Fuji X-S1, HS50EXR & Panasonic FZ200 Comparison

Started Apr 14, 2013 | Discussions
nicknd99
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Fuji X-S1, HS50EXR & Panasonic FZ200 Comparison
Apr 14, 2013

Since I apparently like to torture myself, I'm currently testing 3 super zooms and must pick one to keep.  Each camera is very different in it's own right, but stands up well for its intended use.  I just need to pick which features, as well as feel, build, etc. works best for me.  Below are some screen shots of photos I've taken today for fun.  All are shot handheld, SOOC JPEG (how I intend to use the camera, but I will do some minor PP if necessary).  The HS50EXR and FZ200's images have been reduced to match that of X-S1 when shot in EXR DR400 M mode.

Here are some of my initial impressions/findings.

Perceived build quality: Clear winner for me was the X-S1, followed by the HS50EXR and FZ200.  I may put the FZ200 ahead of the HS50 for two reasons; the FZ's relative small size, and the HS50's poor feeling zoom action (when compared to the X-S1).

Image Stabilization: Shooting handheld this is very important to me.  Here the FZ200 is the clear winner, followed in no particular order by the Fujis.  Understand that I'm not mistaking the FZ's faster constant aperture lens and consequently availability of faster shutter speeds as a factor in this.  The Pany simply reduces my handheld shake more effectively....much better.  Maybe there are some tips out there?  I tried all of the Fuji's available IS modes and settled on what worked best for me.

Ergonomics: Clear winners for me were the Fuji's with their great manual zooms, as well as their DSLR-like layout (a bit more so with the X-S1).  I'm sure some of this is my recent familiarity with Fuji's cameras (I own an X10 & X100), as the last Panasonic I owned were the LX3, LX5 and FZ28.  Ironically (as mentioned above), I really appreciate the relatively small size of the FZ200, and in some cases I was able to zoom to target more efficiently than with the HS50EXR, but not the X-S1.

If anyone is interested I've uploaded the full size photos to dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/43u1u869g7zejn3/LsuCKmcLvs

The name of each file should be self-explanatory, but I shot each subject 3 ways with each camera: full zoom, and each camera's 2 digital zoom options.

I'd really enjoy hearing people's thoughts so as to help me come to a decision on which of these fine cameras to keep.  I'd be using the camera mostly outside (birds, nature, etc.), with maybe an indoor stadium venue or such mixed in.  While video is a nice addition, it won't be of primary concern.

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jcmarfilph
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Re: Fuji X-S1, HS50EXR & Panasonic FZ200 Comparison
In reply to nicknd99, Apr 14, 2013

It is obvious that you cannot hold the HS50 steady hence blurred images so the comparison is useless. I would put them all on a tripod with Image Stabilization off.

-=[ Joms ]=-

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nicknd99
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Re: Fuji X-S1, HS50EXR & Panasonic FZ200 Comparison
In reply to jcmarfilph, Apr 14, 2013

When viewed at less than 100% crop (how'd I'd be viewing and very rarely printing), then the shake isn't as apparent.  This is how I intend to use the camera and its photographic results, but to without a doubt I agree that shooting the camera(s) mounted on a tripod with IS off would yield superior results.  With that being understood, the comparison results are not useless.

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OpticsEngineer
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Re: Fuji X-S1, HS50EXR & Panasonic FZ200 Comparison
In reply to nicknd99, Apr 14, 2013

A few months ago I took about a thousand pictures with my XS1 and my sisters FZ200.

I found the image stabilization on my XS1 slightly better than the FZ200.  I always held the viewfinder up to my eye, forehead resting on the eye cup for improved stablization.

For image quality at short and mid focal lengths, I found the XS1 to have clearly better resolution.  At full zoom, the resolution was equal, or occasionally just a litte bit better on the FZ200.

For autofocus, the XS1 had occassional missed focus.  I learned to be on the lookout for the misfocused indicator.  Usually taking a second picture right away was enough to get a good picture.

The FZ200 was very reliable on autofocus.  I got to where I expected a good focus every time.  So for action or moving subjects, the FZ200 is better than the XS1.

Since I own the XS1, I have used it a lot on vacations and travel.  I have found that in auto white balance mode, the XS1 almost always gets the colors in a picture to be an exact match to what I saw in real life.    I had the impression that the FZ200 did not do as good a job for color accuracy but I did not check it out thoroughly for that.

