Fuji FinePix HS20EXR

The Fuji HS20EXR is a follow up to the popular Fuji HS10.  The HS20EXR features a whopping 30x zoom lens (24mm-720mm equivalent) and a 16MP CMOS sensor.  The HS20 also packs a 3-inch tilting LCD and an electronic viewfinder.  The HS20 can capture photos in RAW format.

In addition to capturing photos, the HS20 can capture 1080p HD video, and features a high-speed movie capture at 320fps.  For those wishing to add an external flash to the hot shoe, the HS20 now features TTL metering for auto-flash performance (unlike the HS10 which only triggered a “dumb” flash).  Fuji currently offers two compatible hot shoe flash for TTL metering with the HS20.

The HS20EXR is powered by AA batteries and will be available in March 2011 at an initial retail price of $499.95.  Check availability on Amazon.com.

More details in the press release below.

Fuji HS20EXR Press Release

Valhalla, N.Y., January 5, 2011 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the FinePix HS20EXR, a high quality, advanced function SLR-styled long-zoom camera, built for the professional or enthusiast photographer, but also easy enough for even a first time user. Improving on the excellence of its predecessor, the FinePix HS10EXR, the new FinePix HS20EXR features a new 16 MegaPixel EXR-CMOS sensor, a powerful FUJINON 30x manual optical zoom (24mm-720mm equivalent), a tilting 3.0” high contrast LCD with a electronic viewfinder featuring a “heads up” sensor that automatically changes from LCD to EVF, and countless features serious photographers seek for versatility and performance.

With a new EXR-CMOS sensor powered by Fujifilm’s EXR processor engine, the possibilities for photo enthusiasts are endless with the FinePix HS20EXR. The camera delivers high speed continuous shooting at 8 fps at full resolution for 8 frames, high speed movies at 320fps, captures full panoramic photos with Motion Panorama 360° and full HD Movies at 1080p with an HDMI output connector and has the ability to shoot in RAW, JPEG or RAW & JPEG modes, and in full manual mode. The HS20EXR also has an optional remote release cable and is compatible with two automatic Fujifilm external flashes that meter “through the lens” for more functionality.

“Consumers are looking for solutions to photographic problems. The FinePix HS20EXR delivers, by utilizing new EXR-CMOS technology and superior FUJINON optics to provide an advanced photographic solution that won’t break the bank,” said David Troy, director of marketing, Digital Cameras, Electronic Imaging Division, Fujifilm North America Corporation. “Plus, with the HS20EXR, you’ll never have to buy or change another lens.”

High Speed and Sensitivity
The newly developed EXR Processor and EXR-CMOS sensor in the HS20EXR allow for pristine images to be taken in fast-shooting situations or in low-light environments. The combination of the two technologies creates a fast transfer circuit for quick process and reading of files for high speed shooting and Full HD movies, and the EXR-CMOS sensor itself, where the wiring layer and photo diodes are reversed, creates higher sensitivity for taking impressive images in low light conditions.

Intelligent Processor
With the improved intelligent processor, taking photos can’t get much easier. The GUI, with its new rich user interface that dramatically improves the appearance and searching functions of menus, might be one of the first things you notice, but the most notable benefits are speed and image quality. Additionally, the FinePix HS20EXR can now recognize an impressive 27 scenes. While shooting, the camera configures each scene and recognizes the perfect setting and automatically takes the best quality picture, with a single touch of a button.

EXR Technology
The EXR technology adds further versatility by modifying its behavior according to the lighting condition. Users can either let the EXR Auto mode choose the correct setting itself, or pick from three manually selected options:

High Resolution Priority – can be used when you’re after exceptional image quality.

High ISO & Low Noise Priority – can be used in low light conditions where the combination with the BSI sensor makes for superb results.

Dynamic Range Priority – takes two pictures and combines them to provide a range of up to 1600%.

With these unique sensor combinations, capturing great pictures has never been easier.

Capture Moving Subjects
The FinePix HS20EXR’s strong mix of sensor and processing technologies allows breathless action shots to be captured, and the continuous full resolution shooting at 3fps, 5fps, 8fps or 11. fps at an eight MegaPixel resolution, will make sure the action is stopped in its tracks. The FinePix HS20EXR also eliminates the need to worry about slow auto focusing or shutter lag. The new solution’s contrast Auto Focus system takes approximately 0.16 seconds (minimum) to focus.

