Monday, 25 October 2010

FujiFilm HS-10 - Zoom Bracketing Test

Note : This has now been updated with some 'field' examples. See further down the page

Someone on the DPReview FufiFilm Talk Forum asked me if I had tried the Zoom Bracketing function on the HS-10.

Simple answer was no. When I first got the HS-10, I did try out the Best Frame Capture and also the Top 7 capture functions.

The one thing which I found I didn't like about these functions was that the Dynamic Range (DR) was always limited to DR 100%. The HS-10 is far better when DR 200% is used. Consequently, I never tried Zoom Bracketing.

However, whilst playing with this function today, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the DR is not limited to 100%. Good news. The main limitation is that Raw cannot be used.

A simple explanation of how the Zoom Bracketing works, is that one image is taken and then two alternate levels of zoom are applied in-camera, by cropping the original image.

So, the original image is at normal size, the second is at an equivalent of 1.4 X zoom, the third at an equivalent of 2 X zoom.

This means that if shooting at full zoom (720 mm), the second image becomes equivalent to 1,008 mm, and the third 1,440 mm.

One thing to keep in mind, is that the original is simply being cropped and not re-interpolated to the original size, nor having additional processing applied in-camera. The same is true if 2 X digital zoom is used without the Zoom Bracketing function.

This means :
  • Original is 3648 x 2736 pixels = 10 mp
  • 1.4 times image is 2592 x 1994 pixels = 5.1 mp
  • 2 times image is 2048 x 1536 pixels = 3.1 mp.

Image Series 1 - Test Images

Note : The test images below are taken with a macro close up lens attached. All the images are as shot. However, they have been sharpened and resized for posting here. Clicking on any image will take you to a larger size

These three images are shot at 180 mm.

The first is at normal zoom, the second at 1.4 X (250 mm), the third at 2 X (360 mm).

Image Series 2 - Test Images

These three images are shot at 720 mm.

The first is at normal zoom, the second at 1.4 X (1,008 mm), the third at 2 X (1,440 mm).


I also did some experimentation by cropping the normal zoom image to match the 2 X zoom image. The end result is the same.

Why would you use it ? Well, if you don't want to do post process work, this is a good way to get in much tighter. It is a good alternative and produces a very usable image.

Realistically, you could easily print at 8 x 10" from the 2 X zoom image. Even larger if the image is good to start out with.

Image Series 3 - Outdoors

I've now had a chance to play around with this some more in the field.

The following images are shot at full zoom and also with digital zoom of either 1.4X or 2X.

The following images are all shot in Super Macro mode (24 mm) but have also had digital zoom of 1.4X, or 2X, applied.

The three images below show the (non) differences between using Digital Zoom, or simply cropping an original image to the same dimensions.

1. The original 10 mp image.

2. The 2 times 'in-camera' digital zoom image.

3. The original 10 mp image cropped to match the 2 times digital zoom image.

Hope you found it helpful.




  1. Interesting.. I experimented last Sunday night when there was a full moon and it hit me after I laid down for the night. I wonder could one use the super macro mode along with zoom when take pictures of the moon. I can't afford at this time a telephoto converter and wonder if it were feasible to use super macro while doing moon shots.

  2. Jeffrey, Hi.

    Unfortunately, no. Super Macro mode only works at full wide angle (24 mm) and it's focus range is about 1 cm through to 1 metre.


  3. Thanks Dave... As you probably have gathered I am a newbie to the HS10 and I am still finding my way around the settings. I am using it as my learner / bridge camera on my way up to low to mid range dslr cameras.

  4. Dave,

    Do you know of another way, besides zoom bracketing, to use the 2X digital zoom feature of the HS-10? Other cameras I have owned with a motor driven zoom automatically enter digital zoom from optical zoom once the optical zoom limit is reached. This enhances the use of the camera for bird and wildlife photos.

    Many thanks for your help,

    Don DeJarnette

  5. Don, Hi.

    You can also simply select the 2X Digital Zoom function using the four way controller.

    The HS-10 is not a motor driven zoom, but manual.