FZ70 or Fuji HS50?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
Stevie Boy Blue
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FZ70 or Fuji HS50?
6 months ago

In hope of receiving balanced viewpoints, I may post this in the Fujifilm forum too, when I have the chance.

It’s just that in light of there being no FZ flagship replacement this year (with potentially a far longer zoom than the 600mm that the FZ200 boasts), the only Panasonic model to be released this side of 2014 is the 1200mm FZ70.

When it was announced, I was keen to see what the non Leica lensed model would produce straight from the camera in terms of jpegs. Alas, however – and despite the fact I know that the model’s selling well here in the UK – Gary S's nice Hummer shots aside, I’ve seen very little in terms of samples posted in the forum that would encourage me to make a purchase. Quite simply, I’m looking for a camera I can use without the need for a teleconvertor, so 1000mm and over would be ideal.

The thing is, for around £30 less than it would cost me to buy a FZ70, I could buy a Fuji HS50, which, from a limited number of samples I’ve seen, could churn out some impressive results where users are prepared to tweak in-camera settings.

Admittedly the HS50 is 1000mm equivalent instead of the 1200mm reach of the FZ70 and has a manual zoom compared to my preference for motorised Panasonics. But when all’s said and done I’d be using either camera at full telephoto anyway and the extra 200mm reach of the FZ70 would be barely noticeable against the Fuji. I’d also guess that the HS50 would render more detailed high ISO images than the FZ70 could muster, and as I can buy a HS50 for less than a FZ70, I’m faced with a small dilemma that could result in my defecting away from the FZ range of camera I’ve enjoyed using since 2004. Obviously I’m not tied to either brand, but I’m becoming increasingly put-off by Panasonic’s apparent backward steps in terms of OOC Jpeg quality since the FZ150 was released. Why on earth they don’t appear able match or better that 2011 model is baffling to say the least in like-for-like ISOs.

One thing that particularly impresses me re the HS50 is the focus speed claimed by the manufacturer, save to mention that it uses phase detection, which is arguably likely to be more accurate and possibly faster than the contrast detect seen on Panasonic models. For wildlife photography, additional speed of focus can prove invaluable in my experience; hence even a split second faster focus would be a bonus. Overall then, for around the same price, I suspect that the Fuji offers better value for money than the FZ70, especially where video is not important and if it can muster the quality in Jpegs that I’m looking for.

Any sensible, balanced and preferably not overly biased or deliberately flaming input from out and out fans of either Panasonic or Fuji products would be greatly appreciated where possible.

Thanks in advance of your time.

As always, kind regards to all forum visitors

Stevie Boy

Gary S
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Re: FZ70 or Fuji HS50?
In reply to Stevie Boy Blue, 6 months ago

I've never shot with the Fuji HS50 but it sure looks better on paper with the feature list and the specific specs of those features. I'd like to try it sometime. Somebody else would have to comment on using that one. I will say it's not that easy to shoot at the FZ70's 1200mm reach. It takes decent lighting and a steady hand. I've never felt a tripod is actually required though. The stabilizer is quite good.

I'm getting the impression from your message that you're itching to buy a new superzoom right now, is that right? Buying something other than Panasonic wouldn't bother me at all. If Panasonic comes out with something even better later I'd consider that too, sell whatever I have or use it for a gift to someone.

If you're not in any hurry just wait for the rest of the year, see what develops in the 4th quarter here.

I don't like to do a lot of post processing, don't have the patience. These pics below have minimal. Some quick NR with Neat Image, a little contrast adjustment, sized & sharpened. I like the "reach" of the FZ70, not really thrilled about the rest of the camera. It's probably because I already have the nice FZ200 and FZ150, as well as DSLR gear. Depends on what you compare it to I guess.

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Tim Trzcinski
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Re: FZ70 or Fuji HS50?
In reply to Stevie Boy Blue, 6 months ago

I own the HS50. Also, a Canon SX50, a Sony HX300, and a Panasonic FZ60 which I use with a TCON17. My advice to you would be look at any FZ70 long end samples you may find very carefully. I love my HS50 but it has one shortcoming. It's just not very good beyond 700mm. Everything else about the camera I absolutely love except this. I even tried 2 other HS50's at long zoom to see if I had a bad copy. The SX50 at full zoom takes noticeably sharper images. If the FZ70 can compare favorably with the SX50 at full zoom then it may be better suited for your needs.