A 30x Zoom Lens
With a 30x zoom range covering focal lengths from a super-wide 24-720mm (35mm equivalent), the FinePix HS20EXR is ready for anything. Boasting high quality FUJINON optics, the manual zoom lens is now even easier to operate thanks to a reduction in the size of the flashgun. Zooming through the range can be done quickly and precisely to ensure perfect framing for every shot.

The FinePix HS20EXR also is equipped to fight blurring, a common problem when using longer focal lengths. Dual Image Stabilization combines a mechanically stabilized CMOS sensor with high ISO sensitivities for total anti-blur protection. Together these technologies reduce the blurring effect of both handshake and subject movement to provide sharp, clean and clear results even at the longest zoom settings or in challenging lighting conditions.

HD Movie Capture
The FinePix HS20EXR offers an impressive level of video functionality. With the ability to capture movies in true, full 1080p HD quality, the FinePix HS20EXR delivers high sensitivity with low noise for movies captured in low lighting. In addition, movie files (.MOV) are captured with H.264 high profile compression for smaller file sizes without sacrificing quality. With a mini-HDMI output connector, it is easy to connect and view images on your HDTV (HDMI cable not included).

High Speed Movies
Versatility is further increased thanks to the High Speed Movie options, which include capture at an incredible 320 fps. With features like this, even the fastest moving subjects can be captured and watched in slow motion.

One Touch Controls
The FinePix HS20EXR sports a full complement of sophisticated manual and semi-automatic shooting modes and photographic controls. The extensive external controls give the more advanced photographer direct access to virtually every control they will need for uninterrupted shooting, and the specially designed chassis includes dedicated command buttons for quick and easy key functions such as ISO, white balance, focus and metering. The large command dial, manual focus ring, twist and zoom lens barrel, bright, clear electronic viewfinder, high quality tilting LCD screen and deep hand grip ensures the camera handles well. AA batteries (ships with alkaline) provide excellent performance (up to 300 shots with Alkaline batteries) combined with the convenience of a universally available format when shooting for extended periods away from main power.

The FinePix HS20EXR also offers these additional features:

RAW / RAW+JPEG Shooting: The FinePix HS20 has the ability to shoot both a RAW and JPEG shot simultaneously. RAW is for ultimate quality shots via post processing, JPEG is for great quality with no need for further post-production work.
Motion Panorama 360°: The sensor extends the sweep range to 360˚ (shots can also be taken vertically). Combined with high quality Fujifilm printing, sweeping and impressive scenes can be taken, showing fine detail, low noise and high resolution at 180°, 240˚ or full 360˚ panoramic ranges.
Purple Fringing Reducer/Corner Resolution Enhancer: The EXR processor has the capability to spot and reduce purple color fringing, most common on dark subjects against light backgrounds. In addition, the EXR processor improves the resolution at the corners of an image for more uniform image sharpness.
Super Intelligent Flash: The FinePix HS20EXR offers a flash control system which efficiently controls the level of flash for a given exposure to produce beautifully balanced flash illumination across the foreground and background. Super Intelligent Flash is most useful in macro photography where the contrast between subject and background can be especially challenging, but is also effective for night and backlit photography.
Multi-Bracketing: The FinePix HS20EXR has 3 bracketing functions useful for high level photography: Film Simulation Bracketing (which automatically sets Film Simulation to PROVIA, Velvia and ASTIA for simultaneous capture of 3 frames), Dynamic Range Bracketing (which automatically sets dynamic range to 100%, 200% and 400% for simultaneous capture of 3 frames) and AE Bracketing (which automatically sets exposure range to even, under and over for simultaneous capture of 3 frames).
Face Recognition: Users can register up to eight (8) faces, along with names, birthdays and categories, and the HS20EXR will prioritize focus and exposure right on the faces of those special people. Users can also use Image Search to view images of a registered person.
Face Detection and Automatic Red-eye Removal: To provide perfectly exposed and focused portrait shots, the FinePix HS20EXR is fitted with Fujifilm’s latest Face Detection technology which is able to track up to 10 faces simultaneously, at almost any angle to the camera. The system instantly corrects red-eye and then saves both the original and the corrected image file automatically.
PhotoBook Assist: PhotoBook Assist lets you select and organize images in your camera to create a digital photo book. You can download the photo books to your computer using MyFinePix Studio software that is included.

Pricing and Availability
The FinePix HS20EXR will all be available in late March 2011 and will be priced at $499.95.

