Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR Review

4.0
April 28, 2011 | Mark Goldstein |

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#1 Chris Bryant

Looks like a fantastic camera for paedophiles and terrorists who can sit at a very discreet distance and photograph the objects of their twisted desire. Perhaps they can get together and call themselves Paedo-terrorist. Having a lens this long makes a mockery of ‘little Hitler’s’ in the form of security guards harassing and abusing the rights of photographers.

1:02 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#2 Michael

OMG !

This great looking camera does so bad quality photos…

What they’re thinking there in Fuji ?

1:54 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#3 Lacertilia

Unfortunately. Fuji did terrible production. After an absurd X-100. Now release Ugly hideous HS20EXR.
Please Fuji Guys, you just box openers, not some photograpy Experts. What are trying to produce here?

2:51 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#4 John Oakley

so why give it a 4 star recommended then if it’s a backwards step and resulting in a loss of image quality?!?!?!

your reviews are getting less accurate and silly.

2:53 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#5 joko

why fuji dont think of finest image quality?

like i see on other site, i just can say
* latest fuji exr bsi cmos sensor is awful in full res, not if you go with half res like 8mp/6mp/3mp

* latest fuji exr bsi cmos sensor makes photo like oil painting for me in full res, not if you go with half res like 8mp/6mp/3mp

* maybe worst picture caused sensor made by Toshiba like in F550exr ? https://chipworks.secure.force.com/catalog/ProductDetails?sku=TOS-TCM5103PL&viewState=DetailView&cartID;=&g=&parentCategory=a0u40000000QQstAAG&navigationStr=ListProduct&searchText;=

* Fuji do too oversized image size (16mp) in a little sensor, this is so awful in quality

* 16mp is only a marketing gimmick (with little sensor!), if i see the next fuji release with somewhat 18 or 20mp in the same little sensor,,, is more than really awful

* if i have this hs20 camera, i will shot in 6mp only.

i just remember the time i took a holidays in Bali 2001, i go with P&S film Fuji and the next time i hope Fuji do the best for the customer

come on Fuji, hear the customer, they want a great picture not a great camera feature

5:22 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#6 Baseman

This camera seems to do better with image quality if you change the noise reduction setting to low to avoid the smearing, (water colour effect), set the sharpness to standard, and most importantly, set the image size to ‘M’. Also, try and avoid using those ‘auto’ settings. This camera in auto mode loves the higher ISO’s which ultimatly reduces image quality. Hope these tips help everyone. Good review btw :)

5:48 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#7 Stella

I’d be interested in giving it a shot. Seems like you could manipulate the images.

6:18 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#8 yo

Fuji has make it a EXR DIGICAM!!! The name is “HS20 EXR

Why the reviewer not understand this VERY BASIC PRINCIPLE!
He wrote “All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 16 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5.5Mb.” Why???? Why he don´t touch the M Mode??? Or al last the EXR AUTO????

The HS20 had a Noise Reduction feature… Why the reviewer don´t use it????
The EXR mode its THE BEST OUTPUT FOR ALL FUJI DIGICAMS!! WHY DON´T USED IT???
Please CORRECT THE SETTINGS AND REVALUATE THIS EXCELENT DIGICAM! Or read before the long experienced users of this digicam!!!

8:41 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#9 Seb

Big Thanks Mark. I was waiting for this one. And sort of expecting the result.
  I am still trying to find authoritative conclusion on the subject of their S4000 image quality.
  Do You think PB will test it? If not maybe You could share Your private opinion? :)
  Love Your work. Cheers.

9:05 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#10 Seb

Big Thanks Mark. I was waiting for this one and sort of expecting the result.
  I am still looking for an authoritative test of their S4000.
Do You know if PB will be testing it?
  If not maybe You could share Your opinion of it’s image quality? :)
  Love Your work. Cheers.

9:19 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#11 odo

Why did you testers did not understamd that this is a 8MP camera?

Not testing the 8MP modes ist a big fault.
Nobody needs more than 6 to 8 Mp for prints up to A1 size.

Your test really needs an update.

regards,
odo

9:28 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#12 Lynx

If I were an HS10 owner I wouldn’t “upgrade” to the hs20exr.

HS10 is better. Just compare the images from one and the other.

The review on the HS10 was a lot better.

Well the hs10 is on stores for 300€ or less now.

Good news!

9:30 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#13 steevytee

This review is CRAP!

How can you possibly evaluate a camera such as this in 16 megapixel auto mode and ignore the major feature - namely the EXR 8 meg mode with superb detail and dynamic range.

Streets ahead of the HS10 for image quality and speed.  But as with all EXR cameras you have to read the manual and understand the camera first.
Something the reviewer clearly did not do!

10:28 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#14 Seemoss

Yes, keep at high sensitivity mode I say. At 700mm it will be necessary anyway to bump up the iso and keep away the camera shake as it appears that sensor-shift stabilization is no longer effective enough at this focal length. But an DSLR would probably need to be tripoded any way at this stage too. Can you imagine the size of 700mm lens on a DSLR? Well, the Sony mirror reflex 500mm F8 is not to big but needs to be mono/tripoded, in all but the brightest conditions.

10:30 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#15 Otto

With any camera, there is an “optimum zone” where it works best.  Perhaps as pointed out by several people already, this tester did not bother to delve into this region.  Even so, some of the sample images were sharp and very accurate exposed.  Not using the EXR mode was a big mistake.  I would not dismiss this camera on the basis of this one test, which still scored 4/5…

12:02 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#16 Bren

I hate your youtube popup that wont close

People have download limits you know!

btw its an 8mp EXR camera to be used in M - DR400/200 mode not the 16mp crap it can produce.

2:31 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#17 Jon S

Quote: with no need to buy or change lenses thanks to the 30x lens, which is remarkably distortion-free and admirably fast at either end. There’s no need to buy or change lenses thanks to the 30x lens, which is remarkably distortion-free and admirably fast at either end.

There’s sentence repetition there.

2:43 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#18 Jon S

@Lacertilia:

Why do you call the X100 “absurd”?

It’s a very exciting camera for a particular target audience that includes me. I have a pre-order for one and I love the quality of photos that people are posting.

2:49 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#19 Panasonic SD-YD250

What a fantastic camera. From the appearance to its shoots It is so amazing.

:)

5:16 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#20 AsoldierIshallbe

What are you people all flipping out about? This darned machine costs only $350.  Sheesh!  What were you expecting, image quality of a camera that costs $3500?  Don’t be ridiculous. It’s just about right for its price.

7:07 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#21 pp

I leave the web in.. Choose a product to meet a lot about cameras and equipment

8:45 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#22 marnix claus

I agree with the reviewer.
You use the camera,as Fuji have set it up.
If Fuji put in an 25 MP sensor,well sorry but Thad is Wat you need to use.
Every one know high pixel count will do no one any favors.
Beside if you go to the store,no one gone say set it on 8 mp.the camera will take better pictures.
It is Wat it Is Bad move for Fuji.

It is also bad advertising,I see myself going to the store and the clerk say,good camera,but do not use the 16 mp set it on low 8 or below, really funny.

It is an problem for fuji ,not for us to deal with it.
And If I remember correctly ISO 400 should still look good.in an small sensor,and sorry but this is not the case here.

8:49 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#23 Lamont

I agree with steevyte - this review is COMPLETE CRAP, and not just because they didn’t really go into the settings of the camera - but it’s crap because a lot of it is CLEARLY copied and pasted from the HS10 - which you cannot do, even if it is true that the features you talk about are the same - the HS20 came out in 2011 while the HS10 came out in 2010… it’s a different world now, to do a proper review you have to compare it with the world it’s in… for example, how does it go against the HS10 in certain features?
You also do not address things like, is the twist barrel lens jerky, how is the manual focus? How does the EXR sensor go - it’s a whole new sensor remember, you cannot copy and paste things you’ve said about the HS10 and the F100EXR or whatever typo you left in there on the first page.
Many other things that make this a basically useless review but lastly - you are disagreeing with like, most of the world, who reckon the HS20 I.Q. outclasses the HS10 but hate things like the jerky zoom etc., but you are saying the HS10 is a better camera? Check out these guys - they don’t agree about your image quality gripes, and they seem to actually have USED the camera:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm23SKOgyEs

- And I also agree with whoever said that it’s stupid to give it 4/5 if it’s a step backwards. If it were a step backwards and came out the same day as the HS10, then you could give the HS10 a 4.5/5 and the HS20 a 4/5… but it’s over a year later, a step backwards = fail, 1 out of 5. Luckily, you got this bit right in that this camera is probably not a step backwards so much as just as stuff up on your part, ‘We review cameras but let’s leave this in auto and just copy and paste from last year’s model, then have a pint.’

