Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR Review

April 23, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#101 Joe Prete

The quality and performance of todays Bridge cameras is nothing short of amazing. They pull the extreme distance right into your viewfinder, and the image stabilization keeps the details sharp. One of the ways they can accomplish this is with the use of a smaller image sensor. Of course they have their limitations, but most of the people who buy them are either satisfied with their performance, they are climbing up to a larger format, or they like to play “lets test the performance” like me. I have many cameras, compact, Bridge, Full Frame and Medium Format.

Some use the Bridge Camera to advance to an aps-c (DX) or Full Frame (FX), but who can deny that they do take excellent images and they are easy to use and a lot of fun too. When you can’t or don’t want to carry a lot of gear, and deal with Lighting and exposure, there’s nothing easier than letting the camera do all the work for you, and putting it back in to it’s small case when you’re done. If you don’t plan on making many enlargements above 8X10’s no one needs to know what camera you used. In fact, using Bridge cameras has morphed into a hobby of it’s own. Many people keep their pictures on their computer or in a frame that has a slide show for each memory card you choose. I have the Fuji HS20EXR and I don’t think I’ll ever sell it. ... Joe Prete
Hey, we’re coming close to 100 comments on this one!

6:27 am - Wednesday, October 3, 2012

#102 galih jati

I just bought this camera for photo product, and this fuji film hs30exr is the best camera for me. It has manual zoom, manual aperture and shuter speed. The makro is also perfect. Remember that this is a prosumer camera not a DSLR, so you cannot compare it.

12:23 pm - Wednesday, October 10, 2012

#103 Joe Prete

Galih Jati,
I’m glad you stumbled upon it. I’m still using the HS20EXR it’s older “Brother” camera. When you understand how it works, the EXR is amazing. Other companies are trying to copy it, but I haven’t seen them come close yet. It sounds like you’re a natural at using it, but so many took too long to print the manual. They couldn’t understand what the camera was doing.

The price is as high as $499.95 US for either the HS20 or HS30, the two models that shoot raw. For a while the prices dipped very low, but they’re at just about “List Price” now. Actually they are getting hard to come by. I’m glad you found it’s strong points right away, but if you need it, the manual is worth the $10-$15.00 to have it printed. I hope to come across some of your photos on line, maybe we can talk Fujifilm some time on the “Chat Forum” of this site. ... Joe Prete

6:33 pm - Wednesday, October 10, 2012

#104 Lori

I am a hobbyist and use photography for self expression and to just have fun. The HS30 exr was one I researched before dropping money on. I had done that before with a Fuji and only used that camera for 2 days before turning back to my S5700 (LOVE that camera!). I am a Fuji fan in spite of their issues. I just work around or with them if i have to.
  I have not really noticed any of the negative issues people have commented about. At least nothing that would make me regret my purchase. I don’t really have an interest in a ‘real’ DSLR—-personal reasons—so please don’t tell me I could have put my money elsewhere with better results. The only thing I am trying to figure out is how to get rid of the ‘letterbox’ style photos that I get. I am still finding my way around the camera and also learning proper settings, adjustments, etc.
  I have enjoyed the results I have gotten so far during the get-to-know-ya phase. I don’t like the constant drain on the battery nor do I like the length of time it takes to recharge it. Have read to keep two batteries on hand and may have to do that. Sunflares are difficult to avoid so the use of a hood is essential. Tried filters with it but ended up with a vignette effect and that was annoying. Cropped em out, but felt I shouldn’t have to do so. Have only ventured into RAW once, since I know so little about it I can not comment on that. Love the option of adding a better flash, remote shutter, and love all the ways I can tweak the settings to (hopefully) get what I am after. A lot of learning to do but that is why I got it in the first place. The manual zoom is nice, image stabilization is something I have learned to make fast and simple adjustments for and that hasn’t been a problem for me personally.
Up until I purchased the hs30, I had used my S5700 for about 5 years or so and put her through a lot! Even though I have a lot to learn, I plan on the hs30 being with me for a while. Could have gotten the 20 but the differences between the two, even the small ones, made it worth the extra few bucks to me.

5:27 am - Friday, October 12, 2012

#105 Joe Prete

Have you read any of my columns or comments on the Fujifilm HS20EXR/HS30EXR?  (HS25EXR Does not shoot RAW)

The first thing I recommend is to get the disc to a printer and have them make it into a Double sided, Coil Bound and Covered Book. It solves most problems. There’s not much in the “Quick Start” Guide

I’ve printed way too much on these cameras to repeat it again. Please catch up a little and then tell me the problems in order and in paragraphs, with the worst problems first. Please explain what you describe as “LetterBox” photos.

Many people were baffled by the EXR mode when these came out, but when you understand how to use it (nothing personal) the pictures can be fabulous, High Dynamic Range and low noise with great detail. The price of both models new had been back up to $500.00 US, but the HS20EXR dropped as low as $329.00 about 2 months ago.

Please tell me what you paid. Several people are waiting to see if the price drops again. I’ll be watching for your reply. b/t/w I’m getting 400 shots per charge. are yours Fujifilm batteries or third party?
... Joe Prete

P.S.:Some comments are under “PhotoJoe55”

8:56 pm - Saturday, October 13, 2012

#106 Lori

Hi Joe

  I figured out the “letterbox” problem. I knew it had to have something to do with size and it did. It was set to “HD” which is great if you have an “HD” screen you are viewing things on, but not so great for prints and such. I dropped it to true photo print size and I think that will work much better, if not, I can drop it down one more without losing quality or much in size.
  Overall, I am really enjoying the HS30exr. I agree that the photos are amazing! There is a bit of a learning curve from what I was used to, but nothing that I haven’t been able to figure out with some reading and just common sense.

I paid $300-something for mine from Amazon. It was a bundle deal (have to say I would NOT have purchased the bundled items separately if it had not been a decent deal. Low end products and the tripod is dangerous to use with a heavy front end camera…possibly ANY camera).

The battery is a Fujifilm and depending one what settings I use, I get about the same shots you do per charge. I would hate to be out and about and have the battery die on me and I don’t think they make chargers to use in the car. May have to purchase an extra one to keep on hand just in case.

2:51 am - Monday, October 15, 2012

#107 Lori

also wanted to mention that someone was having problems with photos looking horrible onscreen…I have my computer and software set up for photography. I have tested this by having prints done using Fuji products and they are almost exactly perfect from monitor to print. Only once were my prints off enough for me to question the printer and it turned out that their machine was ‘off’ just a bit that day. And I got my photos reprinted for free of course and have not had that problem since.

Anyhow, if your camera is set up properly (sometimes what you see on the camera preview is NOT what you will get once you get it onto your computer if your settings are off. Learned this by checking Exif info on such shots and trying them again with different settings) and you are still getting poor photos on your computer and your software has settings for WORKSPACE, set up a Workspace just for photography. Which is different than graphics work for print or web. There are sites that help you calibrate your monitor…yes even LCD ones…and with a little patience you can get things set up for your photos.

I hope this helps.

3:04 am - Monday, October 15, 2012

#108 Joe Prete

Hi Lori,
It sounds like you know your printing very well. It is a difficult task to calibrate for the correct color. Especially with the imac. The mac cinema display is better, but very expensive. Usually a PC is better.

You may be able to plug your charger into a Power Inverter, it’s an adapter that plugs into the accessory outlet (cigarette lighter). If you buy one, first check the power level and be sure that it has a fuse. I use a “Tripp-Lite” 300 watt with two three prong outlets

I hope that you had the manual printed so that you understand the menu options on the camera. The basic guide is not even close to describing what this camera can do. It should have come with all the components listed in the quick guide and a USA warranty. You got it for a very good price.

You are taking quite a few pictures a day, but an extra battery is good to have. Use an SDHC card with a rating of 10 (the number in the circle) so you don’t waste time buffering. Using two 8GB cards is better than one 16GB If you have any questions you can write in here or call their Tech support line. They are very good as far as the workings of the camera.
Good Luck Lori,
... Joe Prete

5:12 am - Monday, October 15, 2012

#109 Pratik


Am new to the photography world. ISO’s, aperture’s, Hot shoe etc were eureka terms for me till i started to hunt for my first camera.

I wanted the feel of a SLR (FEEL !) and hence the super zoom Fujifilm HS25 EXR.

My requirement would be photographs for family functions and outings, trekking/hiking and some vacation trips.

I have shortlisted the following camera’s as per my usage (in the mentioned order)
1. FujiFilm HS25EXR
2. Sony Cyber-shot HX200V
3. Nikon P510 (This is only out of peer-reviews pressure, since everywhere they say this is the almost perfect super zoom camera)

I am pretty much inclined towards the Fujifilm, but need someone to second my decision and what better than the advises at PGB.

I just love the Fuji for its manual zoom, sensor based ViewFinder and the easy accessible buttons on the camera itself. Also, Fuji allows to play around with the setting which i would personally love to play around with. The only thing which is stopping me from buying this camera is the auto mode. On many forums/blogs i have read that it takes a lot of photography skills to actually squeeze out the best from this Fuji.

Input guys. Let me know whether i should go for this camera as am pretty novice and would be pursuing photography only as a hobby.