 

Comments

  1. Loadwick says

    Funny how they don’t say the resolution of the 320fps video, i am guessing thumbnail size like the HS10.

    I am glad they have improved the read & write speed from the camera but i would still like to hear some numbers. On the HS10 after filling the buffer with 5 shots in RAW & JPEG mode it would lock up for a stonking 22 seconds while writing to my Sandisk Extreme 30mb/s SD card, I thought my camera was broken at first! Why can they not make it usable while writing to the card like SLRs?

    I am also very worried about Fuji shoe-horning 16,000,000 pixels into a tiny sensor. I know BSI improves noise but the actual difference from a 8mp photo and 16mp photo is very small but the amount of noise in the photo can be massive.

    Finally, who keeps choosing AA batteries?! If they put a really good Lithium-Polymer battery in the 4x AA slot then you could have a fantastic 600-800 shop camera. I found my HS10 with 4x 2900 mHA NiMH batteries lasted about half a day and about 5 minutes flash cycle time!

  2. Loadwick says

    Not to sound like a whining old woman but there was another massive flaw with the HS10 which i truly hope they have corrected.

    The HS10 had a fantastic burst mode speed of something like 8fps, so i thought it would be a great camera to take HDR photos as you could take -1ev, 0ev, +1ev in a blink of an eye. Boy was i wrong!

    Instead of taking the 3 exposures and storing them in the buffer and then writing that data to your SD card, Fuji in their infinite wisdom decided that the HS10 should take the first photo then wait until its written, then take the second and wait, and then the third.

    That might not be so bad if the HS10 wasn’t so insanely slow. 3 photos that could take 0.4 seconds actually took about 28 seconds! Nothing stays still long enough to get a HDR photo using that camera.

    The reason i am so annoyed about the HS10 was it was almost perfect and it was only a few stupid decisions that let it down not some fundament technical limitation.

    I hope that the HS20 has addressed all of these problems. I also hoped that the HS20 would have a bigger sensor but sadly its the same microscopic size and yet they decided to increase the pixel density by a further 60%!

    I eagerly await some sample galleries.

  3. Rock Bourgault says

    With rapid frames rates it will be a 8 MP and may be at this resolution the noise will be very reasonnable.
    I like the XBR system and the hot shoe for cobra flash.
    I hope a good quality in this 30X super zoom who habitually is not the case.
    After analyse by professionnel if they said good comments i will surely buy one for specific photography like artistic paint wall and video personnal production.

  4. Peter Keddie says

    I read this article while thinking how fickle the world is. After reading Eric’s review of the HS10 last year, I sold a Canon lens to purchase one. I had been torn between the 200EXR and the HS10. Now, one year later we have an HS20EXR. I am now retired, so upgrading equipment is economically unsound. I thought the HS10 would last me forever. They say “good things come to those who wait”. If I had a crystal ball, I would have waited. Cest la vie they say, but annoying all the same.

    • doug sinnott says

      If you’re happy with your HS10,what’s your problem?
      Manufacturers are always bringing out new models,so it’s expensive and pointless to keep “upgrading” if your own camera fulfills your photographic needs.
      If you wait for a “perfect” camera,before parting with your cash,you could wait a long time!
      Admittedly,I sold my HS10,but only because I found it slow to use when taking continuous flash pictures,and also writing RAW images to memory.
      But,so is the Canon SX30,and many people seem very happy with it!
      Otherwise the HS10 was almost my ideal camera,great for landscapes and macro in particular,and such a well made piece of kit.

      • Peter Keddie says

        Hi Doug. Thanks for the rebuke. The point I was trying to make was the speed at which manufacturers, especially Fuji, bring out new cameras. In the old days, you could wait 4 or 5 years for a newer model and now it seems more like 4 or 5 months. In the case of the HS10, I was after the zoom ratio, but I was also impressed by the EXR technology as in the 200EXR. I don’t understand why Fuji did not incorporate the EXR technology into the HS10 as it was supposed to be their flagship model. Read and write times are not an issue for the kind of photography I do and I agree with you that it is a good piece of kit overall.

        • says

          Hi Peter: Manufacturers keep using their treasures sparingly. I’m, waiting for HS20EXR for more than a year now (despite not knowing what name will came out). I’ve been with Fuji cameras for a long tima and I see how it goes. I’ve bought real cheap S9500 PRO when F100FS came out. I didn’t like AA battery missing. I already had bunch of xD cards (from previous models). So it came S200EXR out. That’s it I said. Than HS10. And as well with F models. I said for shure there will be model, combining HS10 + EXR and Fuji will have something “new” to sell. Than S300 will be out, than something else.

