on April 18, 2013
To be honest when I first got this camera I was ready to ship it back. I was looking for a camera with some manual options that was not as expensive as a dslr. It took me about two and a half hours to figure out why I could not get one decent picture. One thing I found out is that this cameras menu is a little more complex than some of the others I have. Also I realized that although you use AUTO, there are auto defaults that can be changed. In my case some needed to be changed out of the box. I had to change the anti-blur option, remove the toy effect from being the default (I don't know why it would be), and change sharpness. Once that stuff was done I got some decent photos. Some can be viewed in the customer images section of this product page. Again I have only had the camera for 2 days and I am still learning the available options of this camera. I may increase or decrease the rating of this review once I use it a little more. Overall I am happy with this camera. And for those who are curious, this product is made in China.
I have had this camera now for a few days. I have taken about 400+ photos. I own a variety of different cameras; but his is my first Fuji. I have taken inside, outside, low light, bright light, fast moving subjects, macro, landscapes, etc. and the pictures are beautiful. As I get use to this cameras menu and learn the options I am taking much better photos with it. The pictures even at the furthest end of the zoom are excellent! I would highly recommend this camera. The manual zoom, optional manual focus, and creative options makes this camera a lot of fun to use.
on January 2, 2014
Being a corporate photographer for 20 years, I am pretty familiar with cameras and their operation. I had a fairly expensive Nikon digital camera that took a dump on me. I wanted all the features of a professional camera without the high cost and the high cost of having several lenses to meet my needs. Searching on the net what was available, I came across Fujifilm camera. I purchased a lesser expensive Fuji camera and liked it so well, I wanted to upgrade to a better Fujifilm camera. The HS35 seemed to be about the best deal for the bucks. And now that I have it, I cannot tell you how much I love it. It has all the features and more of my former Nikon. It actually takes better pictures because it is a higher megapixel camera than my former Nikon. And best of all, I don't have to lug several lenses around with me. The built in lens is pretty much flexible enough for all my shooting needs from wide angle to extreme zoom. It IS actually a very professional camera. Great photos and easy to use with the flexibility of full manual over ride if necessary. I especially like the manual zoom over a powered zoom. The lens has accommodations for filters and lens hoods like any professional lens in addition to a hot shoe for flash accessories. What more can you ask for? Another added feature is the electronic viewfinder. In my opinion the prism through the lens viewfinder is obsolete. So an electronics one serves the purpose of composing photos in bright light very well. And it is automatic as it comes on when you look through it. With the EXR feature it is literally impossible to take a bad photo. This camera has a very nice "feel" to it as you hold and use it. I guarantee you will not be unhappy with the camera or the results. About the only thing it lacks is video quality. Even though it shoots in high definition, the video quality is OK, not great. However, I am totally OK with that because I did not purchase this camera for shooting video. I have a high def camcorder for that. So any video you shoot with this camera is an added plus just in case you don't have your camcorder with you. For the average person, the video quality is more than adequate. But if you are into shooting high quality video, you will still want to use a better quality video only camcorder. All in all I'm totally thrilled with my Fujifilm camera and I'm also very happy to be a part of the Fujifilm camera family. You don't have to drop thousands of dollars on expensive camera equipment to get great results.
on June 24, 2013
I was going to the stock car races and was looking for a good camera without going into the DSLR stratosphere. After reading the specs and reviews I settled on the Fujifilm FinePix HS35EXR 16 MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black). To go along with it I bought the Case Logic SLRC-200 SLR Camera Holster (Black),2 Pack Of NP-W126 Batteries for Fujifilm FinePix X-PRO1 X-PRO 1 X-E1 HS30EXR HS33EXR HS50EXR Digital Camera Includes NPW126 Battery + LCD Screen Protectors + Cleaning Cloth, and SanDisk Extreme 16 GB SDHC Class 10 UHS-1 Flash Memory Card 45MB/s SDSDX-016G-AFFP. The camera comes with one battery and I had a 4GB SDLC card so I figure I'm covered for any long racing weekend.
