HS20EXR Vs s5700

Hs20EXR Vs s5700

I have always felt that one of the best small bridge cameras Fuji produced in the last few years was the s5700. Considerably cheaper than its bigger siblings the s100fs or the s200EXR the s5700 had a lot going for it. Very low ISO 64, a useful 10x zoom, full manual when needed, fast shot to shot times and a 7.2 megapixel sensor (CCD) type. The s5700 had a good color balance, with both standard and Chrome film simulations. Low light functionality was poor as the sensor became very noisy from ISO 800 up with  significant noise at ISO400, although still well usable. VGA video was good and did the job ( better in fact than the HS20 which suffers from well published video woes). For a camera coming on 5 years old it still does a pretty good job.

Here’s an original review of the s5700.


Fuji s5700 ISO 64 @ f3.5 – 1/40secEv 0.33 & Fl 63mmStandard Film Simulation.
Fuji s5700 – Same settings as above but Film Simulation = ChromeCropped.
Fuji s5700 – Chrome film simulationISO 64 @ f5 & 1/280 secEv 0.33
Fuji HS20EXR – ISO 200 @ f5 & 1/80sec Ev 0.00Standard (Provia) Film SimulationEXR RES Priority mode @ 8 mp.77mm F.L.
Fuji HS20EXR –  ISO 200 @ f5 &  1/60sec Ev 0.00Astia film simulationEXR Res Priority Mode @ 8 mp41mm F.L
Fuji HS20EXR –  ISO 200 @ f5.6 &  1/250sec Ev 0.00Astia film simulationEXR Res Priority Mode @ 8 mp56.7mm F.L

So whats to be made from this comparison. Well firstly all the above shots were taken at the same time so the available light was identical as were the subjects ( boring but useful), with a heavily overcast sky, so light was dull.

Secondly at ISO 64 the s5700 does very well, and produced a very quiet (noise free) image. Color is good and focus is spot on. Both Standard and Chrome F.S gave good results. At +0.33 Ev the images are somewhat brighter than in the HS20.

The HS20 was used at ISO 200 to keep exposures close to what I was seeing in the s5700. The EXR sensor is remarkably noise free at this ISO whereas the s5700 at ISO200 shows a marked increase in noise. While the F.S Provia in the first image and Astia for the last two were used with the HS20, I still prefer the Chrome that was seen in the HS10 as well as the s5700. Color accuracy is better with Chrome, with Astia being close but not as vibrant. Focus is good with both cameras at low shutter speeds which was pleasing as shots at the 1/40 sec range tend to exhibit blur when hand held.

While it would seem that the HS20EXR may not be that big an upgrade from the s5700, dont be fooled. Noise control in the HS20 is very good right up to ISO 1600, and coupled with the long lens, its image quality will always be better than its smaller sibling. One of the unique qualities of the s5700 is the f13 aperture which makes for nice crisp bright daylight shots. I would like to see f13 on the HS20, it could make for some interesting images.

So if you have a s5700 and are planning to upgrade dont throw the s5700 away. Due to its small size and quick response its still a very handy little travel camera.

Posted by R. McKenzie at 8:16 PM
  1. … The bottom line is that 10x optical zoom is worthless except for macro shots.
    … The HS20 is an amazing camera, accepting the compromises for a 30x optical zoom for $500.
    … Zoom is everything. Without serious zoom, you are just taking pictures, not photography.


  2. I went from the S5700 to the HS10. At the time it was one of the better bridge camera’s. Took some great images with it.


  3. I hear you Iain. For me the manual zoom was the killer part of the HS10. You just cant walk away from a camera that can do that, as a lot of my shooting is well into the zoom range of the HS series cameras.

    Cheers Anon..
    The s5700 even blows he pants of my wife’s later model the s1000fd which I consider to be a complete dud.



  4. Dear Ralph
    Bought myself a HS20 as a replacement for my old and trusty Lumix FZ20. I’m a total amatuer when it came to photography but was looking for a camera to stretch me a bit. Came across your site when googling for HS20 and basically your blog in my opinion is the HS20 “user manual”. Keep up the great work and thanks for all the advice.
    Whitburn, Scotland


  5. Cheers Craig , Glad I was able to help. Let us know how you get on with it.


  6. The HS20 surely shines when it comes to the dynamic range, impressive, I’ll stick with my HS10 for now and endure the low light noise.

    Thanks for your very informative and detailed posts on the HS20.


    Austroargiolestes chrysoides (Golden Flatwing)


  7. I’ve gone from the S5600 to the S200EXR. The S5600 was amazingly good value for money, although only 5MP. The S200EXR was an improvement, although the EXR sensor tends to blur distant foliage. I’m not sure whether this has improved with the HS20?
    I’ve been curious about the HS20, but a bit concerned about the small sensor size. I’m worried tiny pixels mean photosites will saturate more quickly meaning EXR DR mode is more likely to become a necessity rather than a nice feature for difficult lighting conditions. The HS20 uses similar EXR technology to the S200EXR, but with a CMOS rather than CCD sensor, and quite a bit smaller, and also with a much bigger zoom range, I wonder how these two compare? I mostly take landscapes, so the 14.4x zoom of the S200EXR is more than adequate for me most of the time, but I want all the image detail I can get.


