Fuji FinePix HS10, could this be the ultimate digital camera for travellers?

My beloved Minolta A200 8MP 7x may well be retiring soon, as I have just come across what might be the almost perfect replacement and ideal travel companion!

An ideal travelling camera should in my opinion, be a jack of all trades, compact, all in one unit, with few extras that add to the weight and can get easily lost, and bridge cameras fit this bill quite nicely.
Yes, DSLR's can take better pictures in most cases, but the gap is narrowing, and do you really want to carry all the extra lenses with you everywhere you go?, sods law denotes that the lens you need right now is the one still in your bag, and by the time you swap them over, the moment is lost!

Each to their own of course, I'm sure there are many who would never go back from an SLR, and thats fine, I have never gone down that route.....yet!, and like the lightweight medium sized single package, with fixed manual zoom long lenses which keep out the dust, dirt and sand.

Cost is another factor, prices are very reasonable now for DSLR's, but there are not many of us who can really manage the full kit, especially as some lenses are triple and more times the cost of the camera itself.

These are all my own personal preferences for the ideal travelling camera, and in my opinion, the HS10 is the closest to being just that!   

Due for release April 12th 2010, the Finepix HS10 has a host of features both familiar and new that has me literally drooling over the prospects!

•High Resolution super wide Fujinon 30x optical zoom (24-720mm) with manual (mechanical) zoom
•True wide-angle and extreme telephoto capture in a single compact unit
•Triple image stabilisation (sensor shift IS, high ISO IS, Digital IS)
•10 MP BSI CMOS sensor with advanced shooting modes and high image quality
•3.0" High Resolution tilting LCD
•Electronic Viewfinder with eye-sensor for automatic switching
•High speed 10 fps continuous shooting at full resolution and new motion-tracking auto focus
•Full HD (1080p) movie capture with stereo sound
•Super High Speed movie capture at 1000 fps
•Motion Panorama mode for 'one shot' sweeping panoramas
•Advanced capture modes including unique Motion Remover mode that removes tourists and other moving objects from your photographs
•Direct Shooting Command buttons and Command dial put advanced photographic features at your fingertips
•RAW and JPEG capture mode

At last a manufacturer has brought out what seems on paper, to be the ultimate camera for the traveller, a surprisingly compact bridge design (medium sized, fixed lens), a whopping great 30x optical manual zoom lens that should cater for virtually any situation (I'm not dishing DSLR's here, but you would have to carry 2 maybe 3 separate lenses to cover what this one fixed Fujinon beauty can do!), a 3" tilting LCD screen, triple image stabilisation (especially useful at the higher magnifications),  full 1080p HD, Super Macro, and a host of intuitive manual buttons to instantly change the most frequently used settings, instead of all that tedious menu scrolling!

Other useful additions include;

High speed continuous shooting at a rate of 10fps, 7 frames max, to make sure you capture that perfect moment when your shooting a moving object, perfect for capturing birds and animals which never seem to sit still.

Motion Remover Mode, which takes a series of 5 pictures and combines them into one and automatically removes anything that has moved, a cool thing to have when you want that special holiday snap and tourist's keep walking into shot!

Multi-Motion Capture Mode, which takes 5 quick pictures of a moving object and combines them into a single composite image.

Motion Panorama Mode,  sweep left-right or up-down for that super panorama shot, all done in camera.

Pro Low Light mode, for ultra-low noise output in low light.

Ultra slow motion video capture, at up to 1000fps, admittedly this will not be in HD of course, but still a pretty cool feature to play with.

Super Macro, focuses down to 1cm-1.0m

Check out all the features at FujiFilm, including a 3D image and promotion video.

Whether this camera lives up to it's extensive feature list, is still to be seen, as it's April release date nears, I for one will be checking my regular review sites for the reports, and secretly saving my pennies!

Are there things that at first glance I would change, sure, there are few things in this world that are perfect, personally (and I'm nit picking here), I would like automatic Geo-tagging to be included, and maybe a swivelling LCD screen as I mainly use the viewfinder to save battery power and it would add a little more extra protection when it's folded, screen side towards the camera, a good quality screen saver like the excellent invisibleSHIELD is a good alternative.

A wireless remote would be a nice accessory too, to aid in crystal clear telephoto shots of small long distance targets in conjunction with a tripod, this could spell an end to Digiscopeing?