Enlighten ME!


Thanks & Regards,

8:43 pm - Tuesday, October 23, 2012

#110 zebarnabe


Sorry for the long comment, but here it goes:

FZ200 if you want to play with aperture and movie modes in a (somewhat) small package.

Fuji cameras are usually fun to use due to the nice ergonomics and manual features (the DSLR ‘feel’) but image quality is often sub-par (even though the EXR gives quite an amazing Dynamic Range)

Premium compacts like S110 from canon, RX100 from sony and LX7 from Panasonic deliver better quality and give you (or try to) the control of the DSLRs in a small package, but you sacrifice the zoom versatility.

If you are thinking in it more seriously, you should look at DSLRs and mirrorless cameras though.

Even an entry level Canon 1100D gives you more quality and control over the photography, though lens prices are the main issue when compared with bridge cameras.
In any case, aside for a normal 3x kit zoom lens, look at something like 50mm f/1.8 MkII as it allows low light shooting and depth of field control at a price that is hard to beat.

Nikon has equivalent selections, but it is usually a bit more expensive (while the sensors are, arguably, better).

For DSLRs like Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Sony alphas, Tamron has a 15x zoom lens that basically turns it in a big bridge camera. Sharpness is not that good though and there is a bit of optical aberrations as 15x means a lot of glass and light bend…  Having that lens and a few primes is not a bad idea though.

There are better DSLRs, but you don’t need to look over Canon 600D or Nikon D5100, those are already some beasts.

One of my favorite cameras is probably Pentax K-x, it is quite old, but, if you find one, price wise it is unbeatable specially with the dual kit lens that reaches 300mm (450mm eq.), last time I saw one it was being sold for 600€ with the 300mm dual kit. Quite a bargain if you are on a budget and aren’t thinking in spending much more in the camera. The only thing missing is a bright prime for low light shooting.

Being an amateur and hobbyist myself, I have a mirrorless camera, a very old GH1, hacked to get a bit more quality in video. The 10x zoom 28-280mm (equivalent) lens allows me to shoot in most conditions, where the 20mm f/1.7 pancake makes low light shooting a lot easier while delivering quite sharp images. I also got an inexpensive 80€ telescope (900mm f/12 - eq. 1800mm) for astro-photography and birds, not the best though, as it is bigger and heavier than sturdy tripod (and requires one to be used as well, making the whole package over 15Kg).

Mirrorless cameras are (usually) smaller than DSLRs, Pentax has a mirrorless system, but I would consider it more like a toy camera than a proper system, Nikon 1 System is quite small and deliver quite a nice quality, Micro Four Thirds has several bodies and lots of lens to choose from, NEX has the biggest sensor, lens are bigger and the current selection of lens is a tad poor, sensor wise is the best one though. Canon recently entered the mirrorless race, but they have a few issues to solve with their system…

Hope it helps… as I said I went for mirrorless, but sometimes I look at Nikon 1 system and Nikon D3200 DSLR and wonder if I picked the wrong system, well ... there is no perfect camera, just get something that is fun to use and carry around.

Good luck choosing! :D

11:55 pm - Tuesday, October 23, 2012

#111 Lori


  I love my fuji but am also aware of other choices out there. Here are some examples of what I can get out of my fuji…I am still learning and am not a pro so my photos are not groundbreaking or National Geographic material, but they have won plenty of awards and grace my walls beautifully….

12:32 am - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#112 Fabio

To #109 Pratik

  As usual Zebarnabe’s comment is perfect. If you want DSLR feel you need to get a DSLR, the Fuji looks like a DSLR ,has all the buttons but the overall experience can be really frustrating if you compare it to a DSLR.
  it’s slower , from focus to zoom handling , the EVF of the HS25 is completely different from any DSLR OVF, HS30 has a much better EVF but still far from a DSLR.
  It’s true that Fuji cameras are very complex, I had the HS10 the HS20 and I have a Fuji X10 that I simply love.I like Fuji but it’s not a good choice for someone with no experience, evn for experienced people it’s a chalenge, but if you Know what to do they are great. it’s much easier to learn with a DSLR, most people think that they will buy a bridge , learn photography and then upgrade to a DSLR, but that’s the wrong way.
  I also have the other 2 cameras you mentioned , the HX200V is probably the best bridge camera, with good zoom, excelent and fast focus, zoom ring, outstanding movies, great photo modes like tone mapped HDR and the best AUTO mode. The NIkon is a great camera and the 1000 mmm zoom is incredibly clear , stabilization is superb and I can take 1000 mm handheld at 1/25sec, excellent lens , but focus sucks, manual focus works quite well and that compesates in some situations.
  The problem with DSLRS is lens, the cheapest way to overcome this problem is to get a cheap DSLR,maybe used with a good lens like that 50 1,8 or even better a 35 1,8 and a bridge that you will use for anything else, the bridge is smaller and lighter than a 70 300 mm that you will buy anyway.
  Fuji HS25 is a big camera, Sony is smaller and Nikon even smaller and lighter.

1:21 am - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#113 Thusitha

I have been using very basic ‘point and shoot’ cameras for a few years, and right now I am thinking of moving to a ‘bridge’ camera.

Like Pratik I too went through HX200V, P510 and HS30EXR. I went through many reviews and comments by experienced users and also had a look at all three models. My mind is currently set at the Fuji. I haven’t bought it yet though.

Unfortunately the prices are quite high in Sri Lanka: converted to US$ the prices are Sony HX200V 691, Nikon P510 535 and Fuji HS30EXR 580 :(

9:53 am - Friday, October 26, 2012

#114 Fabio

Hi Thusita
  All three cameras have strong points , but the camera that has fewer weak points , if any, is the Sony HX200. Many people like the Fuji because of the look, Fuji knows how to make beautiful cameras, and they are good too, but they are not for non experienced people . Every camera have stronger points where they are better in class, what I’m focusing here is a bridge as a do it all camera and I will include Canon and Panasonic models.
  There are a lot of discussions about the quality of the image, but let’s face it , there’s not much difference between image quality in all bridge cameras, looking images at 100% is very misleading, looking for artifacts or noise take our focus way of more important things, what the specific model can’t do.
    In my opinion the most important thing in a camera is focus precision and speed, if you can’t get a picture that’s in focus at the moment you need then everything else is secondary. That quality puts Sony and Panasonic ahead of Fuji, Nikon and Canon.
  Nikon P510 is a wonderfull camera , great handling and weight , that has the best image quality and best stabilization, but it takes too long to focus,if your subject is moving and at close range, don’t even bother to try to take a picture , that makes it useless for movies, it hunts focus and if you use the zoom it loses focus , zoom motor sound is quite high too. Even with those problems it is my favorite bridge for the 1000mm lens and the best manual focus, but I carry other cameras to use with moving subjects and movies.
  Fuji isn’t good for movies because zoom is manual, it’s not natural, focus is also not very fast and for begginers they are very complex, EXR modes are great, sensor is bigger, macro is very good, I like them a lot but hard to recommend for a begginer.
    Panasonic is only 600 mm max zoom, hard to pick when there are pocket cameras that are excellent and reach 500 mm .Besides that , low light is not good, but they are excellent for moving subjects, very good movies and fast and precise focus amd the new FZ200 has that amazing 2.8 lens that compesates the sensor performance in High ISOs but still only 600 mm.
    Canon cameras have great sensors and processors that makes them very good in low light, the best, if you do not consider the many special low light modes that others camera have, Nikon p510 , Fuji HX30 and Sony are quite good in low light too. 
    What I don’t like in Canon’s bridge is the small and low quality LCD and EVF, that articulated screen will be usefull in 0,1% of the pictures , but a good and large LCD is necessary in 100% of the pictures, to take the photo and to check it later, focus is far from fast and precise , macro isn’t good, panoramas not good , few usefull scene modes,  too many weak points, but for Canon lovers, they are the only choice.
    Then comes the Sony HX200 , very fast and precise auto focus, very fast handling and changing important features like ISO , speed and aperture, automatic LCD to EVF changing (Fuji has that too) , best Panorama, best movies (along with panasonic), many low light modes that are really good, outstanding HDR modes like tone mapping, and for begginers the best Auto mode, In fact there are 2 Auto modes, so good that I can rely on them and set the camera for black and white or HDR and use the Auto mode for all others types of photo, change is a click away. Macro is also very good and it’s automatic, no need to select macro and forget it on and ruin oher pictures. Macro in Fuji is very, very good too.
    There are other cameras that can do better almost evrything that the Sony does, but no one other can do it all in one single package with the quality , speed and easy that Sony delivers.

1:36 pm - Friday, October 26, 2012

#115 Thusitha

Thanks Fabio for the information.

We get don’t get many models over here in Sri Lanka. For example Canon SX50 is not available here (even though many DSLRs are available). The Panasonic agent only brings down only the very basic models. When looking at P510 I also noticed the slowness. Compared to that HX200V was better.

6:32 am - Saturday, October 27, 2012

#116 FP

@ Sokhoomora , contact me need to talk please .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

1:28 am - Tuesday, October 30, 2012

#117 Thusitha

I bought the HS30EXR last Saturday. I also added a filter - mainly as protection to the lens.