As with any camera, I got it almost a week in advance so I could get a few hundred shots under my belt before they counted. This included a couple sessions by the freeway to practice panning and photographing moving vehicles. My first session seemed fuzzy and I realized I'd been shooting with the wrong scene setting. The HS35EXR is complex enough that getting the setting right is important.
Shutter action is good, but not SLR good. Continuous and multi-shot modes can make up for some of that, but I didn't do any at the raceway. Focus at full zoom is better than I expected, with some shots nice-and-crisp and most with only minor issues. I was able to capture great action shots in the corners.
The first battery lasted for 421 shots. Out of the 483 pictures, 361 made the first round cut, where I eliminate the nose, tail and blank road pictures. Having 75% pass the first round is great!
The camera says the 16GB SD card holds over 2400 images at the highest detail. Everything I take is at the highest resolution and the 361 images have an average size on disk of 5.66MB. The new SD card is notably faster than my old 4GB card.
The Case Logic SLRC-200 SLR Camera Holster (Black) is a little large for the camera, but it protects it well, is light and easy to carry. I like it.
The batteries are working as expected so far...
I am pleased with my purchase.
on August 25, 2014
I have a Nikon D5100 DSLR, which I dearly love. Problem is, the body and lens combined set me back over $1200. Not the camera I want to take with me on Boy Scout camping trips and the like.
Enter the HS35EXR. Everything about this camera screams DSLR expect for the non-interchangeable lenses and the price. With the focal length range on this camera, you don't really need to worry about interchangeable lenses. At this price, I don't mind taking it camping.
A friend of mine wanted to buy a Canon DSLR. Knowing my friend as I do, and how she would use the camera, I offered her the use of my FinePix for a couple of days. She fell in love with it and didn't want to give it back! When she finally relinquished control of it, I told her how much it cost. She was flabbergasted, having been convinced it would be almost as expensive as any DSLR.
Needless to say, she ordered on that day, and has mentioned many times how much she loves it, and thanked me for saving her a ton of money.
To be honest, I use my FinePix more than my Nikon. In fact, had I known about this camera when I purchased my Nikon, I likely would have never purchased the DSLR. It's really that good.
Two things set this bridge camera apart from the others:
- The zoom on the lens is operated by twisting a ring on the lens, just like a DSLR lens. Almost all other bridge cameras have an in/out switch, which drives a motor. The motor requires power, the zoom is relatively slow, and at best there are only 64 increments between full out and full in. With the twist ring, you can zoom in/out as fast as you can twist, it requires no battery power, and there are no increments between full out and full in.
- The lens has real threads for real filters, just like a DSLR lens. None of this adapter nightmare. It takes standard 58mm diameter lenses. That was huge for me.
- The camera is small, but is not light. You can tell you have something in your hand, just like a DSLR. It's not as heavy as a DSLR, though. That's good. Lugging around a DSLR with an 18-300 zoom lens will wear you out.
- It has a viewfinder which activates when you bring the camera up to your eye. How cool is that? That feature is adjustable, too.
- It has a hot shoe--not many do. Yes, you need a Fuji flash, but almost every camera maker is doing that these days.
- The screen has lower resolution than Nikon, but unless you're doing a side by side comparison, you can't tell.
- The screen also tilts up and down for high and low shots. A nice feature. If you want a tilt/swivel screen, upgrade to the HS50EXR.
- The popup flash is manual. If you're in low light, the camera won't automatically open the flash. Not a big deal, unless you need that.
- The camera has more modes and features than I can list. I don't even know what they're for. There's a setting for taking pictures of dogs, and one for cats. Really? I'm allergic, so it doesn't matter to me. I found that odd, though.
- The lens cap is kind of big and thick. Fortunately, any 58mm diameter lens cap will fit, so if you don't like the stock cap, find another.
on September 13, 2014
Be prepared to experiment with all of the modes - LOTS to learn.
