Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR

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JPEG Shooter
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Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
6 months ago

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Alltronic
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to JPEG Shooter, 6 months ago

Hello Shooter. I Ordered my X-S1 3 days ago (still at $349,00). It should be here (Home) by Wednesday. You can return your Camera at 30 days or less to Amazon for a Full refund from them. No questions asked. Then you can buy the X-S1 if that is your Final decision!!!. Happy Shooting...

Aaron...

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Lisetta
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to Alltronic, 6 months ago

Hi JS,

You know my situation too. I'd finally decided on X-S1 just because it seemed all the photos I liked the best IQ-wise were being taken with it. But it's twice as heavy--that's a real drawback, still...that IQ...

The faster focus with the HS50 was a plus, though. Then I saw the art filters thread (X-S1 doesn't have one and decided that the IQ difference probably was negligible and ordered the HS50 last night. Should be here Wed).

Now, your thread kind of plays to my indecision all over again. However, it's still a small sensor camera, really, either way. I'm just not sure the IQ is -really- that good to make much of a difference. (Although you mention waiting for good light and I think the X-s1 may do better in low light--that's important to me, too.)

People just don't seem dissatisfied with the x-s1 (from all I've been reading--I'm sure you've read it all, too), but HS50 is all over the map--

Ack.....

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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to JPEG Shooter, 6 months ago

JPEG Shooter wrote:

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.

That surprises me. Have you tried AE/AF lock?

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Ralph McKenzie
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to JPEG Shooter, 6 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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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to Alltronic, 6 months ago

Alltronic wrote:

Hello Shooter. I Ordered my X-S1 3 days ago (still at $349,00). It should be here (Home) by Wednesday. You can return your Camera at 30 days or less to Amazon for a Full refund from them. No questions asked. Then you can buy the X-S1 if that is your Final decision!!!. Happy Shooting...

Aaron...

Well that's something to consider, Aaron.  But y'know... I'm sure the X-S1 isn't perfect either and there would be some things about it that I wouldn't particularly like.  From the looks of the manual, many of the mechanics are the same or very similar to the HS50 and, in some cases, less... such as the choices for focusing.  If I remember right, the X-S1 has 3 choices and the HS50 has 4.

I look forward to hearing your impressions of your X-S1.

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JPEG Shooter
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to Lisetta, 6 months ago

Lisetta wrote:

Hi JS,

You know my situation too. I'd finally decided on X-S1 just because it seemed all the photos I liked the best IQ-wise were being taken with it. But it's twice as heavy--that's a real drawback, still...that IQ...

The faster focus with the HS50 was a plus, though. Then I saw the art filters thread (X-S1 doesn't have one and decided that the IQ difference probably was negligible and ordered the HS50 last night. Should be here Wed).

Now, your thread kind of plays to my indecision all over again. However, it's still a small sensor camera, really, either way. I'm just not sure the IQ is -really- that good to make much of a difference. (Although you mention waiting for good light and I think the X-s1 may do better in low light--that's important to me, too.)

People just don't seem dissatisfied with the x-s1 (from all I've been reading--I'm sure you've read it all, too), but HS50 is all over the map--

Ack.....

Hi Lisetta,

There are going to be trade-offs no matter which one you decide on.  The question is, what's most important to you and what are you willing to sacrifice.

You're right about opinions on the HS50 being all over the place and generally, the X-S1 voices are mostly favorable.  However, I have read more than once about people unhappy with the slow focusing of the X-S1, others unhappy with having to wait while the camera wrote the data to the SD card, and even some unhappy with the X-S1 lens, saying it was noticably soft around the edges.  I've read these things from multiple people so it's not just one unhappy person.

So the X-S1 is not a perfect camera either.

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JPEG Shooter
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to cantanima, 6 months ago

cantanima wrote:

JPEG Shooter wrote:

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.

That surprises me. Have you tried AE/AF lock?

I used AF Lock when I was using Manual Focus to quickly acquire focus before tweaking with the focus ring, but haven't tried it with Auto Focus.  I will though... thanks for the suggestion.

