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If it had a larger, slightly higher resolution sensor of around 12+ MP I reckon that many people currently in the market for an entry-level DSLR would buy this Fuji Finepix HS10 instead - mainly due to its chunky feel, fantastic manually-operated 30x zoom lens (with manual focus) and use of four ordinary AA rechargeable batteries. However, in terms of pure image quality I don't think HS10 takes pictures on a par with those from another bridge camera I bought recently - the Panasonic DMC-FZ38, which is smaller, lighter, cost over a hundred quid less and was much easier to source.
But FZ38 only has an 18x 'power' zoom lens and uses an expensive Li-Ion battery.
This comparison aside though, HS10's brilliant lens combined with its ability to shoot RAW makes it very worthwhile having. The other thing you should know is that the Silkypix RAW Converter as bundled with HS10 is not a fully-functional version of the program. For example, the 'trim' feature is disabled and you can only save to JPEG as opposed to uncompressed TIF. Then again I believe that HS10 RAW files are supported by Serif's recently-launched PhotoPlus X4. So this might be a reasonably-priced alternative worth investigating.
On the video front HS10's 1280x720 efforts are pretty impressive, especially when you consider that long lens. But be aware that any videos you shoot will be hampered by rattling and clicking noises made by the automatics inside the camera. This is a well-documented issue with HS10. Although switching off the automatics via the menu system will ameliorate these noises somewhat, better positioning of the on-board mics would have done that better, while the provision of an external mic input would have banished the problem entirely. Take note please Mr Fuji.
Would I buy HS10 again?
Yes. Definitely - because of its wonderful zoom lens. If you need to get 'really' close from 'afar', right now there's nothing comparable for the same sort of money. HS10 could be a proper boon to serious wildlife photographers on a budget.
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