As noted elsewhere, the manual zoom lens "feel" is not perfectly smooth as you turn the lens. That's about my only knock against the camera. But the fact that you can properly hold the camera in a two-handed stable grip pretty well offsets the minor stickiness of the mechanism.
Love the proper viewfinder [with the option to have the large rear LCD screen automatically turn off when your eye approaches viewfinder] - a lifesaver in bright sunny conditions.
Understand going in that this camera type has some compromises, but with [say] a Nikon SLR costing 10x as much, I can guarantee that you'll have much more than 1/10th the experience/fun/picture quality.
Combine high-end feature i.e. the auto-switching viewfinder, tilting main LCD, flash hot shoe, manual zoom, lens quality, pretty intelligent automatic modes and more, it's hard to beat at the price.
on November 1, 2013
I am not a camera savvy person, but I have had several in my lifetime. This one does everything! Someone wrote in their review that the zoom is rough and "notchy". I would not say that at all, mine is very smooth. The pictures turn out beautifully. I like it for many reasons, but one is that it can be fully automatic, or it will allow you to take pictures manually and make any adjustment you want. This camera seems to me to be great for beginners or advanced users because of that. Love the built in filters. The programming makes it fun to take pictures.
The only thing I would change on this is the size of the grip. I have large hands, and when I wrap my fingers around it, they don't fit, so I have to hold it more with my fingers than with my palm. My fingers are just a little too long and it feels awkward. They must have used tiny people to design this.
on April 9, 2014
I bought this as an upgrade to my aging Fuji s6500 which is getting rather old at this point however still going strong after 7 years of festivals, nightclubs, sailing trips etc ...where it will be used as my "go-to" knockabout, where I need decent enough high ISO low-light performance, but would be throwing it into every situation where a DSLR could potentially get destroyed (or stolen) and need a long optical Zoom in a light body. After checking multiple reviews on the HS30 was about to pull the plug until I saw this bargain for the newer HS35 and snapped it up.
The Auto EXR modes are fantastic for point and shoot, much better than the regular "auto" modes, Although you lose half the pixels the tradeoff of getting a useable shot is well worth it.
The Zoom, oh the Zoom! will absolutely have you in awe, and the speed that the camera captures at is really phenomenal and kind of took me back a little having used some other bridge style cameras recently that really took their time to take photos.
Admittedly its not a DSLR, however it doesn't really try to be. Its the kind of camera you should always have with you when you simply can't bring a huge lens or need something reasonably low profile and need to get close to the action FAST e.g. festivals, concerts, weddings, birthday parties etc... Even if you are a pro photographer this would be an ideal backup high zoom "walkaround" camera where you can discreetly take snaps of the un-aware from the other side of the event.
The manual zoom is SOOO much better than motorized and one of the reasons I chose the Fuji over many other brands having got used to it with my old s6500 there really is no substitute.
Focus is snappy and fast in all but the worst lighting conditions, and even then it is no slouch.
The Movie mode is a fantastic upgrade for me (from 640 x 480!), slow motion function is not only fun but can actual be useful in situations where you want to learn about something e.g. sporting posture, however useless for anything else really due to the resolution. The Screen and EVF is simply gorgeous and responsive (however EVF refresh suffers in very low light).
What surprised me more than anything was the lack of flash shadows and the fact that virtually every photo (in EXR) was almost processed to perfection right out of the camera with zero red-eye and no blown out faces. if you dive deeper into the advanced photo modes you can get some really cool images by e.g. a portrait in "toy" mode.
Battery life is simply brilliant.
The only really bad minus point I could make is that the manual "fly by wire" focus is still not nearly as fast as a real lens and it can be difficult to focus on objects unless you are reasonably stationary and in bright light. It has a tendency to overshoot the focus point unless you are extremely gentle with the ring, however the fast auto focus makes up for this an in 99.99% of situations will focus in less time than you could adjust a ring anyhow.