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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to Ralph McKenzie, 6 months ago

Ralph McKenzie wrote:

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.

Thanks for the info about the LCD updating as changes are made.  That's good to know.  I've never been a fan of shooting using the LCD but this camera might make me start using it.

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.

Yeah... I am going to try using AF Lock.  But also, I'll change my metering.  Currently I have it on "Multi".

Thanks for the suggestions.

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Sactojim
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to JPEG Shooter, 6 months ago

Interesting read here and another users thoughts that run common with the HS50..not stellar IQ.

http://www.birdwatch.co.uk/channel/reviewitem.asp?review=3263

A few quotes: "However, the quality of the image delivered by the camera’s default settings is where the camera’s performance dipped. Viewed at 100 per cent in Adobe Photoshop, test shots showed a fine ‘stippled’ quality which compromised sharpness and seemed to be exacerbated by any form of subsequent sharpening. Discussions with Fuji led to a slight improvement by setting both ‘sharpness’ and ‘noise reduction’ to +2, but potential users should note that the camera reverts to the default image quality setting of ‘normal’ when it is powered off and on again, so the preferred setting of ‘fine’ has to be re-entered prior to every use".

"The HS50EXR is not alone in resolving detail imperfectly, with Canon’s SX50 HS also showing artifacts, but to my eye they are more pronounced in the Fujifilm model. While most images would not be scrutinized in such detail, the results may be disappointing if you want to capture fine aspects of plumage, or perhaps detailed landscapes, and underline the fact that bridge cameras do not render the same quality produced by DSLRs".

" But investigate image quality carefully if you’re considering the HS50EXR, ideally by taking some test shots, to ensure that the results live up to your expectations".

I have the S200EXR and it has a fine lens with very good IQ, but it's somewhat slow to focus and tends to take me 2-3 times to lock focus. I also have a SX50 and it's definitely faster to focus and lock at the far end (love it's image stability) and am satisfied with it's IQ. That said, I do like the manual zoom (like my dslr's) of the Fuji.

Btw, just viewed your images..very nice indeed!

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darobin1
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to JPEG Shooter, 6 months ago

Very good points -- but at the clear out prices we have been

seeing it's almost a no - brainer to pick up at least one of these

two excellent cameras.   Whether Fuji decides to update the

HS50 or not, hard to beat these prices.  My experience so far

with both HS50 and X-S1 has been excellent.   We can all argue

about IQ and ergonomic issues, but when you can get a camera

that will shoot as high as 16 fps (though reduced res) or 11 fps

at full, for $350....

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JPEG Shooter
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to Sactojim, 6 months ago

Sactojim wrote:

Interesting read here and another users thoughts that run common with the HS50..not stellar IQ.

http://www.birdwatch.co.uk/channel/reviewitem.asp?review=3263

A few quotes: "... but potential users should note that the camera reverts to the default image quality setting of ‘normal’ when it is powered off and on again, so the preferred setting of ‘fine’ has to be re-entered prior to every use".

This is not true.  I have mine set to "Fine" and it has not changed... I've powered the camera off and on many times and it is still on "Fine".

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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to darobin1, 6 months ago

darobin1 wrote:

Very good points -- but at the clear out prices we have been

seeing it's almost a no - brainer to pick up at least one of these

two excellent cameras. Whether Fuji decides to update the

HS50 or not, hard to beat these prices. My experience so far

with both HS50 and X-S1 has been excellent. We can all argue

about IQ and ergonomic issues, but when you can get a camera

that will shoot as high as 16 fps (though reduced res) or 11 fps

at full, for $350....

That is actually one thing that made me lean toward the HS50... it can do 11fps at full rez while the X-S1 can only do 7fps at full rez.  At reduced rez, the HS50 can do 16fps while the S-X1 can only do 10fps.  That's still fast, of course, but for a wildlife shooter, the higher fps the better.