Though it is a bit bulky compared to the other models I looked at, the build/finish looks better.

I had followed a basic photography course (film photography not digital) many years ago, and I hope this model will help me revisit the things I learnt at that time :) I have been trying a some experimental shots at home - and am quite satisfied with the level of manual controls this gives.

The comments in photographyblog helped a lot to improve my knowldege. Thanks everyone!

8:04 am - Tuesday, October 30, 2012

#118 John


My local Costco is selling the HS30EXR for $300 including 8 GB picture card and case, which sounds like a very good deal for what your review and comments lead me to believe is an excellent all-around camera for someone who wants to take good photos without lugging around half-a-dozen lenses etc.etc.

My one question is: I’d like to be able to use a polarizing filter if possible.  The camera lens is described as 58mm and it has threads for accepting filters, but I called Fujifilm and they couldn’t assure me that “just any” 58mm filter would work.  (They don’t offer their own, surprisingly.)

Should I conclude from this that there’s no such thing as an international standard for the pitch of the screw threads?  B & H Photo sells a Tiffen 58mm polarizing filter for only $23—how can I find out if this will attach to the HS30EXR?  (Call B & H, I guess!)

Your comments would be greatly valued, (1) on whether the HS30EXR would a good camera for me—a former SLR user who got tired of all the weight and hassle but still wants to get good photos (e.g. portraits with blurred background using wide aperture and slow speed)—and also (2) on how I can find a polarizing filter that’s guaranteed to fit on it.

Many thanks,

2:01 am - Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#119 Lori


  my hs30exr came as a bundle that included three filters. They are not top of the line, but they fit well and work fine. I can only find “Tru digital” on mine as a brand? If you are near a photo store, you can try a 58mm filter and see if it fits before you buy it. I am pretty certain that if a low end filter will fit, than a much nicer brand would too.

  Also, here are some examples of what I have been able to do so far with mine. Most are all SOOC and only cropped if needed. At first I was bummed because I like the artistic side of photography and photoshop, but have grown to appreciate what the hs30exr is capable of. I have only had it a couple of months and look forward to experimenting and exploring :) Got a lot to learn but that is the fun of it.


2:39 am - Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#120 JoePrete

TO JOHN Post #118
Filter threads are standard, so yes any filter the correct size will screw right on to the HS30EXR. That is an excellent price for the camera, but don’t expect the accessories to be the same quality as the camera. Also,remember that using a $12.00 filter is the same as using a $12.00 lens (ie. a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link). Accessories that are “given” as part of the package are usually not worth using. They degrade the image and you might lose what could have been a perfect photograph.

A Polarizer filter that matches the quality of the lens should cost about $40.00-$50.00 I use HOYA HMC Circular Polarizer that cost me $45.00 at B&H (More than half of photographic lenses are made from HOYA glass) Tiffen is an economy brand and you can get by with it if that’s what you can afford. It’s not like it will always be on the lens. Just use it when you need it.

A good thing about Costco is that they take returns without a restocking fee, unless you are the one who gets the returned camera of course. Just check it good. Look carefully at the “tab” on the top cover of the camera box. You can see if it’s never been opened, or if it’s been opened several times. Usually asking them to get you another box will get you one from the back. (make note of the serial number, so they don’t bring the same box out again)

As for the weight, just picking up a Nikon D40 with 18-105mm and the HS30EXR they feel about the same weight. The Fuji is a little heavy, it has an excellent lens. I would buy it at that price, before they become very hard to find. Some dealers still sell them for $499.95 but buy a fast enough card, like grade 10 (the number in the circle) Extreme or Ultra, whatever Sandisk is calling them now. You want a fast read/write speed. You can get LEXAR Professional for about the same price if you look.
Read through the comments, you’ll find some good tips.

b/t/w, The filter size is the number on the front with a circle and a line through it, or it’s etched inside the lens cap. IT IS 58MM
Good Luck John,
... Joe Prete

5:33 am - Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#121 JoePrete

I’m hoping you read the comments here, or search my name along with the Fuji, but the most important tip is to have the full manual printed from the Disk so that you understand how this camera works. Many are using it since the HS20EXR came out and looking at their work, it’s obvious that they are stuck in “Auto” mode and they will never reach this cameras full potential.  For those interested, skip the HS10 and the HS25EXR’s
... Joe Prete

7:15 am - Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#122 Thusitha

I added a Hoya UV(C) 58mm filter for my HS30EXR. Even when the filter is fitted it is possible to use the lens cap and the lens hood without a problem.

@Joe Prete,
As you too had suggested, I have taken a printout of the PDF manual, am presently reading. Its actually a very good thing because HS30 has lots of settings and simply using the Auto mode is a waste.

9:57 pm - Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#123 JoePrete

Thusltha,  John,
Many people leave a good quality UV Filter (like the Hoya) on the lens all the time, to protect the front element of the lens.
(but use only one filter at a time).

It isn’t necessary, but it may give you piece of mind. It is a lot less expensive to replace than a lens front element in case of damage.

Just be sure there are no marks (finger prints) or dust when you put it on. Yes the cap will fit on over the filter. If anything gets on it, you just clean the filter. It does prevent Ultra Violet Rays from getting through. I often leave them on each expensive lens unless I’m inside and it is a very critical shoot. Like they say, “an ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure”.

A Blower bulb, lint-free soft cloth and a MICRO-FIBRE LENS Cloth should be kept in your Camera Bag.

I use Pro Nikon gear, but these Super Zoom Fuji’s are a lot of fun and the results are really amazing. They’re also at an all time low price now, they maybe coming to the end of the production line.

Like Thusltha said earlier, This camera is larger than many of the competition but it is built solid. At maybe 10% larger, it can be carried in the same size camera bag. I hope the price came down in your area, the same percentage it came down in the U.S.
... Joe Prete

12:23 am - Thursday, November 8, 2012

#124 Thusitha

I had to pay about $520 (converted from local currency) :( That was a discounted price due to a promotion over here. They also gave a 16GB Fuji card + carry case.

So the price of $300 which John mentioned looks like a good deal.

5:38 am - Thursday, November 8, 2012

#125 Baz

Hi gang.
I just bought the hs30exr.
I’m having lots of fun and I don’t really know what I’m doing.
When I bought the camera I hoped to take pics of the stars (along with everything else) and for this they recommend 2.8 6400 and 60s shutter speed. I know the HS will never do 60s but it should do 30s.
Now the problem is when I set it to 30s it only lets you use 100ISO
Can I over ride this or am I goosed?


4:02 pm - Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#126 Joe Prete

Please go to google, type my name along with Fuji’s
ie. JOE PRETE FUJIFILM HS3OEXR and read the posts and comments, then if you need any additional information, just ask. I explain what you need to do, to use this camera correctly, okay
... Joe Prete

4:41 pm - Saturday, December 15, 2012

#127 Steve

Costco has the HS30EXR w/8gb SD card and carrying case for $249.  Went in to look at camera and when I saw it was less than the website price - I bought it.  I am replacing a FujiFilm S5100 which has performed admirably for 8 years but I need better low light capability (my grandson’s Christmas concert for example).  I have been very happy with the picture quality on the S5100 over the years including some great close-ups of flowers and bugs (given the specs for the time) so I hope the HS30 doesn’t let me down. A few quick shots in my family room show much better low light capability on the new camera.  I do find all of the settings on the new camera a little overwhelming but I am going to print the manual and do some reading.

1:24 am - Thursday, December 20, 2012

#128 Ashwani

Hi Joe,

So after reading your so good review, I have bought this camera. I must say that, your review is highly biased towards Fuji. You have intentionally given so high rating to this camera. This camera is very noisy even at base iso. I had tried this camera for a month now. I have learned a lot about this camera & tried to achieve best possible shot. In all case this is lagging in sharpness. Most of the shots are soft & noisy. This is not a camera people should buy.
I regret my purchase of this camera.
I don’t know, how you can give such a good rating to this camera. Most other profession reviews also confirm my finding. A very disappointing camera overall.

Thanks & Regards,

6:18 am - Saturday, December 29, 2012

#129 clif

I’ve heard all of the negatives and positives on this camera. I’ve owned about 10 digital cameras over the years including DSLRs. I have to say this camera beats them all with all of it’s features, that great lens, excellent screen, above average viewfinder for a bridge camera and build. I don’t know where people are finding such a big difference in picture quality between the Fuji and any other camera out there including some of the DSLRs. I’m Mainly talking about the negative comments. The pictures I’ve been taking with mine are right up there with any of the really good cameras I’ve ever owned. I don’t think some users are taking the time to read the full manual and learning how to use the camera to it’s full potential. This has to be the best bridge camera produced and now available on today’s market. I would never own another DSLR because of all of the crap you have to carry aroud with it to match what this camera will do, on top of the much higher investment. I carry an extra battery and memory card, nothing else and I’m ready for anything. I suppose if your a professional photographer and do weddings and landscapes with large prints you could afford to invest several thousand dollars in a camera outfit and go for it, but for the rest of us it’s really a waste of money and the small improvement in picture quality would hardly be worth it because you won’t hardly be able to see it unless like I say you make poster size prints. Some people complain about picture noise. Thats pretty easy to work around with knowing how to use the camera properly, like any other camera including DSLRs. Digital cameras are a very compicated piece of electronics, it not like 35mm anymore where the biggest factor for picture quality is the lens and type of film your using. These cameras are like a computer, they operate from a built in motherboard, it does what film used to do. If the motherboard doesn’t process the picture it sees properly the results are not going to be all that good. Every once in a while you will come across a camera that gets it right, for me this one seems to have accomplished just that. I had a Pentax and Canon DSLR which one of them was good and the other was just average. I have to say this camera could hold it’s own with either one of them, at last for my 40 years of photography experience. Read the full manual and learn to use it properly you might be surprised. I’ve seen people take a camera home, take it out of the box then charge outside and snap some pictures, come back in saying it’s no good and head back to the store. Buy from a store with a decent return policy like Costco, use it for a few months then if it’s got a quality problem, not functioning right, exchange it for another one, maybe it was a faulty camera and the replacement will correct the problem. As far as buyer’s remorse, I have no answer for that one.