It is a hard choice between the two.  Both are excellent.

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jcmarfilph
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Re: Fuji X-S1, HS50EXR & Panasonic FZ200 Comparison
In reply to nicknd99, Apr 14, 2013

nicknd99 wrote:

When viewed at less than 100% crop (how'd I'd be viewing and very rarely printing), then the shake isn't as apparent.  This is how I intend to use the camera and its photographic results, but to without a doubt I agree that shooting the camera(s) mounted on a tripod with IS off would yield superior results.  With that being understood, the comparison results are not useless.

Posting results such as these will only give bad impression to the cameras involved. Even you if you are only comparing IS, you are comparing 1000mm vs. 600mm which is not fair.

On a tripod, 10sec timer, burst or multiple shots then select the best and sharpest. Shoot them all in LSize with DR set to 100 and ISO100. Crop the FZ200 and X-S1 to match the FL of HS50 then resize the HS50 to 12MP or upsize FZ200 and X-S1 to 16MP.

Shoot also on the widest FL then upsize or resize whichever route your want. Shoot in RAW+JPEG too.

-=[ Joms ]=-

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nicknd99
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Re: Fuji X-S1, HS50EXR & Panasonic FZ200 Comparison
In reply to OpticsEngineer, Apr 14, 2013

OpticsEngineer wrote:

A few months ago I took about a thousand pictures with my XS1 and my sisters FZ200.

I found the image stabilization on my XS1 slightly better than the FZ200.  I always held the viewfinder up to my eye, forehead resting on the eye cup for improved stablization.

For image quality at short and mid focal lengths, I found the XS1 to have clearly better resolution.  At full zoom, the resolution was equal, or occasionally just a litte bit better on the FZ200.

For autofocus, the XS1 had occassional missed focus.  I learned to be on the lookout for the misfocused indicator.  Usually taking a second picture right away was enough to get a good picture.

The FZ200 was very reliable on autofocus.  I got to where I expected a good focus every time.  So for action or moving subjects, the FZ200 is better than the XS1.

Since I own the XS1, I have used it a lot on vacations and travel.  I have found that in auto white balance mode, the XS1 almost always gets the colors in a picture to be an exact match to what I saw in real life.    I had the impression that the FZ200 did not do as good a job for color accuracy but I did not check it out thoroughly for that.

It is a hard choice between the two.  Both are excellent.

Thanks for sharing your findings!  Very interesting in regards to your experience with the X-S1's IS.  I'll pay more attention to viewfinder seating, and see if I can improve upon my results.  I too found the XS-1 AWB and color accuracy to be very nice.

I failed to mention in my initial post that the X-S1 that I am shooting has a replacement lens/sensor assembly.

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nicknd99
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Re: Fuji X-S1, HS50EXR & Panasonic FZ200 Comparison
In reply to jcmarfilph, Apr 14, 2013

jcmarfilph wrote:

nicknd99 wrote:

When viewed at less than 100% crop (how'd I'd be viewing and very rarely printing), then the shake isn't as apparent.  This is how I intend to use the camera and its photographic results, but to without a doubt I agree that shooting the camera(s) mounted on a tripod with IS off would yield superior results.  With that being understood, the comparison results are not useless.

Posting results such as these will only give bad impression to the cameras involved. Even you if you are only comparing IS, you are comparing 1000mm vs. 600mm which is not fair.

On a tripod, 10sec timer, burst or multiple shots then select the best and sharpest. Shoot them all in LSize with DR set to 100 and ISO100. Crop the FZ200 and X-S1 to match the FL of HS50 then resize the HS50 to 12MP or upsize FZ200 and X-S1 to 16MP.

Shoot also on the widest FL then upsize or resize whichever route your want. Shoot in RAW+JPEG too.

-=[ Joms ]=-

I wonder if using the HS50's FL markings on the lens barrel to zoom to 600 would work?  As for the FZ200, I don't think there is an equivalent DR100 setting?

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Nightwings
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Thanks for the comparison.......request.
In reply to nicknd99, Apr 14, 2013

nicknd99 wrote:

Since I apparently like to torture myself, I'm currently testing 3 super zooms and must pick one to keep.  Each camera is very different in it's own right, but stands up well for its intended use.  I just need to pick which features, as well as feel, build, etc. works best for me.  Below are some screen shots of photos I've taken today for fun.  All are shot handheld, SOOC JPEG (how I intend to use the camera, but I will do some minor PP if necessary).  The HS50EXR and FZ200's images have been reduced to match that of X-S1 when shot in EXR DR400 M mode.

