Record-breaking, innovative, versatile; the new Fujifilm FinePix HS20 is all this and so much more. Replacing the multiple award-winning FinePix HS10, this latest addition to the range of Fujifilm bridge cameras represents the perfect picture taking solution for photographers who want the specification and picture quality of an SLR without the heavy camera bag and huge dent in their bank balance. With a class-leading feature set that includes a brand new EXR CMOS sensor, high speed continuous shooting capability, improved user interface, versatile video functions, 30x zoom lens and a 16 megapixel resolution, the HS20 sets new standards in bridge camera functionality and performance.
Fast, brilliant, results in all lighting conditions
Sitting at the heart of the FinePix HS20 is an all-new sensor that marries EXR and CMOS technologies to deliver truly outstanding results, regardless of the lighting conditions.
The secret lies in the combination of Back Side Illuminated (BSI) CMOS and Fujifilm's unique EXR sensor technology. The design of conventional CMOS sensors is such that the light has to pass through a layer of wiring before hitting the photo diodes. But the BSI-CMOS configuration places this wiring layer behind the photo diodes improving light sensitivity and dramatically boosting results, particularly in low light. Couple this to the triple-layer EXR array, the performance of which can be split according to the lighting conditions, and you'll see why the FinePix HS20 sets new standards in sensor technology.
As with other FinePix models featuring EXR sensors, three shooting options are available. In the High Resolution mode, users can take advantage of the huge 16 megapixel resolution (the world's largest for a sensor of this type) for truly breathtaking levels of detail and sharpness. The Dynamic Range function uses dual capture technology to provide a maximum range of 1600% for stunning results on high contrast scenes. While the Signal to Noise mode increases pixel size using Pixel Fusion to produce outstanding images in low lighting conditions.
With this unique sensor combination, capturing great pictures has never been easier.
High speed, high quality
Thanks to the FinePix HS20's heady mix of sensor and processing technologies, brilliant action shots are possible no matter how fast the subject is moving. Whether you've got the HS20 trained on sport, wildlife or just the kids running around, continuous full resolution shooting at 8 frames per second will make sure they're stopped in their tracks. And if that's not fast enough for your needs, how does 11 frames per second at eight megapixel resolution sound?
There's also no need to worry about slow auto focusing making you miss your shot; the HS20's contrast AF system takes no longer than 0.16 seconds to focus. So, it's more likely to be human reactions that fail before the camera, but the HS20 even has that eventually covered as well with the Best Frame Capture Mode. Here, the camera starts recording images from the moment you half-press the shutter release to focus. When you do take a picture, the HS20 also capture seven frames before or after you've taken the shot to make sure you get one perfect image. Friends and family will think you've turned into a professional sports photographer overnight.
EXR engine drives key picture-taking benefits
EXR technology isn't purely limited to the FinePix HS20's sensor, the camera also features a newly developed triple core EXR processing engine, which speeds up processing time & boosts performance and picture quality on both still and moving images.
Photographers who like to point and shoot will benefit from the expanded scene recognition function. In addition to nine subject-based scene scenarios, the HS20 also employs object recognition to identify whether the scene includes a conventionally-lit portrait, a backlit portrait or no portrait at all. This delivers a total of 27 different scene scenarios for which the camera then optimises exposure and white balance before adding a relevant tag to make the images easier to find later.
The EXR processing engine also has the capability to spot and reduce purple colour fringing, most common on dark subjects against a light backgrounds, and improve the resolution at the corners of an image for more uniform image sharpness.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of the EXR engine, however, is the new Rich User Interface, which employs Flash and Vector fonts and graphics to dramatically improve the appearance of the FinePix HS20's menus. Users can wave goodbye to pixellated graphics and enjoy smooth text and icons on the camera's menus, now presented on a three inch LCD screen which doubles the pixel count over its predecessor to 460,000. Plus, because the Vector fonts and graphics are scaleable, you'll get the same high quality on an HDTV when the camera is connected via its HDMI socket.