8:31 pm - Sunday, January 6, 2013

#130 Albert

camera does not make photographer. i am happy with my hs30 the 30x manual zoom in this price inr 20,000
is simply impossible. plz go through manual mode simply spellbound, very good for experiment on abstract photography or art photography plz visit my photo on http://www.flickr.com/photos/banerjeealbertsiraj except last every one with hs 30 its a very good camera for those who dont have the money to buy a dslr but want to communicate with the future generation[after 100/200 years].

5:37 am - Tuesday, February 12, 2013

#131 Albert

cilf, can u give me the tips for full manual mode for hs30 as i want to make and art with my camera. plz

6:04 am - Tuesday, February 12, 2013


You are already an artist! The only problem that I can tell is that you only post a few images. I don’t know if that’s from lack of content or confidence. Sometimes I could swear that a print was there, and then removed. If you need to hear it,  JUST CONTINUE, WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS FINE and if any one has something to say, just tell them that if they don’t like it they should go look elsewhere.

People are very quick to judge. Maybe you should block comments until you get more images done, and leave an email address for comments. A separate email from your own. That way, only the people that have positive comments will go through the extra step to give their feedback.

The negative ones will never go through that extra step. Please tell me where you are from, U.K. or U.S. I will receive your reply via email if you post it here. Good Luck, I hope you can continue to produce such moving images!!
Best Regards,
... Joe Prete

7:49 pm - Tuesday, February 12, 2013

#133 Albert

thanks u JOE PRETE ,
it a really glorifying command, 1st i tell u that i am form west bengal, India. as i am a professor so form morning to evening i am busy with me student and my mathematics. mathematics is my expression of love and photography the filling of sorrow,  what i can see i want to transfer to my future generation.  my email id is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) no problem if any one send me any -ve command. but thank u Joe, thank u. I think that i can give some more photo in this week.

3:53 pm - Thursday, February 14, 2013


That’s good to hear, I teach too, but I can offer only Photography and my life experiences to the next generation. Mathematics is a bit too complicated for me, I depend on calculators and my computers. I will send you an email, and add yours to my contact list. I’m sure that you know this, but I want to say it for others too, don’t try too hard when you are taking (or making) pictures, but do what comes naturally. It should feel good, and not be a labor at all. In fact, if it feels like labor, maybe it’s time to take a rest. Maybe even change your perspective. I’ve done some of my worst work by trying too hard, or trying to rush things. The one good thing is that I’ve learned from those mistakes, I hope others learned from them too. I’ll be in touch with you Albert.
Best Regards,
... Joe Prete

6:06 pm - Thursday, February 14, 2013


Please don’t be offended, but your Post #129 is one of the longest paragraphs that I’ve ever seen. There’s no doubt that you know your Photography, and you make some valid points that are worth reading, but if you separate every 8 or 10 lines or so, it would be so much easier to read. This would benefit you too, because not only would it be easier to write, but what if the filter didn’t let it through! You could be doing all that work for nothing. We’ve all had that problem with the site at one time or another. There’s also the visually impaired that would struggle with it. Again, please don’t be offended, your contribution is valued by many of us.
... Joe Prete

7:11 pm - Thursday, February 14, 2013

#136 DJ Pace

Okay, I recently bought the hs30, as a second cam. My passion is macro photography and this camera is Great for this! When I went digital, in 2008, I had a fujifilm s5700, 7.1 mp. This too was a very good cam, in fact my daughter still uses it. My main cam is a Sony a57. I also have a Sony a200. I use the HS30 as my “run around cam”. I am very pleased with this cam.

4:39 am - Saturday, February 16, 2013

#137 Albert

thank u joe, let see what can i do. to day i got a book about photography there is some grate photograph from the binging edge. and I LOVE hs30. its a good one

8:11 am - Saturday, February 16, 2013

#138 Albert

plz can any one told me the maximum size of printing with hs 30

12:38 pm - Sunday, February 17, 2013

#139 Albert

Pratik hi i want to told u that if you only go for high zoom then Nikon P510 is the best one 42x but it dont give u total manual control as FujiFilm HS 30 EXR give u a focus ring for manual focus. so if you go for experiment then FujiFilm HS 30 EXR is a perfect choose

2:31 pm - Sunday, February 17, 2013

#140 Albert

can any one give me an idea about DPI

3:17 pm - Thursday, February 21, 2013


You have questions? DPI usually means Dots Per Inch as in a monitor or a flatbed scanner, even an LCD on your camera. The higher the DPI, usually means better resolution. I imagine it’s used on the new LCD Televisions also. Albert if you have questions, you can email me and I’ll try my best to help you. I think you have it but .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) is still in use and I check it daily.
I hope you are doing okay Albert.
Best Regards,
... Joe Prete

8:43 am - Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Regarding your post#128, it bothered me when I first read it, but to give you the benefit of the doubt, I’ve been carrying an HS30EXR and an earlier HS20EXR as well. I thought it would also be very interesting to see how they’ve held up against the newer technology and it turns out that they did very well. Pictures were inserted here and there along with images from much newer and more expensive cameras. There was not a single complaint or even a mention of over 300 images. I wasn’t very surprised because I was very impressed with Fujifilm from the beginning. I also take offense of your mention of bias. I can only assume that the issue you have is either you or your camera. When used properly, the results are still amazing. But to give you the benefit of the doubt again, maybe your camera should be inspected.
Of course it wouldn’t hurt you to revisit your menu options and read a Full Users Guide, not the basic guide that it came with.
... Joe Prete

9:17 am - Tuesday, February 26, 2013


There is a blog on this site, although it’s a bit lame you sometimes find some decent conversations there. On the Home page, the link on the right says COMMUNITY, click on that and you’ll find FORUM and you’re there. It’s not much, but there’s usually some one there to chat with. Depending on the time you’re on line there’s going to be someone somewhere to talk photography with you. If you tell me the time you go on, I’ll help you look okay. Keep up the good work.
... Joe Prete

10:01 am - Tuesday, February 26, 2013

#144 Albert

thank you joe
    dpi 72 ie the dpi of hs 30 is ok for photography? and plz send me url of ur photography
with love and regards

4:10 pm - Saturday, March 2, 2013

#145 Albert

joe please answer me Albert

2:35 pm - Tuesday, March 12, 2013

#146 Juan

Please, I need some help.
Well, i just bought a finepix HS30, and the thing is that when I use some modes, like manual or shutter speed priority, the camera don´t allow me to change the flash mode.
I guess it is not normal, but anyway, i would like to ask before make a claim.
Thank for your help.

7:11 am - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#147 Albert

jaun can u tell the problem in a brif

1:23 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#148 Tad

Hi all,

I am tempted to say there’s a lot of balderdash talked about various cameras and photography generally, but that might be seen as offensive, so with your permission, I will limit myself to a few well-chosen words and experiences.

First, I am not a professional photographer, but it’s fair to say, I get some pleasing images, both in movie, and in stills.  I have a Panasonic DMC FZ7 which has stood me in good stead for over five years, but recognised that it’s getting a bit long in the tooth and there are better cameras around these days.  That said, I took pictures of my eldest daughter’s wedding back in January with the Panasonic, and they were only eclipsed by those taken by a photographer who has National Geographic standing.  And even then, not by much.

I looked around for something that would give me a quantum leap in versatility for the right money, and at first, the lower-end bridge cameras caught my eye, and that’s an important distinction, because the one I eventually decided upon, cannot really be described as ‘lower-end’ even though the purchase price might suggest otherwise.  So my wife and I went to have a look at a few bridge cameras in the local stores, and physically get our hands on them.

The Fuji S4500 attracted my attention, until I saw the HS30EXR sitting a few feet away.  I had a quick play, and everything about it felt right, so I went away, to read all that I could about it on the internet, and I even downloaded a free Fuji Finepix HS30EXR manual so I could familiarise myself with each and every function.

Without going on too long, as full reviews there are a plenty, this promised to be exactly what I was looking for, so I bought one online for £184 plus postage from Buyacamera.  It took 22 hours to arrive, from payment to delivery.  I also invested in a nice camera case from a bloke who trades under the eBay name of Smileyminmin, and that too had a rapid turnaround time.

