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Fujifilm FinePix HS20EXR Review

Updated on February 2, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix HS20EXR Digital Camera Review

Of all the current batch of superzoom digital cameras, Fujifilm are the only ones to offer a full-on bridge camera. The FinePix HS20, like it's the one before it the FinePix HS10, comes with a propper zoom ring as well as full manual controls including a ring for manual focusing. From the user's point of view almost exactly like a DSLR camera, the only down side being that it is also one of the largest and heaviest superzooms on the market.

Having said that the main reason for anyone looking to buy a superzoom camera is for it's Zoom - Again the Fujifilm HS20EXR does not disappoint with a very powerful 30x optical zoom. Add to the a class leading 16 mega pixel sensor and you have the basis for a truly cracking bridge camera.

Main Features - Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR digital camera main specifications

  • Max resolution: 4608 x 3456
  • Effective pixels: 16.0million
  • Sensor size 1/2 " (6.40 x 4.80 mm, 0.3 cm²)
  • Sensor type EXRCMOS
  • ISO rating Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (6400 and 12800 with boost)
  • Zoom wide (W) 24mm
  • Zoom tele (T) 720mm
  • Aperture range F2.8 - F5.6
  • Min shutter 30sec
  • Max shutter 1/4000sec
  • Built-in Flash Yes, Pop-up
  • Continuous Drive Yes, 8 fps
  • Movie Clips Yes, 1920 x 1080 (FHD 30 fps), 1280 x 720 (HD 60 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
  • Storage types SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-I)
  • LCD 3"

    LCD Dots 460,000

  • Battery 4 x AA batteries (Alkaline, NiMH or Lithium)
  • Weight (inc. batteries) 730g

    Dimensions 131 x 91 x 126mm (5.2 x 3.6 x 5 in)

FujiFlim HS20EXR 24-720mm Zoom Lens
FujiFlim HS20EXR 24-720mm Zoom Lens

24-720mm Zoom Lens

The 30x & Wide Angle 24-720mm Zoom Lens

To zoom in and out, you just have to twist the barrel, which is not only fast but accurate as well. This manual zoom instantly takes you from 24mm wide-angle landscapes to super 30x telephoto close-up of distant wildlife.

One of the biggest advantages of a superzoom bridge camera over a SLR is that there are no bulky lenses to carry around and you don't need to worry about getting dust on the lens or sensor. With the sealed integrated lens design, you enjoy “all in one” convenience and breathtaking Fujinon optical quality across the entire zoom range!

As well as photographic objects close up in the distance, you can take photos of things like flowers and insects really close up - Just select the remarkable 1cm Super Macro Mode and ordinary subjects like flowers or even a raindrop become extraordinary photos.

More Creative Photography

Fujifilm FinePix HS20EXR Review
Fujifilm FinePix HS20EXR Review

The FinePix has a number of features and settings to help you get the best out of your photographs:

Motion Panorama 360 enables you to capture the scene around you 360 degrees in a single photo. More shooting options for you with pro-class functions.

Pro Low-light Mode

This mode is ideal for when you are taking images of non-moving subjects in low light. What it does is automatically takes a series of four high-sensitivity & low-noise exposures and then combines them into an image with less noise than the single exposures.

Pro Focus Mode with Face Detection

This produces a final image emphasizing the sharply focused subject against a soft, out-of-focus background and thus emulates the gentle, out-of-focus background look of a DSLR when shooting portraits or macro subjects. It does this with a single press of the shutter that first takes an exposure focused on the main subject, then additional exposures at different focus points.

Best Frame Capture Mode
Best Frame Capture Mode

Best Frame Capture Mode

Timing your shot to get the best possible image can be very difficult, this is especially true if you are trying to photograph fast moving objects like birds.

With this Fujifilm digital camera it is much easier with the Best Frame Capture feature. All you have to do is Half-press the shutter and the FinePix HS20EXR starts recording photos at 11fps at 8 megapixel resolution. When the moment happens, fully press the shutter button and the camera captures up to 16 frames including pre-recorded frames, giving you the opportunity to select the best shot.

Image stabilization
Image stabilization

Image Stabilization

CMOS Shift + High ISO Image Stabilization

One of the most important features of any camera that has a powerful telephoto lens is Image stabilization. This is because unless you use a tripod and external shutter release long telephoto shots often suffer from camera shake and subject movement which can ruin photos by producing blurred results.