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Gary S
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Re: FZ70 or Fuji HS50?
In reply to Tim Trzcinski, 6 months ago

Tim Trzcinski wrote:

I love my HS50 but it has one shortcoming. It's just not very good beyond 700mm.

Tim, do you feel that's mainly due to the lens design on the Fuji?  Having used the FZ70 for a while now I don't notice any excessive softness at the extreme long end. I'd say the limitation to getting sharp photos is more on the ability of the shooter to hold it steady.

I consider myself pretty good with long lenses having shot DSLR telephotos without any stabilization for years.  But even so I get a good number of photos from the FZ70 showing some blur from camera shake. You can boost the ISO to make it easier but of course you're trading some image quality.  I shoot at ISO 100 whenever possible. ISO 200 still looks pretty good though.

The Canon SX50 images look quite good to me. I almost bought one. Decided to wait and see what the successor will offer.

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jcmarfilph
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Re: FZ70 or Fuji HS50?
In reply to Stevie Boy Blue, 6 months ago

Stevie Boy Blue wrote:

In hope of receiving balanced viewpoints, I may post this in the Fujifilm forum too, when I have the chance.

It’s just that in light of there being no FZ flagship replacement this year (with potentially a far longer zoom than the 600mm that the FZ200 boasts), the only Panasonic model to be released this side of 2014 is the 1200mm FZ70.

When it was announced, I was keen to see what the non Leica lensed model would produce straight from the camera in terms of jpegs. Alas, however – and despite the fact I know that the model’s selling well here in the UK – Gary S's nice Hummer shots aside, I’ve seen very little in terms of samples posted in the forum that would encourage me to make a purchase. Quite simply, I’m looking for a camera I can use without the need for a teleconvertor, so 1000mm and over would be ideal.

The thing is, for around £30 less than it would cost me to buy a FZ70, I could buy a Fuji HS50, which, from a limited number of samples I’ve seen, could churn out some impressive results where users are prepared to tweak in-camera settings.

Admittedly the HS50 is 1000mm equivalent instead of the 1200mm reach of the FZ70 and has a manual zoom compared to my preference for motorised Panasonics. But when all’s said and done I’d be using either camera at full telephoto anyway and the extra 200mm reach of the FZ70 would be barely noticeable against the Fuji. I’d also guess that the HS50 would render more detailed high ISO images than the FZ70 could muster, and as I can buy a HS50 for less than a FZ70, I’m faced with a small dilemma that could result in my defecting away from the FZ range of camera I’ve enjoyed using since 2004. Obviously I’m not tied to either brand, but I’m becoming increasingly put-off by Panasonic’s apparent backward steps in terms of OOC Jpeg quality since the FZ150 was released. Why on earth they don’t appear able match or better that 2011 model is baffling to say the least in like-for-like ISOs.

One thing that particularly impresses me re the HS50 is the focus speed claimed by the manufacturer, save to mention that it uses phase detection, which is arguably likely to be more accurate and possibly faster than the contrast detect seen on Panasonic models. For wildlife photography, additional speed of focus can prove invaluable in my experience; hence even a split second faster focus would be a bonus. Overall then, for around the same price, I suspect that the Fuji offers better value for money than the FZ70, especially where video is not important and if it can muster the quality in Jpegs that I’m looking for.

Any sensible, balanced and preferably not overly biased or deliberately flaming input from out and out fans of either Panasonic or Fuji products would be greatly appreciated where possible.

Thanks in advance of your time.

As always, kind regards to all forum visitors

Stevie Boy

I've done a side-by-side comparison between HS50 and SX50 here so you will just do +/- on the FZ70.

SX50 has better image stabilization even though it has longer FL. Both produced very good and similar IQ. SX50 is just a tad better on the long end because of the longer zoom. Speed, ergonomics, handling and everything (except smoother zooming while video recording) goes to HS50.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3538112

To keep it simple, these are the side-by-side comparisons...

IMG... for Canon, Sxxx for Fuji

-=[ Joms ]=-

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Holmes375
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Re: FZ70 or Fuji HS50?
In reply to Tim Trzcinski, 6 months ago

Tim Trzcinski wrote:

I own the HS50. Also, a Canon SX50, a Sony HX300, and a Panasonic FZ60 which I use with a TCON17. My advice to you would be look at any FZ70 long end samples you may find very carefully. I love my HS50 but it has one shortcoming. It's just not very good beyond 700mm. Everything else about the camera I absolutely love except this. I even tried 2 other HS50's at long zoom to see if I had a bad copy. The SX50 at full zoom takes noticeably sharper images. If the FZ70 can compare favorably with the SX50 at full zoom then it may be better suited for your needs.