The end of the lens barrel is threaded O58mm for the inclusion of filters and converters, how long the AA batteries will last has been quoted  at 300+ , maybe more with rechargables, disposable AA's are easily available everywhere, but your never really sure what sort of charge they have in them, even the expensive ones, anyone purchasing a HS10 (or anything else that uses disposable batteries) should invest in quality rechargeables like the Sanyo Eneloop Batteries, if only to save the landfills!

At this time it also lacks a microphone jack, which could be rather handy if the HD video works well, but it does have a hotshoe for a flashgun.

I know there must be some manufacturers that worry about their mid to lower range of cameras taking too big a slice out of their DSLR market, thats why they are not as feature rich as the higher end models, and as far as I know, Fuji do not have any plans to release a DSLR in the near future, so it looks like this could be their flagship model, and if this creates as big a stir when it's released as it has already, then I think Fuji could be onto a winner!

Lets hope they listen to all the feedback for future models...........wouldn't that be nice?

Exciting times ahead in the bridge digital camera market, my trusty Minolta is sulking in the corner, feeling rather............impotent!

Please support this site by pre-ordering or buying through one of these affiliate retailers;

Amazon.UK will deliver to United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Republic of), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland

Warehouseexpress.UK will deliver to United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands), Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland

HS10 at Pixmania available in 26 countries

For the US readers
Fujifilm FinePix HS10 at Amazon.com  will deliver to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom

Many thanks

Check out the Fujifilm Talk forums, and the HS10 debates going on over at dpreview
Lots of new pictures being posted every day!

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Anonymous said...

Agree fully with all your points & I have one on order - roll on April!

Bryan said...

I took a trip to Africa is 2009 and tried to take safari shots w\ a 32x video camera. Got a "couple" of decent shots, but the photo bug hit me and i'm ready to do it for real on a trip to Egypt & Israel this fall.

I'm a total beginner so the "do-it-all-pretty-well" bridge camera is just what I wanted. I waited for the 2010 PMA b\c I wanted an optical zoom comparable to the 32x i got on the video camera - I think 30x is close enough. I haven't pre-ordered b\c I wanted to hear some reviews from people who actually know what to look for, so...I HOPE YOU ARE PLANNING TO POST YOUR REVIEW AS SOON AS YOU GET YOUR HANDS ON IT!!!!

I'd love to hear your views the HS10 compared to the Sony HX1 (my previous #1 choice). Have you played with it much?

David Harper said...

Hi Bryan,
Welcome to my blog and thanks for your comment.
The HS10 is still not available in the UK (even though it seems the rest of the world has it!), so I have no hands on feedback to report yet, but you can get a lot of new and frequently updated 1st thoughts of it at dpreview, there is a link to it just below the YouTube video clip above.
I too am very interested in this camera, it seems to be on paper, like the ideal tool for traveller, a jack of all trades, master of none type of approach, and that 30x lens has amazing reach, as lots of new owners are finding out, which you'll see at dpreview! the full HD 1080p will also come in handy, but please do not expect it to take wobble free video at 30x, unless you use a tripod that is!
I will do my own layman's review when I get my hands on one, I'm no professional, but rest assured, it will be from a travellers perspective!
All the best.

Bryan said...

Thanks David, but I just couldn't hold out...I just ordered one on Amazon!!!

I hope it lives up to the hype. But honestly, most of the nit-picky stuff I hear people complaining about pic quality - I'm too green to notice. Almost all the pics I see that people say are "way different" quality wise -for the moment anyway - look pretty good to me.

That said, I still look forward to your write up. Take care!

David Harper said...

You caved Bryan?? lol!!
Good for you, I'm sure you will not be disappointed, people have to remember that this is a sub £400 bridge point and shoot camera, it's not meant to take pin sharp pictures like a dSLR, it has a tiny sensor in comparison, to match the new lens, having said that, 95% of buyers will simply love it for what it is, a fun all in one compact package that will take decent photos at ranges that before, only several £k SLR lenses could reach!
Enjoy your new camera, and please let me know your first impressions?

PS. I have some info on in camera settings for better pictures if your interested?

wizzard0003 said...

Hi, Dave...

Have you seen the thread about RAW(RAF) file image editing (using the included free Silkypix software) over at dpreview...? It's just fantastic results...! Some of the best images (IMHO) I've seen so far with the HS10...!