For users who struggle to find images on increasingly-large capacity memory cards, the FinePix HS20's improved image searching capabilities will come in very handy. Now, searching through thousands of images can take seconds, not minutes. Once you've found the shots, it's easy to put them in to a photobook using the Photobook Assist function where the HS20 creates the book, tags the images and then lets you 'turn' the pages to simulate the final book – all on the rear LCD or your HDTV.
Make broadcast quality movies
The FinePix HS20 isn't just a camera for shooting stills; it also offers an impressive level of video functionality using the H.264 (MOV) Full 1080p HD format and stereo sound. The mainstay of broadcasting and Blu-Ray technologies, the H.264 format produces file sizes that are smaller and easier to handle than AVI, plus they're compatible with many applications and websites, making it simple for you to share video content via sites such as YouTube.
For those wanting the highest quality movies, the FinePix HS20 captures 1920 x 1080p footage at 30 frames per second. Versatility is further increased thanks to the High Speed Movie options, which include 320 x 112 pixel capture at an incredible 320 frames per second or 640 x 480 pixel capture at an impressive 80 frames per second. With features like this, even the fastest moving subjects can be captured and watched in super-slow motion.
Video shooting in low light also just got easier, thanks to the inclusion of the EXR HD Movie mode. By employing the same Pixel Fusion technology as it does for still images, the FinePix HS20 delivers high sensitivity and low digital noise for movie capture in low lighting conditions without the need to resort to additional lighting. Now you can capture the mood of sunsets, interiors and parties in both still and movie form.
A lens for every application
With a 30x zoom range covering focal lengths from 24-720mm (35mm equivalent), the FinePix HS20 EXR really is ready for anything. Boasting high quality Fujinon optics, the mechanical zoom lens is now even easier to operate thanks to a reduction in the size of the integral flashgun. Zooming through the range can be done quickly and precisely to ensure perfect framing for every shot.
The HS20 has ways and means to combat all kinds of camera movement, and with its three image stabilisation methods, you can be reassured that regardless of what focal length you choose, your images will be blur free. Firstly, the EXR CMOS sensor moves during exposure to eradicate shake. Secondly, the camera will employ Pixel Fusion to increase sensitivity and boost shutter speeds and finally in EXR Auto, the HS20 features an Advanced Anti-blur technology where four images are taken in quick succession then combined to deliver a single shake-free image.
And the improvements don't stop there…
Further enhancements have been made over the HS10 to enhance the user experience and make the FinePix HS20 the perfect all in one camera. These include an improved Motion Panorama mode for simple, high quality 360° image capture, compatibility with the RR-80 remote release, film simulation modes and the provision to accept high capacity SDXC cards.
Flash users will be pleased to hear that the HS20 also offers TTL flash metering and will be supported by two new compatible flashguns; the fixed head EF-20 and bounce head EF-42, which also offers auto zoom and an AF assist illuminator.
Fujifilm FinePix HS20 key features
• All-new 16 megapixel EXR CMOS sensor
• 30x optical zoom covering 24-720mm (35mm equivalent)
• 3.0 inch tilting rear LCD with 460,000 pixels and new Rich User Interface using Vector fonts and graphics
• Full resolution high speed shooting at 8fps, high speed video capture at up to 320 fps (320 x 112 pixels)
• Advanced Anti-blur technologies
• 1600% wide dynamic range
• Longer battery life (up to 350 frames with 4 x AA batteries)
• Electronic Horizon level function
• RAW shooting (RAW or JPEG or simultaneous RAW+JPEG)
• Full HD movie capture using H.264 (MOV) format
• New 27 mode EXR Auto mode
• Colour fringe reduction and improved corner sharpness
• Film simulation modes
• Quick start mode
• 360° Motion Panorama mode
• TTL flash control with optional external flashes
• Lens hood included
• Photobook Assist function