The battery was charged up, an old but reliable 2g SD card was fitted into the slot, and away she went.  I experimented extensively, and I have to say, there are no serious faults or shortcomings with the Fuji HS30EXR.  Picture quality far exceeds my expectations, and is light years away from even my much-loved Panasonic FZ7.  The Fuji is just so much more versatile.

Others have highlighted what they consider to be it’s faults, and to be fair, if Fuji didn’t agree with them, they wouldn’t have bothered to put them right, with the launch of the upgraded HS50 version.  But let’s put these faults into some sort of context.

It is said the autofocus in video is slow when zooming in and out.  It is, but having looked at the way some people use this function, I am not surprised.  On YouTube, there are countless instances where people say the focus is poor, but they rapidly zoom in, then zoom out, then back in again, often in poor light, and on an ambiguous and hard-to-capture feature like swaying branches, and the system just doesn’t know where it is anyway!

If people want to know how to zoom in using movie mode, just watch the telly, and see how the professionals do it.  It isn’t jerky at all.  So I have found that using their technique, and the zoom and autofocus gently whilst filming in good light, I just don’t get a problem.

Another matter relates to the ‘noise’ or mottled effect some people experience as high ISOs.  I have never been a fan of such things (although they have their uses) so I usually don’t venture beyond 400.

I have also heard is said that the build quality isn’t up to much.  Again, not in my experience.  For instance, the ‘plastic’ thread for the tripod screw, isn’t plastic at all.  It certainly isn’t on my camera, it’s made from metal, and furthermore, it is made so that it can be replaced should it become damaged, without having to replace half the camera body.  That is a good and thoughtful bit of design by my estimation.

Taste is all very subjective, but I like everything about the HS30EXR, and unless something goes drastically wrong with it after an inordinately short period of time, I can’t see me regretting my purchase.  It does every thing I want it to do.  My images are sharp, the movie quality is excellent, and it does everything but makes the tea.  To better it, I’ve got to spend a hell of a lot more money, and the good lady wife wouldn’t sanction such a thing.

Oh, and I promise faithfully that I have no links whatsoever with the Fuji company.  Everything I write, is freely done and by my own volition.

Tad Davison

9:33 pm - Monday, March 18, 2013


I’m not sure if you know that Fujifilm is leading the pack with the new Phase Detection Sensors. Called the EXR CMOS II Sensors,
they are bringing them in as each new model replaces the older models. The HS50EXR has the 2/3 inch CMOS II With Phase Detection as does the fantastic new X20. The X TRANS CMOS II 2/3 inch Fuji sensor with Phase Detection is making it’s way into the market by each manufacturer even if they are slightly different. Note:Manufacturers each have their own size sensors

It will be the biggest change for at least the immediate future.
I urge anyone considering a new camera to get the newest technology that they can afford. You may want to consider this while you look at new models. Good Luck in your search.
... Joe Prete

5:15 am - Friday, March 29, 2013

#150 Tad Davison

Thanks Joe,

I think you’re absolutely right, people should get the newest technology they can afford.  It will do more, should give better results, and is far less prone to obsolescence, but I’ve had my HS30 EXR now for about two weeks, and the quality is amazing.  The pictures just get better and better each day as I get more used to it. 

I don’t doubt that the latest cameras with the latest sensors would give me a further advantage, but so far, they’re double the price I paid for the HS30EXR. I would have to demonstrate to she who holds the purse strings, that I really needed one, and I’m not a professional photographer, merely an enthusiastic amateur.  But I agree, those who are not similarly ruled with a rod of iron should go for the latest and the best they can afford.

It would seem then, that the Fuji Finepix HS30 EXR is just an interim model -  a stop-gap between the earlier HS10 and HS20, and the latest upgrades, yet the HS30EXR does do amazing things.  In my case, it’s just a matter of gradually familiarising myself with all the different features. 

I watched a few photography tutorials on You Tube recently by the renowned and much respected Mike Browne, and although Mike demonstrated his techniques using a DSLR, a lot of them are equally applicable to most cameras including point-and-shoot and Bridge.  This just relates to my own circumstances, but those tips and tricks of the trade took me a lot further down the road, than might an even better camera than the one I recently bought.  One interesting caveat though.  Mike did indicate that although the cameras he uses have plenty of features, he rarely uses all of them.  But features are peripheral novelties in some cases, and your point about sensors is a valid one, because they are crucial and are at the very heart of the machine.

So in conclusion, to re-affirm my support for your position, absolutely!  Get the best you can afford, but I’m still scratching my head and wondering why some people found the HS30EXR so difficult to come to terms with.  For the price they are presently selling for, the buyer is still getting one hell of a camera for the money.


11:54 am - Friday, March 29, 2013

#151 jose alex

my name is jose and im new to cameras.my budget is 300 doll.my choices are
*dsc hx20v
*canon sx260
*tz 30
*fuji hs 30
*tz 60
camera size is not a problem.i need good quality image and vedio.in all the comments fuji was compared with hx 200v,tz150,sx40 and other dslr.
comparing with the choices i have is fuji a good choice.i found that it has a lot of manual stuff which will help in learning how to use camera.Pardon my grammer if any.is fuji good choice for indian climate.I live in kerala so during mansoon humidity reaches 90%-98%.the fuji user manual which i downloaded from net says not to use it in 80% or more condition.canon sx260 is a good choice .fuji was able to make better bokeh effect comparing the sample images i fond even the macro was better.
Help me select a better camera from the above choice.canon sx260,tz 30 and 60 were also giving good images but i felt fuji a class better.So please help me with this..

10:21 am - Tuesday, April 2, 2013

#152 jose alex

sorry its fz 60 and not tz 60

10:28 am - Tuesday, April 2, 2013

#153 Tad Davison

Hi Jose Alex,

I am not the most experienced photographer in the world, but I don’t mind spending a few minutes of my time putting down a few words if they are of help to you. 

Of all the cameras you mention, I only have intimate knowledge of the Fuji HS30EXR, so it would be unfair for me to advise you to go out and buy one in preference to any other, but at the time of writing, I have owned mine for just over two weeks, and it has done everything I have asked of it, with excellence. 

The Fuji HS30EXR can be used by inexperienced novices in its basic modes, in which the camera makes all the decisions for you; or it can be used far more creatively by using the many different features.  But whichever mode one chooses, in my experience, it has produced some great images that I thought might have been beyond my capabilities, so it has been an asset, and thus, a worthwhile investment.

Purchasing a camera is never going to be easy, because of the many different types available, with many different combinations of features, but the Fuji HS30EXR is feature-packed, and does everything I want it to do and more.

On the down side, some users have complained about less than sharp images.  Not in my experience, but it has to be remembered, that with the 30x zoom, I am using a tripod far more frequently in order to eliminate camera shake.

Macro photography is just amazing.  The HS30EXR lets you get very close indeed.  Yesterday, I took some macro shots of an ordinary green caterpillar, not even on the closest macro setting, and when I put the images onto my computer for viewing, I could clearly see such minute details as hairs, pores, the creature’s internal organs, and even mites on its skin.

Others have complained about the video, stating that the auto-focus is slow when zooming in and out.  This needs to be quantified.  I have seen quicker, more responsive ones, but it isn’t impossible to work with.  If used aggressively, especially in poor light, and when asked to focus upon an ill-defined subject, it can be slow to catch up, but that’s not how to use video zoom anyway. 

I have three dogs, and they are forever running around all over the place in different directions, and are difficult to follow, but the HS30EXR auto-focus doesn’t have a problem, even in subdued light.  In good light, it’s even better, and by gently zooming instead of being vicious with the thing, it’s better still.

One area does concern me however, when it comes to your own particular circumstances, and that is humidity.  The levels you quote far exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations, and I imagine if moisture gets into the micro-electronics, anything could happen.  But that is likely to be the case with any make or type of camera short of a water-proof one, so are there any precautions you could take to prevent it?


11:51 am - Tuesday, April 2, 2013

#154 jose alex

Thank u ted for ur time.

being a Fuji HS30EXR user is the camera build strong comparatively and any idea about customer service after sale.
im planning to buy Fuji HS30EXR seeing its features.

please guide me if my choice is wrong..

5:56 pm - Tuesday, April 2, 2013

#155 Tad Davison

154 Jose Alex

The final decision to buy must be your own, but I haven’t once regretted buying my Fuji HS30EXR.

After two weeks, I’m still learning all about its finer points and features, and it just gets better all the time, but it will take good quality pictures even with the basic settings, right from the word ‘Go’.  And my wife proved that, because she picked it up as soon as it arrived, and started clicking away, and her snaps were more than acceptable.

Some have cast doubts upon the Fuji’s build quality, but I just cannot agree with them.  The camera has a nice sturdy, weighty feel to it, and it isn’t light and flimsy.  The body is also blessed with a nice ‘grippy’ surface which lessens the chance of it accidentally slipping out of one’s hand.  Yet I still make it a rule to wear the neck strap provided.  There’s no point in risking breaking my treasured possession, however rugged it is.