          When I waited for HS10+EXR I bought external flash to my old S9500. With better light it is still up to date. The picture of latest model compared to this 5 year old is realy not so improved, some would think. Reason is my old S9500 have bunch of dead pixels…

          If some have 5 min flash recharge time, their batteries are probably dead (or one of them most likelly). I had a lot of experience like that: 3 AA was fine, one dead. Battery meter started to flash “low” after few shots, than I could do the 200 shots after. With good battery there is no problem (charge them separately, with good smart charger, not in pairs!). And I picked FUJI just because AA batteries. In Australia wilderness (for instance) is real pain to find power source, but at last cottage they have good alkalines, or you can bring them along. I do 1500 shots per day and I’m not prepared to pay extra for bunch of dedicated batteries, plus during night you can’t charge them all. Charger is extra weight, etc…

  5. says

    THE HS10 and now the HS20EXR have an amazing DSLR-like Mechanical Zoom, which I wanted for sports.
    But, because of the SLOW write times, I had opted for the Panasonic FZ100. VERY fast, even in RAW, but the image qulity of it’s MOS sensor is only good at 100 ISO.

    If the HS20 has addressed the speed problems and the image quality at HIGH ISO is much better, I’ll buy it.
    MUST SEE samples & actual reviews FIRST.

  6. Dave W says

    I purchased the s200exr prior to that I owned the s9000 I loved the tilt screen on the s9000 as well as the emediate startup it too like a 1/2 second and bam Im ready to shoot it took great pictues. Then I bought the s200exr wich Ive been relatively happy with BUT the strat up takes at laest 3 second be fore I can take a shot they put this lame splash screen on and ditched the tilt screen. I love the propriatery battery aftermarket batteries are real reasonably priced. Then I seen the hs10 and was getting interest until I found out about the hs20exr fuji does have a great lense and the 30x is real tempting my concern are they going to put that lame spash screen on start up, cause I rely am interested in the camera.

  7. Mike says

    I have an HS10/11 , I will buy an HS20/22 when the price drops a bit , though I did get the HS10 at a good price last April

  8. doug sinnott says

    I sold my HS10,as I also found the write times,and flash recycling,on the slow side(similar to the Canon SX30),although it was a great camera to hold,and it had some great features.
    But handling wasn’t up to my previous FZ Panasonics,although it felt like a “proper” camera,with a great rear screen.

    I now have a Panasonic FZ100,and it’s so much quicker than the Fuji,and the images are definitely on a par with the HS10,in fact,slightly better at lower ISOs,and the FZ100 is packed with all of Panasonics latest technology,and is a well made piece of kit.
    It almost impossible to not take a well exposed,well focussed picture with it!

    But,I have to say if my HS10 would have been as quick to use,however,as my FZ100,I would’ve kept hold of it,as I’ve always liked Fuji’s bridge cameras.
    Now the new HS20 seems to have addressed all my concerns I had with my HS10,and I’m dying to get my hands on one!

  9. doug sinnott says

    To “MIKE M”

    Also owning a Panasonic FZ100,I must disagree with you regarding the image quality.
    I have found that up to 400ISO the images are great,and after that,like most Superzooms,quality does start to fall off.
    If you shoot a lot of lowlight pictures,then Superzooms are not ideal,buy a DSLR!
    But for a go-anywhere,fast acting,Superzoom,for holidays,country walks,and family photographs,the FZ100 must be currently top of the pile,(until the HS20 comes out,and things might change!)

    I have printed out some really good A4s at the lower ISOs,and a lot can be adjusted in-camera(sharpness,noise reduction,etc.,)
    Eventually,I’m sure,the problems of small sensors at higher ISOs will be overcome by the technicians,because that is the only real drawback of a modern Superzoom,which nobody has yet really solved.

    Fuji have come close with their Super CCDs,and EXR sensor,so who knows,perhaps they will crack it with the HS20.
    Some of my best prints were with my old Fuji S7000,which was basically 6MP plus a 6X zoom!