This mirrors my experience as well. I sure like the manual zoom but the long end image quality just wasn't there. I sold my Fuji after a couple months and a niece now has my Canon thus I'm just shooting the FZ200 now. If the new Canon materializes and is sweet I'll get one. If not I'll probably pick up an FZ70

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Henry Falkner
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Looking for FZ70 postings also
In reply to Stevie Boy Blue, 6 months ago

My existing bridge camera is a 20x zoom 10MP Olympus SP-570UZ, relegated as a historical curiosity because of its use of xD memory cards.

Besides, my 24x zoom 16MP Olympus SZ-30MR outclasses the SP-570UZ with its dynamic range, colour saturation, better super macro, range of distances over which it will focus... I could go on.

The FZ200 has the same 24x zoom range, and only 12MP (yes, it does matter) in a heavier and bigger package. All of this to me is a disincentive. Only a pocket P&S always comes with me regardless of what chores I am asked to do.

For the reasons above, for a bridge camera which is much bigger and heavier than my pocket P&S, I need to justify the purchase with a MUCH wider zoom range. For birds singing in the distance, that the sound focusses with the lens would be a boon.

Are the FZ70 owners keeping quiet because the FZ200 guys shout them down here?

Henry

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Holmes375
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Re: Looking for FZ70 postings also
In reply to Henry Falkner, 6 months ago

Henry Falkner wrote:

....Are the FZ70 owners keeping quiet because the FZ200 guys shout them down here?

Henry

I hardly believe that is the case here. Have you seen notable evidence of this "shouting down"?

I doubt the FZ70 will ever see a large presence in this forum and I'm beginning to think it won't ever see a large presence in the real world either given Panasonic's rather obscure marketing practices.  Too bad really as its no doubt a very good consumer-style bridge cam with a diverse repertoire.

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Tim Trzcinski
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Re: FZ70 or Fuji HS50?
In reply to Gary S, 6 months ago

Yes, it is the lens design. If there is any difference in IS it is not noticeable to me. Even at shutter speeds which are fast enough to have no problem with stability the difference remains the same. I REALLY like the HS50 and have tried every setting combination at full zoom because I want to be able to use it all the time but if I'm going to be shooting at full zoom the SX50 goes with me. I can add that I can also get sharper photos at full zoom with the Sony HX300 but they are not quite as good as the SX50 and I think in the case of the HX300 the reason is the sensor/JPEG processing combination rather than the lens.

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jcmarfilph
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Re: FZ70 or Fuji HS50?
In reply to Tim Trzcinski, 6 months ago

Tim Trzcinski wrote:

Yes, it is the lens design. If there is any difference in IS it is not noticeable to me. Even at shutter speeds which are fast enough to have no problem with stability the difference remains the same. I REALLY like the HS50 and have tried every setting combination at full zoom because I want to be able to use it all the time but if I'm going to be shooting at full zoom the SX50 goes with me. I can add that I can also get sharper photos at full zoom with the Sony HX300 but they are not quite as good as the SX50 and I think in the case of the HX300 the reason is the sensor/JPEG processing combination rather than the lens.

Did you do a side-by-side comparison? From the results I have gotten, I don't see any reason why I would buy and SX50, unless I am a zoom-freak while recording video. Even the 200mm advantage of SX50 is barely noticeable when compared to downsized 16MP of HS50.

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Tim Trzcinski
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Re: FZ70 or Fuji HS50?
In reply to jcmarfilph, 6 months ago

I've compared hundreds of times since I've owned both cameras for over 6 months. I'm just giving the OP an honest opinion.

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jcmarfilph
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Re: FZ70 or Fuji HS50?
In reply to Tim Trzcinski, 6 months ago

Tim Trzcinski wrote:

I've compared hundreds of times since I've owned both cameras for over 6 months. I'm just giving the OP an honest opinion.

Opinion without proof is next to useless. Please post the side-by-side comparison with controlled variables as much as possible. I'll be interested too see what you have done to say that HS50 is no good above 700mm. These are the very first shots I have taken from HS50.