On customer service, I guess it depends where one buys it from.  I bought mine online from Buyacamera, and the only real involvement I had with the seller, was a couple of confirmation e-mails, and a blisteringly fast turnaround time of just 22 hours.  With that, I received a twelve month warranty, but I don’t anticipate any faults with the HS30EXR, and have every confidence it will serve me well, but time will tell.

As a foot note, whilst researching the Fuji HS30EXR, I came across YouTube clips of it’s predecessor, the HS20, where people had experienced problems with it ‘freezing’.  It would seem those problems were cured with the introduction of the HS30EXR.

Should you buy the Fuji, please let us know how you get on.



7:48 pm - Tuesday, April 2, 2013


What you are referring to in your last paragraph regarding the HS20EXR “Freezing” was actually the camera remaining black while it took the three pictures and combined them into the One Picture with the Highest Dynamic Range (HDR). As this was very new to many people, they never understood what was going on, the dealers themselves didn’t know either, so they took the cameras back as defective. If you add my name to your search, you will see that I was quite involved in the educating of many buyers and sellers who didn’t even know how it worked. The HS20 and the HS30 are completely built of the same parts, the two differences were 1) When the Tsunami hit, it destroyed the factory. The Machinery that they could save was sent to China,
and they made the best of it with what they had to work with.
With the introduction of the HS30EXR, The new equipment and New factory was back into regular production mode. 2)The only other difference is inside the camera, it has newer software. Yes, the camera did perform a little better, but now, it’s a universal technique to take 2-3 images and then combine them to make the best image. These days the software does this so fast that the people don’t even realize it. Fujifilm also Pioneered many other Photographic advances, for which they receive very little credit for. Even in the Healthcare industry, Fujifilm was the leader in development of Digital XRAYS that are completely free of radiation. Good Luck Tad.
... Joe Prete

3:49 am - Saturday, April 6, 2013

#157 Tad Davison

Really excellent points Joe, and something I wasn’t fully aware of.  Thank you for enlightening me. 

Some users complained that the HS20 froze, and the only way to ‘un-freeze’ it, was to remove the battery and restart it.  I have no first-hand experience of that particular camera, and I’m merely going on what others have said.  But I know that I get no problems whatsoever with my HS30EXR, so presumed whatever problems they encountered with earlier models, had been put right with later ones.

I suspect that most of the problems people encounter, are down to a lack of familiarity with the product.  Incredibly, a very limited number were sending their cameras back after just a day or two, yet no matter how experienced a photographer a person is, I defy anyone to master all of the HS30EXR’s features in such a limited space of time.  They just have to give it a sporting chance to prove itself, which they clearly haven’t done.

I can’t speak highly enough of my Fuji HS30EXR, but I went to great lengths to research it prior to purchase, and to ensure it would be right for me.  And now, it is my constant companion.  I can’t wait to use it each and every day.

As mentioned above, by using the basic features, it will take great pictures straight out of the box, but when one gets into the finer points, the effects are truly amazing! My own photography has got better and better, and I attribute that to the versatility of this camera.

I hope this doesn’t sound disingenuous, but it could be that some people won’t be happy with any camera, no matter what they buy.  Yet they have the right in a free society to openly complain if they want to, just as I have the right to put the opposite view to correct their misapprehension.  And again, I have no vested interests.  My words are fairly and freely given based on my own experiences.  Had the HS30EXR been a dog, I would have said so, but it is proving to be a great investment.


10:31 am - Saturday, April 6, 2013


Regarding your statement about customer service, you replied “it depends on who the camera was purchased from” That could not be any further from the truth! Customer service, comes in after the purchase. It’s the responsibility of the Camera Manufacturer and the Manufacturer alone! This applies to all camera brands.

The dealer himself, depending on his own printed guidelines may provide from zero to 30 days of return options due to a defective product. Most are, as you would guess, a lot closer to Zero.
Beware though, that even the best dealers have a required return policy, where a restocking fee, generally about 15% applies to anything other than the same exact product. Their RA numbers are also taken very seriously. You most probably bought from a “Drop Shipper” who doesn’t have anything remotely resembling a store, it is very risky if something does go wrong. You should see the Warranty in the box, also where it applies.

It’s very common for drop shippers to send grey market items for the few extra dollars they make. Run into a warranty issue and you’ll wish that you went to a “Brick & Mortar” store, so you would have someplace to actually visit with the product. And while we’re making corrections, the EXR system itself is several years old already. You couldn’t actually count how many new patents were applied for since your aging HS30EXR.

Fujifilm themselves are now using the EXR CMOS SENSOR II which has “Phase detection” along with many other improvements. You will be fine until you see the newer technology in person, then you will really “See the difference” Until then, please stop trying to guide these kids, because you are going in the wrong direction. You are happy with your camera, and I’m happy for you, but until you have a newer camera to compare it with, you will continue to believe what you are saying. The HS30EXR was a good camera in it’s day,  but please refrain from saying how great it is, as Fujifilm retired it several years ago! Think of the damage a little bit of misinformation can do. Luckily, this page has been in the archives for quite a while, so the exposure is limited, but still I don’t appreciate having to check it and make corrections daily.

Speaking of daily, take a look at the frequency of new cameras coming into the market. These are wasted resources, when you see that thousands of cameras have come and gone since this one. I agree, for $165.00 US it is worth it, but still, there is very little interest in this camera.  Besides you, that is. If we have to fix it everyday, we may as well let the moderator do it, that way the new entries will not be posted at all. Understand?
... Joe Prete

12:25 pm - Saturday, April 6, 2013

#159 Tad Davison

I’ll let my comments on this end there then Joe, if it irks you so much, but I just wanted to let others have the benefit of my impartial experience.  And I’m not selling cameras, I’m just a person who likes to take pictures, so I don’t have a vested interest in pushing new models.  That makes for a much more honest and unbiased appraisal.

You’re right, there are newer and possibly better cameras around, but my ‘aging’ HS30EXR that is no longer in production, is still being sold new here in the UK, and therefore people still want to know about them.  It should be appreciated that people like me take the trouble to add their own comments, freely given in the service of others.  Out of interest, I might just contact Fuji to get their take on feedback.

On dealers and after-sales service, you make my point for me, and rather well if I may say so.  So I feel justified in saying I guess it depends where they buy them.  I don’t doubt for a minute, in the unlikely event that I have a problem with my camera, with our consumer protection laws, the dealer will want to put it right in fairly short order, but it’s probably true that other countries are perhaps less fortunate.

Best regards


9:37 pm - Saturday, April 6, 2013

#160 Ashwani

Hi Joe,

In regards to your comment #142.
Well first of all I am sorry if my earlier comment appeared to be offensive. Yes I had read the full user manual from the CD many times. I had even put that to my mobile, so that I can refer to that at any time. I kept on reading that every day & keep on experimenting with my HS30EXR. Though this camera produces stunning pictures in test conditions, but in real life situations (less than perfect conditions), this camera fails. Camera’s user manual promises so many options for different lightning conditions. Those hold good under test conditions, but not for real life conditions. If I have a professional studio, I would probably opt this camera, where you manipulate the conditions according to your need. But real world doesn’t give you ideal conditions all the times. Unfortunately this camera fails in that. RAW option is the last option to get best results from this camera, but then you will have to spend lots of time in Post Processing.

May be my expectations were high from this camera as I came from DSLR background. When I purchased my Canon DSLR, that ignited photography passion in me. I was amazed with the creativity & quality of pictures from that camera. Purchased a couple of lenses. But then later on started feeling the burden of caring multiple lenses & frequent lens change as per the situation. I started leaning towards bridge cameras. Out of all the options I had, I chosen HS30, because of very good review here & manual zoom. But this camera fails in real life scenario, where you don’t get a second chance.

Well, this camera killed my passion of photography. I tried hard to like this camera, but this disappointed me. This camera produces great pictures in macro mode and also in acceptable pictures in good lighting conditions with upto mid zoom. Anything beyond that suffers in picture quality. It is a very noisy (even at low ISO), soft & slow camera. But RAW shooting helps a lot in that.

So I am back to my DSLR & Fuji is laying on the shelf.

Fuji has have these (mainly noise & softness) problems from the very beginning. Every new model they released to address the noise issue, but they fail every time. Their X-S1 is also has the same issues. Not sure about HS50EXR. But they keep on releasing new models, without solving the issues to the existing cameras and that hurts a lot.

I am sorry again, if any of my comments hurt you or anyone else. 

And yes keep up the good work & keep reviewing new cameras & technologies. At least we come to know about those.


6:42 am - Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I thought you would have had your camera checked by now. First, What you said about Fujifilm not fixing a problem, but then releasing the next version has bothered me for a long time too.

That, they have been doing at least from the HS10. One time, after the Tsunami, I got to speak with one of the Managers from the U.S. North East repair facility. We had a situation that I shouldn’t be talking about, however he kept his word and they took in a camera for me and changed many parts including the Lens/Sensor Assembly, Firmware and software. The camera has worked perfectly ever since.  As far as comparing the HS30EXR to other brand cameras it is not really fair to Fujifilm. There have been many new technologies released, some of them by Fujifilm themselves. If you are comparing internet images with other cameras, you should really compare apples to apples. The HS30EXR came out at close to $500.00 US, but has dropped ever since. It’s still listed as a current model and although Fuji sells it much higher, it can be found for $309.00 US in New York.