    • says

      Its realy obvious that small sensors will never “vanish” from superzoom cameras. They could not. Market demand more and more pixels every year (because of common thinking that professional camera is pro & gives stunning pictures BECAUSE of number of pixels – it reminds me on stupid “megahertz” race in PC world). Along with more and more pixels market demand longer and longer zooms. I remember CANON & FUJINON released “never-seen-before” 22x lenses for studio cameras few years ago, costed fortune. And lastly market want to have all that packed in smaller and smaller packages.

      If we want smaller camera with shorter lenses and with bigger zoom at once, the image sensor need to be small to reach focus point. dSLRs have a lot bigger and longer lenses to achive the same. That’s why.

      Why one would need 30x (50x probably in next 2 years!) zoom on a pocket camera without tripod, I don’t know. Mountains? If one will carry tripod up there, the one will be so in loved with his goal, he would not mind carry another backpack od long lenses and dSLR, too.

      I found myself that 10x zoom is top what I need and 10MP as well. If they would put all this together in a camera like HS20EXR and give it bigger chip to fit that lenses, they will eat some dSLR market instantly. But that is not goal and to “give something new” to the market when better chip is released, they put more pixels and longer zoom, to stay at relative same quality all the time and not interfere to dSLR. There is similar race, but on higher level.

      PS: I heard that HS20EXR chip is made by Sony.

      • says

        Another PS:
        I had 5MP Fuji S5600. Quite long zoom, but not wide enough on other end. Than I bought S9500 PRO. Heh: that’s basicly the same camera with miore PRO functions. But what fascinated me (prior to purchase I did 600 shots on the same day with both cameras on same spots) is the relative picture quality. Both cameras had (painfully slow) raw option.

        If I took a picture from same spot from tripod with S5600 at wide and S9500 at wide or both at full zoom, they had picture perfectly aligned on the middle. S5600 had more zoom, S9500 was wider. But if I cropped 9MP S9500 to 5MP (or aligned 5MP picture in PS on top of 9MP picture), the “5MP” middle was exactly the same. 9MP S9500 just added more around.- And the have same zoom if cropped to 5Mp:)

        knowing that I did a lot of testing pictures aligned from same tripod. I found that picture quality is BY PIXEL the same with both cameras!! Regardless using RAW, or JPEG, the noise was similar, compression, colors, shadow information, highlights… but S9500 had realy better marks on reviews about picture quality (dSLR like, was called), than S5600, which is totaly unfair… I bought S9500 over S5600 mainly because of picture “improvement”, but that was at last. All other handling features (ext. flash, remote cable trigger I had, etc.), was my pay-off then.

  10. Azume says

    I posted earlier and mentioned that I currently own a Canon S3-IS and a Canon S5-IS. I previously owned a Fuji S5000 and an S6500 both of which I sold. As per one of the previous postings, one cannot really compare the low light performance of an APS-sized DSLR with that of a superzoom. But then, if you are not a professional who likes to shoot pictures of black cats inside an unlit coal bin during a moonless night and expand the picture to the size of a billboard, any compact superzoons should be more than adequate for most tasks. I have seen pictures taken with EXR cameras and I’d say, they are more than acceptable, in fact, very impressive. Now imagine having a 24-730 mm lens on top of that along with the rest of the features of the H20, then you’d have an ideal all around camera for videos and stills. I also have to add that the experience I’ve had with the manual zooms (with my Fuji S5000 and S6500) is something that would be difficult to match with button controlled alternatives (just like on my S3 and S5 IS). The comments about the noise and slowness of the HS10 is a concern which I hope have been addressed with the HS20EXR.

  11. Azume says

    I also want to add that when the HS10 first came out, I wrote to Fuji that if they could only add the EXR sensor, keep the long lens, make the body fully sealed weather and shock proof (as in Olympus E-3, E-5 and Pentax K7 and K5), make the LCD display fully articulating (similar to Canon 60D, etc.), put a APS size sensor, keep the size small and price it at less than $1,000, then they would have built an ideal camera. Their technical design team actually replied and said they would consider my suggestions. I think with the HS20, they are almost, but not quite, there. I won’t be surprised if in the near future, my wish is granted. The capability is there, it is just a matter of applying it. Maybe, they should also add MP3 player, FM radio, phone, GPS navigation, etc., etc.

    I currently have a Samsung Galaxy S smartphone. I wonder if I should write Samsung and suggest they add all those above features to their future phones, i.e., 10x optical zoom, APS sensor or even FF, etc., etc…. everything is possible.