9:10 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#24 Pringle

Sorry, this is a totally useless review and I would advise anyone thinking about buying a HS20 to wait for a proper review from a competent tester. To say this camera is a step down from a HS10 (which I also own) shows that the reviewer is totally clueless.

9:30 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#25 Tony

I have an HS10, which to be frank, had several glaring shortcomings - and believe me, this camera has solved most of them. I can’t believe the conclusions drawn here! Totally misleading.

9:34 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#26 Eat Static

This review is totally misrepresentative.


I cannot take it seriously as sections are quite obviously copied and pasted from last years HS10 and this is all the more evident in the repeated paragraphs. Besides, if the reviewer cant be bothered to write and edit the piece properley - it brings into doubt his reviewing skills too in my opinion. From what I have seen elsewhere (i.e sample images) on the internet the HS-20 is a significant improvement on the HS-10. This review should be taken with a massive pinch of salt. Look elsewhere people.

digicam review have many excellent HS-20 sample images.

11:57 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#27 John85

Why did you use the full resolution (16MPx) to take your pictures instead of using the EXR Mode (8Mpx) ??

Everyone knows that EXR Fuji cameras have to be used exploiting the potentialities of their sensor.

I’ve seen a lot of pics taken in EXR Mode and they are much better than yours sample

12:26 pm - Friday, April 29, 2011

#28 Otto

There are two kinds of “Trying”.  The camera is the first kind and the Tester is the second kind.
I would give Fuji FULL marks for trying.
WHY do people want such a camera, you have to ask?
It’s not because they want to have better IQ than
a D40 or a D3100 or a Rebel or a Sony A-something.
So to mention dslr’s by comparison is totally daft.  This camera does have is a great range, a great lens and a great price and great convenience in a package no dslr can match, ever.
If you want ultimate IQ, the Leica S2 should be your topic of interest.

12:58 pm - Friday, April 29, 2011

#29 zebarnabe

Sensor out resolves the lens… that was to be expected.

I haven’t compared HS10 results with HS20 EXR, If you are doing it, compare images with the same size, specially if you’re dwelling in pixel level (and that also applies to EXR modes).

This camera has a strong NR applied, but looking at RAW the softness is present there already, however it’s good to note that if you drop the 16 and go to EXR modes, those 8MP might look a lot better at pixel level.

From the tiny thumbnails is really hard to tell if EXR is doing it’s magic ... at 1600% DR you can see the entire bike shadow on the small picture, but a hi-resolution on the sample shots would help to note the noise (if shadows are being pumped using curve tricks, noise will be quite evident on those areas)

2:18 pm - Friday, April 29, 2011

#30 Bob

I agree with the above

2:53 pm - Friday, April 29, 2011

#31 ulong

you have some wording repeated:

” with no need to buy or change lenses thanks to the 30x lens, which is remarkably distortion-free and admirably fast at either end. There’s no need to buy or change lenses thanks to the 30x lens, which is remarkably distortion-free and admirably fast at either end.”

are you in a rush?

3:25 pm - Friday, April 29, 2011

#32 zebarnabe

I’m pretty sure “Pro Low-Light (100% Crop)” is not a 100% crop either… xD

3:47 pm - Friday, April 29, 2011

#33 Mahesh Jayatunga

Here are the actual facts
1. Excellent “still” IQ thanks to 1/2” BSI EXR CMOS
2. Arguably the best All-In-One camera with almost   all possible features
3. Jumpy zooming & manual focusing (adversely affect during video)
4. Overheating Shutdown(firmware upgrade available)
5. Poor continuous focusing during video mode
6. Sluggish menu system

OVERALL : A great camera amidst certain cons

4:29 pm - Friday, April 29, 2011

#34 Alexandr

Missing 720p 60 frames per second option (announced in January).

6:34 pm - Friday, April 29, 2011

#35 Frank

Having used Fuji EXR cameras for years I am aware that you must use the “M” setting to get the most out of this camera.  So sad that the review did not exploit the possibilities of this camera.  Very silly to suggest that the only way to use the camera is in 16mb mode.  The differences in picture IQ and noise between “L” and “M” modes is shocking.  A test update should be expected.

9:43 pm - Friday, April 29, 2011

#36 Seemoss

Interesting concept: pixel level sharpness might be better at 8 meg than at 16. I guess shooting at RAW would reveal this - after applying some unsharp mask. Here’s another idea: 8 meg may actually better match the lenses resolving power than the 16meg. Mahesh #5 conclusion could be resolved by choosing center area autofocus, but the video quality overall isn’t very good, according to infosyncworld.com.
You guys might have noticed photography blog never even tested the pro focus mode when reviewing the S200EXR, so there has at least been some improvement since then!

9:46 pm - Friday, April 29, 2011

#37 laurenz baars

It is sad that camera makers continue to make cameras with just high pixel count and high zoom, that when used they produce pictures that are marginal at best.  Honestly, 3.5/5 is 70%, which may have been fine for High school but in photography is just plain poor.  If the camera produces acceptable images at 8MP and say 20X zoom, then those should have been the speifications of the camera.  If the camera is advertised at the higher specifications, then it better perform at those as well. 

Too often, like now, camera makers produce garbage in the guise of a camera and all we do as consumers is lower our standards.  Enough!

1:45 am - Saturday, April 30, 2011

#38 paolo

Fuji HS20 Vs. DSLR Shootout

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfnv9pRUJrU&feature=player_embedded#at=475

thank you

6:17 am - Saturday, April 30, 2011

#40 Seemoss

Oops ... I was wrong regarding PhotographyBlog’s review of the S200EXR ... Pro Focus mode was tested. My apologies for that oversight. But I understand the S200EXR’s Pro Focus is done at half the resolution - six megapixels. What is the resolution of Pro Focus on the HS20EXR?

1:22 am - Sunday, May 1, 2011

#41 Andrew

10 megapixels is enough for everyone, it should be the limit for every compact and bridge cameras.

4:45 am - Tuesday, May 3, 2011

#42 Fabio

I don’t agree with the review, I had the HS10 and now I have the HS20, wich is much better in color and IQ, I’m impressed with this camera, I use M size, not full resolution, who needs 16 Mp in a bridge camera ? Low light performance is quite good, flash is good, lens are very good. Movie mode suffers a lot with manual zoom and focusing, just like DSLRs that shoots movies. It’s a good still camera with so so movie mode, the high speed movie is on par with other cameras with this feature. I’m very impressed with the macro mode, outstanding, and given the fact that I have tried at least 15 cameras ( including 3 DSLRs) in the past 12 months, this one has the best macro mode of all. This sensor is much better than the previous one but it would be wonderful if it was a 10 MP instead of the ridiculous 16 MP. If movies are your priority get a Sony HX1, otherwise the Fuji HS20 will make you happy.

6:10 am - Wednesday, May 4, 2011

#43 zebarnabe

Fabio,

What do you think of the EXR modes (not the HR one)?

I read a review where they tested the camera for detail resolve power (sadly didn’t point out the tested focal length in any of theirs tests), according to it, HS20 EXR sensor/lens combo resolves a bit less than 10MPs and so does the SX30 IS form Canon or the Kodak Z990 MAX ...

2:18 pm - Wednesday, May 4, 2011

#44 Emil

” ... How can you possibly evaluate a camera such as this in 16 megapixel auto mode and ignore the major feature - namely the EXR 8 meg mode with superb detail and dynamic range ... “

“... I use M size, not full resolution, who needs 16 Mp in a bridge camera ? ... “


Possibly, but, if this is true (it is true !), then Fuji should market the HS20 as a 8MP camera, not 16MP !

I use the HS10 (I also have a Nikon D7000 and a Sony HDR-CX160), and, for a moment, considered upgrading to the HS20, but ... it looks like this would not be a wise move (decision made not just on the present review)

Regarding the HS20: I expected two significant improvements over the HS10:
1. External TTL Flash capability;
2. Faster RAW (and even JPEG) processing.
Goal “1” was accomplished, while “2” was not.
Now, take a look at the top Point-and-Shoots from Canon:  H12, and S95.  Do they offer 16MP ?  No At some point Canon’s G-series offered 14.7MP CCD (G10), but soon realized this was a mistake, so the successors, namely the G11 and G12 came with just 10.0MP.