  8. Howdy C. Cookson
    To date I have found that using the HS20 in EXR Auto or Dynamic Range priority doesn’t seem to give that much extra in terms of shadow/highlight gains. It is good at holding the image even when shooting directly sun-ward. I generally stay away from DR Priority or the other Automated EXR modes as I dont think there’s that much of a gain image wise and shooting at 16mp certainly improves the detail even when viewed at 100%, and the sensor is actually fairly quiet.
    I have just done a series of photos using both EXR Auto and EXR Dynamic range. There was a little less PP required in the DR Range mode but basically I wasnt seeing too much difference between the two modes.
    I will be posting my finding in the next day or so.



  9. i went from a hs10 to a hs20

    by & large i’ve found the hs20 to be better

    i haven’t noticed that much between the images (although the 20 has the edge) except i haven’t yet managed a shot of the moon as good as i did with the hs10 & also the hs20 sseems to make more CA with my TC than the hs10

    but a moon shot doesn’t make a perfect camera & for other pix i prefer the 20

    one area the 20 scores very high against the 10 is features & use, the screen is better, there’s more modes, more things you can change (eg noise reduction level) & the whole menu experience is smoother with a prettier UI !!

    not the most scientific of comparisons but my hs20 shots have scored WAY more flcikr views than my 10 – that’s the same type of shots posted in the same groups

    there’s been a lot of fuji hs20 bashing on certain forums & i HAVE to say that one must align one’s expectation when buying a COMPACT camera – it’s not a DSLR, that’s why a whole fuji camera with 30x (720mm) zoom costs about the same as 300mm dslr lens**

    the most annoying thing i find with the hs20 reviews is that people (quite accurately) write “IQ lacking at 100% crop = totally unacceptable”

    but then they review a camera like the fz100 & they write “of cousre this type of camera wont make great 100% crop pix”

    i don’t understand why the fuji cannot be forgiven like the panasonic can

    at the end of the day, the hs20 looks the part (unlike the non-manual lens supersooms) & has the best feature set, whilst being one of the cheapest bridge cams


    ** if you want a ‘nearly-as-good-as-a-dlsr’ in a compact buy a LX5/EX1/ZX1 but it’ll cost the more than a hs20 & only have about 15% of the zoom


  10. Dear Ralph
    Thanks very much for such a informative site. I have just upgraded from a S5600 to the HS20. I was a bit hesitant about the Hs20 since there seems to be quite a bit of “hs20 bashing” on the web.
    It seems that your writings are somewhat more considered and logical than other sites
    Thanks again


  11. Hi Stefan
    Glad you have found it useful. I think most of the bad press surrounding the HS20 is to do with its video quality or lack thereof. Not totally unjustifiable either, although I dont buy a stills camera for its video qualities.


  12. I have an HS20 since 2 months, but i didn’t have some free time to work with it, until a few days ago. I upgraded to Hs20 from S5700 (i had this one since 2007 i think and i was really enjoin’ it) . Until now i still prefere S5700. What a great camera! I don’t know why, but i don’t have the same contrast/details/noise level with the new HS20 as i had with S5700.
    I am hoping that my impressions will change in time, but until now if S5700 have a 10/10, HS20 should have a 6/10.(i am not talking about zoom, just image quality)
    (sorry for my english, i am not a native english speaker)
    Best regards


  • Hi Julius

    I still have my 5700 and still use it from time to time.
    Its good for family snapshots when you only want something small in the travel bags.
    The s5700 was on of the real success stories of the smaller bridge like compacts. It wasn’t much good over ISO400 but it was a pretty handy tool none the less, and I agree, for a 7.1mp camera it had pretty good image quality.

    Stick with the HS20 though. Its a much more versatile camera and can do a lot more than the s5700, but it requires a greater knowledge/skill level of photography, so for some folks its a really big learning curve to getting the best out of the HS20.

    If you want some comparisons have a look at the bigger groups of HS10/20/30 users on Flickr.
    Theres a link to one of my groups on the Links page.

    Have fun


  • Hi Ralph,
    I know HS20 is a great camera (or at least i really hope so :) )), but i only have a few keepers for now and it seems that HS20 respons is totally different than S5700. I was using S5700 for about 4-5 years now, exclusively in manual mode, with excelent results for a 120 euro (camera, bag, 4 acc, charger, 4 gb SD) and i was (and still am) surprised that a 400 euro camera produce such a mediocre quality photos…
    The biggest problem i have right now is the low contrast photos in landscape photography (something like a fog all over, resulting washed colours). Yesterday i was on a walk with my HS20 and i start to make photos with every settings available, just to see if this camera can produce any good quality photos. And YES, i have some nice contrast and detailed photos. Too bad i didn’t writed down what settings i used for every photos. :) ) But it doesn’t matter, i will do it again as soon as possible.
    Macro mode is excelent, indoor it’s ok too, but i am really dissaponted by the results of landscape or “in town” photography.
    By the way, any good advices for landscape? simulation/tone/color/sharpness/NR? I usually use vivia/astia/tone normal/color normal (or low in some cases)/sharpness normal and noise reduction low.
    Please allow me to say: what a wonderfull blog you have here! Very good and detailed information. Congratulations.

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