Fuji HS20 EXR Review –Pt1 … First Look

I have had the new Fuji now for three days and in that time managed to snap off about 700 shots, so I’m starting to get a feel for the camera, and I have to say that the learning curve is bigger than with the HS10.

HS20 Macro

But lets start at the beginning.  The new camera arrived in a box that looked exactly like my HS10’s box. No surprise there then. You get the same setup as its predecessor, Fuji Software package, short lanyard for the lens cap, nice petal lenshood (should have been included with the HS10 as well), and a good sized camera strap. I added a 4gig Kingston class six SD card to the order, and it had been formatted so no formatting required, a nice touch. The usual USB PC cables and video cables included along with warranty and the basic printed manual. As I already have better software installed on my PC the CD was left in the box along with the video cable. I use HDMI to connect to the TV if need be.

Fit and finish looks good, certainly seems as good as the HS10, and yes like the HS10 the battery cover does wriggle around slightly  when in use but its not likely to cause a problem. The lens barrel on extending the lens did exhibit a very tiny, and I mean tiny rough point at the mid  transition point of the lens. This has now smoothed out and is no longer noticeable. The lens zoom is slightly tighter than my HS10 was but it is still very smooth.
The EVF diopter wheel was easier to adjust and I think Fuji may have slightly changed the outer casing to allow for this, certainly it was much easier to use than the HS10’s. Another nice touch is the addition on a thumb grip pad for extra control, its a simple thing but a feature I like.
It certainly seems that having the camera produced in China hasn’t detracted from the finished product, in my case at least.

After taking a couple of hundred photos in quick succession over a period of an hour and switching constantly between modes I got the heat warning indicator show up. At this point I had been using the supplied alkaline battery’s (Panasonics) and they had become mildly warm. Not unexpected from this type of battery but nothing to worry about. I eased the LCD out and put my finger directly on the back of the casing of the camera. A small amount of warmth could be felt at this time. Ambient air temperature was about 18  degrees Celsius, so in a really hot climate the camera after a period of intense use could possibly get warmer than one may like. I found that easing the LCD out of its bay by 4 or 5mm was sufficient to help with cooling and the temperate warning didn’t come on again. At this point I haven’t updated the firmware as I want to push the camera a little harder yet. Up to now I haven’t seen any sign of image degradation from the camera with the warning showing and I continued to shoot another 50 odd shots before turning the camera off.
Heres a link to some of the shots I took the first day out. They have been PP’d a little but not drastically so.
All in all Fit & finish is good and exactly what I would expect from a new camera.

Posted by R. McKenzie at 9:19 PM  

  1. I am planning to buy HS20 because of the DSLR like functions with which i can learn photography without a dent in my pocket. but at the same time worried about autofocusing issues raised in many forums for both images & videos.
    could you tell me whether it is a good camera for videos as well?


  2. As a stills camera its very good,not quite there in the IQ stakes compared to a DSLR.

    The video side is at best sub-par compared with the HS10. Provided you have all the continuous focus settings off and dont zoom, and pan slowly you will find it passable. The sound I feel was better in the HS10 as it was monaural rather than stereo. The HS20 seems to sound very tinny on occasion.
    So I wouldn’t bother using the HS20 for anything video wise other than for short Y-Tube style clips at VGA resolutions.

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