I hope the HS30 would come with faster processing speed, and ... no more than 12MP.

4:37 pm - Sunday, May 8, 2011

#45 yo

Emil: I`wrote few days ago, the name is HS20<b>EXR<b>. And, this EXR mode turn it on if you set at M Mode. I`have the HS10 too and its shipped with a Sony 1/2.33” sensor, But the HS20<b>EXR<b>, have a Fuji`s 1/2” EXR sensor (manufactured by Toshiba). Both digicams are technically differents!.
Fuji 8Mpix EXR mode double the size of the color photosites, not downscale the 16mpix image! Fuji turns or “convert” the sensor arrangement, and captive more light than Bayer commonly used arrange sensor. Please read this article http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/s/finepix_hs20exr/features/

9:24 pm - Monday, May 9, 2011

#46 Emil

Thank you, yo !

I read your message, and, before that, also carefully read what is on Fuji’s website (their own description of the EXR technology and the HS20 User Manual), however, I promise to study further ... and come back when I have more to say.

Just one quick comment:
No matter what the truth is about this BSI-CMOS-EXR and its implications upon the HS20 capabilities and picture quality, one thing seems to be clear:  When promoting their new HS20, Fuji did not do a good job explaining exactly what their new technology is, what it does, and how it should be used.  No wonder there is so much confusion !

4:13 pm - Tuesday, May 10, 2011

#47 wolve

I would like to see Fujiflim improve in these areas for it’s HS30 in the near future.
1) More profession alike smoother zoom tube.
2) Faster focal when zoom in/out on objects
3) Image stabilizer still rooms to improve.
4) Larger internal memory ( nowadays 100 meg isn’t too demanding )
5) Compact the body by another 20% ?

I love the current batteries which could simply buy it if ran out. The EXR and large pixels. Some news features on this camera are fantastic. ( keep it all if not improve )

8:10 pm - Tuesday, May 10, 2011

#48 Emil

yo:

It is possible the reviewer from “PhotographyBlog” here did not test the camera properly ... however,
here are a few comments:

1.
I greatly doubt that replacing the 1/2.33inch BSI-CMOS sensor, present in the HS10 with the 1/2inch EXR-BSI-CMOS sensor, present in the HS20 can justify the jump from 1MP to 16MP.

2.
You say: “... HS20 ... this EXR mode turn it on if you set at M Mode ...”, in other words, you advise the user to shoot in M (manual mode) to fully take advantage of the camera’s EXR capabilities (correct ?).

The HS20 has a Mode Dial with the following shooting modes labeled on it: EXR, P, S, A, M, C. SP1, SP1, Adv, Auto.

The HS20’s User manual explains:
EXR - Improve clarity, reduce noise, increase dynamic range, or let the camera automatically adjust settings to suit the scene”
M - Manual.

Therefore, we conclude that the only way to take advantage of the EXR functionality is to set the dial to EXR (correct ?).  M mode is just that, M (Manual), with no EXR in action at all.  There is no place in the User’s Manual saying otherwise (correct ?).

3.
Now, here’s from The Fujifilm USA website:

” The uniqueness of an EXR sensor is its ability to adapt its settings to the demands of the shot ... EXR AUTO selects the optimum sensor mode automatically. With three modes to choose from:
- HR High Resolution is perfect for well lit conditions and uses all 16 million pixels.
- SN High Sensitivity and Low Noise mode is designed for use at night or in dark conditions and it halves the number of pixels to create 8 million super pixels which are extra sensitive to light.
- DR Dynamic Range mode is suited to high-contrast conditions where you have both bright sunlight and dark shadows present. It works by combining one high-exposure and one low-exposure shot to create an 8 megapixel image with detail in both the highlights and in the shadows “

The above description, cleverly and rather clearly, and beyond any doubt shows that, if the EXR tech kicks in, in order to handle low light situations (SN Mode), or capture a wide dynamic range (DR Mode), the resolution of the recorded picture drops from 16MP to 8MP (correct ?).

- The only way to record a 16MP still is ... not to take advantage of the EXR technology, which, make two adjacent photo-sites (pixels) fuse into one, thus creating a larger photo-site (pixel), obviously, more sensitive and capable to capture low light information (correct ?).
- But ... if we crowd 16MP unto such a tiny sensor (compared to, say a APS-C/DX sensor), it is expected that the quality will suffer ... (correct ?). 
- In conclusion:
a) The HS20 may be used as a 16MP camera in the best possible lighting condition (when we can use 100-400 ASA (most simple P&S or/and advanced Bridge cameras, are expected to perform well in such situations);
b)  The HS20 may be used as a 8MP camera, when we need to shoot in more challenging situations, such as low light, high contrast (wide tonal dynamics).

10:55 pm - Tuesday, May 10, 2011

#49 zebarnabe

Emil,

1.
10MP to 16MP represents 60% more pixels
1/2.33 to 1/2 represents 16.5% more area

So: indeed.

However, and I’m hypothesizing here, if the lens are the same, and the focal length is the same, the sensor has to have the same size (except if it has a multiple aspect ratio) and the 1/2 could be just a round up marketing trick.

2.
I got confused as well by the M mode… Could they meant Medium Size photo mode (where the resolution is reduced - thus making it possible for EXR to be active)?

Indeed EXR has the EXR mode for it, however, I wonder if you can activate it for P,A,S,M modes on other place on the camera settings - both can technically co-exist at the same time.

3.
This sensor is not ‘magic’, the EXR modes work by cleverly set the sensor in a given way.

HR is obvious the simplest, where the sensor behaves like an ordinary sensor.

SN might not be that great and, depending how the sensor it’s really built, could be achieved by resizing the 16MP to 8MP, thus reducing the visible noise artifacts. A deep analysis would be required to understand this mode and the sensor itself.

DR is perhaps the most complex where the ‘odd’ photo sites are exposing at one sensitivity where the ‘even’ are doing another: You get 2 photos with different exposures at the SAME TIME, highlights clipped on one will be recovered by the other, giving the camera an huge dynamic range for a single exposure, while the other cameras must use some sort of HDR merge to achieve something similar.

Historically, EXR had not the diagonal bayer pattern alone, but some extra small photo sites crammed in the spaces between the big ones, those where the ones that recovered the highlight details. BSI technology makes it inefficient to have them, as the sensor active area is a lot bigger in comparison with the sensor size itself.

About the last points:
a) Indeed it can, however the sensor out resolves the lens, making it more useful to use DR EXR mode and get some extra highlight details, sure not all scenes require it.

b) Correct. However this PB review and samples don’t properly show how good the camera really is in those modes. And true to be told, I have no idea as well.

2:09 pm - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#50 Emil

zebarnabe:

Your comments are interesting, and, indeed, show that this camera, the new HS20EXR should be carefully reviewed, showing how to really take advantage of the new EXR technology.

Regarding the sensors (sources: Fujifim and Wikipedia):

HS10
Resolution   10.3 MP
Type       1/2.32
Area       28.50 mm2

HS20
Resolution 16.0 MP (max)  8.0 MP (EXR mode)
Type     1/2
Area     30.70 mm2

The calculated pixel densities are:
HS10   0.361 MP/mm2
HS20   0.521 MP/mm2 (max)  0.261 MP/mm2 (EXR mode)

Therefore, by comparison with the HS10, the HS20, in its maximum resolution mode, increases the pixel density by 44%, anticipating questionable image quality when shooting at full resolution.

3:40 pm - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#51 Fabio

Here I am again, with a little more experience with this amazing camera.  I continue to shoot at M ( medium size , fine), with very good results. The film focus problem can be much improved if you set focus to center, not continuous. The macro mode is fantastic, and being able to use macro mode with a lot of zoom is the best and the flash works great at macro mode. Panorama mode is very good , better than Sony’s HX1, you can choose the angle and it works very well even indoors, I took great pictures inside a museum yesterday. I briefly owned a Canon SX30 and the EVF is tiny, does’nt help much in the composition. Fuji’s is much bigger and evn though I would like to see the resolution of the Sony A33, it works. The EXR mode that changes sensor density seems to work well.
This camera has the feel ,some qualities and even some drawbacks of an SLR camera, the big difference is general speed and of course pictures can’t be cropped like you do in a SLR.  In my bag I carry 3 cameras now, a Casio EXZ330 (very good and tiny), the excelent Nikon S8100 and the Fuji HS20, I miss my nikon D5000 and 4 lenses sometimes, but not really.