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Lisetta
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to Sactojim, 6 months ago

Sactojim wrote:

Interesting read here and another users thoughts that run common with the HS50..not stellar IQ.

http://www.birdwatch.co.uk/channel/reviewitem.asp?review=3263

A few quotes: "However, the quality of the image delivered by the camera’s default settings is where the camera’s performance dipped. Viewed at 100 per cent in Adobe Photoshop, test shots showed a fine ‘stippled’ quality which compromised sharpness and seemed to be exacerbated by any form of subsequent sharpening.

That was an interesting review, although I didn't understand the wistfulness for an electronic zoom. To me, that alone makes my choice "Fuji" (whether X-S1 or HS50 still to be determined).

He made a slight misstatement, too, indicating there was a hot shoe "for ext. flash or microphone". Yes, true, but more important to know is that there's an actual mic jack.

As for viewing at 100% in Photoshop and seeing the "fine 'stippled' quality? Is that a standard for camera reviews to test IQ or otherwise a desirable way for some reason? I ask because I am trying to fight the urge to pixel peep as it is and am judging the images based on the way I and others would normally be seeing them. I'd be interested, for example, in 11 x 14 prints or here or...? I was just a little surprised that they would be examined so closely in PS--then again, maybe that's just a way to let us know his method--"FYI".

btw, JPEG Shooter, I was impressed by your photos, esp. eagle at 1000mm and the lizard at what 400mm? Also interested in the advice you're getting re: tweaking the settings. Seems like another advantage of the HS50 because that kind of conversation can continue while X-S1s are becoming something of the past.

What will make you decide if you're going to keep it?

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Me Tarzan
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to JPEG Shooter, 6 months ago

JS, thanks for sharing your yea's and nay's for the HS50. Very useful information.

My experience with the HS series is much like Ralph's comments above. EV's are so poor that I have to use the LCD when shooting. If you are looking for a camera with an impressive EV, try picking up an 'old' panny G1. I own two of these baby bears. Nice sensor, perfect birding camera and beautiful EV, and manual to boot. I'd also highly recommend the Fuji s100fs. They are difficult to find, solidly built. There have been lots of noise about some areas of imperfections but hey, no camera is going to be perfect. The s100fs sure comes close in my books.

The slowest HS series camera to focus, process and regroup is the HS10. I can build half a house in-between shots. I paid $500 plus tax when it came on the market. It's a heck of a macro camera, but I think all digitals do a pretty good job for macro work. Hey, I'll gladly trade you the HS10 for your HS50. Deal? Wait. I already know the answer.

Also, took a look at your shots in the other thread. Great work, excellent images. Looking forward to seeing many more.

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Orion12
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to JPEG Shooter, 6 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.

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.

I keep my HS50EXR Lens Cap in my Camera Bag & Don't Usually use it !
I keep my HS50EXR Lens Hood ON my Camera most of the time ( It Keeps objects like the Case Walls from Touching the Lens as I Normally NEVER Put the Lens Cap on / Camera is Ready to Shoot WHEN I Pull it out of it's case )

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).

The SOOC Jpegs on the HS50EXR often suffer from Excessive Exposure ( Set the EV back a few Clicks - To YOUR Tastes / That will often remove the Excessively Bright & Washed Out Look )

I also use PP to Improve Contrast ( I personally use FastStone Image Viewer 4.9 and When it's not Enough - I run one of my Other Image Processing Programs OUT of FastStone / It's Very Easy. . .

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.

Suggest:
Set Your Image Display 1.5 Sec ( Feedback )
Monitor Sunlight Mode = OFF
EVF/LCD Mode = 60 fps  ( Very Important )
Power Management = High Performance = ON

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.

See Note Below on using the AE/AF Button with Manual Focusing. . .

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.

You can Turn "Focus Peaking" OFF - But You'd Loose it's Benefits ( Finely Detailed Sharpness Viewing ) It's a Trade-Off really. . .