You can find more shots here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joms_birding/

-=[ Joms ]=-

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Holmes375
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Re: FZ70 or Fuji HS50?
In reply to jcmarfilph, 6 months ago

jcmarfilph wrote:

Tim Trzcinski wrote:

I've compared hundreds of times since I've owned both cameras for over 6 months. I'm just giving the OP an honest opinion.

Opinion without proof is next to useless. Please post the side-by-side comparison with controlled variables as much as possible. I'll be interested too see what you have done to say that HS50 is no good above 700mm....

Bull.  The man has used both cameras in the real world for half a year. His opinion is valid and of interest to many readers as it represents unbiased feedback - unless of course you detect bias in the man's comments. I do not.

It sounds like Tim really wanted the HS50 to be the one but it didn't stack up in his hands and in his reality. My initial hope and subsequent experience was the same.

And he doesn't have a thing to prove to you.

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jcmarfilph
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Re: FZ70 or Fuji HS50?
In reply to Holmes375, 6 months ago

Holmes375 wrote:

jcmarfilph wrote:

Tim Trzcinski wrote:

I've compared hundreds of times since I've owned both cameras for over 6 months. I'm just giving the OP an honest opinion.

Opinion without proof is next to useless. Please post the side-by-side comparison with controlled variables as much as possible. I'll be interested too see what you have done to say that HS50 is no good above 700mm....

Bull. The man has used both cameras in the real world for half a year. His opinion is valid and of interest to many readers as it represents unbiased feedback - unless of course you detect bias in the man's comments. I do not.

It sounds like Tim really wanted the HS50 to be the one but it didn't stack up in his hands and in his reality. My initial hope and subsequent experience was the same.

And he doesn't have a thing to prove to you.

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If he has no solid proof like what I have, I would say it is not the fault of the camera. Saying it is no good beyond 700mm should be taken as grain of salt. You can use any camera you want and say it is not good but make sure you provide a proof. I have seen horrible images from both cameras even FZ70 so I will not say one is superior than another in IQ.

-=[ Joms ]=-

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Stevie Boy Blue
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Re: Gary
In reply to Gary S, 6 months ago

Gary, it’s a shame you’ve never used the HS50, as I would have valued your opinion greatly.

No matter though, your growing set of examples from the FZ70 are giving a clearer picture of what the camera offers, even though it seems a mere base ISO machine again.

I’m not in the least surprised you’re still getting a number of blurry shots at 1200 mm though. I can still manage the odd one or two of those when shooting at 600 mm with my FZ150.

No, I wouldn’t say I’m desperate for a new camera, just a little fed-up of having to attach extras to the FZ150 to extend the focal length when needed. My gripe is exaggerated even more now I know there are cameras around that offer 1000 to 1200 mm built in, hence more of an itch rather than desperation to obtain something sooner rather than later. I’ll give it at least another month to see whether Canon comes up with a new model though, just in hope that they’ve speeded things up a little in terms of glass and continuous shooting modes, etc.

Thanks very much for the input, it’s much appreciated…

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Stevie Boy Blue
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Re: Tim
In reply to Tim Trzcinski, 6 months ago

Tim, your first reply to my OP contains just the type of info I appreciate, thank you for posting. Cheers...

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Stevie Boy Blue
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Re: Joms
In reply to jcmarfilph, 6 months ago

Joms

Thanks very much for posting the comparison samples. Very useful, and I genuinely appreciate the time you’ve taken to supply the info in your first post here. Cheers for offering your views…

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Stevie Boy Blue
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Re: Holmes
In reply to Holmes375, 6 months ago

Holmes. Thanks for the mirror feedback. Like you I'll give it a while longer to see what Canon might do in the next few weeks. Cheers...

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John Miles
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Re: FZ70 or Fuji HS50?
In reply to Stevie Boy Blue, 6 months ago

Were the choice down to me I'd go for the Fuji. Though I'd look at the image quality first, since I run with out of camera results near on 100% of the time.

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jcmarfilph
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Re: Joms
In reply to Stevie Boy Blue, 6 months ago

Stevie Boy Blue wrote:

Joms

Thanks very much for posting the comparison samples. Very useful, and I genuinely appreciate the time you’ve taken to supply the info in your first post here. Cheers for offering your views…

No problem, just giving HS50 the right justice. With the choices of superzooms nowadays, it all boils down to preference as they are now at par with each in IQ. Speed/Performance/Ergonomics/Handling via manual zoom + Hybrid AF or smoother zooming in video via motorized zoom and longer FL. Take your pick!

-=[ Joms ]=-

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