in a film as they are out of focus.

I am glad to say that FujiFilm have worked on this and I noticed a big improvement with the HS30EXR. The amount of focus hunting in auto focus mode has been hugely reduced and you can now take video without the camera “hunting” for the focus whilst you are trying to film.

It is now also possible to manually focus during movie shooting which is not something that I would use often, but would be ideal for more creative focusing effects or if you are shooting a film at really high telephoto ranges and the auto focus keeps picking up something just in front of your intended subject.

Customisable Function (Fn) key

The FinePix HS30EXR has a new customisable Function (Fn) key on the rear of the camera that gives you fast access to your most regularly used functions without needing to go into the full menu each time.

Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR
Fujifilm FinePix HS20EXR
Street price: $499 • £399 $300 • £227
Zoom tele (T): 720mm (30x)
Wide-angle: 24mm
Aperture range: F2.8 – F5.6
Continuous Drive: 11fps
Min shutter: 30sec
Max shutter: 1/4000sec
ISO rating: Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (6400 and 12800 with boost)
720mm (30x)
24mm
F2.8 – F5.6
8 fps
30sec
1/4000sec
Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (6400 and 12800 with boost)
Max Res: 4608 x 3456
Effective pixels: 16 million
Censor Type:EXR CMOS
Sensor size: 1/2″ (6.4 x 4.8 mm)
4608 x 3456
16 million
EXR CMOS
1/2 ” (6.40 x 4.80 mm, 0.3 cm²)
Metering: Multi, Average, Spot
Exposure compensation: 
±2 EV (at 1/3 EV steps)
TTL 256 zone
-2 to +2 EV in 1/3 EV steps
LCD Size: 3″
LCD Dots: 460,000
Built-in Flash: Yes, Pop-up
Flash range: 9.5m
External flash: Yes, Hot-shoe
3″
460,000
Yes, Pop-up
3.2m
Yes, Hot-shoe
Max Movie: 1920 x 1080 (FHD 30 fps) 1920 x 1080 (FHD 30 fps)
Dimensions: 131x 97x126mm
Weight (+ batteries): 687g (24.23 oz)
Battery: Li-ion NP-W126 battery and charger
131 x 91 x 126mm
730g (25.7 oz)
4 x AA batteries (Alkaline, NiMH or Lithium)
Thread to add Telephoto Lens: Yes Yes

 


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V vs HS30EXR

Below is a table that compares some of the main stats between the Fujiflim HS30EXR and the Sony Cyber-shot HX200V, two of the best superzoom bridge cameras:

Sony Cyber-shot HX200V Superzoom Bridge Camera Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V
Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR
Street price: $480 • £350 Street price: $499 • £399
Zoom tele (T): 810mm (30x)
Wide-angle: 27mm
Aperture range: F2.8 – F5.6
Continuous Drive: 11fps & 60fps
Min shutter: 30sec
Max shutter: 1/4000sec
ISO rating: Auto, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400, 8000, 1000, 12800
Zoom tele (T): 720mm (30x)
Wide-angle: 24mm
Aperture range: F2.8 – F5.6
Continuous Drive: 11fps
Min shutter: 30sec
Max shutter: 1/4000sec
ISO rating: Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (6400 and 12800 with boost)
Max Res: 4896 x 3672
Effective pixels: 18.2 megapixels
Censor Type: BSI-CMOS
Sensor size: 1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Max Res: 4608 x 3456
Effective pixels: 16 megapixels
Censor TypeEXR CMOS
Sensor size: 1/2″ (6.4 x 4.8 mm)
Metering: Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation: 
±2 EV (at 1/3 EV steps)
Metering: Multi, Average, Spot
Exposure compensation: 
±2 EV (at 1/3 EV steps)
LCD Size: 3″
LCD Dots: 921,600
Built-in Flash: Yes, Pop-up
Flash range: 12.4m
External flash: No
LCD Size: 3″
LCD Dots: 460,000
Built-in Flash: Yes, Pop-up
Flash range: 9.5m
External flash: Yes, Hot-shoe
Max Movie: 1920 x 1080 (60 fps) Max Movie: 1920 x 1080 (FHD 30 fps)
Dimensions: 122x87x93mm
Weight (+ batteries): 83g (20.56 oz)
Battery: Lithium-Ion NP-FH50 battery and charger
Dimensions: 131x 97x126mm
Weight (+ batteries): 687g (24.23 oz)
Battery: Li-ion NP-W126 battery and charger
Thread to add Telephoto Lens: Not sure – don’t think so Thread to add Telephoto Lens:Yes

 


Panasonic FZ150 vs HS30EXR

Below is a table that compares some of the main stats between two of favorite superzoom bridge cameras:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150
Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR
Street price: $430 • £380 Street price: $499 • £399
Zoom tele (T): 600mm (24x)
Wide-angle: 25mm
Aperture range: F2.8 – F5.2
Continuous Drive: 11fps & 60fps
Min shutter: 30sec
Max shutter: 1/2000sec
ISO rating: Auto, Hi Auto (1600-6400), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Zoom tele (T): 720mm (30x)
Wide-angle: 24mm
Aperture range: F2.8 – F5.6
Continuous Drive: 11fps
Min shutter: 30sec
Max shutter: 1/4000sec
ISO rating: Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (6400 and 12800 with boost)
Max Res: 4000 x 3000
Effective pixels: 12.1 megapixels
Censor Type: CMOS
Sensor size: 1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Max Res: 4608 x 3456
Effective pixels: 16 million
Censor Type:EXR CMOS
Sensor size: 1/2″ (6.4 x 4.8 mm)
Metering: Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation: 
±2 EV (at 1/3 EV steps)
Metering: Multi, Average, Spot
Exposure compensation: 
±2 EV (at 1/3 EV steps)
LCD Size: 3″
LCD Dots: 460,000
Built-in Flash: Yes, Pop-up
Flash range: 9.5m
External flash: Yes, Hot-shoe
LCD Size: 3″
LCD Dots: 460,000
Built-in Flash: Yes, Pop-up
Flash range: 9.5m
External flash: Yes, Hot-shoe
Max Movie: 1920 x 1080 (60, 30 fps) Max Movie: 1920 x 1080 (FHD 30 fps)
Dimensions: 124x82x92mm
Weight (+ batteries): 528g (18.6 oz)
Battery: Lithium-Ion rechargeable
Dimensions: 131x 97x126mm
Weight (+ batteries): 687g (24.23 oz)
Battery: Li-ion NP-W126 battery and charger
Thread to add Telephoto Lens: Yes Thread to add Telephoto Lens:Yes

 

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