My new Fuji HS30EXR
I must totally disagree with the first reviewer who complained that the camera he had(NOT even the HS30!) was cheap and plasticky.
It might have a similar lens,but Fuji have released a few superzooms lately on the market,and those at the bottom end may well be not as solidly made as the HSEXR series starting with the HS10,but all the cameras I have had have been very well made,and very solid.
As regards being "Made in China",they're still made in Japanese managed factories,and Japanese quality control,and indeed, more and more cameras are being made there,by various makers,and in fact Nikon now make most of the their lenses and DSLRs in Thailand.
I have owned various camera,film and digital,compacts,superzooms,and SLR's,Nikon,Canon,Panasonic,and have now had all the previous Fuji Superzooms,starting with the S602Z.
I owned the HS10 for a while,and the lens and pictures were great,I found it slow to use,so I sold it and bought the HS20EXR,which was faster to use,and had several internal improvements.I used this camera a lot,as it could tackle most things,produced some great prints for me,and it relegated my Pentax DSLR,and heavy bag,to the spare room.
When I saw a demonstration of the new HS30EXR on a shopping channel,with it's improved sensor,bigger EVF,better rear LCD,and the ability to increase the zoom lens to a massive 60x digitally,I decided I had to have it!
I sold both the DSLR,and the HS20,and the HS30 is a definite improvement,not massively admittedly,but improvements still.It's very speedy to start up,and take photographs,the flash recycles quicker,and the digital zoom really works,although some sort of support is recommended!Images are bright,sharp,and colourful,in EXR mode,and there's plenty of custom functions.
Write times for continuous shooting is greatly improved,whereas before the camera would "freeze" for quite a few seconds while the images were being saved.
Even "Raw" files load onto the card fairly quickly,so there's few delays in picture taking.
The more I use this camera,the more I like it!
Inevitably you will get the "pixel peepers",who probably never print a photograph,who think that unless you have a Nikon,or Canon,DSLR,and a bagful of heavy,expensive "glass",(lenses to the rest of us),you can't take a decent photograph.
This is patently rubbish,as I usually print A4s,after cropping,and a bit of editing,and if I put a print from the HS10/20/30 next to prints from my Canon, Pentax,and Nikon DSLRs,it is hard to tell them apart,and the non-photographic viewer certainly couldn't.
But the convenience of having an "all-in-one" package far outweighs,in my view,the very slight improvement a DSLR image might give you,not to mention the cost of comparable lenses!
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Thank you for leaving this review. I'm contemplating purchasing a HS30EXR and I just wanted to agree emphatically that most certainly many cameras can produce printable images. I have a Print in my office that a friend of mine had printed for me he used a Fuji E550 to capture a patch of wild flowers. We are talking a 6 mega pixel point and shoot camera using interpolation to create a 12 mega pixel image of 4000x3000. He had the audacity to print it on a large format printer to 30" x 22,5". It's taken in macro mode so obviously some of the image will be out of focus. However I'm very grateful to the photographer and the business that printed it. It's quite enjoyable. Many photographers and so called graphics professionals confuse many things when it comes to judging weather a print is of sufficient quality or not. Many confuse the dpi (dots per inch) that describes the resolution of the image and LPI lines per inch that describes the printer resolution. Most people will not be able to distinguish between 120 LPI and 150 so when you go to a print service and they tell you that you can't have your image printed at a desired size because the image resolution is insufficient they have no clue. The image I'm referring to is printed at 120 LPI and that is quite sufficient. When Magazines print at 240 LPI that is pretty much fear driven overkill. My call to you is Print BIGGER. Let your images breathe. There is absolutely no reason to stop at the A4 size of prints. When light conditions are good and you are using all the best practices in taking and treating your images you can create enjoyable pictures with very inexpensive equipment. Again thank you for leaving this review.
I couldn't agree more with you Doug. If you plan to enlarge your photo way up there, then yes, it might loose quality, but for most of the 6x4 the camera is great - especially for travel.