Features & Controls
This lens is mated to a larger 1/2-inch EXR COMS image sensor, which gives you 16-megapixels of resolution to work with. To help combat blur caused by camera shake, the HS30EXR employs Sensor-shift image stabilization, combined with high ISO settings, which they call their "Dual Image Stabilization". The HS30 also offers Intelligent Digital zoom, which can extend the focal range to 60x (or an equivalent of 1440mm). While they claims this system produces sharper results with less noise thanks to the intelligent EXR sensor, we still recommend you use it sparingly; I don't see a real need for this feature, considering you can optical magnify to 720mm.
Focus is handled by a Contrast-detection TTL AF system, which offers an AF-assist illuminator for focusing in tough lighting conditions. Modes include Single AF, Continuous AF, and Manual Focus with one-press AF. You can also choose Center, Multi, Area, or Tracking focus-area options.
- Wide : Approx. 50cm / 1.6ft. to infinity
- Telephoto : Approx. 3.0m / 9.8ft. to infinity
- Wide : Approx. 10cm - 3.0m / 0.3ft. - 9.8ft.
- Telephoto : Approx. 2.0m - 5.0m / 6.5ft. - 16.4ft.
- Super Macro
- Approx. 1.0cm - 1.0m / 0.4in. - 3.2ft.
On top of the camera you'll find a large pop-up flash unit, which helps provide adequate illumination in tough lighting conditions, or when you need some fill light. This is a rather powerful unit for a built in flash, with a range of 23.2ft. (W) to 12.4ft. at full telephoto; using ISO auto. This will provide plenty of light for small to mid sized rooms. The flash is popped-up manually using the flash release button which is seen on the right of the flash above. When you have your left hand on the lens barrel, it's easy to reach up and open the flash. If you need even more power, the HS30EXR does offer a flash hotshoe for external units; more on that below.
Further adding to that dSLR look and feel, the HS30EXR offers a nice eye-level EVF for additional framing versatility. No longer do you need to just reply on the rear LCD screen. The EVF on the HS30 has been upgraded over its predecessor's with the HS30 providing a 0.26-inch LCD screen inside a magnified eyepiece, with the equivalent of 920,000 dots of resolution and 100% frame coverage. This gives you much greater clarity and detail compared to the EVF on the HS20. To the right of the EVF is a sensor that automatically turns the LCD off and the EVF on when the camera is put up to your eye, allowing you to switch modes without having to press the dedicated EVF/LCD button to the right.
Like past models, the HS30EXR boasts a versatile LCD on the back, which provides you with 3.0-inches of display surface and 460,000 dots of resolution. This gives you a very clear and sharp live image, and while using the LCD to frame, you have 100% frame coverage; meaning what you see is what you capture. To add to this display's appeal and versatility, you can tilt the panel up or down; giving you the ability to precisely frame subjects while the camera is overhead or at waist level.
On the top of the camera you will find various controls mounted on top of the grip, along with the hot shoe above the EVF. Mounted around the shutter release is the On/Off switch, and behind that is the Exposure Compensation and Continuous shooting buttons. Next is the mode dial, which has positions for EXR, Program, Shutter Speed Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, Custom, Panorama, Scene Position 1, Scene Position 2, Advanced, and Auto. Lastly we have the top control dial, which is used to change the selected exposure or menu settings, depending on which shooting mode is being used.
Thje control layout on the rear of the camera is almost identical to that of the HS20 and HS10; so if you're upgrading from one of the earlier models, you'll feel right at home. The rear controls are positioned on the left and right sides of the LCD screen; all of which are within reach of your thumbs.
Starting on the left, we see five buttons. Their function changes from Record to Playback mode. Top to bottom, we have the ISO, Auto Exposure, Auto Focus, Focus mode and White Balance buttons. Pressing one of these will pull up an onscreen display that allows you to quickly change the settings. IN playback mode, the ISO and AE buttons control the Magnify and Index functions, AF toggles the Intelligent Face detection, AF mode changes the info displayed, and WB enter image search mode.
On the right, we have the red Movie mode shutter release, which allows you to record video at any time; no matter what exposure mode you're using. Next is the AE/AF Lock button positioned just above the 4-way controller. The 4-way offers shortcuts to several options; press Up for Fn (delete in playback), Right to change the flash mode (when raised), Down to enable the self-timer, and Left to toggle macro focus. Lastly, on the bottom are the Disp/BACK and Playback buttons.
Located on the left hand side of the camera, tucked under a rubber/plastic door, are the camera's three I/O ports. On top is the HDMI output, allowing you to view HD images and videos on a HDTV; optional cable required. Next is the USB 2.0 port for quick transfer of images to and from a computer. Finally is the A/V output jack, for standard definition video output with sound. Fuji includes a USB and A/V cable.
On the right hand side of the camera you will find a door that hides the SD memory card slot. it accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC type cards, and is compatible with newer UHS-I rated high-speed cards. Here you can see the HS30EXR with a FujiFilm Ultra Performance (Class 10) 4GR SDHC card. The plastic door feels well made, thanks in part to a metal hinge assembly.
One of the most notable changes Fuji made on the HS30 was including a Li-ion battery instead of the 4xAA setup found on past models. This can be seen as a pro or con; depending on which you prefer. Li-ion packs tend to give you greater battery life, and Fuji claims the NP-W126 pack they supply will give you enough power for about 600 frames. That's quite impressive for a non-dSLR camera that uses an electronic viewfinder that's constantly on.
The camera ships with a handy AC charger, which makes it easy to keep a spare pack charged and ready while you use another in the camera. While the HS30 boasts impressive battery life, we still recommend you snag a spare pack if your budget allows; it will come in handy.
Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.
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