The thread title is, "HS10 RAF conversion sample NR disabled" and it's by forum member Bioseed...

Check it out...

BTW, my camera comes today...! :^D


David Harper said...

Hi William,
Yes I saw that thread the other day, very nice pic of the squirrel, just the sort of shot I'm interested in!
Not sure yet if I will go down the RAW/RAF route yet, I'm quite happy with my jpegs, but always nice to have it when you need it!
I imagine that your HS10 will soon be delivered, if not already in your hands, so I will understand if I don't hear from you for a few days, lol!!
Enjoy......and looking forward to seeing some results!
All the best,

Anonymous said...

hi david the fujuifilm finepix hs10, do you think its available already in Italy?and how much....how the performance of the camera?pls email me you response at nyda.fsdpgmc@gmail.com
tnx a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!1

mrssalman said...

Hi there,

Thanks for this post. It really help me to choose my new camera. Actually I'm looking forward for the new release of HS10 because of its good reviews but I'm afraid that it might not suitable for me as a beginners?

What do you think?

Thanks in advance

David Harper said...

Your welcome mrssalman,
Glad I could be of some help, the HS10 might look like it will be too complicated for the beginner, as it does have lots of different modes and functions, but most are there to make it easier for a new comer to take decent pictures!
Only you can decide whether it is right for you or not, I am sure as a beginner, the results you get from a camera such as the HS10 will surpass you expectations, but then I'm sure many others will do too!
What you must decide is, does the camera have what you need, are you willing to learn a little to get the best out of your new camera, and can you afford such an expense when a more simple device will suffice?
What do you want to take photos of? landscapes, nature, birds, flowers, insects, people, urban, night shots, parties, obviously some models are better than others at certain subjects, and would say the HS10 does most quite well, almost like a jack of all trades, master of none, although that 30x lens can reach places never dreamt of before!
Hope this has been of some help, please let me know what you decide to do?

mrssalman said...

Oh I forgot, what do you think of Fujifilm FinePix S5700? It sure does capture an excellent picture.

David Harper said...

Personally, I don't have any experience of the S5700, I do know it's a few years old now, but by all accounts not a bad starter camera with a modest 7MP and 10x lens.
Best to do some research at places like; http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/FujiFilm/fuji_finepixs5700.asp
Hope this helps with your choice?

mrssalman said...

Thanks David. Actually I have post a longer reply/comment and question as well. But perhaps I doesn't appears.

Actually I love to capture more of nature, landscape and historical buildings rather than humans. Maybe if I have children they will go on the list too.

I'm more willing to learn.

I have post regarding camera hunting in my blog, and yeah I'm stuck but my ultimate choice will be HS10. What will be my major concern is I have viewd certain great image quality of HS10 (raw & jpeg) but in Flickr the images didn't impressed me much. But in others thread/site/forums it do surpass me.

I think all of us has to wait and yeah, I'm saving my money too!

The list below will be my major concern

1) Has a great image stabilizer?
2) How does it capturing moving subject
3) Excellent image quality?
4) HD quality?

Thanks so much for the feedbacks. It does really help me. I hope can learn from this blog more.

I have read hands on review of HS10 here.

Anonymous said...

hi david...tnx to your promptly reply to my request....i have another request for you--pls kindly post your sample shot and pls state what model&brand of camera you use...im only a beginner on doing this activity...i start to do this when i travel out of town in my country....i discover to my self that there are many views that i should not miss to capture during my travels in many places here in my country then unexpectedly, i develop to my self that i love to shot all beautiful and amazing places...thats why i want to get an ideas from you as expert on doing this on how to choose a right camera for my explorer....

pls kindly post my request in your site--some of your captures and state the camera you use, the details of camera you use too.....just do it if you have a free time...or if you feel burden on posting it to your website, pls email to me at


but if you post it to your site, it could help also to other viewer...tnx and god bless you david

David Harper said...

Dear Anonymous,
All the photos on the bottom of this page, and those in the slideshow just below the "Happiness quotes!", were taken with my trusty Minolta A200, an 8MP, with a fixed 28-200mm (7x) manual zoom lens.
I assure you I am no expert, just a keen ameteur, and every now and again, I manage to take a picture that is worth keeping!
I am actually putting some of my round the world trip pics in a book, using some free software called Blurb Booksmart, a great way to share your view of the world to friends and family, maybe when you have collected enough great photos from your country, you could put them in a book too?
As a bigginer, I would be careful to not spend too much on a camera to start with, learn the basics first, with a simple to use model, maybe even second hand, this way you soon realise what functions suit your target and shooting style, then make a list of preferences and search for a camera that best suits your needs!
The HS10 is now available in the UK, but unfortunately everywhere is sold out already, more available at the end of the week, so hope to be getting mine soon :-)
All the best.