    • says

      Hehe. I remember my colegue had a wrist watch realy long ago, which could be transformed in a F-14 plane and it was a cigarete lighter at once (not a joke). Coupled with 30x zoom with fullsize sensor it would be perfect compeptior to Canon 5D or similar… :)

      Just like endless debate goes about shooting movies with dSLRs. With ten tons of add-ons they realy are not smaller, easyer, better quality or cheaper than one good videocamera deliberately intended to shooting movies (like RED’s).

      But ok… they sell extensive big amount of rigs for shooting movies with ipod (not cheap as well).

  12. Trevor says

    I have the ultra-slow HS10 and just about the only thing that I love about it is the lens. The HS20 promises to deliver the hype that the HS10 did not. But this time, I will insist on testing the camera throughly before I buy it as there are no refunds possible where I live! I wonder if they did anything about the extremely overdone JPEG processing that removed my wife’s eyelashes and the cat’s whiskers, and reduced all fine detail to a smear?

    • says

      As far as I see FUJI cameras, they all have awfull jpeg compression. I still have Canon A400 in car’s glove compartment (just in case) and at proper condition produces better detail than all of my Fuji’s ever did (3MP camera).

      As far as I know, FUJI uses their proper JPEG compressing alghorhythm (from years ago), noot need to pay fee to use newer one. As far as my taste is cocerned, they put too much noise reduction as well. From day one I shoot raw with my Fuji’s, most of the time, and I actualy LIKE the noise they produce. It is much more “analog-like” than other brand cameras.

      I love new RAW+JPEG feature too, but now when I plan to buy HS20EXR, just few days ago I “realize” that every RAW file have 1600*1200 JPEG packed in! And with DCRAW I can pull them out in a fraction of seconds. Before that I did used PhotoScape, but hey: this packed Jpeg is rely great and fast to get. I downsample all of my final images to 1600px anyway (keeping RAF too), since it’s perfect to develop 10*15cm prints and to see on my LCD, or send over net. The files embeded in RAW is about 600-700kb big (a lot better compressed than fully developed jpegs).

  13. mark lohnes says

    Given the price point of the HS20’s intended market, I feel most of us demand far more than what manufacturers can muster. I own a s100fs, the precursor to the 200EXR, HS1/11 and this years model and i love it. Talk about a slow and frustrating camera when responsiveness is needed. Otherwise, it is a very high quality imager. Aside from the massive resolution increase folks need(?!), I believe this is the camera the s100fs should have been. If the responsiveness is increased and write times reduced as implied, then this will be a big success for Fuji and consumers will have most of their issues resolved.

    This series of cameras is an ideal balance of size, weight, performance and price that no-one has really nailed. We are spoiled by DSLR performance and digicam/camera phone convenience with Walmart prices. But, int he end, we can’t have it all.

    I applaud Fuji for their efforts and hope the X100 is equally brilliant. I really wish for an S5 replacement…been patiently waiting and waiting.

    If the price point was upwards of 7 or 800 dollars, then some of the criticisms would be somewhat justified. We enthusiasts demand much and aren’t willing to pay for it. This is why there are so few really good cameras in fields of mediocre to junk cameras these days.

  14. kurow says

    I wonder what on earth the Fujifilm engineers thinking? HS10 with 46 meg internal memories already cause some images transfer glitch and more often pain in the butts cause it stop the next task until transfer complete. HS20 has only 20 mega internal memory? Please tell me they fixed the previous problem even with larger mega pixel with larger file is not a problem, with lighting fast transfer and wouldn’t interfere the next task?

  15. Skippy Mitchell says

    I believe Mark Lohnes is correct, the current $499 pricepoint is somewhere between amateur and pro. The term “Bridge Camera” fits within the price point. I feel the features to be above the middle price point. I sold off a DSLR Body to buy a bridge camera. For what I am using the camera for, a bridge camera is much better, I am an advanced amateur or Hobbyist as you will. I take pictures of my children playing sports, do some bird watching, and some art type stuff too. I will be moving up to the HS20 as soon as it is available. I don’t plan on making a living with my photos, although I know several photo journalists who use the HS10 and will be moving to the HS20. I believe it will be an improvement over the HS10. Anyone who thinks that $499 is too expensive for the HS20, try matching even the HS10 photo quality, zoom range, and features with even the cheapeast DSLR body and cheapest lenses you can find for retail price. I guarantee you will be well over $499 and really unhappy with your images. It would even be tough to do that with a used DSLR and used Lenses.

