Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR 16 MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black) I just received my Fujifilm HS-50. I had ordered a new charger and some spare batteries that arrived sooner today, so I had a chance to charge up before the delivery of the HS-50 and was ready to go on a few tests the minute I took it out of the box. THIS IS A GOOD CAMERA! I am more than pleased with the test shots: clear, well focused, the zoom is great. This should be a great camera for anyone wanting to not have to change lenses with changing requirements. Having had all the HS series cameras prior to this one, I can say this is a worthy update (zoom). I have always had great success with shots pleasing to me, particularly with the HS-30, and have no doubts whatsoever that the HS-50 will be perfect for MY needs/desires. NOW: I might have stated this with my review of the HS-30 previously, BUT: this is a camera with a 1/2 inch sensor. The pros out there will want more (I just sold off a DSLR with an APS-C sensor, 24mp, and all sorts of lenses due to NOT wanting to change lenses every time a great photo op came into being ... photo ops don't want to wait for lens changes ... and, let's face it, changing lenses (and risking getting dust on the sensor every time one lens is changed for another ... been there) is an absolute pain in the posterior!). The HS-50, right out of the box, has a great solid feeling to it, a camera of substance. Compared to DSLRs I have owned, the weight of this thing is an absolute non-issue. I bought a CASE LOGIC SLR HOLSTER case (same kind I carried the HS-30 in, which was totally perfect) along with the HS-50. I also bought a B&W Clear Haze Filter. A previous excellent review mentioned the clumsiness of the CHARGER that comes with the HS-50, I totally agree. It has a wire that has to be plugged into the charger, a non-starter for travel. I bought the WASABI 2 battery set with a charger that plugs directly into the wall. The FUJI charger will be relegated to a box somewhere. The one test I haven't done ... yet ... is to try to track a flock of geese in flight to test the write speed of this HS-50 vs the previous HS-30. I do want to say that I LOVE THE MANUAL ZOOM LENS!
Few observations: If you want great shots that should be pleasing to you, this could very well be the camera you're looking for. If you belong to a photo club where one's status is often determined by the size/price of your lenses or how many megapixels are in your camera, then this will not put you at the head of the class, if that's important to you. :-)
Post processing: This means using software to "tweak" your pics (I routinely do this to all my pictures ... whether from a DSLR or the FUJI). I find this adds that "finishing touch" that I personally love ... everyone has different tastes. Just thought this might be worthy of mention.
Lastly: Considering the price of the HS-50 vs. a DSLR and lenses, preferably quality lenses - and the fact this does not weigh anywhere near what a DSLR assemblage in a large case does ... AND the fact one does not have to change lenses all the time ... then I ... personally ... think this HS-50 is a steal.
UPDATE: 3-21-13: No camera is ever fully adopted by me unless I take it out to my favorite park and give it the FULL WORKOUT, which I just did this morning. I believe I said this in my review of the HS-30 a year or so ago: buying a camera ... any camera ... is a subjective thing. No camera is satisfactory to everyone. The camera that IS satisfactory to YOU, the reader, is the one that does what YOU want it to, based upon your interests/desires/budget. After my gaggle of MANY DSLRs in the past, I always find myself returning to the HS series cameras. Why? "Bangs for the bucks!" The things do just about EVERYTHING in one easily transportable package that doesn't break your neck/shoulders when "out there" taking pics. The HS50 performed, FOR ME, marvelously today ... and I never had any doubts, based upon my prior experiences with the HS series in the past. There is one thing I feel like alerting buyers/would be buyers: be a bit careful of the ON/OFF switch. It appears a bit sensitive if you accidentally brush against it when moving the camera about. Everything worked fine today, and the ZOOM ... that wonderful zoom ... worked superbly. I got shots today that I NEVER would have gotten with the VERY expensive DSLRs I disposed of (without buying even more/increasingly highly expensive zoom lenses).
Before buying ANY camera, ask yourself what you want to do with that camera, what are your realistic expectations ... how much do you want to spend, when all is said and done ... then you'll make the right choice. AND: Whatever camera you do end up with, remember to CONSULT THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL when you have questions. The manuals give many insights into what your camera will/won't do. :-)
Leaving you with a thought: "It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera... they are made with the eye, heart and head." - Henri Cartier-Bresson.
UPDATE: 8-11-14 ... Well, I've had the HS-50 for over a year now. I wasn't sure if yet MORE from me would be appreciated, but wanted to say a few things. This is about the time (1+years) when I get a bit "antsy" and want to check out the latest technology in cameras, so I did. I read TONS of reviews (and handled various models in stores) on all sorts of new choices out there. Some were works of art: superbly made, large sensors for P&S cameras, etc., but NONE gave me what I presently have in this HS-50. Take a look at what the HS-50 is going for now! If it was a STEAL before, it would be downright SINFUL to not at least consider what this complete package could do for you! :-)
Lastly, and I keep mentioning this in all my reviews on the various HS models: SOFTWARE. A good software package for Post Processing can make all the difference in the world in having GOOD shots turn into GREAT shots. A few tweaks here/there might astound you :-)
Lastly ... lastly: Final thought: I always felt, with this camera, that if I could SEE a potential shot, I COULD GET IT. Now, THAT is power! Try that without having to search a heavy bag full of EXPENSIVE lenses!