Bryan said...

The HS10 arrived last night. First impression...LOVE IT! Since it didn't get it until near dark, all my first round of "junk photos" were indoors, many with VERY low light. THIS CAMERA WILL BE GREAT FOR A NEWBIE LIKE ME! Granted, my only other camera has been a Nikon CoolPix, so its a huge improvement just b\c of that; but for the family/friends & vacation photos I'll be taking, there's more that enought HP here I'm sure.

I've been reading almost all the DPReview threads, so I can see the IQ image issues for lowlight as compared to PRO expectations. I think Auto (or SR Auto) mode will get you a basic indoor shot, especially w\ flash, but you will lose some of the subtle "mood" nuances. Even with my lack of experience, the only shot I couldn't dial in to my satisfaction from A or S was a 720mm zoom of my backlit bedpost with low light. If that's my biggest issue, I can live with that!

I have been struggling to get the shallow DOF effect the DSLRs pull off - but honestly I never really cared about that effect before I started reading the threads last week, so it not a deal breaker for me. BTW, Macro mode seems to get me close already, so I think w\ the playing I can get in the neighborhood.

The only other thing was that the zoom reach wasn't exactly what I expected. The issue is that a distant scene from the normal human eye view of a distant scene seems to be about 200mm equivalent. So I was expecting the 30x zoom to start from my normal perspective not the 24mm wide angle perspective...silly me! Not a problem, I just didn't know.I've never had a camera with wide angle so I'll have to play with the new possibilities.

Overall I think the lens/zoom are excellent - though AF does seem to struggle at times at 720??? - probably user error.

Bottom line, for a newbie wanting to step into a new range of photographic control/possibilies w\o a huge $$$ or carrying a bunch of equipment..go with the HS10. The zoom range is much better that Sony's HX1, and despite the thread rants, I think the controls are pretty easy (even MF!). Hey Dave, where are those camera settings you mentioned?

David Harper said...

Hey Bryan,
I got mine last night too, what a coincidence?
Haven't had much time to play yet, but first impressions are good, great size and weight, nice layout of manual buttons, easy navigation (its my first Fuji and have yet to look at the manual), and that zoom lens is incredible for such a small package!
I must admit, at first while zooming in on a small local village about a mile away, I was expecting more too, but when I got the pics back on my laptop, and looked at the wide, then half way photo, then full zoom, I could clearly see people working in their allotment!!
The setting I mentioned are the same as posted on dpreview;
WB, R-CY = +1-+2, B-YE = -3
Play around with these of course, until you find what you like, there seems to be endless options, and only trial and error will reward you soon enough!
I plan to do a layman's test for the traveller when I've familiarised myself and have a little more time, so watch this space?
Congratulations on your new camera, and happy shooting! ;-)

greece_traveller said...

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Canon Rebel SXI camera said...

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camera accessories said...

First of all I liked your blog very much, every time when I find my niche I appreciate it, the pictures of camera are really attractive. I'm a passionate photographer and love to be guided which camera suits me and of what brand, I'm not a professional photographer but I want a professional camera, any suggestions?


David Harper said...

Thanks for your comments Rex,
As to your question, it all depends on your budget and style of shooting you do!
If it the very best quality pictures your after, then a DSLR would probably fit the bill, they are not cheap plus you need extra lenses for different shooting situations, which all add up weight wise.
Most of the top manufacturers offer entry level models that take better pictures than most people need, it all boils down to personal taste!
Bridge cameras are my favorite, as you may have noticed on this blog. They are an all in one, jack of all trades type of camera, and lack the picture quality of DSLR's, but the gap is closing!
Point and shoot cameras offer a small and handy package that can fit in your pocket, some are incredible little beasts, especially in low light, and are ideal for parties and maybe even concerts, but they are limited to range, as they have smaller lenses, but again, that is changing!
Sorry I can't pick one camera for you, would need a lot more info for that, I am only an amateur also, and in the same boat really, and the market is awash with new tech right now, exciting times!!

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