Seriously. How close can a camera get to the look of an FZ50 and not actually be one?
I count four things missing:
- Non-extending lens
- Front and back wheels
- Hot shoe
- Flip round screen
But other than that, this little gem is as close to the FZ50 as any camera has ever come. Good thumb grip too!
Now for years I've been shooting my mouth off about the FZ50 being the centre of the universe when it comes to camera ergonomics. Right here you have a budget camera that looks like an absolute peach to handle.
The FZ50 will go wide to tele in 100 deg turn of the lens. That and build quality will be questions of this new offering from Fuji. But altogether I am fully enthusiastic about Fuji's delivery to market of an affordable manually lensed small sensor camera. I would add a front wheel for EV adjustment given the chance. Of all FZ50 operations EV adjustment is just bullet quick with such a wheel; and achievable with camera to eye too.
Fuji carry two SLR styles through their range. The Style of the S8400W follows my preferred style of theirs, as distinct from the lumpy rubberised look of the X-S1 and latest HS50. The S8400W is adorable and reminds me of how Fuji made the '2800 Zoom' that allowed me to break into zoom photography all those years ago:
When I moved up from a x3 point and shoot to the 2800 zoom my love of photography went through the roof. I needed more and later found the FZ20 to buy. Now Fuji have very cleverly repeated this upgrade path for the point and shoot crowd, aimed straight at their monopoly of the manually lensed superzoom market. Commercial brilliance!
What can Panasonic do now but fall to their knees and cry at the missed opportunity. Trust me most folk here who adore the FZ200 have no idea what today's equivalent of the FZ50 would be capable of. Just swish your hand around in the void where such a camera would be sitting. It isn't there. Fuji have manually lensed cameras with 1/2.3" 1/2" and 2/3" sensors in. The HS50 is awash with speculation of what it might be able to achieve photographically with its new EXRCMOS sensor. By comparison, over here at Panasonic all is silent bar the feint whistle of the wind in the air as people rock back and forth on the porch watching dust weed roll by and waiting for Panasonic to get off its collective backside.