If you have well lit room

If you have a tripod

If you have an American dollar bill

Can you add your HS50 contribution to this thread using the following set up: Set up

I've added my shots here: My shots

LTZ470 added his panny shots here: LTZ470'S FZ200

I find such a test useful for many reasons. It can be duplicated by anyone using any camera. Lighting would require a well lit room for best results ... but for the sake of what I'm after ... which is how well the lens resolves .... lighting is irrelevant as proven here where light levels dropped by several stops : Very low light  As you can see, the fundamental details remain. It also serves to see how well a lens does center vs edge details. A point that I agonize every time I mount a superzoom lens for my DSLR.

Thanks

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nicknd99
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Re: Fuji X-S1, HS50EXR & Panasonic FZ200 Comparison
In reply to nicknd99, Apr 14, 2013

nicknd99 wrote:

OpticsEngineer wrote:

A few months ago I took about a thousand pictures with my XS1 and my sisters FZ200....

I forgot to ask the obvious, but was there one or two top features, etc. that swayed you to go with the X-S1?

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Midwest
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Re: Fuji X-S1, HS50EXR & Panasonic FZ200 Comparison
In reply to jcmarfilph, Apr 14, 2013

jcmarfilph wrote:

It is obvious that you cannot hold the HS50 steady hence blurred images so the comparison is useless. I would put them all on a tripod with Image Stabilization off.

-=[ Joms ]=-

That's not motion blur. Either the AF isn't doing a good job or the lens is very soft. The HS50's images are distinctly inferior to those of the other two cameras in this comparison.

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OpticsEngineer
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Re: Fuji X-S1, HS50EXR & Panasonic FZ200 Comparison
In reply to nicknd99, Apr 14, 2013

"I forgot to ask the obvious, but was there one or two top features, etc. that swayed you to go with the X-S1?"

The first feature swaying me toward the XS1 is the better overall build quality and precision feel.     The second is the much better electronic viewfinder.   Those two things make it an enjoyable camera to use.

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jcmarfilph
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Re: Fuji X-S1, HS50EXR & Panasonic FZ200 Comparison
In reply to Midwest, Apr 14, 2013

Midwest wrote:

jcmarfilph wrote:

It is obvious that you cannot hold the HS50 steady hence blurred images so the comparison is useless. I would put them all on a tripod with Image Stabilization off.

-=[ Joms ]=-

That's not motion blur. Either the AF isn't doing a good job or the lens is very soft. The HS50's images are distinctly inferior to those of the other two cameras in this comparison.

Whichever is the reason, I would exclude the HS50 in this test or redo it properly.

-=[ Joms ]=-

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Photofreak7
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NR settings for Fuji's?
In reply to nicknd99, Apr 14, 2013

... because the defaults can be brutal on fine detail

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Tim39
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Yo, Joms
In reply to jcmarfilph, Apr 14, 2013

jcmarfilph wrote:

nicknd99 wrote:

When viewed at less than 100% crop (how'd I'd be viewing and very rarely printing), then the shake isn't as apparent.  This is how I intend to use the camera and its photographic results, but to without a doubt I agree that shooting the camera(s) mounted on a tripod with IS off would yield superior results.  With that being understood, the comparison results are not useless.

Posting results such as these will only give bad impression to the cameras involved. Even you if you are only comparing IS, you are comparing 1000mm vs. 600mm which is not fair.

On a tripod, 10sec timer, burst or multiple shots then select the best and sharpest. Shoot them all in LSize with DR set to 100 and ISO100. Crop the FZ200 and X-S1 to match the FL of HS50 then resize the HS50 to 12MP or upsize FZ200 and X-S1 to 16MP.

Shoot also on the widest FL then upsize or resize whichever route your want. Shoot in RAW+JPEG too.

-=[ Joms ]=-

I think what the OP was asking was more along the lines of "what time is it?" -- not "please explain how a watch works."  

And, just for the record, I think his test method was far more valid for his stated goal than your proposal.  Most of us use our cameras in the real world, not some test suite, don't cha know?

-- hide signature --

Tim

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nicknd99
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Re: NR settings for Fuji's?
In reply to Photofreak7, Apr 14, 2013

Photofreak7 wrote:

... because the defaults can be brutal on fine detail

-- hide signature --

Don't feed or mess with the crazy person ... just take a photo and walk away ... just walk away man!

