Fujifilm HS30EXR: Lab Test Results & Comments

Jill Rahn's picture
The HS30EXR has a surprisingly heavy and massive body and is nearly the size of an entry-level SLR system combined with a superzoom lens. The grip on the right-hand side fits perfectly into the photographer’s hand, while the left hand supports the lens system and is used to change focus and focal length manually with two large lens rings. The focal length ring has a nice rubber coating and is easy to handle, while the focus ring is very thin and is located near the body of the camera, which makes it a bit less easy to handle. Focal length adjustment is done via a mechanical regulation of the lens system, while the focusing ring adjusts via a servo system.

The new Fujifilm HS30EXR has an extreme zoom lens (30x; 24 to 720mm, 35mm film equivalent) and looks like a classic SLR. The user can change focal length and focus mechanically by lens rings. There are numerous scene modes for beginners.

The camera offers an interface for an analog TV connection, a USB port for data transfer, and an HDMI interface for high-resolution TVs.

The camera has a lot of function buttons on the left side of the rear body. These offer an intuitive change of image parameters like ISO speed setting and white balance. The large mode dial on the top is slanted and easy to read, even from the back of the camera.

The camera has a built-in flash system and offers a hot shoe for external flash systems or adapters for a studio flash light system.

The LCD screen can be flipped up (90 degrees) and down (45 degrees). This helps to shoot macro shots near the ground or when recording video.

The camera has a large mode dial on the top, which is a bit slanted to the back. Because of this the photographer can see the current settings from above or from the back, convenient in unusual shooting positions—near the ground, for example. The swivel LCD allows for numerous shooting positions and can be flipped up and down but it can’t be swiveled to the side.

The camera offers numerous functional controls via the LCD screen. The photographer can change ISO speed, white balance, and AF mode, for example, by pressing one button instead of navigating through the entire LCD menu.

The camera has a light sensor adjacent to the viewfinder ocular so it is able to automatically change between LCD screen and EVF mode. The EVF has a very high resolution, which allows for manual focusing and precise image control.

Top: The camera showed a slight shift of brighter colors into the green and yellow areas, but very exact reproduction of all colors in terms of saturation. Center: The standard test box shot shows very natural-looking colors with a very neutral gray background. Some colors like the red Kodak color pattern are a bit oversaturated, but most colors are reproduced very exactly. The large Siemens star shows chromatic aberration effects that are strengthened by the intense sharpness filtering of the camera. Above: Skin tones and the red T-shirt are very good. We noticed the intense anti-noise filtering even in this image taken at ISO 100. This causes a near “impressionistic filter” effect in homogenous color areas like the gray background and a smoother look of fine details, seen in the structure of the model’s hair.

Image Quality
Color:
The camera showed a slight shift of brighter colors into the green and yellow areas, but very exact reproduction of all colors in terms of saturation. The oversaturation of only 3 percent is very good for a compact camera. Darker skin tones are reproduced precisely and lighter skin tones show a very natural look. Similar to many other cameras, the Fujifilm HS30EXR emphasized red nuances by using a very high yellow rate and the result is very brilliant red nuances. This is visible in the red Kodak color pattern in the standard test box and also in the color of the model’s T-shirt in our portrait shot.

Sharpness: The resolution is very high. The camera gathered 3156 lines in picture height for a sensor resolution of 3456 lines per picture height. This is a result of the very intense sharpness filtering which is used to compensate for the anti-noise filtering. Our tests showed an overshot amount of nearly 30 percent, which is very high. Combined with the undershot effect (5.41 percent) this will cause a halo on black and white contour lines.

While the camera showed nearly no chromatic aberrations in the center of the image there are extreme chromatic aberrations visible in the corners of the image, which are also emphasized and strengthened by the sharpness filtering. It shows jaggies in the magenta and cyan color halos on the black and white lines of our test.

Noise: The camera uses very intense anti-noise filtering.

The luminance noise and color noise results are very low, but we noticed typical anti-noise filtering effects in the images. These effects can already be noticed in images taken with ISO 100 and become quite evident in images taken with ISO 1600 and ISO 3200.

Scorecard
Pro

• Extreme zoom lens allows for making photos with wide-angle or extreme tele settings
• Manual adjustment of focal length with large lens ring
• Manual focusing with large lens ring (located near the body)
• Comfortable handling due to high-resolution EVF, large mode and setup dials on the top of the body, and a lot of function elements/buttons on the back
• Swivel LCD screen

Con
• Very intense anti-noise filtering effects noticeable even in images taken with low ISO speed settings
• Even though the center of the image shows nearly no chromatic aberrations we noticed very intense color fringing in the corners of the image

Image Tech
Image Tech is where we publish web-exclusive lab reports on cameras. To read the reports please go to the Shutterbug homepage at www.shutterbug.com and click on the Image Tech tab on the top navigation bar. New reports are published frequently, so check Image Tech for updates. The following reports are available now:
• Fujifilm X-S1
• Canon G1 X
• Canon 5D Mark III
• Canon EOS-1D X
• Leica X1
• Ricoh GR Digital IV
• Nikon P7100
• Olympus E-P3

Lab test and comments by BetterNet, our TIPA-affiliated testing lab. Edited by George Schaub. Note: A lab spec sheet of the Fujifilm HS30EXR can be found in the Instant Links section of our website filed under this issue’s date. Visit www.shutterbug.com.

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