  16. doug sinnott says

    Skippy Mitchell is spot on!
    DSLRs and lenses are heavy beasts,and a “good” Superzoom will do everything you would normally need to do in day to day photography.
    Looking at the images on my computer,and a multitude of A4 prints from various DSLRs and Fuji and Panasonic bridge cameras,over several years,it is hard to tell the difference at normal viewing distances,and non-photographic friends and relations will certainly not spot the source of the pictures,so unless you regularly produce really big prints,or do lots of low light photography,why bother with the extra weight and cost of a DSLR?
    A bridge camera is SO much more convenient!

  17. Al says

    Ditto that. I’ve been shooting for years with expensive dSLRs and lenses, all the while longing for the relative simplicity, ease and elegance of a camera of which the FinePix HS20EXR promises to be, yet putting the move off until some of the heretofore limitations were overcome, at least to a significant extent. Without recounting all of those overcoming features / functionality that is touted for the HS20, which those of you considering this unit have likely already researched, the lens alone is significant in my decision to purchase the HS20 and, once it (presumably) checks out to my satisfaction, to sell my sSLR stuff. It is a 24-720 (35mm equivalent) with an excellent close-up macro. WOW! I love thinking about even just this aspect of simplicity and freedom provided by the focal range of this camera yet with relatively excellent anticipated results.

    One point I want to throw out there is that of just being happy and lightening up in how you go about enjoying your photography. With over 40 years of engagement in photography and painting, I’ve come to realize that enjoyment and being happy about it is what it’s all about. Too much attention to the fine points of detail in photographic equipment and/or results can be overcoming and diminish the former. This is not to imply that equipment attributes and functionality are not important, but we seemingly have reached a reasonable level of that in the HS20 that will warrant the jump from the costly dSLR and lenses over to this relatively simple and inexpensive unit with all of the freedom, features and ease it will provide. Moreover, at relatively low prices, I can always sell and purchase newer models with new compelling features for relatively nominal cost. Just thinking about all of that makes me feel good and that in itself is a clear indication to me as to the way to go.

    Typically, when I acquire a new camera, I do detailed testing and documentation of essentially every shooting mode and setting of a fixed image under controlled conditions. Granted, this is detailed and cumbersome, but it is one time only and well serving because it helps me to know the equipment, its results at various settings and to determine how I will set the camera parameters and how I will shoot from then on. I’ll do the same with the HS20. I’ll likely set on something like manual control over my shooting with this unit, shooting normally at only 100 ASA, aperture priority, camera settings for jpeg processing down to minimal levels across the board (thus deferring to me for enjoyable post processing), and RAW only for instances of extreme HDR variance. I love the feature whereby you can set the HS20 to do a RAW on the fly, rather than for every image. Arduous testing and experience over the years leads me to the conclusion that for the majority of shooting, RAW is a waste of time, yet indispensable in certain situations, i.e., extreme HDR.

    I expect that the results I will obtain from the HS20 will be all that I would want / need for all practical purposes.

    Similar thoughts apply to the realm of editing and RAW conversion software. Although this is off topic, I feel compelled to say that the use of Photoshop is essentially not at all needed for all practical purposes unless you are employed in an arena that, for commercial reasons, needs to coincide with an arbitrary industry standard. I find that Paint Shop Pro is a wonderful, inexpensive alternative with relative simplicity and ease, yet with uncompromising results for overall photo editing. For RAW processing, I’ve tested most, if not all of the conversion software out there and find LightZone to be utterly amazing for RAW processing, irrespective of the various proprietary RAW files, with results that even exceed proprietary RAW processing software.

    Finally, when all is said and done, relative variations among dSLR and the HS20 images seen on a computer screen will likely be found to be negligible, if at all. Results on printed output of images (shot with care as to settings) will likely also be negligible, for all practical purposes, to the extent of similarly shot and sized images and effective processing.. Also, rendered style and output print material is a factor which could obliterate any seen variations.

    The upshot to all of this is to chill out with respect to over-considerations of equipment, notions of what is “professional” and what isn’t, and what constitutes pleasing output. Just enjoy.

  18. Steven Yeoh says

    Hello, may i know is better to buy Fijifilm Finepix HS20EXR or Sony SLT-A55? I have no ideal which one to choose. Of course, if choose the HS20EXR I don’t need to spend extra money to look for lens. But still need advise from expert/professional senior because will estimate keep using for around 10 years (due to tight budget). Please help. Thank you.