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A camera has to be good to convince anyone to part with nearly two hundred notes these days, particularly when you consider that increasing your budget by around £150 will get you a basic DSLR.
There's strong competition – the Canon 120IS is a beautifully designed compact, with arguably better looks and build quality for only around £20 more. But the FS30 has an impressively long lens and, of course, looks aren't everything.
The FS30 takes good pictures at almost all its main ISO settings, and is fast to boot.
With zero shutter lag to speak of, getting the shot you want is simple and reliable.
There's also plenty to like about the video mode, which provides crisp details and smooth motion. The FS30 may not have a single knock-out feature, but it doesn't do much wrong.
A better TFT would be ideal – either larger or brighter. The 160g weight can also make the FS30 feel a little welterweight for our liking, although happily this doesn't have much of an impact on the sharpness of your shots thanks to the capable image stabiliser.
The FS30 did well under challenging test conditions – below ISO 800 its images are excellent, and even a stop beyond it's possible to get usable shots as long as you exercise care.
It also ticks all the important feature boxes – optical stabilisation, a decent video mode and good build quality all conspire to make the FS30 a camera few would feel disappointed by.
Dave is a professional photographer whose work has appeared everywhere from National Geographic to the Guardian. Along the way he’s been commissioned to shoot zoo animals, luxury tech, the occasional car, countless headshots and the Northern Lights. As a videographer he’s filmed gorillas, talking heads, corporate events and the occasional penguin. He loves a good gadget but his favourite bit of kit (at the moment) is a Canon EOS T80 35mm film camera he picked up on eBay for £18.