6:02 pm - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#52 Emil

” ... I continue to shoot at M ( medium size , fine), with very good results ... “

Yes, but if the best one can do with a camera marketed as a 16MP camera is to shoot mainly at 8MP (that’s the M - medium size setting for the HS20), then ... we can safely (continue to) use the HS10, which consistently delivers beautiful 10MP photos !

11:53 pm - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#53 Fabio

Hi Emil , thanks for your comment, if you are happy with the HS10, that’s great. I had it and I didn’t like it much. Im my opinion the HS20 has much better image quality, it’s a completely different sensor, and for me megapixels doesn’t matter . I’ve had the Nikon D40 6 Mp and it was excelent. Many cameras have better performance in lower Mp, but most people buy cameras looking at the Mpixels, it’s a shame that the industry plays that game. Fuji did something interesting, playing with pixels density and using a bigger sensor (thanks Toshiba). I’m so excited with the improvements in the non professional area, compact cameras with good low light performance and high IQ, bridge cameras with great zoom . I’m waiting for the new Nikon P500 and the Sony HX100, I’ll buy both, but meanwhile the Fuji HS20 will get the job done.

1:09 am - Thursday, May 12, 2011

#54 zebarnabe

Like I said before, sensor has probably the same size (at least, used size), the 1/2” is probably a marketing trick to round it up.

Sure, the sensor is different… EXR modes are not just software tricks…

Both lens (HS10 and HS20 EXR) have 4.2mm wide focal length and both start at 24mm equivalent focal length… It’s physically impossible (while keeping focus in infinity possible) for the sensors to have different sizes if the real and equivalent focal length are the same!

I don’t think that there is any camera (aside from the EXR sensor powered cameras) of this class with so much dynamic range… Even my EVIL camera has trouble competing with that…

You guys buy too much cameras .__.”

5:09 am - Thursday, May 12, 2011

#55 Emil

- The NEXT FUJIFILM HS CAMERA -
Here’s a suggestion for Fujifilm to consider when designing the next HS (HS30 ?):

Now the HS20EXR allows the capture of 4:3 stills in 3 sizes (resolutions):
L - about 16MP
M - about 8MP
S - about 3MP

and either the EXR choses between L and M depending of lighting conditions, or the user manually switches from one setting to another.

How about this:
Instead of just 3 4:3 size choices, a smoother transition, having instead several choices of 4:3 still resolutions, e.g. 16MP, 14MP, 12MP, 8MP, 8MP so that the user may decide which is best in a given shooting situation, or/and introduce a Smart Auto that decides which resolution is best.

Other possible improvements:
1.
Shorten the shot-to-shot time ny increasing the buffer size, or/and completely remove the RAW option (just concentrate on quality JPEGs);
2.
Improve Image Stabilization and Focus during Video (too slow at the moment - a Sony Handycam priced no moe than the HS20 does much better);
3.
Make the manual zoom run smother during video (e.g. Canon SX10, etc);
4.
Either build and make available Fuji external TTL flashes, as promised, or make the camera compatible with external TTL flashes, such as the excellent Nikon SB Series.

7:16 pm - Thursday, May 12, 2011

#56 Eberhard Doerr

I’m quite satisfied with my HS10 but would appreciate a bit more detail resolution, where other compact camera sensors (Canon, Panasonic) offer clearly more (in good daylight).

Now that there seem to be various people owning the HS10 and the HS20 and understanding the 8-mp mode - how a about a shot-to-shot comparison of the same subject with 10-MP-HS10 here and 8-MP-HS20 there?

5:12 pm - Saturday, May 14, 2011

#57 Weeweeman

This is now down to £339.62 on Amazon! -

amzn.to/mIyiQH

Jessops still have it on for £399

11:36 am - Sunday, May 15, 2011

#58 mlloyd57

EXR is a joke.  The 16 mp is a joke and nothing more than a marketing gimmick.  Fuji can twist around the fact that they made a 16mp small sensor with all this new technology, but it still sucks.
I owned the HS10 and loved it.  Bought the HS20, it sucked.  Putting it in EXR auto..SUCKED.  It produced terrible pictures.  This camera is a failure, let alone the over-heating problems and also…FUJIS web site says you have to let the camera cool down! So it’s not a software fix…or the same thing as taking the check engine light out and then selling your car and saying everything is fine. I returned my HS20 and just ordered a new HS10.  HS20 blows.  Don’t buy it.

6:50 pm - Monday, May 16, 2011

#59 Aibenq

well, i not Fujifilm guys, but i have been research about EXR CMOS. actually i found this fact:

1. EXR CMOS is based BSI CMOS. actually have problem in cross-talk in photodiode reading. so this is the reason of smearing blur on the result. this can be reduced in JPEG Rerender. but commonly the BSI CMOS is have this problem. this can be reduced with framing that in standard CMOS is do with non lighted Photodiode.

2. the Moire that commonly in camera are reduced with new color filter array, that is the second reason the blur is occur.

3. The JPEG Compression of Fujifilm used is kinda old… as i remember Fuji didn’t release JPEG Compression firmware update for all Fuji camera. if Fuji release JPEG Compression update maybe is better.

4. The Resolution is natively 16 megapixel. but the 8 Megapixel is reduced size to get wider dynamic with twin capture and reduce noise with larger pixel size. the reason of EXR auto is oftenly reduce the resolution is that and commonly people shoot in high contrast condition and low light. that the common reason this camera is shoot in 8 mega, not 16mega.

5. the temprature problem, you can update the firmware. is firmware problem. but few of them is because the hardware to. the reason: sealed body so the heat is very slow to release to outside of body and also usage of AA battery is add the heat too.

that’s i found out. maybe i can answer the all your answer problem. and by the way, i found many fujifilm FINEPIX HS20EXR user get great image result… so it;s depend you to shoot the image.

4:53 am - Wednesday, May 18, 2011

#60 mlloyd57

It’s still totally retarded to have a camera that you have to let cool down. Fujifilms web site STATES just that over the HS20.  I’m not going to stop my shooting because the camera gets hot.  The firmware turns the check engine light off, it doesn’t fix the problem. That’s a quick fix without doing anything, Just let it cool off. (Barf)
Fuji slammed out a poor design and rushed it onto the market and called it a 16mp (marketing ploy) but you really can’t shoot in 16mp without it looking like crap.
My recommendation, I own a HS10.  If you own an HS10, DON’T UPGRADE to the HS20.  If you’re thinking of buying an HS20..DON’T.

7:03 am - Thursday, May 19, 2011

#61 Fabio

It seems that CMOS sensors cameras tend to get hot. I owned the Casio FH100 (very good) and some people overheat it, I did’nt. I own the outstanding Nikon S8100 ( maybe my favorite) and it gets really hot sometimes. I just received ny Nikon P500 and I’m impressed with the small size, but confortable in my big hands, it’s really light. I had some very good pictures with it and it’s easier to shoot movies with it because of the motorized zoom, but focus problems do happen with it too.
  Every camera has its secrets and it seems to me that electronic vibration reduction degrades picture quality in this new Nikon, so I turned it off , I’m using it only in movies, I’m still playng with the controls
  I buy a lot of cameras but I work in the field, so I need to know them, what I don’t love I sell.
  So far the best non SLR camera with the best image quality is the HS20, you will find that information in other reviews. I din’t like the Canon SX30, with smaller LCD and very poor EVF, I like the Nikon P500, but I miss the HS20 ( I can’t carry both all the time). I had some amazing pictures with it but not as much as I had with the Fuji. 
  I had the heating warning after some heavy shooting, but I just continued to take pictures, no problem. The same happened with the Nikon S8100 too, no problem. I want the best possible picture quality, almost anything is secondary,  stabilization on the Fuji is a joke, but I took excellent pictures for 30 years without using it.
  Some people that own the HS10 seems to be happy with some issues with the new HS20 so they don’t feel the need to upgrade, I can understand thatbecause Nikon has the new S9100 and I will spend money to upgrade my S8100. I owned the HS10 and didn’t like it much, quality pictures in the HS20 are much better, and it doesn’t matter if you need to use medium size file, 8 MP, EXR modes,some heating, better IQ is the single most important thing in a camera, the HS20 has it and much more.
I respect mlloyd57 opinion, but my recommendation is that the HS20 is huge upgrade form the HS10 and any bridge camera on the market. If you like photography and like to play with controls and settings buy the HS20.