You mention the X-S1 ($799.00) Many people still brag about it. Since then the 50X 24-1200mm HS50EXR $549.00 and the SL1000 also 50X 24-1200mm with Phase Detection has been released at $399.00 so it’s very hard to figure out what’s going on over there. But as for your images, if you are not making at least 16x20 enlargements, it’s very hard to make comparisons.

I wish you had your camera checked, so you would know what’s going on instead of guessing. If it can be seen on a screen, post something so I can see what you’re talking about. As for going back to a DSLR, is that a bad thing? I think it should be an improvement. Please post or send me a few pic’s so, I can see!
... Joe Prete

10:36 pm - Tuesday, April 9, 2013

#162 Miodrag

Hi Joe, I have one question for You…. and for others, who can answer…. I see HS30 have a multiple exposure… and I wander… can I get the same results shooting 2x30 seconds… like once 60 seconds…. Maybe it is silly but….I want to know what do You think…. Thanks

8:22 pm - Saturday, April 13, 2013


What page are you reading this from? I’m looking at it on line right now. Both the camera & Guide have been checked out for the weekend. If this were a film camera, it would sound like you were doing a “Double Exposure” a very common trick in film photography. Are you asking about 30 & 60 second exposures, or do you mean to say 1/30th and 1/60th of a second. A very big difference. If you need help, you will have to clarify your question.
... Joe Prete

11:42 pm - Saturday, April 13, 2013

#164 Miodrag Bozovic

162 to Joe… The question is…. If I neeed long exposure ... 60 seconds…. Star trail or something like that…and HS30 has a 30sec longest exposure…can I shoot 2x30 sec without moving camera…same scene..and get something like 60 sec long exposition….?

12:02 am - Sunday, April 14, 2013

#165 Miodrag

162 to Joe
... question is…if I need 60sec long exp…
(not 1/60)...Star trails, or something like that… what will I get with multiple exposure 2x30sec… same scene.. without moving camera…

12:07 am - Sunday, April 14, 2013


At the same aperture, two thirty second exposures will equal one sixty second exposure. Yes leave the tripod in the same position.  If you are planning to shoot the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) tonight, I think you stand a far better chance if you use movie mode, you can then fire the shutter as needed, use a second camera or do it later on the computer. The lights will leave a trail on their own, they usually look like they start out at the ground and then form an arc to the sky, then back to the ground on the other side. I think it will be visible to NY, Washington DC, Pittsburg, Seattle and somewhere in Midwest.  If this is what you’re after, you should check at dpreview I’m sure there’s someone there who can advise you regarding location & technique. 
... Joe

1:34 am - Sunday, April 14, 2013

#167 Abhishikta

hi Joe

between Fuji HS30 and Nikon P510/520 which one will you recommend? please reply.

7:21 am - Tuesday, May 28, 2013

#168 Eric

Joe lives in the same town as me, in fact it’s his “Hot Spot” that we get our access from, but he’s working with a different site now. He might answer your question there, or by email, his address is posted in many replies, just look, and you will find him.

7:55 am - Tuesday, May 28, 2013

#169 Miodrag

I have more questions, about HS 30… I saw on Amazon some equipments for this camera… something like filters, and “extra” lenses…. 0,40x and 2x… What do You think abot this… Does it works…. Tnx

8:48 pm - Thursday, June 13, 2013

#170 Tad Davison

Miodrag 169

I know Joe Prate doesn’t like me to talk about my HS30EXR, but if it’ll help you, I’ll chance it and risk his wrath just this once lol.

You shouldn’t need to think about lenses.  As an experiment, I tried a Canon 1.7x teleconverter on the front of my Fuji, and the results were uninspiring.  Prior to that, I tried an Opteka 3.2x teleconverter, and the results were abysmal!

In my experience, the HS30EXR’s built-in 30x optical zoom with 2x digital zoom just about covers every situation I have encountered thus far, although a longer lens is bound to be more versatile.  Yet some of the shots I have taken of birds in my garden are nothing short of amazing!  A friend who owns a two-grand DSLR says his pictures wouldn’t better mine.

I wouldn’t be without my HS30.  I see that these ‘ageing’ cameras are STILL being sold new in the UK, but the price is falling all the time.

As for filters, I have a skylight filter and a top-quality circular polarizing filter, and they help me in certain situations.  I plan to get a few more filters, but only because they’ll allow me to be a bit more creative.

YouTube is as good a place as any to get good advice on using filters, and I recommend searching for Mike Browne.  Mike gives it to you straight, and demonstrates techniques that actually work, without all the BS the know-alls keep coming out with.

The bottom line is, are you able to take pictures that you are really pleased with?

I can, and do, so my camera is right for me.

Tad Davison

Cambridge UK

2:04 pm - Friday, June 14, 2013

#171 Joe Prete

Tad Davidson,
I saw this a week ago, but you never tried to contact me. Who declared me the BIG BAD WOLF, it wasn’t little RED RIDING HOOD, was it? If you’re talking about close-up filter elements, HOYA makes a set of three, a +1, +2 and +3 which gives you a chance to mix and match. But beware, before buying this type of filters, know that they only work on completely flat subjects, like a Document. There is absolutely NO depth of field with these filters, and that goes for any brand!  As for other filters, a protection SKYLIGHT or UV1 filter should only be used on sandy windy places, like the Beach. Any other use will be just depleting your image. Any filter screwed in gives another element for light to bounce around and cause flare and other defects.  Many filter effects are already in the advanced cameras of today, just read your guide.

The Circular Polarizer is the only filter that will give you advantages. They can increase depth and color separation of sky
and land. They need to be 90 degrees from the sun to give you the best effect. Shooting into water will seem like a magic trick as you will see things you never saw before, it cuts right through
the water to see the unseen. They also cut the glare encountered while shooting through glass, a storefront or even an aquarium.

Years ago, there were CIRCULAR & LINEAR POLARIZER FILTERS, but linear filters have little use for us. I’m not even sure if they still manufacture them, but be sure that it says CIRCULAR just in case. Be forewarned, they can get expensive. For normal every day use, a HOYA, TIFFEN, PRO OPTIC or Vivitar should be fine. I have a few Polarizers that cost more than the lenses they are mounted on. B&W & HELIOPAN are among the most expensive. If you need two sizes, you might get away with one filter and a couple of Step Up or Step Down adapter rings. Just beware of getting vignetting and other interference. You may be able to adapt to one size up and one size down, also if the front element of the lens turns with focus, it will be difficult to use any kind of polarizers.

Btw, Polarizers are the product the company POLAROID became known for, their Polarizers were sold through contract to the Department of Defense during wartime. They gave the users a great advantage. That supported them for about 30 years until the Polaroid Land camera came out. You can still buy Polarizer Sunglasses to get a great view, still hard to believe even now!
... Joe Prete

10:20 am - Thursday, June 20, 2013

#172 Miodrag

...Thanks, guys… both of You…. I was talking about “KIT” avaliable on Amazon… “58mm All In Lens Kit For Fuji FujiFilm FinePix HS30EXR Digital Camera Includes HD .43x Wide Angle Lens + 2.2x Telephoto Lens + Multi-Coated 3 Piece Filter Kit (UV, CPL, FLD) + Lens Hood + Lens Cap Keeper +More”... Thanks again

2:47 pm - Sunday, June 23, 2013

#173 Joe Prete

The Vivitar label is the same Generic quality and it’s only $12.98 The only filter you may ned is the circular Polarizer Filter. READ MY POST AGAIN, you are throwing your money away on Junk!!!
If you’re english is not good, maybe someone can read it to you.
I don’t think I’ll attempt to help you guys anymore, I already gave up on most of this bullshit site. Probably the worst blog on the web, anyhow. For those that care, go to http://www.dpreview.com and btw, you should be saving for a camera that’s about 5 years newer, save yours as a collectors item (or a doorstop)
... Joe Prete

3:54 pm - Sunday, June 23, 2013

#174 wono

Hi Joe Prete

This hs30exr is kinda costly for beginner like me
I’ve been looking closely for finepix hs25/28 exr and benq gh800 and got confuse to choose between those two
Could you please suggest me which one do you think better to get?

Thanks in advance

5:26 pm - Monday, July 1, 2013

#175 Joe Prete

The Fujifilm HS25EXR is very similar to the HS30EXR, but you will have some slightly different functions, like you may only have the ability to shoot JPEG images, while the HS35EXR can shoot JPEG+RAW The Battery option will also be different, instead of AA’s you will have a Rechargeable Battery pack. There may be a few other minor differences, but these may never bother you.