So most superzoom cameras have some sort of image stabilization - The FinePix HS20EXR has a very effective CMOS-shift and high ISO image stabilization ensures that your shots stay extra-crisp and clear, even at the full 30x zoom

Further Reading

More Information on the Fujifilm FinePix HS20EXR Digital Camera

For some more information I have also included some links that I found useful when doing some research for this page:

Video Capture

Full HD Movie Recording

Not only does the FinePix HS20EXR capture great still images, but you can also make broadcast quality movies using the H.264 (MOV) Full 1080p HD format and stereo sound.

The FinePix HS20 captures 1920 x 1080p footage at 30 frames per second, which apart from the Panasonic FZ100, is currently the only superzoom bridge camera to do so. Versatility is further increased thanks to the High Speed Movie options, which include 320 x 112 pixel capture at an incredible 320 frames per second or 640 x 480 pixel capture at an impressive 80 frames per second. With features like this, even the fastest moving subjects can be captured and watched in super-slow motion.

The H.264 format is the mainstay of broadcasting and Blu-Ray technologies as it produces file sizes that are smaller and easier to handle than AVI, plus they’re compatible with many applications and websites, making it simple for you to share video content via sites such as YouTube.

Low light video recording is now also easier, thanks to the inclusion of the EXR HD Movie mode. It uses the same Pixel Fusion technology as it does for still images, the FinePix HS20 delivers high sensitivity and low digital noise for movie capture in low lighting conditions without the need to resort to additional lighting. So what this means for you in practical terms is that you are able to capture the mood of sunsets, interiors and parties in both still and movie form.

Fujinon Lens
Fujinon Lens

Fujinon Lens

Extra-low Dispersion (ED) Glass Lens

Often overlooked by people when deciding on which camera to purchase is the quality of the lens, which is a little crazy as the quality of every photo you take is dependant on the quality of the lens.

The FinePix HS20EXR uses Extra-low Dispersion (ED) Glass in the Lens that minimizes chromatic aberration which frequently occurs in conventional super telephoto lenses, the high-quality ED glass lens delivers superior sharpness and color fidelity.

For those who don't know, extra low dispersion glass is used to make lenses on high end, telescopes, microscopes, binoculars and cameras. What id does is to prevent chromatic aberration by concentrating and directing the wavelength of light more effectively onto the camera’s film/sensor. Lenses made from extra low dispersion glass have less air bubbles and glass deformities that are more likely to cause image distortion.

High-precision Molded Glass Aspheric Lens

The aspheric lens design eliminates the need for additional corrective lens elements by precisely focusing light at the same point on the focal plane. The lens thus reduces distortion at wide angles, improves resolution in both center and edge areas, cuts glare and reflections, and minimizes chromatic aberration throughout the zoom range, the lens also makes possible a lighter and more compact design.

EXR CMOS sensor
EXR CMOS sensor


In pursuing for the ultimate image technology, Fujifilm has developed a unique collaboration, the EXR CMOS, optimizing the best of EXR and CMOS imagining technologies. See for yourself the dynamic resolution and its brilliant speed, opening a new door to another era in photography.

This EXR CMOS sensor is Back Side Illuminated) (BSI) which according to Fuji is a ground-breaking breakthrough in image quality but what is really impressive is the 16 million pixels that is class leading and really does mean a leap forward in resolution.

The design of conventional CMOS sensors is such that the light has to pass through a layer of wiring before hitting the photo diodes. But the BSI-CMOS configuration places this wiring layer behind the photo diodes improving light sensitivity and dramatically boosting results, particularly in low light. Couple this to the triple-layer EXR array, the performance of which can be split according to the lighting conditions, and you’ll see why the FinePix HS20 sets new standards in sensor technology.

EXR CMOS Sensor Technology

Video that explains far better than I can the technology and advantages of the EXR CMOS Sensor Technology incorporated in this FujiFim FinePix Camera

The FinePix HS20EXR on Amazon

Amazon sells pretty much everything and usually at a great price as well and this is no different for the Fujifilm FinePix HS20EXR

FujiFilm FinePix HS20EXR Promotional Movie

Official promotional video of the HS20EXR from FujiFilm that points out the camera's main features and highlights

If you have any comments or feedback on this page or with the Fujifilm HS20EXR in general, I would love to hear from you

FinePix HS20EXR Comments

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    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 6 years ago

      Excellent review of the Finepix HS20exr - I just put this on my top three list of cameras to consider for my next purchase. *Blessed and saved ;)