In this part of the review I will take a look at some of the accessories that come with and that you can purchase for the HS30.
Then read my overall conclusions, which include the good and bad points of the camera.
I also then discuss some possible alternatives to the HS30 and where you can buy this and other similar superzoom bridge cameras.
Inside the box that comes with your Fujifilm HS30EXR you will also find:
NP-W126 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
BC-W126 Battery charger
Lens cap and Lens cap cord
CD-ROM Owner’s manual
Below are a few of the optional accessories that are available for the HS30:
Fujifilm RR-80 Remote Release
A piece of kit that that I highly recommend getting and which will really help you to get the best possible images is a remote shutter release.
Most superzoom bridge cameras either come with a remote or like the HS30, you can get one as an accessory – some are wired or some are wireless.
It may seem strange, but I personally like a wired remote shutter release like the RR-80 that works with the FujiFilm HS30. This is because it helps to prevent you from loosing or misplacing it when out in the field.
Because it is attached to you camera, it also means that it is always there ready to be used immediately, rather than having to look through your pockets for it as that once in a life time shot flies off into the sunset!
The photo on the right (click for larger version) shows me using the FujiFilm RR-80 remote shutter release with my HS20 taking photos of some Hippos whilst I was on safari in Zimbabwe. At the time I was also using my 2.2x Raynox teleconverter and this is where the remote shutter release really helps to prevent any movement of the camera as you take the photo.
Buy this camera in the UK:
Buy in the USA:
Shoe Mount Flash
Flash users will be pleased to hear that the HS30 has a hotshoe for attaching an external flash and offers TTL flash metering and will be supported by two new compatible flashguns; the fixed head EF-20 and bounce head EF-42, which also offers auto zoom and an AF assist illuminator.
The 58mm thread on the lens also allows you to attach a protector or any other filter to the camera. Fujifilm have their own PRF-58 Protector Filter that will fit the HS30.
Excellent Build Quality
Huge focal range from 24-720mm
True Bridge Camera with an SLR like feel to the body
Manual Zoom Control
Fast start up
Fast and accurate Auto Focus
Excellent Image Stabilisation
Threaded Lens makes attaching a teleconverter very simple
Quality of video recordings is excellent
It must be said that this is not the lightest or smallest superzoom bridge camera on the market, which may be an issue if you are really wanting to travel as light as possible. It is however still much lighter than a SLR camera, yet almost has the same feel in your hands.
For me the biggest selling point on the HS30 is the huge focal range that you get from wide angle shots at 24mm right up to 720mm (equivalent to a 35mm camera), which dwarfs, for example, the 18-135mm kit lens option on Canon’s dSLR line-up. Despite this, the Canon setup is bigger, considerably heavier and more expensive.
This focal range enables you to take photos of almost any type of subject matter from sweeping African landscapes to bird and other wildlife close-ups without having to change lenses.
With a 58mm thread on the front of the barrel, there’s also nothing to stop you adding your own accessories like a teleconverter lens to push the creative possibilities even further.
So if the slightly larger size and weight (compared to other superzooms) are not an issue for you and you are looking for a true bridge camera with a powerful zoom and the flexibility to go from full auto to full manual then I highly recommend the Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR.
Ideal Camera for Safaris?
For my money this is definitely one of, if not the best superzoom bridge camera currently on the market and therefore the HS30EXR makes an ideal camera to take on a safari.
It’s powerful zoom coupled with a fast and accurate auto focus as well as a host of quality features mean that you can be confident of capturing those fantastic wildlife encounters without having to break the bank.
The only real negative for me for safaris is it’s relatively bulky size when compared to others in it’s class. However if you compare it to a true DSLR where you would have to also carry large telephoto lenses and spend allot more money to get them, the FinePix HS30 starts to look rather small and compact!
If you are looking to save a little money, why not get yourself the older model. The HS20EXR is still a great camera with many of the great features of the HS30 and with the release of the HS30, it’s price has really dropped:
The successor to the very popular FinePix HS10 from Fujifilm, comes very powerful Fujifilm FinePix HS20EXR with it’s 30x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent 720mm), much higher 16 MP image resolution, faster auto focus and movie recording in full 1080p HD. This camera has to be one of the very best for taking with you on any safari holiday.
Another bridge camera worth looking at is the Sony Cyber-shot HX200V
Or take a look at my guide to The Best Superzoom Cameras 2013 or my advice on the best Bridge cameras for safaris:
If you do decide that a superzoom compact camera, rather than a digital SLR, here is our guide to the best compact super zoom safari cameras. Includes features to look out for and review of the top two cameras with a side by side comparison.
>> Best Safari Camera (compact superzooms)
One of the main advantages of a SuperZoom camera like the HS30 when compared to an SLR with a telephoto lens is the far cheaper price tag: