Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
Ralph McKenzie
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to JPEG Shooter, 10 months ago

JPEG Shooter wrote:

Finally had some good weather to get out an practice some more with my new HS50. Here are some, still early, impressions of this camera.

Yea's:

The reach - 1000mm is an astounding reach and I am enjoying the ability to zoom that far.

The speed - This is a very fast camera. Very fast AF speed. Very fast write speed (even in burst mode, I am able to shoot again instantly). Very fast fps. I love it.

The weight - Though this is a very large camera, it is fairly light weight and I like that.

The fully articulating screen - I really like this feature. It's great to be able to turn it and angle it every-which-way as well as turn the screen in and store it against the camera to keep it protected.

All things I would love to have seen on my HS20, especially being able to hide the screen.

Nay's:

The Lens Cap - I absolutely hate it. The edge releases are not easy to find because they are resessed to the point of being flush with the rest of the cap. As for the center pinch... I've never liked that kind of cap. I fumbled with it the first two days but once I tapped the lens with it when trying to take it off, I was afraid I'd end up scratching it so I'm now using a cheap, generic, flat cap that works great. The edge release points stick out enough that I can find them easily and my fingers grip the cap securely when doing so. I'm going to buy some more.

Yep know what you mean. Haven't had a Fuji yet that I like the lens cap on. I have the lens-hood on mine so I leave the cap off and make sure I regularly check the lens for dirt and clean as necessary.

The IQ - It's not "bad", but it's not great either. I think my expectations are too high (and I'll probably start a separate thread about that).

Applies to all HS cameras, as its a compromise on reach Vs IQ. With care you can produce very good images with the HS cams. Not DSLR IQ but then that's not what these cameras are about.

The EVF - Overall, I don't have a problem with it. What I am finding to be very frustrating is the behavior of it, or lack thereof. I'm used to an EVF that instantly reflects any changes you make to settings. In other words, if I point the camera at something, see that the scene is too light, then lower the EV to compensate, I see the effect immediately in the viewfinder without having to actually take the picture. Or if I'm changing the A or S, I see the effect as soon as I half-press. With the HS50, I don't see that. Not until I actually take the picture do I see any effect changing those settings makes. Yes, the meter gauge is in the viewfinder, but to me, the whole point of an EVF is that you don't have to watch meters and guess... you see immediately what your changes are doing. I'm very disappointed in this.

Every HS model has a poor EVF. Only the XS-1 ever had a "satisfactory" EVF. Its one of the two primary reasons I shoot using the LCD and having it articulated would be really nice. The LCD does update as you make changes and at half press, depending upon mode it will either change instantly or on refocus.

Manual Focus - The focus ring is VERY loose and is actually wider than just the ribbed ring... it extends all the way to the point where lens meets body and this design and positioning makes it way too easy to move. Moving it causes the EVF to show a zoomed-in area to assist you in focusing, and that's very helpful, but, that also locks you out of doing anything else unless you half-press the shutter to return it to regular view. Very annoying because it's too easy to accidently touch it (not the ribbed ring but the smooth part where it meets the camera body) which puts it back into zoomed-in mode. And then you have to half-press, and then while you're trying to compose, your finger barely touches the focus ring again and it zooms in and you have to half-press... etc. It makes manual focus tedious and extremely difficult if you have to focus and shoot quickly. Maybe I'll get used to it but right now, my fingers touch the focus ring too readily and I'm having difficulty with it.

The manual focus of the HS series cameras has never been great, and in the long term I've come to use it only when the camera is on a tripod, for all the reasons you state.

Also, I find that I can't shoot in burst/continuous mode while in manual focus. Had I known this, "focus peaking" would not have been among the deciding factors in choosing this camera.

Focus peaking isn't something I am particularly fond of as it still seems to be hit and miss to some degree. HS cameras have always had a rudimentary form of this, usually called Focus check and it never seemed to be all that accurate. I have focus peaking on one of my SLR, which has a very bright optical EVF and focus peaking is still inaccurate on that camera.

The AF - I did say it was fast... and it is... very fast... but it does sometimes miss. Whle there is a "center" focus (which is what I'm using), it isn't a "spot" focus like I'd prefer. I tried to shoot a big alligator yesterday that was at an angle to my position... his head was closer to me than his body. I attempted to focus on his head and then recompose to get the rest of his body in the frame and I wound up with photos where his body was in focus and not his head. I tried backing off on the zoom so that I only had to move the camera a bit to recompose. Still... body in focus, not head. I think a real "spot" focus would not have done this. It was almost like the camera was trying to correct me and get what IT thought I wanted in focus. It was wrong.

A little surprising to hear you say this.

I've always found center focus to be very accurate when taking telephoto length shots. I do use AL Lock when I want to recompose or make totally sure of the point of focus, moreso at the long end of the lens. But the key to having center (spot) focus work correctly is making sure the camera ( at the long end mostly ) is using spot metering. There a direct relationship between the two settings in Fuji cameras, even my older Fuji cameras ( circa 2006 ) exhibited this trait, so it my be worth it to run a few test shots using spot metering coupled with center focus and see what happens.

So... those are my observations from my third day out with the HS50EXR. I'm sure I still have a lot to learn about how to make the most out of this camera, but, I came away wondering if I shouldn't have purchased the X-S1 instead. I wonder what my yea's and nay's would have been with that camera.

Yup the learning curve is steep on an EXR camera. Learning the cameras limitations is the key as you can then set it up for a number of differing scenarios to get the best from it.

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JPEG Shooter
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