Conclusion: For the current price of sub $300 its a no-brainer bargain. However, if the price goes up I think a better purchase would be be the hs35's "big brother" Fuji X-S1 which can be picked up refurbished for similar money and has a more professional edge, bigger sensor etc ...
on September 24, 2013
Before I purchased this camera, I had used one of my school's Canon Rebel DSLRs and wanted to get one of my own. However, every DSLR out there was out of my price range. After comparing some other cameras, I stumbled upon the HS35EXR, which seemed like a fairly good deal.
-Adjustable ISO, f-stop, exposure time
-Shoots in RAW, RAW+JPEG
-Shoots 30fps 1080p video
-Autofocus can act up when recording a video and your subject is moving
-No external microphone port (only a problem if you plan on using this for video)
-Flash casts a shadow (more on this later)
-Pictures appear to be overexposed/too bright by default
As soon as I received my camera in the mail, I started it up, went through the date/time setup and started taking pictures. Right away I noticed the pictures that I had taken were very low quality and I thought I had been swindled, but this was not the case. I was shooting on the default EXR setting, which is pretty much automatic everything, and it didn't do a very good job indoors. Over the next few hours, I took between 300-400 pictures playing with the different settings and software filters on the camera. Eventually, I realized that it's a lot easier to shoot on manual if you have some time to get all of your settings (iso, fstop, exposure time) set for your environment. One issue I had was that the built-in flash causes a shadow to be cast from the lens - but this is solved by using an external flash or stepping back from the subject.
The only other quirk about this camera is that most photos seem to come out brighter than they appear on the viewscreen, but if you can anticipate that problem, it's easy to circumvent. I found this out when I was attempting to photograph the moon a few days ago and it looked okay on the viewscreen, but as soon as the picture was taken, it was overexposed. Eventually I was able to find the right settings - it just takes a while to get to know the camera.
Video shot on the camera appears to be ok quality - not exactly professional work.
on May 3, 2013
I wish this camera had worked out as I really like Fujifilm products. However, two factors figured in my decision to return the camera: 1) foremost, the zoom is very rough. It is impossible to keep the camera aimed at the subject as one rotates the zoom ring; very "notchy". 2) The camera is just to small to work comfortably as a manual zoom. If only Fujifilm had increased the angle between the lens and the handgrip. As it is, the near right-angle between the zoom and grip would not accommodate my fingers. Just too small.
on October 20, 2014
I bought this camera primarily to take indoor sports pictures. I needed faster shutter speeds to reduce the blurring. I have been using ASA 800 with pretty good results, so far. I also figured the zoom would help get into the action though honestly I need to balance between close zoom and being able to frame the picture given the fast pace of action. I find myself using only about 3x zoom so far, nowhere near close to the limits of this camera. BTW my unit also showed up with a significant "drag" in the manual zoom action around 4-5x. However with some exercising of the lense it seems to have gone away. Still not quite as silky smooth as the Fuji X-S1 tester I looked at but I am hopeful, given progress so far. I like the manual zoom. I tried a Nikon L830 but found the the motor driven zoom twitchy, and combined with the aggressive power saver feature on that model, found myself having to power back on and rezoom too frequently. With the Fuji I can just power down and leave the zoom as is. Also all the zoom action on the Nikon may have contributed to it's battery appetite. I thought the manual focus on this model might prove useful but not so much at this point, as some have pointed out it is fly by wire and not absolute, and frankly the auto-focus is so accurate and fast you really don't need it. Maybe if I was taking some ultra picky set-up shot. Battery life has been good; though, I will likely invest in a second battery to back me up. Once the indicator shows 2/3 the end is fast approaching. I think I will grow into this camera with all its features. I feel like I've only scratched the surface of it's capability so far. Oh and I like the size and feel in my hands. I have pretty big mitts and many of the more compact units (Nikon L830, Canon SX500) felt a bit cramped for hand placement.