1:53 pm - Thursday, May 19, 2011

#62 Eberhard Doerr

Now with that mixed and inconsistent reports about picture quality of the HS10 vs. HS20 - we’d really like to see pictures of the same motive with HS10 vs HS20 (with 16 and 8 MP).
Without that I will definitely not upgrade from my HS10 to HS20.

2:42 pm - Thursday, May 19, 2011

#63 jun rod

this is the worst camera i ever bought, and expensive for its league. the OVERHEATING issue has not been corrected, the poor image quality, specially indoors, it is just worst than my old 6 year old point and shoot FUJI A200 2MP basic camera. i am really disappointed, i am trying to get in touch with the warranty email , but they have not responded to me at all to get this over with. i just got this camera for 2 weeks and tried it for a few hours, after 5 minutes, the overheating comes into play, with just about 8 composed shots,  i had been using Nikon SLR for 20 years, and Nikon DSLR for 4 years, and i got this HS20 EXR for the purpose of having a light weight DSLR Like camera for back up, but i am really disappointed, the low light conditions are worst than the lowest point and shoot i ever used.  outside , it is hard to acquire focus, the zoom is uselesss because focusing is very slow and inaccurate.

1:23 am - Friday, May 20, 2011

#64 mlloyd57

Eberhard Doerr, I wish I could accommodate your wish to see comparison shots between the HS10 and HS20.  That would be fun to do. To have them on tripods, taking identical shots at identical times with mostly identical settings, would be a lot of fun. 
My HS20 had a bad row of pixels in the sensor and I didn’t want to mess around having to send it to Fuji for warranty work.  I wanted my money back and wanted to return it to the retailer ASAP.  You don’t want to wait too long for that stuff.
I’ve seen a few HS20 pictures on forums and they were all of such low resolution that any enlargement was totally worthless for doing any forensic examination of the picture quality.
I have a few up taken with the HS10 at dpreview, although some were taken with my old point & shoot Canon a95.  They are clearly marked which camera was used though, either the HS10 or my a95
http://www.dpreview.com/Galleries/2565214150/photos

4:33 am - Friday, May 20, 2011

#65 Emil

I read various posts here:  some criticizing the new HS20, other trying to defend it.

As mentioned in previous posts, I doubt it is possible to squeeze 16MP unto such a tiny sensor (be it BSI-CMOS) and expect high quality pictures.  The only thing the EXR technology does is … to reduce the effective resolution from 16MP tp 8MP by fusing adjacent photosites (pixels).  But, IMO, what is the point of having a 16MP camera if, in most shooting situations, better results are obtained when the resolution is halved ?  The HS10 (no EXR) offers very good pictures at just 10MP.  Shoot JPEG with an HS10 with minimum in-camera processing, followed by some editing in a less the $100 program, such as the excellent Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Here are a few suggestions for the next Fujifilm (HS30 ?) camera:
- Lower the resolution to about 12MP, but not more than 14MP;
- Improve performance – larger buffer size (?) to shorten the shot-to-shot times, maybe eliminate the RAW option, just concentrate on beautiful JPEGs;
- Release (the promised) TTL dedicated Fujifilm flashes, since the hot-shoe of the HS20 unlike the hot-shoe of the HS10 now allows for external TTL flashes, or, make the system compatible with, say, the very good and already existing SB Nikon external flashes;
- Introduce more options in terms of JPEG file size, say 14MP, 12MP, 10MP, 8MP, instead of just 3 now offered by the HS20:  16MP, 8MP, 4MP (?);
- Improve (the in-camera) image stabilization and auto-focus during video shooting;
- Make the manual zoom smoother during video shooting.

As it stands now, I, like other enthusiasts do not feel I should upgrade the HS10 to the HS20.

4:48 pm - Friday, May 20, 2011

#66 Eberhard Doerr

@mlloyd57 - I do own a HS10 and am quite happy with the image quality, even at 1600 ISO - given the small sensor; but I was thinking to upgrade to the HS20.
If we can not get direct comparison pictures, any pix of the HS20 with a clean subject and 16 and 8 MP setting would make much sense (maybe posted on Flickr etc).

@Emil - There exist small 16 MP sensors that provide good quality when there is good light, like in Canon’s cheaper models (A3x00), so 16 MP is not neccessarily wrong.
So .. one has to look at the actual pictures.

6:53 pm - Friday, May 20, 2011

#67 Emil

” I do own a HS10 and am quite happy with the image quality, even at 1600 ISO
” There exist small 16 MP sensors that provide good quality when there is good light, like in Canon’s cheaper models (A3x00), so 16 MP is not neccessarily wrong. So .. one has to look at the actual pictures.”

Yes, one has to look at the pictures, but I wonder:
- can the HS20 shoot good 16MP pictures at 1600 ISO ?
- can the Canon Powershot A3300 16MP shoot good pictures at 800 or 1600 ISO ?
- since it is possible to squeeze 16MP unto a small sensor, why the flagship P&S Canon G12 and S95 (and even the Nikon Coolpix P7000) have only 10MP ?

By the way, the price of the G12 never dropped, while the price of the HS20 is already down a bit.

7:28 pm - Friday, May 20, 2011

#68 Greynerd

This current practice of calling a camera a 14 or 16 MP camera just because it has this resolution sensor is getting absurd. I have just bought a supposedly 14MP Fuji S4000 which is completely incapable of producing images at this resolution. If you start blowing up the picture the jaggy type compression artefacts come in very early. My WB2000 10MP camera achieves much greater resolution and I think it is absurd that a 10 MP camera can show such markedly superior actual resolution. The problem is that a 14MP camera would need better than super fine JPEG to realise the resolution though noise problems from these absurdly over-pixelated tiny sensors would still fudge this. I suspect that the actual picture resolution coming out of the S4000 is 8MP. It is high time camera manufacturers were forced to declare the actual realisable resolution from the camera not just the resolution of one component in the chain of electronics and software.

3:54 pm - Sunday, May 22, 2011

#69 Orin Keplinger

I took some pics of our Hoofer Sailing Club deep-keel lift-in this month. I liked the camera and have also taken a few sharp bird photos.

    The biggest problem for me has been that the HS20 software did not work with either of my windows computers…XP Pro or Vista Ultimate. As a result, I didn’t have an easy way to work with the raw images. The included Silkypics converter did load properly, but is a bit murky to use.  No luck either with Picasa,Nikon,or Adobe Photoshop products.

Jpg images of the Lift-In, converted to tifs and then to email jpgs, are on my Flickr photostream -http://www.flickr.com/photos/orink3/

4:00 am - Thursday, May 26, 2011

#70 V.

Hi Emil,
I find your comments very useful and was wondering if you can help me out. I have just bought a HS20 and it is my first digital camera so I still need to learn a lot. I will be using it for my one month safari so all the tips on how to best use the camera to have the best pictures (taking into account I am all new to this) would be very much appreciated.

5:08 pm - Tuesday, May 31, 2011

#71 Emil

This Message Is Not Spam !
I respectfully ask: Please, Post !

V,
I have the HS10 not the HS20, however, here are a few suggestions:

1.
Print double-sided the PDF H20 User Manual for easier reference (take it from the Fuji Film website).

2.
Consider reading the excellent book “David Pogue’s Digital Photography, The Missing Manual” (used for $4 at Amazon).

3.
Use a SanDisk or Lexar SDHC memory card, say 8GB or 16GB, class 6 at least;
4.
Use the best AA Lithium Batteries you can find or, better, Rechargeable AA;
5.
For most ***photo shooting situations*** without flash try the following setup (many are default settings):
- set Metering at MULTI;
- set Auto Focus at MULTI;
- set Focus Mode at Single Auto Focus (AF-S);
- set White Balance at AUTO;
- select JPEG only, set Picture Size to L (Large) 4:3 or 16:9, and Image Quality to F (Fine);
- set Dynamic Range to AUTO;
- set Color Density to MID;
- set Tone to STD;
- set Sharpness to STD;
- set Noise Reduction to STD;
- set Advanced Anti-Blur to OFF;
- set Image Display at 1.5sec or OFF;
- set Frame Number at CONTINUOUS;
- set Image Stabilization (IS) to 2 (Shooting Only) or 1 (Continuous), if, occasionally, you wish to do video;
- try the EXR Resolution Priority Mode or the P mode and set the ISO at AUTO(800) or AUTO(1600) but not more than 1600.

