147 of 150 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2012
I have been an amateur photographer since I got a Asahi Pentax spotmatic II while I was in the army in 1971. I eventually had many lenses and accessories for it. When it was damaged beyond repair I got a Nikon autofocus 35mm. I was happy with that too. This is my 3rd Fuji digital camera, I loved the first one which I eventually gave to my son and replaced with an S1800 which I did not like. I did a lot of research before I settled on the HS25. The reviews were very good on the HS20 except for noise. The HS25 features a redesigned CMOS to improve that. I was not interested in RAW shooting and I like using AA batteries. Those were the main differences between the HS25 and the HS30 which is $100.00 more. I just unboxed mine last night and spent a lot of time with the owners manual starting to learn all the features available. First, I love the feel of the camera, the quality is first rate. I looked at the Canon SX40 and while the reviews were good, it felt and looked cheap.This camera looks expensive. I really like the manual zoom lens. It brings me back to the 35mm days and I feel like I have better control.It seems very smooth and natural. The autofocus is very fast which was important to me. I have only taken about 10 photos so far in my house at night without a flash and I am pleased with them. I can't wait to take some pictures of the hummingbirds in my back yard. I will come back and update this report. So far I am extremely pleased with my purchase. As always, Amazon had the best price and got it to me quickly.
UPDATE: I have taken a variety of pictures with my new camera and I couldn't be happier! Pictures of my grandkids that would have been blurred with my old camera are very good. I took some macros of flowers and a couple closeups of my dogs. All perfect. The manual zoom is now just intuitive, memories of my old 35mm days I guess. I recommend it completely.
NEW UPDATE: It's been a week now and as I learn more it just keeps getting better. There is a website: dpreview.com that has camera tests etc, but also has forums where camera owners share tips, advice and photos. It is very helpful.
111 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2012
Much has already been written about this model already, so I'll just give my pro and con list for the most part, based on my experience. While I do stock photography and use a DSLR for that, I wanted a more casual camera for around the house, and I'm not lofty in my expectations. I know what you should (and should not) expect for a price (and from Fuji, based on past Fuji camera experience).
1) Manual Zoom ring gives the "feel" of a DSLR w/manual focusing available.
2) Ability to use filters on lens.
3) Good hand grip and handling overall. Can use in full auto or lots of manual controls.
4) Non-proprietary AA batteries make it handy when traveling. I suggest "eneloop" rechargeable brand.
5) Overall good image quality (for a non-pro camera level) once you learn how to leave the full auto and adjust settings.
6) Tilt LCD.
7) Hot shoe for external flash (if you feel the need for it).
8) Very fast focusing under most conditions.
1) Electronic eye viewfinder is very low res and very small.
2) Battery compartment door shifts when gripping camera a bit (irritating).
3) Image stabilization is sensor shift type - not lens type, so not as effective (and nearly worthless at 700mm full zoom).
4) Image quality is only best when you use the priority modes (7 megapixel resolution give or take) as opposed to full resolution mode.
5) Blows highlights easily unless you use the highlight priority mode.
6) No printed instruction book - can be hard to learn to use all manual items for those who might not be tech heads.
I would recommend this camera if you get it under $300 via Amazon or Costco who is also offering it for this price, and as long as you realize that while it LOOKS like a digital SLR, it is NOT a digital SLR. If you completely rely on the camera's full auto mode, then the image quality is "ok". If you take the time to read the CD manual and make some more manual adjustments to the settings outside of auto mode, then I bump up the image quality to "good". Using the camera at it's full 16mp resolution produces the poorest results. Once you get a couple of priority mode settings down and reduce the photos to a smaller size in-camera at around 7 megapixels, then images improve a good deal; of course, this means in order to get the best from this camera, you're sacrificing pixels - and you're paying essentially for a 7 megapixel camera instead of a 16 megapixel camera. Being able to use AA batteries is a plus for travelers.
