Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR Digital Camera Review$499.95
The HS30EXR is equipped with a full sized mode dial featuring all four "PASM" shooting modes, a custom mode, two scene mode presets, and dedicated stops for EXR and panorama modes.
The HS30's manual lens rings are some of the camera's best features. The zoom ring is mechanical, so you'll be able to adjust zoom much more dynamically than you would on a competing ultrazoom from another manufacturer. The action is a little sticky, and the barrel feels somewhat cheap to be honest, but at least the functionality is there and working.
The focus ring is less usable. It's a "by-wire" solution, meaning your input doesn't directly manipulate the glass, but rather triggers a motor which moves the glass. The HS30 has a manual focus assist zoom to aid the process, but we're rarely satisfied with systems like this.
Focus performance is usually pretty standard, not particularly fast, but average. However this behavior is sometimes interrupted by occasions in which the camera will miss focus in unchallenging situations, or even report false locks on an out-of-focus subject. Like many ultrazooms, these issues are exacerbated by operating at long focal lengths.
On the other hand, we were impressed by the HS30's close-up focusing capabilities. Using the appropriate macro mode, it's possible to focus on subjects at almost any distance, even if they're touching the very lens itself. Fujifilm marketing materials advertise this feature prominently, and for good reason.
Three shooting resolutions of varying size are available for each of the three aspect ratios (4:3, 3:2, 16:9), for a total of nine size options. JPEG compression quality may be set to either Normal or Fine, and the HS30 is even capable of shooting in RAW or RAW + JPEG simultaneously.