If you wish to shoot video:
- choose 1920 (1920x1080 Full HD);
- set Focus Mode to CONTINUOUS;
- set Image Stabilization (IS) to 1 (CONTINUOUS)
AND hold the camera well with both hands close to your chest, move it slowly and smoothly.  Zoom sparingly and slowly.

Last, but not least, ***edit*** your photos and videos. I suggest:
Adobe Photoshop Elements for Photos;
Cyber Link Power Director for Film.

3:44 am - Wednesday, June 1, 2011

#72 Emil

I tried numerous times to post a message containing a detailed answer to your request. I did not succeed. The server “believes” my message is spam. I respect the Internet and all who share it, and would never do such a thing. I don’t know what to do. Please, advise ! Emil

3:51 am - Wednesday, June 1, 2011

#73 V.

Hi Emil,
thank you very much for your comments. I just came from the photoshop and now have my HS20. I in one go bought (before I saw your comments) a sandisk 16 GB with 30 mb/s and see it has class 10 so that should be ok I think. I will for sure use the feedback you have given me and will try it out. Thanks again very much for taking the time to give these tips, it is very much appreciated. Cheers V.

4:41 pm - Wednesday, June 1, 2011

#74 Emil

V, also try to learn how to use the histogram:

HS20 Manual Pag 56, 116.
You can see the histogram in playback, but you can also see the histogram before shooting:
briefly press button 8 (Exposure Compensation) – pag 2 (Parts of The Camera)

References:
- Pogue’s Book
- The Luminous landcape
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/understanding-histograms.shtml

6:08 pm - Wednesday, June 1, 2011

#75 Andreas

I read a lot of really inconsistent reports about image quality on both the HS10 and HS20. Especially on the German Amazon site, there are a lot of people complaining about the very poor quality of pictures of grass or bushes (anything green) betwenn 28 and 50mm. Did someone try this with either the HS10 or HS20? You will easily notice the problems: it looks like you painted the leaves with a large brush. Or look here:

http://www.henner.info/images/fh100_fuji_hs10.jpg

for me, that makes at least th HS10 a complete no-go, quality-wise.

What can you say about those specific settings (grass or some other leaves, zoom betwenn 28 and 50mm)?

(Also, since I am looking for a good buy right now, is there a better competitor, quality-wise with similar specs? (8-10MP and 20x Zoom are more than enough)9

8:16 pm - Sunday, June 5, 2011

#76 Andreas

I read a lot of really inconsistent reports about image quality on both the HS10 and HS20. Especially on the German Amazon site, there are a lot of people complaining about the very poor quality of pictures of grass or bushes (anything green) betwenn 28 and 50mm. Did someone try this with either the HS10 or HS20? You will easily notice the problems: it looks like you painted the leaves with a large brush. Or look here:

http://www.henner.info/images/fh100_fuji_hs10.jpg

for me, that makes at least th HS10 a complete no-go, quality-wise.

What can you say about those specific settings (grass or some other leaves, zoom betwenn 28 and 50mm)?

(Also, since I am looking for a good buy right now, is there a better competitor, quality-wise with similar specs? (8-10MP and 20x Zoom are more than enough))

8:19 pm - Sunday, June 5, 2011

#77 Orin Keplinger

I continue to be very pleased with the jpg photos I have been taking, and have just discovered that Adobe Photoshop Elements, ver 9… with the latest upgrade also added… is reading the HS20 EXR raw photos.  I will be attempting to photograph the Rockford, IL Mississippi Kites again on June 6, both at sunrise to early AM, and again after supper. I took the Kite photos currently on my Flickr site with the HS20, as well as all the sailing photos.  I will try some 24-50mm shots tomorrow in EXR and manual mode tomorrow. I will also compare the jpgs with the raw shots.  In all the HS20 email jpg shots currently on my Flickr site, I first saved the orig jpgs as tiff files, then changed the tiffs to email jpgs. That is my usual procedure for all jpg shots from any of my cameras. You can view these efforts at:    http://www.flickr.com/photos/orink3/

7:51 am - Monday, June 6, 2011

#78 Fabio

I have already made some positive comments about the HS20, really a very good camera but not perfect, movies and image stabilization are FAR from perfect. I’m now a happy owner of a Sony HX100V, another 16 MP megazoom bridge camera. I don’t understand how a small sensor with that pixel density can produce such high quality pictures even in low light. It’s a Sony, so movies are perfect and image stabilization is also perfect. For those who like it the zoom can be controled by a ring in the lens, like the HS20, but it is not a mechanical ring , so it is very smooth.
I was very impressed with the HS20, in my opinion an excelent camera, but the Sony HX100V is a much better package. Since I work with cameras, I can use many of them and I keep those I really like, I carry with me all the time the outstanding Nikon S8100, the Casio EXZ330 and now my new passion the Sony HX100V.

6:23 am - Wednesday, June 8, 2011

#79 Emil

Fabio,

Please, tell us:
Do you think Sony’s 16MP pics are better (say, more details) than Fuji’s 16MP pics ?
How effective is Sony’s image stabilization during video ? Is it as good as Sony’s Handycams’ ?
How easy is it to use Sony’s manual zoom by comparison with Fuji’s manual zoom ?

8:25 am - Wednesday, June 8, 2011

#80 Fabio

Hi Emil, Sony’s pictures look better, it really gets very close to a DSLR, except for the bokeh, wich can be induced by one of the scene modes. I just shot a 5 min. test video using full optic zoom and full digital zoom and it looks great, the IS is very good even at full zoom handheld, I’m not a video guy but this camera makes me want to shoot videos, that was somethinhg that the HX1 did also very well and is expected from a Sony, my experience with Handycams is limited but I have a cheap one and the HX100 is much better. There’s minimum focus hunting, most of the time you can’t notice it,auto EV is very good and fast and you can change it manually during video, audio is fantastic and zoom noise is very low but noticeable, the stereo mics even captured my breathing, need to control that.
The manual zoom is optional, you can use the tradicional control around the shutter button. The ring can control zoom or manual focus, you can select it very easily by a control on the left side of the lens. The ring is so smooth and precise that it is light years ahead of the mechanical one in Fuji’s.
This Sony is bigger and heavier than Nikon’s P500 and don’t have all the controls like Fuji but ISO , aperture, speed and EV can be acessed very fast with a rolling button with your right thumb.
  The electronic viewfinder is big and resolution is great, not as good as a Sony A55/33, but not very far from that, but I mis the electronic level.
  The LCD is good but the one in Nikon’s P500 is better.
  Comparing the Sony HX100 with the HS20, its easier to get excelent pictures with Sony’s because of the IS, Fuji’s IS is almost nonexistent and Sony’s is almost perfect, the only camera I know with one that is as good is the Nikon S8100.
  The only thing I hate is the battery charger, it is as big as a notebook charger and needs to be connected to the camera, so I have already ordered a wall charger, Nikon does that too, iit’s very annoying, but a wall charger is easy to get. Other than that I feel like a kid who won his first bike.
 
  Please feel free to ask. Thanks.

3:54 pm - Wednesday, June 8, 2011

#81 Fabio

Hi Emil, I tried to post a comment earlier but I got a spam message. Let`s try again.
Sony`s pictures look at least as good as the best I got with HS20. It`s easier to get a good picture and I think the the outstanding IS has a lot to do with it, also the poor IS in Fuji doesn`t help . Pictures are very close to an entrance DSLR like Sony A290.
I`m not a video guy but this camera makes me want to shoot video. I did a test earlier and it was fantastic, IS is good even with full digital zoom, in full optical is very good, I have a cheap Handycam and the HX100 does better and you can even control EV while shooting if the auto mode doesn`t please you. The funny side is that I shot it in HQ, but later I found out that this is the lowest resolution, there`s a 1080 with 60 fps !
The manual zoom is optional, there`s a control around the shutter . The ring can control Mfocus too. Have you ever used the focus control of a high quality microscope? The smoothness is the same, I didn´t use it much but it`s a very nice and elegant touch.

10:06 pm - Wednesday, June 8, 2011

#82 Emil

Thank you, Fabio !

It looks like the HX100V is very capable, and it probably beats Fuji’s HS20 with respect to image stabilization effectiveness, especially when shooting video, and it also performs faster: shorter and entirely acceptable JPEG shot-to-shot times.

Fuji, pay attention to what customers have to say !