My largest complaint is the type of image stabilization (IS) that is used in this camera, where the sensor itself is "shifted" instead of the lens having a stabilizing mechanism inside of it. Sensor shift IS is not as effective, and as a result, I found that when using this camera at full 30X zoom, I rarely get usable photos - even in bright sunny conditions and even when allowing the camera to up the sensitivity automatically to up to 400iso. Backing it off to around 500mm (per the guide that's printed on the lens barrel) fixes this for the most part, and the images are once again sharp, though this means it's not truly a 30X camera if you can't really use the zoom fully without a tripod. Not a great choice for bird and wildlife watchers if you expect the full zoom out of it to work perfectly, then.
Overall grade based on the level of camera it is, who it's aimed at, and price = B-
52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2012
I am very pleased with my HS25EXR. I am aware that it is not a Nikon D4. However, this Fuji entry is remarkable in its ability to capture sharp, clean (not a lot of noise) images. I slide many of them over to Lightroom 3.6 for further quality adjustment. I was a catalogue/portrait photographer in the 80's. I'm used to shooting with Bronica 6x6, Nikon F3, Mamiya 6x4.5, and 4x5's, etc. I do suggest purchasing this camera, unless you have $5999.99 for a Nikon D4, body only (no lens). I have put my HS25EXR thru the paces and found it to be a useful addition.
David Messinger, Sr.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2012
About Fujifilm cameras Finepix HS25EXR and Finepix HS30EXR
Finally i have received a Fujifilm camera from Amazon. The delivery was super fast. Although both cameras Fujifilm Finepix HS25 EXR and Fujifil Finepix HS30 EXR are almost similar, I purchased the first one not because I wanted to spare $100, but because I liked its batteries: standard 2AA rechargeable Ni-Mh.
I chose between Fujifilm Finepix and Canon Power Shot SX40HS or Nikon Coolpix P510, Fujifilm even the other two cameras have a longer optical zoom: Canon 40, Nikon 41,7 and Fuji 30, because:
- Fuji has external flesh, and Nikon hasn't.
- Fuji works with standard batteries and Canon and Nikon do not.
- Fuji has a wider diapason of shutter speed and aperture.
- Fuji has a larger sensor which gives a better dynamic range, and against Canon, has more pixels.
- Fuji camera is a more versatile than Canon or Nikon. It has a lot of features, more than you will need.
- Fuji uses a new sensor called EXR which is said to work better than other sensors, although I cannot confirm this.
- Fuji has manual zoom ring, instead of electric zoom, which is more convenient, more professional like and gives longer battery life.
- Fuji has a 58 mm thread so you can add filters or a teleconverter, the others do not have.
- Fuji gives you the possibility to shoot in 3D. I made a test and received a perfect 3D picture. No other camera does this. I was amazed.
I can not compare image quality of cameras because I do not have Canon and Nikon cameras, but I do not expect any conspicuous difference.
For all these, I think that the Fujifilm Finepix HS25EXR, or HS30EXR are today the best bridge SRL-like cameras in the market. Their prices are reasonable.
What I do not like to these Fuji cameras:
- Awful instruction booklet, HS25EXR dos not have at all. Its booklet is in the CD.
- Fujifilm does not have an exposure live view. So you can not see on the LCD what the final picture will look like (how light or dark it will be) before you actually take the shot.
- The image stabilization is not too good, although I do not know how good is in Canon or Nikon cameras especially at lower speeds or in high zooms when it is needed more.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2012
Ignore those who gave this camera a bad review. They have to be (a) Pros accustomed to $5000 cameras (b) Employees of competing makes (c) Complete idiots who can't be bothered to read the manual or (d) Just happened to get a lemon. My guess is: (b).
As for me, I can't claim a lot of experience with other makes and their features, this is just my 4th digital camera. But I can't imagine how a camera could be smarter than the Fujifilm HS25EXR. In fact - call me naïve - there are features on it that I couldn't imagine ANY camera at ANY price could EVER have.
Take night shots. Other cameras naturally extend the exposure time. But unless you're using a tripod, you can't avoid a bit of tremor, which makes the image look like scribblings instead of dots. But it seems that the HS25 takes a number of separate shots, all with a fast shutter time, then internally repositions each frame to neutralize any camera movement, and then superimposes all to get a sharp and steady final image. Whoa! That is *major-league* engineering.
