Take your photography further with this ‘bridge’ camera
The 30x optical zoom lens on the Fujifilm Finexpix HS20 EXR is one of the biggest available, the equivalent of 24-720mm on an old film camera.
It's the same as on its predecessor the HS10, but the resolution has jumped from 10.3 to 16 megapixels.
The HS20 resembles an SLR camera even though its lens cannot be swapped. That means it's larger and heavier than most pocket models but it has a full-sized handgrip to help the user maintain a firm hold. On the back are both a tilting 3in screen and a smaller electronic viewfinder. Both can be used for shot composition and playback, though we preferred the screen except in bright sunlight.
The camera felt heavy when gripped, although the weight meant that it moved around less when we were shooting handheld, so at maximum zoom blurring was less of a problem than on its competitors. We'd say that on build-quality and handling alone the HS20 currently beats similar models.
While the camera of course offers auto-focus, another thing the HS20 has in common with an SLR is that its zoom is manually adjusted: to alter framing the user must twist the lens barrel rather than pressing a button, which made us feel more able to control the shot more precisely.
The HS20 delivers high-definition video at the highest resolution, 1080p, and a smooth and life-like 30 frames per second, with again the lens barrel requiring steady hand turning when zooming in and out. While this took practice, another benefit of manual zoom is that the stereo microphones at the camera's front don't pick up the mechanical buzz of an automatic zoom lens.
We were impressed with the Fujifilm Finepix HS20 EXR. It's not a match for an SLR but it delivered sharp and colourful results even at maximum zoom, with landscapes working particularly well.
The build quality was much better than we expected at this price, and although it's not cheap the price is certainly justifiable.
If you don't mind the bulk and don't want a full SLR camera this model will take your photography further.
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Good results at maximum zoom mark this camera out as a competent all-rounder
Extremely broad focal range; angle-adjustable screen; HD video with stereo sound; one-touch video recording; good results at maximum zoom
Bulky and fairly heavy; not cheap
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