11:26 pm - Wednesday, June 8, 2011

#83 Eberhard Doerr

It’s fine that you have good experiences with your Sony, but if one doesn’t want a manual zoom he should not consider the Fuji in the first place.
Some people had electric zooms on all cams they ever used and are irritated by “having to use another hand for the zoom” - fine, just pick a Canon, Nikon, Sony whatever.
In my opinion the manual zoom is without alternative if you want to frame a subject fast and precise.
IMO a real drawback of the Sony is the wide angle that starts at 27 mm, the 24 mm of the Fuji (and Canon) is a real difference here, while Nikon even offers 22,5.

9:08 am - Thursday, June 9, 2011

#84 Simon

I didn’t realise it was so difficult to take a decent photo…!!  Having to half the megapixel count to get a decent quality photo is nonsense.
If the camera is marketed as a 16mp camera- that should be the setting for the best quality- not 8mp!
This nonsense frustrated me when I owned the S200EXR- though to be fair,the picture quality was very good on that camera at the 12mp setting- though no better(if indeed as good)than the S100fs!
The HS10 I owned was a huge disappointment,with massively over eager noise reduction,inconsistent focusing at full zoom and a clunky image stabiliser- which is a million miles less effective than say Canon’s in their S/SX series cameras.
While I appreciate the tester here may not have explored the HS20’s full potential- the images supplied on this test are frankly AWFUL!!
And it’s not just Fuji that have got caught up in marketing gimmicks in the quest for sales as opposed to picture quality- nigh on every other “upgrade” I see from other manufacturers these days actually ends up being a backward step in image quality(take note Panasonic,Canon etc…).
Its about time camera manufacturers stopped messing about and give us a bridge camera that delivers decent resolution with decent dynamic range and noise control without having to venture from the standard PASM setting- and a basic auto if needs must- all whilst in jpeg fine/max image size setting- after all,they are trying to market these types of camera’s as an alternative to an SLR- so let us use them as such..!!
Max resolution should deliver max quality- want a wide Dynamic Range or good low light shots,take multiple exposures and create HDR at home(or buy some ND grads etc..).
And if you want some Bokeh,let editing software take care of it- unless some manufacturer is brave enough to make a zoom lens with an aperture starting at f/1.8…!!

10:19 am - Saturday, June 11, 2011

#85 Fabio

I would answer that a long zoom lens with 1.8 aperture is impossible based on the gigantic lenses that sport photographers use and that are just 2.8 , but camera makers are changing the way images are captured and who knows what will come next? In camera HDR that takes 3 pictures and blend them into one allowing one to take pictures with the sun behind the subject ( my Nikon D5000 can`t do that). Night shot modes that take 6 pictures in high ISO and blend them into a noise free picture , that`s amazing and they are doing a very good job trying to solve small sensor problems because we need small sensors in order to get such great zoom range.
I sold my Fuji HS20 and my Canon SX30 , now I own the Nikon P500 and the new Sony HX100v. I`ve learned not to fully trust reviews or camera specs when choosing a camera, that`s why I buy and sell so many and I must say it`s a great pleasure to do so.
  I can`t understand why 24 or 27 mm is so important. My first cameras 40 years ago had always a 50mm lens and almost all DSLR under $3000 comes with a 18 105 or 18 55 wich means that with a crop factor of about 1,5 they are really 27 mm in film equivalent. When I was looking for a special indoors lens the best I found was a 30 mm 1,4 and it was the equivalent to a 45mm and I was amazed by the results. So in bridge cameras we are getting at least what most professionals get. But sometimes even the widest lens isn`t enough. I had to take a picture of a huge inflatable in a tight place, so I took the P500 wich is 22,5 wide but it wasn`t enough, I knew that Sony`s 27 would never work but playing with controls I found the high resolution panorama, it`s not that thin strip it`s tall and you sweep it with the camera sideways , the picture was perfect and it did the job of a 14mm lens without the fish eye effect.
  Each new release adds some amazing features and improves old ones. I wonder , what`s next ?

2:11 pm - Saturday, June 11, 2011

#86 Sharon

Some of you suggest that the HS20 takes better pictures at 8mp than at 16mp.  I have finepix HS20 but don’t understand how to do this.  It’s not in the Owner’s Manual as such that I can find.  Is that just using EXR mode insstead of manual?  Reducing picture size to M from L?  Jpeg instead of raw?  Experts, please explain how to use fewer pixels.

10:14 pm - Tuesday, June 14, 2011

#87 zebarnabe

Sharon,
IDK if it will take better pictures, when comparing pictures both should be normalized (having the same resolution for a given area)

HS20 has the EXR modes, the review doesn’t cover them very well, but EXR DR mode should deliver better results, specially in high DR scenes. Most of camera of this class lack the DR rendition that is present on cameras with bigger sensors, meaning white skies and black shadows without detail. Lots of camera ‘bump’ the DR by underexpose slightly and increasing the gain in shadows, meaning noisier shadows. EXR DR mode, takes 2 shots at the same time (odd pixels and even pixels) using different sensitivities and blends them, similar to HDR technics used on some camera, but without the need of several exposures, the result is a 8MP photo with extra detail in shadows and highlights.

I think other EXR modes are only software tricks and not something special on the sensor (I might be wrong though) as in BSI technology they don’t seem to make much sense, only DR mode looks useful.

When setting the camera from L to M the resolution will be at 8MP, however IDK if the camera makes full use of the 16MP and resizes it to 8MP, meaning that taking the shot at 16MP and resizing it to 8MP in your favorite imaging software could give better results. This is, of course, assuming that the camera doesn’t apply EXR modes when using that resolution.

The only way to know is to test the camera in the entire range of modes in different kinds of scenes.

It would be great of you could use the camera in PASM modes and EXR modes at the same time… And it should be technically possible even if the camera doesn’t allow it.

3:28 pm - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#88 johnnyk

Chris get a life, maybe the world should ban all telecommunication as well all them pedos and terros use that for there sick desires, really mate, your comment is stupid.

9:14 pm - Friday, June 17, 2011

#89 Gpar

I am a very recent owner of the HS20EXR and I find the criticism against it quite amusing. The facts:
1. Fujifilm HS20 IS NOT A DSLR CAMERA. Being constantly compared to a DSLR (without its manufacturers ever having such an intention)simply shows how good this camera is.
2. The overall quality of all the possible picture scenarios that this camera can achieve is slightly worse than the ones of the cheapest DSLR. (in my country that would be Nikon D3000 18-55 kit which now costs 360 Euros.)
3. Most 18-55 entry level DSLR kits are simply unable to take the huge array of pictures that the HS20 can take, let alone to perform better than the HS20. You simply cannot take an 1cm macro shot with even the most expensive 18-55 DSLR kit. You will need a special lens for that. The HS20 can do that, and in fact its macro shots are frankly incredible. The same applies to great zoom scenarios etc. With a DSLR, you need special lenses that in most cases cost a fortune.
4. The HS20 is NOT a suitable camera for someone who knows nothing (or almost nothing)about photography. The difference between a picture taken using the “AUTO” or “EXR” modes and another one taken using the proper manual settings is shocking. The “auto” mode in particular is quite devastating because it will employ the two most catastrophic settings for this (and any other I would say) camera: a. High ISO wich will cause some otherwise easily avoidable noise and b, high “resolution” i.e. a nominally 16 mp picture which cannot be sustained by the relatively small sensor of the camera. Guess what: All the sample photos in this review were taken using the AUTO mode. How unfair could this possibly be? 
5. The video mode is simply Ok, not bad at all, especailly if you set the focus mode to “centered”.
6. I don’t have an opinion as to whether the HS10 was better or not, since I never had an HS10. It sounds ridiculus nonetheless.
7. Fujifilm can be seriously held accountable for one thing though: The megapixel marketing race. Apart from being disorientating, it is also unfair for the HS20 itself.
Conclusion: A great non-DSLR camera (probably the best in its “bridge” class and its price range) that offers stunning image quality for the fairly experienced user. It combines functions that, if they were to be carried out by a DSLR kit (body + specialised lens) it would cost someone more that 2000 Euros. Here you can find some of my pictures taken with the HS20. The aerial photos are taken through the worn out cabin windows of an old Cessna, so please keep that in mind:)

9:39 pm - Friday, June 17, 2011

#90 Gpar

Here’s the URL for my photos. Thank you all. http://www.dpgr.gr/usergalleries/thumbnails.php?album=29709

9:44 pm - Friday, June 17, 2011

#91 Sharon

Thanks for the comments.  I got the HS20 precisely because I didn’t want the weight or expense of a DSLR camera.  If I had to carry around a lot of lenses I would never be prepared. Gpar, your pictures are great.  I am coming to Greece in couple of weeks and can’t wait to use my camera.  Any tips on settings besides avoid “Auto” and maybe “EXR”?  Like resolution?  Sharpness?  Camera metering or hand-held?  I’m trying to learn how to get the most from it—just for the fun of it.