The HS25 uses the same shot-matching ability to produce silky-smooth, professional-grade panoramas. You can even do a 360-degree pan, which is impossible to shoot hand-held without jumps and jerks unless you're sitting on a piano stool - but the HS25 totally removes them if you do it right (just don't scan too fast or too slow - it takes a bit of practice - but the camera will tell you what, if anything, you're doing wrong!). It can also take high definition video AND snap still pictures at the same time, without interrupting the video.
As in all other cameras, the auto-focus mode is far from perfect but this one lets you fine-tune it manually. And when it senses that you touch the focusing ring, it magnifies temporarily the center of the screen or viewfinder to make it easier for you, then goes back to your original framing. Double whoa! There's even an eye sensor that switches automatically from the LCD screen to the viewfinder when you move the viewfinder to eye level. I could go on, there's a dozen other smart and useful features.
I figured that with all those goodies the lens must be mediocre, but up to its 30X, it's pretty good. Not pro quality but fine for an amateur photographer. The only downsides I have found are: (1) Unless you're happy with the auto modes - and you could very well be - the HS25 is hugely complex, with a 142-page user manual on a CD, and a lot of things to get used to. I've had it for about a month and with a lot of practice and trial & error, I still can't claim to master it thoroughly. (2) It's a little slow processing the shots especially when shooting video or using auto bracketing (but keep in mind it's a 12 Mpix image) Then (3) The darker parts of my images are often grainy even at ISO 400 - never mind at 12800! (but there's ways to work around that post facto).
In conclusion: if I had seen the manual on this thing but not its price, I would have guessed about $1500. Bargain alert!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2012
Easy to use
EXR mode excellent
External Flash or use remote for any flash brand.
Better and fast focus than my coolpix P500
Manual zoom (will save battery).
30X Zoom great but use a tripod.
Battery AA are great so you don't have to buy extra.
Memory card slot located inside the grip so you don't have to open the battery compartment anymore to replace the memory card.
Great colors and super macro photos, not very lucky with weather for the pass 2 weekends to go out and try outdoors.
This camera is away better than all the previous I had from NIKON,5700,P5100,P500.
the cover so far on the battery compartment moves a bit but after batteries installed not so much.
will be great for Fuji to add RAW files.
Construction with a lot off pastic but with this price Ok.
See a lot off cameras for over 400.00 with solid construction and image quality very poor like my coolpix 5100 very hard to have an image in focus on any movement, this one i have way better images.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2012
I am attracted by the greater "latitude" of Fujiflm cameras. The hs20exr had major issues so I delayed buying. Reviews were excellent by professional or near pro photographers on the hs25exr, so in mid June I took the plunge and purchased a used one.
So far I am thrilled with this camera. My training is in scientific and medical photography. I am accustomed to shooting everything manual, particularly because I like natural lighting situations that tend to befuddle a camera's auto function. Digital is nice for the instant feedback and exposure adjustment if necessary. The hs25exr does great in manual mode, bringing up well-saturated colors.
I have been experimenting with EXR mode, however, the "auto everything" function of this camera. So far so good. I'd call these photos largely passable. My only quibble is that the camera errs on overexposing, particularly faces. They print out OK, only less saturated colors than I like. Possibly there is a way to adjust this that I have not yet discovered.
Yes, the camera takes some time to process some images, particularly night shots. However, they do look like night shots. The multiple shots combined into one image works very well; just hold the camera as steady as possible while it shoots. I haven't yet tried the multiple exposure mode for fast action shots, but then that isn't my typical type of photography.
I took the camera with me from the Northwest to Houston for a visit with one of my sons and his family. EXR mode performed well under many varied conditions from full sun to a night time parade, indoors and outdoors, backlit scenes and sidelit, even from the jet's window. When I wanted total say in the photograph, I switched to manual mode.
I even experimented with the tiltable back screen for hip-level kid shots or overhead crowd shots. Very convenient, though I remain an SLR fan and prefer the camera up to my face. I mostly use the viewfinder.
I like the 24mm to 700mm zoom lens 135 equivalent. These are pretty much the extremes that I prefer. Autofocus failed at times. I know to focus on a high contrast area to help out the machinery in the camera, so a retry brought the scene accurately into focus. I tend to be a deliberate shooter, so this wasn't a problem for me. Could be frustrating if one shoots hard and fast.
