Fujifilm FinePix HS25EXR Digital Camera

  1. Reply
    Brian July 31, 2016 at 7:38 pm
    149 of 152 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Everything I hoped it would be, April 14, 2012

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix HS25EXR Digital Camera (Electronics)
    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.

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  2. Reply
    Gregory H. July 31, 2016 at 7:57 pm
    115 of 121 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Decent for the price… pros and cons…, August 26, 2012
    Gregory H. (Atlanta) –

    This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix HS25EXR Digital Camera (Electronics)
    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).

    Pro List:

    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.

    Con List:

    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-

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