Customer Review

134 of 140 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice Camera for General Use, Wildlife and Birding, March 15, 2013
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This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR 16MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black) (OLD MODEL) (Electronics)
Review of Fujifilm HS50EXR

This review is based on my experience with the Fujifilm HS series cameras (HS10,20,30 and 50) and represents my opinion and not necessarily scientifically tested fact. One should visit the Fujifilm forum (use a search engine because Amazon will not allow me to list the URL) to develop a better understanding of all of the features. Just be sure to ignore all of the trolls.

Conclusion:
The new Fujifilm HS50EXR is a very nice upgrade of the HS30EXR. I would give it 4 ˝ stars if Amazon would allow. The best feature of this camera is the 42x (1000 mm eq.) F2.8-5.6 zoom lens. It is very sharp throughout its range. The next best feature is the very fast and accurate focusing. Fuji uses a new ˝ inch sensor with phase detection pixels and contrast detection to quickly AND accurately focus the lens. All in all, a very nice wildlife, birding and general camera for a good price.

The Good:

- Whopping 42x (1000mm eq.) F2.8-5.6 zoom lens. Edge sharpness is good and purple fringing is all but eliminated by the EBC lens coating and the software.
- Fast and accurate automatic focusing within the optical zoom range. Focusing accuracy is average to poor while in digital zoom.
- Lens shift optical image stabilization is excellent and allows you to hand hold to 84x(42x optical, 42x digital).
- The new processing system is much, much faster than the HS30EXR. Frame freeze is eliminated (so far).
- Image quality is good and comparable to the HS30EXR but is still limited by the ˝ inch sensor.
- Space for your fingers above the lens has been provided to manually focus the camera.
- The macro mode is outstanding and allows you to focus as close as one centimeter. Produces amazing insect photos.
- Fuji's color has always been outstanding and is so with this camera.
- The EVF (Electronic View Finder) is very usable with 920 K dots and is my preferred method.
- Excellent 920,000 dot articulated LCD display.
- Very useful "Q" button that gathers all of your most changed settings in one place.
- Three way switch on the side of the camera that allows you to change from Continuous, Single and Manual focus is very useful.

The Average:

- Manual focus is better, especially using focus peak highlight to strengthen high contrast outlines but I still yearn for my split screen as on my Nikkormat and no focus hunting.
- I find that I only use EXR mode when the conditions are poor. In looking at my photos, I find I have good photos of poor conditions and usually do not use them.
- Focusing accuracy is average to poor while in digital zoom.
- The menu system needs to be better organized with like settings grouped together.
- The manual needs to be expanded and organized, with actual explanations of the myriad of features and a usable index. It is not enough to just list the feature.
- You should not have to go through menus to access RAW file mode. It should be one touch as on the earlier HS cameras.
-As a Photoshop user, I find the SilkyPix included program to be very un-intuitive and almost useless.

The Poor:

- The battery door is an accident waiting to happen. It is poorly constructed of cheap, flimsy plastic, is difficult to open, and sure to break. What happened to the old HS battery door that was well constructed with a steel back?
- This year's lens cap is also a disaster. In the name of style, Fuji has eliminated any chance of gripping the cap and releasing it from the lens. Maybe I can buy last years model that was designed with function over form.

*** Addendum 4-13-2013 *** I purchased the HS30EXR lens cap from Fujifilm USA to replace the crappy one on the HS50EXR. Problem solved. Cost was $6.50 plus S & H.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 16, 2013 5:21:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 16, 2013 5:26:25 PM PDT
Objective says:
I have an HS20. For the infrequent times I would use the video, how does the video focusing in the 50 compare to the video focusing in the 20? Is there as much of an improvement in focusing speed and accuracy in video as there is in stills? That's my big bugaboo with the 20; focusing in long focal lengths in stills and any focal length in video was a pain. Also, could you describe the improvement in manual focusing compared to the HS 20 in a bit more detail? I find the 20's to be almost unusable. What additional situations might the 50's be more usable? Thanks.

Posted on Mar 17, 2013 6:05:58 AM PDT
Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR 16 MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black) Hi Don: Last year, I was the first on Amazon with a review of the then just released HS-30. Many thanks for the fine review of the HS-50, Don. I've had the HS series from the first model, but have not ... yet ... popped for the HS-50. I did get some really good pics with the HS-30, but was curious as to whether Fuji updated the write speed to the card, getting rid of the previous momentary freeze between shots, apparently they have? I absolutely loved the superb range of the HS-30, updated even further with the HS-50, per your review: excellent. I'm on the fence with this new model, but your review is of great help in helping me decide. Many thanks. Mike

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2013 11:00:21 AM PDT
DonD says:
I have yet to use the video. The manual focus is now usable though it still tries to hunt focus. The highlight feature makes focusing easier though it is not a panacea.

Posted on Mar 17, 2013 11:14:11 AM PDT
Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR 16 MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black) Just "pulled the trigger" and ordered the HS-50. Will join with my review once received. Mike

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2013 11:14:15 AM PDT
DonD says:
Thanks for the kind comments Mike. I was debating whether to get one as well. I am glad I did because of the lens and the focus. I have not had a chance to bang away at the shutter button yet but will try to update this when I do. Everything about the camera is faster with the new operating system. The camera operates the way I expect it to without any slowdown (so far). I hope to start shooting RAW again and that should be the true test. I really got some nice photos as well with the HS30 and from everything I have seen with the HS50 it is producing photos as good or better than the HS30. Goos luck in your decision. Don

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2013 12:56:26 PM PDT
Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR 16 MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black) Don: Having started with the first of the Fujifilm HS series cameras, it just wouldn't seem like Spring unless I ordered the latest incarnation :-) That very impressive zoom lens (yes, even though it's just sporting that 1/2" sensor) and the fact one doesn't have to change lenses in response to changing conditions is, to me, worth the price of admissions. I got some excellent pics with the HS-30, but didn't care for the lag in writing to the card. I'm expecting the HS-50 in four days, will review it then. Regards, Mike

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2013 1:27:46 PM PDT
DonD says:
Hope you enjoy it as I do mine. Just took a trip to Dismals Canyon (see on Net) and carried the HS50. Did better than the HS30 on the DR with an awful lighting situation.

Don

Posted on Mar 17, 2013 7:05:14 PM PDT
Objective says:
What added provision is made for enhancing focusing speed and accuracy in very dim lighting levels compared to the HS 20 or 30?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2013 7:43:17 PM PDT
DonD says:
The HS50 uses phase detection as well as contrast detection to focus. This is the method of most higher priced SLR's. When the lighting is dim, the contrast is usually low making contrast detection poor. Contrast detection is the focusing method of the HS10,20 and 30. The HS50 selects the best method to use in a fraction of a second. The speed is also enhanced by the new operating system on the camera.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2013 8:04:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2013 8:04:36 PM PDT
Objective says:
So in actual use, how would you describe the difference under various conditions? Are you able to achieve quick accurate focus in dimmer situations (or a combination of "dim" and "longer focal length") with the 50 that you could not achieve with the 20 or 30? Do these conditions account for much of your photography?
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