This camera has met my needs so far. Having shied away from Auto mode, I have been won over for all but the most important photographs. I was asked to shoot some business portraits for a home page. In manual mode with a strong flash on the hotshoe, aimed at the ceiling with a white card taped to the back of the flash, a couple of exposure checks and we did the deed. Quick and easy and the folks liked the photos.
I don't need a very high end camera at this point, but I do need good quality. I recommend this camera for both point-and-shoot and more exacting work.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2012
I just started using the HS25EXR and find that it will suit me very well. I did a lot of research before deciding which camera to buy. I wanted something more than what I had, but I could not afford to get into the DSLR that I wanted, so I picked this. It's not likely to work for everyone. I was looking for something that offered manual options, great images and solid video performance. If you want a huge auto zoom and detachable lenses, you won't be happy with this. My initial tests show that it's easy to use with a lot of advanced features, including some I will likely never use. I like the heft of the camera and the way it fits in my hand. I don't feel like it will slip away from me during use. I feel like I have good control over it and the buttons are fairly easy to access. I still have more testing to do, and I'm one who likes to decipher the use manuals so on first blush:
- Solid Camera
- Great images
- HD video
- Easy to use
- Very nice, clear digital display
- Fairly intuitive if you just want to start using it out of the box
- Huge zoom
- The manual focus ring doesn't seem as responsive as the auto focus, but there are ways to work with that.
- Manual is not clear whether you can connect this and use it from an optional (not included) power source beyond the batteries.
I plan on looking into the power source question and I am thrilled to be able to add a protective (or other) 58 mm lens filter to the camera.
Some people might complain that there is no full printed manual, but that is easy to over come. It comes on a CD and the PDF file is easy to copy and transfer as needed to use on any device or print as you like.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2013
I recently purchased this camera both for myself, and for the public library I work at. The camera feels like a $650 DSR. I cannot believe how little it cost.
Best features if you are just looking to point and shoot and do HD video, why you should get THIS and not a camera for $100 less:
There is NO lag time from when you press the button to take a photo until the photo is taken. You see it, you press the button, the photo appears on your display exactly as you saw it
Amazing performance in low light. I rarely need the flash!
The Flash is AMAZING. You know how sometimes the flash overexposes everyone? Not here. With my old camera, also a $250 product, I used to have to stand a bit away from the object or person I was photographing, and then, zoom in so I could use the flash. Otherwise, there was overexposure. Here, I can stand one foot from the person I am photographing, and they will be perfectly exposed. You would not even know I used a flash!
Zoom--oh my goodness, this is amazing! Pictures are still super sharp even after getting way up close.
Video--seemless. Push a button to start recording. Press the same button to stop, and you can immediately start shooting photos again. The video is HD. Wonderful.
Batteries--uses 4 AA. Just get yourself a set of rechargeables and you are good. You do not need to find a fancy kind or plug in the entire camera. That said, I keep back up batteries with me. The camera does NOT use up batteries quickly at all. That was a problem with my old camera. The batteries have a long life here, but recharagable seems best to me.
Connection to devices. The camera comes with cables to connect it to all of our devices for easy download of pictures and video.
This is just about one percent of the reasons to buy this camera.
I will throw in that you can do real manual photography, like in the old days, artistic stuff, with this item. I was a black and white darkroom girl, and if I want to adjust shutter and F stop, I can do it all the way! Just like with my old Nikkon.
Enjoy this one!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2013
I wanted to upgrade my point and shoot camera, but I'm an intermediate photographer and frequently use a DSLR. I wanted something that gave me the options of a DSLR but the quickness and ease of a point and shoot. The main reason I wanted this camera (actually the HS30EXR) is because of the manual zoom. Sony has one that I played around with in the store that has a manual zoom and it seemed pretty awesome but with a price tag of $400+ dollars, that was a no go.
My husband and I went back and forth on getting it, and at first we got the Finepix S4500 for a steal at Target. Took it for a test drive, and I didn't like it much (it's a good camera for a beginner, though). Finally my husband said I could get this camera so I took it out the next day for a test drive and even though it was overcast all day, it still took amazing pictures. The picture quality goes up even more in optimal weather conditions.