They really can, as evidenced on the X20!  NR was set to low.

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nicknd99
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Re: Yo, Joms
In reply to Tim39, Apr 14, 2013

Tim39 wrote:

jcmarfilph wrote:

nicknd99 wrote:

When viewed at less than 100% crop (how'd I'd be viewing and very rarely printing), then the shake isn't as apparent.  This is how I intend to use the camera and its photographic results, but to without a doubt I agree that shooting the camera(s) mounted on a tripod with IS off would yield superior results.  With that being understood, the comparison results are not useless.

Posting results such as these will only give bad impression to the cameras involved. Even you if you are only comparing IS, you are comparing 1000mm vs. 600mm which is not fair.

On a tripod, 10sec timer, burst or multiple shots then select the best and sharpest. Shoot them all in LSize with DR set to 100 and ISO100. Crop the FZ200 and X-S1 to match the FL of HS50 then resize the HS50 to 12MP or upsize FZ200 and X-S1 to 16MP.

Shoot also on the widest FL then upsize or resize whichever route your want. Shoot in RAW+JPEG too.

-=[ Joms ]=-

I think what the OP was asking was more along the lines of "what time is it?" -- not "please explain how a watch works."  

And, just for the record, I think his test method was far more valid for his stated goal than your proposal.  Most of us use our cameras in the real world, not some test suite, don't cha know?

-- hide signature --

Tim

That's correct Tim, my goal was geared toward my real world usage, and consequently, results.

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nicknd99
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Re: Thanks for the comparison.......request.
In reply to Nightwings, Apr 14, 2013

Nightwings,

I'll try and get this done, sounds like fun!

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Re: Fuji X-S1, HS50EXR & Panasonic FZ200 Comparison
In reply to jcmarfilph, Apr 14, 2013

jcmarfilph wrote:

nicknd99 wrote:

When viewed at less than 100% crop (how'd I'd be viewing and very rarely printing), then the shake isn't as apparent.  This is how I intend to use the camera and its photographic results, but to without a doubt I agree that shooting the camera(s) mounted on a tripod with IS off would yield superior results.  With that being understood, the comparison results are not useless.

Posting results such as these will only give bad impression to the cameras involved. Even you if you are only comparing IS, you are comparing 1000mm vs. 600mm which is not fair.

On a tripod, 10sec timer, burst or multiple shots then select the best and sharpest. Shoot them all in LSize with DR set to 100 and ISO100. Crop the FZ200 and X-S1 to match the FL of HS50 then resize the HS50 to 12MP or upsize FZ200 and X-S1 to 16MP.

Shoot also on the widest FL then upsize or resize whichever route your want. Shoot in RAW+JPEG too.

-=[ Joms ]=-

I shot a quick set this morning, and kids permitting, will shoot another when the sun hits both faces of the chimney.  For now, this is that I've got!

There are two photos from the HS50, as I provided one scaled down version to match the output of the XS1 and FZ200.  I've uploaded the full size JPEGS to the Dropbox link I provided in my original post.

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Tim39
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Re: NR settings for Fuji's?
In reply to nicknd99, Apr 14, 2013

nicknd99 wrote:

Photofreak7 wrote:

... because the defaults can be brutal on fine detail

-- hide signature --

Don't feed or mess with the crazy person ... just take a photo and walk away ... just walk away man!

They really can, as evidenced on the X20!  NR was set to low.

Somehow I think "default" has a different meaning in Japanese than in English.  Or at least my English, because I think of "default" as being the tested and proven setting for the widest possible variety of situations.  And Fuji's default settings are (often) anything but.

-- hide signature --

Tim

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OpticsEngineer
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Re: NR settings for Fuji's?
In reply to Tim39, Apr 14, 2013

"Somehow I think "default" has a different meaning in Japanese than in English."

Although I do not know any Japanese, I think you are correct about that.   My Olympus XZ1 does not work that well with the factory defaults.  It works much better with some tweaking.   And in the menu, you go back to factory default by selecting "Reset Photo Mode" which seems like confusing terminology to me.

Some years ago my office had a Japanese fax machine.  It did not have a Cancel button, but it had a Stop button.  By itself, the Stop button would not stop it.  You first had to press Stop, then press the Start button.    So you had to tell it to "start stopping"

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