Most people never use RAW images, as it means having to process them with software. JPEGS are already processed by the camera. The HS28EXR is sold in other countries, but look for similar differences. Try to do a side, by side comparison on the Fujifilm web site. As for the BenQ, Mark did a review on this site a few moths ago. From the home page, type the model into the SEARCH box and you should be able to find it. You may be more comfortable with Fujifilm, you can easily find other users to ask any questions, I can’t say that about BenQ though. Good Luck,
... Joe Prete

6:20 pm - Monday, July 1, 2013

#176 Joe Prete

Be sure that you’re getting a “fresh pack” from a reputable dealer before paying for it. If it’s mail order, check references, see who’s dealt with them before, and if it turned out well. Also, know what should be in the box, that comes with the camera. It should even be printed on the outside of the box, as “included accessories”.
... Joe Prete

6:36 pm - Monday, July 1, 2013

#177 urshobhit

@joe prete
sir, i want to buy a bridge camera in india and i have shortlisted these
1. fujifilm hs25 :- 200$
2. fujifilm sl1000 :- 250$
3. Canon Sx510 :- 200$
4. Fujifilm s4500 :- 180$
5. Panasonic FZ70 :- 280$

please suggest me which 1 is better, i am an amateur in photography going to but my 1st camera. i will be taking photos occasionally. all i want is good image quality having less noise.

6:02 pm - Friday, August 8, 2014

#178 Joe Prete

I am partial to the HS25EXR, because it is such a Solid camera, but it has Manual Zoom. I like that as well, because you can stop anywhere, and not at pre-set points in-between. It also saves battery power, and is silent during movies. Some may prefer Power Zoom, but it makes people lazy anyhow. The EXR’s are the first HDR Cameras, and still one of the best. it’s 24-720mm , a bit shorter than the others, but not by much. Also, it takes AA’s, which can be Alkaline, Li-ion or Rechargeable NiMH or Nicads. A lot of choices.
It has a slightly bigger sensor too, s/b less noise than the others.
If you can get it for $200.00 that is a great buy! Where do you reside?  The SL1000 is full power, and the lens zooms a bit further.
As a first camera, I would say the HS25EXR, unless you want to tell me more about what you plan to shoot, I think it is a Real camera with a Viewfinder. I have a couple of the EXR’s myself! To learn on, yes, it’s great. It will also last for many years of shooting! Look up HDR, or read some of my comments on these EXR models.
… Joe Prete

6:55 pm - Friday, August 8, 2014

#179 urshobhit

thanks joe prete for your reply.
i am from india. i am also thinking to buy hs25 and after your suggestion i will definitely buy this one. but in this review of hs30exr the sample images have lot of noise and chromatic aberrations. which is making me doubtful, is that because of settings of camera ? and i have also used sl1000 for 2 days but that was also producing noisy images and don’t have manual focus. please tell your final choice among both cameras. my use will be pretty basic like taking pics on various family functions and on occasional outings to hill stations.

10:15 am - Sunday, August 10, 2014

#180 Joe Prete

This camera is a solid performer, well worth the price. If you want a higher grade camera, the HS50EXR is the Flagship HDR model. If you are shooting outside, your ISO will be low enough to give you very useable images. If you are inside in low light, use the flash! Are you planning on printing enlargements? If so, you can easily print 11 X 14’s but honestly, I doubt that is your plan. For internet size images, this camera is way more than you need. Stop reading those reviews, get yourself a camera and start shooting images. Reviewers have to find fault with every camera. They need to feel needed, and they think they know more than they actually do. Fujifilm EXR cameras were producing HDR images, before anyone knew what it was. Now just about every Digital camera on the market does what the early HS10EXR camera was doing. It shoots 3 images, and combines them to gain the greatest HDR. Everyone thought they were defective because the screen blacked out. By the time the HS20EXR came out, every manufacturer was trying to equal it. They also got the BSI Sensor idea from Fujifilm, and now every camera and most LCD/LED TV’s have the Back Side Illuminated panels that Fujifilm pioneered. I’m not too impressed with the SL1000, and I think it is overpriced, but it serves a different purpose anyhow. I’ve recommended the EXR cameras, and I own several of them myself. I wouldn’t part with mine! Just get yourself rechargeable batteries, and a charger, and you’ll be fine. … Joe

4:39 am - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

#181 Joe Prete

I SHOULD HAVE MENTIONED THIS- instead of reading reviews, take a look at http://www.flickr.com  and filter the images by Camera Type, put in the cameras that you are considering, and look at images that were taken with each camera. You will easily find people in your own area, and subjects that you have in mind. Use this to gauge each camera, because they are Real Life examples. This is much better than a reviewer taking images of targets, and making their judgements. If you get the HS25EXR/HS30EXR, start with JPEG images, processed in the camera, and don’t even attempt RAW imaging until you obtain some real world experience. You should have noticed the 1/2 inch sensor in the Fuji, it is quite a bit larger than it’s competitors. That was one of the reasons that I chose this camera for myself.  Google sensor sizes, to find a chart. Okay?
… Joe Prete

5:09 am - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

#182 urshobhit

@Joe prete
thanks for your valuable suggestions. as you suggested i have bought HS28exr for myself it will be delivered in 2-3 days. it would be great if you could help me configure hs28 setting to get best results. Thanks alot for your support.:)

5:40 am - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

#183 Joe Prete

No problem. They may give you a Full User’s Guide, I think that your Country makes the requirements, but I’ll help you either way. I have Full guides here. The in-between numbers, like HS25/HS28 are for the different areas. You may require a different Battery or different Symbols (like we have $$, you have your money symbol) those are the very minor differences. You can email me with any questions, it will be easier & faster. I’m at http://www.picture2remember@yahoo.com  Remember, put it on a table or desk, to check the components, and if all is okay, attach the Neck Strap and ALWAYS use it.  I have heard many sad stories (usually around the holidays) but be careful anyhow. I’m sure you’ll love it. I think it must be Wednesday morning, about 11:00 AM in India?  We’ll sync up when you are ready.  I’m very happy for you!  You should be able to find the Owners Guide on their web site, in case you want a head start.  Soon you’ll have your own flickr page. One of the best sites, and completely free!  I’ll be here when you need me. Have a Good day, I’ll talk (write) to you soon.  … Joe

6:29 am - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

#184 Arden

My 1st comment is, Hello, I am a new contributor to this forum. I have already learned a lot by just reading the posts…thanks for all the intelligent comment. Due to a long term illness, I missed much of the digital revolution and am just now catching on. I use a FF FINEPIX S5 Pro with Nikon Lenses, but am about to move to something that fits me better and is more up to speed with new technology. I really am ignorant, so bear with me. I have watched a number of reviews on You Tube and read many others. For my budget I am now seriously considering a PENTAX K3. If anyone has one or has used one, I would appreciate some feedback…Thanks! My other consideration is a SONY A77…

6:55 am - Thursday, February 19, 2015

#185 Hank Monetti

Your link is not connected to a website. (the underlined name!)

The letters FF generally indicate Full Frame (i.e.. Full Frame Sensor) Fujifilm or Finepix can be used to describe a Fuji camera, or like most people, you can just call it an S5 because it’s the only model designation like it. People know what an S5 is.

If you are looking for feedback on a Pentax K-3, you should really post your comment under the Pentax K-3 Review/Comments area, where there are K-3 owners. It is also an APS-C Camera like the S5, it’s just a few years newer. I don’t know if that’s really much of a step forward, but it does have more MP’s.

You can get a Nikon or Canon with a Kit lens for a lot less than a 2013 Pentax K-3 Body alone! If you already have Nikon lenses, that might make more sense, but that’s just my opinion.

Not sure why you’re on this old camera’s review (HS50EXR is STILL their current HDR model). Good Luck to you.

8:15 am - Thursday, February 19, 2015

#186 Tony Leonard

My HS-30EXR screen stopped working.hy?

11:19 pm - Tuesday, March 17, 2015

#187 arlo

Hi Jo,

I recently bought the h35exr and experienced lens flare when shooting at night. Is there any way to eliminate or reduce this lens with filters? Or any other means?

6:23 am - Saturday, April 25, 2015

#188 Joe Prete

Lens Flare comes from Light that bounces around in between the Barrel and the Elements and spaces in-between them, inside a lens.
It can show as Haze, Streaks or Spots in your images, and they can cause loss of Contrast and Detail that will degrade your images.

In short, the best way to combat Lens Flare is to use the Lens Hood that was designed for the lens. Fuji supplied Lens Hoods with the HS35EXR but if you don’t have it, you can buy them from many suppliers, or make one for Free. Go to http://www.lenshoods.co.uk  for a set of Patterns and instructions. A thin grade Cardboard works well, similar to that used for Cereal Boxes. You can watch videos of this at http://www.youtube.com In the search box, type in “DIY LENS HOODS”.

Aside from using a Lens Hood while Shooting, beware of stray light that may show at the edges of your subjects. That will help you to avoid the issue from the start. A Circular Polarizer Filter can change many effects, but it’s not for combatting lens flare. (It is the only filter that you may need, and should have ~ but not for this issue).

The Fujifilm EXR cameras are very well designed, and built to last. I have several of them myself. I just couldn’t part with them! I hope that helps you, but write back if you have any other questions.
… Joe Prete

11:52 am - Saturday, April 25, 2015

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hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, wide-angle, RAW, manual, super-zoom, fujifilm, 24mm, cmos, fuji, finepix, bridge, 8fps, 30x zoom, bsi, sensor, exr, hs30, Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR Review, hs30 exr, hs30exr, hs 30

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