The manual zoom makes it a snap to get in (or out) on the subject instead of waiting....waiting, for the zoom to go aaalllll the way out or in, which is something I do frequently and it usually eats up the battery quick. I took at least 200 (more) photos and didn't have to change the batteries until I started testing out the macro (another battery eater).
I can't tell you much about the flash. I don't use it often. I mostly judge a camera by how well it does in low light situations since 95% of the time I only use natural lighting. This one rates about 8/10 for me. I deleted the picture but the first night I had it I turned off all the lights in the room except the tv, which was behind the object I was shooting and facing the same direction as me. I took a couple of shots in manual and the pictures were grainy mostly due to user laziness, but not horrible. Then I took a couple of shots using the camera's low lighting settings (there's a couple of them)and I was pretty surprised at how clear they were. There was still some grain, but for me it was something I could deal with (and easily fix in photoshop). But the object (a clear water jug) was very much in focus, lines were crisp.
Macro is amazing. Even more so when you add the digital zoom. I think the HS30EXR flash adjusts for the macro. I don't know if this one does or not, the one time I popped the flash it didn't look like it moved. I don't usually use it anyway but sometimes in macro you just need it. But it's super sharp. I took a picture of some kind of berry something on a tree and didn't even have to edit the picture. (I'll post it here)
The tilt screen on this comes in handy too.
All in all, this camera is pretty amazing so far. I'll keep adding to this as I go along since I've only really used it twice. Supposedly you can use filters with it. I see the threads on the lens, so I'll give it a try and post about that as well.
Oh and for those who care about things like this; it's really comfortable to hold. Feels really natural in the hand and has a good weight to it while still feeling pretty light. I will say though that the battery cover on mine does shift once in a while. I don't know if it's just me though. But it's not like a "it's about to come loose" shift. Just more of a "settling" shift. Like a house I guess. It only did it a few times when I held it a certain way and had to place my finger on it. But it doesn't bother me.
Follow up- 6/2014:
Everything is still pretty awesome on this camera. Sometimes the focus goes wonky, but my DSLR did the same thing, and it doesn't seem to do it with the AF set to continuous (but that's a bit of a battery eater so I don't usually mess with it).
Holds up OK to small bumps, etc. My 2y/o daughter likes to steal it to "take pictures" and since she knows she's not supposed to mess with it, every time she gets caught she'll drop it on the ground (from a sitting position) and run away. But it's held up despite a few mild toddler tantrums. I really only mention this because I had another camera that fell less than six inches onto the floor and never worked again, so it's nice when your camera can hold up to small accidents (because they happen more than we really want them to).
I will say for certain, that this camera has turned me into a bit of a creeper. I'm talking about the zoom. The manual zoom is actually pretty decent, but then when you use the digital zoom on top of it it's like...so amazing. I like to use it to either see what people are doing (kinda creepy, I know) or to read things/figure out what an object is that's far away. The digital zoom gets pretty shaky, so if you have unsteady hands like me, you'll need to use a tripod to get clearer images.
I also really love that this has a manual focus on it. I don't use it much, but sometimes when you have a still subject and want the focus on a very particular spot, it's very handy. I think it's actually labelled as "Manual focus check" in the settings somewhere so I didn't even realize at first that it had that feature since I have a bad habit not reading manuals all the way through (the excitement gets to me).
The built-in flash is actually decent, and allows you to change how bright it is (though not by much). But if you don't like the camera's flash, there is an external flash mount.
I have noticed that you have to be careful with some of your settings, like noise reduction, sharpness etc, because these seem to cause either too much noise or, as with the noise reduction, weird blobby-ness when you blow the picture up. The blobs aren't so noticeable unless you're editing them, or just have an eye for that kind of stuff but they bother me, so just as a forewarning...
So it's still a very good camera, and although I REALLY want another (fancier, more expensive) DSLR, I don't think I would stop using this for on the go situations. It's got some form of most, if not all, features you would find on a beginner DSLR but with the convenience of having your zoom and macro together without having to switch out lenses (or buy them in the first place which gets expensive). Which is really nice when you're in a stop-shoot-go situation.