10:23 pm - Friday, June 17, 2011

#92 Gpar

Sharon, thanks for your nice comment. EXR mode is good for a beginner as long as you stick to the “M” picture size. Use the “L” (resolution priority) setting only when you shoot in REALLY bright conditions. Set sharpness to “N”. Tripod might be necessary for long exposure times in order to avoid high ISO numbers that this camera naturally loves. For low light-night pictures I usually use manual settings (shutter speed and aperture) rather than the EXR low light mode or even the “night” modes. Since you mentioned coming to Greece, don’t forget to try the “sunset” and “beach” modes. I have tried them both and they work magically!

10:56 pm - Friday, June 17, 2011

#93 zebarnabe

Gpar,

Quite to the point :]

A little note, Fujifilm, on the HS10, claimed DSLR quality for that camera on the press release… far from it, but not exactly a bad camera for the bridge segment.

About point 4. ... Auto mode rarely delivers the best results ... sadly most people only know how to use the camera in auto mode. Being excessive ISO, apertures (really, f/11 won’t do any good to image quality) or shutter speeds…

IDK about HS20, but HS10 was quite good with video for a bridge camera.

Thing is… Even a entry level DSLR will deliver a lot more quality… but for the average ‘Joe’ HS20 might deliver more than enough already sparing the wallet for other needs…

3:38 am - Saturday, June 18, 2011

#94 Eberhard Doerr

@gpar - Thanks you are the first one to actually post full res pictures of the HS20!
As the owner of a HS10 I am really interested to learn if changing to the HS20 makes sense (and I dont understand what you consider “rdiculous” about that question); and I am not fully content with the resolution even in good light - given what others like Canon, Panasonic etc have achieved in this field.
So I’d love to see some (full-res) pix of the HS20 with whatever settings the owner considers to fully deliver the best quality of the camera - and with a motive that actually provides the resolution over frame, i.e. architecture or the like; and maybe one in good light and one in lower.
Maybe we can close in on the relevant questions ...

1:14 pm - Saturday, June 18, 2011

#95 Gpar

@ Eberhard Doerr- What I find ridiculous is the possibility that any given new model can be worse than the previous one. In certain cases, I agree, the value for money ratio may actually be worse(due to the fact that the new product will usually be disproportionally more expensive), but the new product being worse overall, I seriously doubt it.
Now I realise that you are wondering whether the HS20 is the ideal upgrade for an HS10 owner. I’m afraid I cannot help you with that, since I never had an HS10 as I explained in my comment. In my humble view however, the HS20 IS actually disproportionally more expensive compared to the HS10 (430 Vs 260 Euros respectively currently in Greece) given the obvious fact that it costs almost twice as much without however being “twice as good” :). I haven’t used any of the HS20’s main rivals either (canon sx30 and Panasonic fz45), but from what I’ve read, they are very comparable cameras (the sx30 in particular seems to be quite noisier). I don’t know if I was of any help to you, but I would suggest you keep up your research for a bit longer.

2:46 pm - Saturday, June 18, 2011

#96 ktvauve

An excellent camera, but you have to LEARN to use it. Fujifilm world is a little bit differenet: when understanding settings you’ll get images like with system cameras.

8:48 pm - Saturday, June 18, 2011

#97 zebarnabe

@Gpar,
Usually launching prices are quite high (giving it a few months and it should go down), another problem was Japanese earthquake, many new cameras got their prices higher due to production costs, HS10 is an old model so it went down quite a bit as well.

“What I find ridiculous is the possibility that any given new model can be worse than the previous one.”, Sadly true, some old cameras beat the new ones fair and square… S100FS and S200EXR were demons at their time (S100FS is from 2008) and HS20EXR and HS10 didn’t make it up as proper replacements. I blame the Zoom power race that reduced sensor size and the Megapixel race that reduced pixel size.

If they went back to the 1/1.7” 8MP sensors and 14~16x zoom powers wide angle lens, with the modern improvements it would be quite awesome.

@Eberhard Doerr,
At its time HS10 was one of the best performers in low light for its segment, however it also had the lowest resolution of its segment. Beware of that, as the new cameras might not be as good when light is lacking.

@Anyone reading,
I’m repeating myself but, the best way to choose a camera: Prioritize the features/price range/performance, you’ll have to do compromises at some point, check for samples all over the internet and check their reviews, checking forums about them, check for problems, check the camera in store to see if fits your hand comfortably and interface is workable.

Looking at Gpar gallery, the shots are beautiful (thanks for sharing it), yes, if you go into pixel level you’ll see the ‘mushiness’ that smudges the finest details, but I don’t think it is so severe as the one that randomly appears on HS10 when using DR modes, in fact I think if printed in A4 size (or even bigger) they would look just fine.

I think SX30 wins the detail resolving power fight for far subjects, a bit helped by the hands free approach to noise treatment (noisier but more detailed looking pictures) and the extra focal length, but for ‘normal’ usages it’s pretty hard to tell which camera is the best.

Kodak Z990 surprised me when I check the samples, unexpectedly quite a nice camera.

Panasonic latest bridges are not up to their previous levels (where they were kings of the segment), obviously they are not exactly bad now, but you get the same feeling with S100 and S200EXR and the new Fujifilm cameras…

Another thing to look for is the speed of the camera… Fujifilm HS10 was sluggish ... having the high speed shooting modes helped, but waiting for the pictures to be recorded was a pain. IDK about HS20, but I suspect it is not much faster given the increased file sizes.

A good point is that, if you don’t need so much zoom (most people don’t), check for Travel Zoom compact cameras instead of bridges, they are lighter, cheaper (most of the time) and provide better image quality (depends on what are looking at obviously) for most of the time.

In a similar way, if you want more quality than the one you see, go to another segment, EVIL or DSLR are more expensive, but if you think in taking the photography more seriously they worth it.

Oh… If you have a camera and are happy with it, don’t buy a new one just because it has more 4 megapixels or more zoom… think if you really need those features and check if the other features that you like are as good as the ones in your camera.

Good luck and happy shooting :]

10:18 pm - Saturday, June 18, 2011

#98 Michel

I own a HS20 since April. I have done something like 5000 photos and I find the result really nice.

I do have some overheating problem especially when shooting in a sunny afternoon and few hundred shoots in 1-2 hours. But I just switch off, get a coffee and start again after 5-10 min.

At the beginning a lot of shoots were overexposed but I play now with the exposition button (on the top of the camera) and results are now really beautiful.

One thing that people don’t mention too often is the low light capacity of the EXR mode: it is out of this world!!!  I did few shooting in dark places like churches (where flash are forbiden) and the pictures are better than some DSLR! (I could compare with a friend that was using a Nikon 5100)

5:42 pm - Wednesday, June 22, 2011

#99 Eberhard Doerr

@Michel and Gpar: What I dislike about the HS10 is a mediocre detail resolution even at sunshine.
In this situation other small-sensor cams - in my hands were Panasonic FZ100, Canon SX10 and Casio FH100 - provide more detail, whereas the HS10 performs on par with these - or better - at low light.
In pics from Gpar there is one with 16 MP (the pilot) that really provides much detail.
It would be great to get more full-res pics of the 16 as well as 8 MP modes online, with architecture or similar motives that allow a good valuation of the resolution - thanks!

7:23 pm - Wednesday, June 22, 2011

#100 Eberhard Doerr

The site digitalversus.com offers an interesting side-by-side comparison of various digicams, including the HS10 and HS20:
http://tinyurl.com/66b86gs

It turns out that the HS20 does deliver some extra detail in good light, while producing more grain in low light or flash (but it’s not said which sensor settings were use, probably auto).
The “responsiveness” chart shows that the HS20 is faster than its predecessor.
Comparing to other digicams also brings some interesting insight.

5:35 pm - Saturday, July 2, 2011

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, wide-angle, super-zoom, manual, RAW, fujifilm, cmos, 24mm, finepix, fuji, 8fps, 30x zoom, bsi, sensor, exr, hs 20, hs20, Fujifilm FinePix HS20 Review

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