Very Important is to Learn to Use the AE/AF Button when in Manual Focus Mode - This will Auto Focus the Scene and THEN Allow you to Use Your Manual Focus Ring to Tweak the Focus to Your Needs.

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.

Your frustration would have been SOLVED by using Manual Focus / Along with the AE/AF Button. . .

Very Easy to Do BUT It takes KNOWING About it & Practicing. . .

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.

Depends on How Much Lens Range You Want. . .

For ME the HS50EXR & My Rayox 1.54x TC give me up to 1,540mm Pure Optical which is pretty extreme for a Manual Zoom Camera ( Which I Love ).

I wonder what my yea's and nay's would have been with that camera.

You would have some. . . ALL Cameras & Especially the EXR Sensor Ones - Have a Learning Curve

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JPEG Shooter
view my galleries at http://www.pbase.com/fotogrfr

As with MOST Smaller Sensor Cameras you will have to use some PP & Raw Processing when You Want the MOST out of Your Pics. . .
I Often shoot Raw + Fine and ONLY Tweak the Ones I'm Interested in Doing More. . .

When you can Stand in a Lighted Parking Lot & Point your camera at the Sky & get a shot like this, then to ME. . . You've Got a Useful Photographic Tool. . .

Dialed EXR : SN Mode 8-Mp Capture / Resized for the Web ( Not Cropped ) Taken with Raynox 1540Pro TC

Good Shooting & Cheers from Orion 

This is an Example of how well the HS50EXR can shoot in Low Light @ ISO-3200

Dialed EXR : SN Mode 8-Mp Capture @ ISO-3200  from RAW file Processed in Photo Ninja

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jcmarfilph
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to JPEG Shooter, 6 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.

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.

I don't use lens cap but the lens hood so I can't comment on this one.

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).

I would consider it great (at par with FZ and SX) and average compared to DSLR.

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.

Compared to all superzooms, HS50's EVF is the next best out there after X-S1. Paul Till is hard to please when it comes to camera so having his positive remark about the EVF is something that you should consider. You can attach a Nikon DK-20 eyecup to improve it even more.

In A Mode, you can see the effect of aperture adjustment immediately after you half-press it. In M or S, nope. PAS mode, you can see the effect of EV compensation right away without half-pressing and yes in EVF.

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.

Double-check again my pointers above.

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.

You can definitely turn on/off that magnification box, just dig the menu. The MF of HS50 is by far the best out there in all superzoom.

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.

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.

Actually, it can shoot in burst mode even when in MF. Maybe you meant Intelligent Zoom?

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.

Maybe you need to set the focus mode to macro? If the subject is too close or almost filling up the screen, you need to set the mode to macro even though you are not shooting small subject.

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.

Hopefully when you re-evaluate it, your impression will change. Good luck

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JPEG Shooter
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Orion12
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to Sactojim, 6 months ago

Sactojim wrote:

Interesting read here and another users thoughts that run common with the HS50..not stellar IQ.

http://www.birdwatch.co.uk/channel/reviewitem.asp?review=3263

A few quotes: "However, the quality of the image delivered by the camera’s default settings is where the camera’s performance dipped. Viewed at 100 per cent in Adobe Photoshop, test shots showed a fine ‘stippled’ quality which compromised sharpness and seemed to be exacerbated by any form of subsequent sharpening. Discussions with Fuji led to a slight improvement by setting both ‘sharpness’ and ‘noise reduction’ to +2, but potential users should note that the camera reverts to the default image quality setting of ‘normal’ when it is powered off and on again, so the preferred setting of ‘fine’ has to be re-entered prior to every use".

I don't know Who Wrote the Above but it's FALSE Information ! ( I've NEVER Lost Settings AFTER Power Off ) I Shoot Almost Entirely in 8-Mp Modes - Have NEVER Noticed "Stippled" quality.
Also IF you look thought this Forum you will find MOST suggest setting Noise Reduction to -2

Their are LOTS of Opinions about the HS50EXR Quality from a Lot of People who either Don't Own One or Don't Know How to Shoot with One. . . It's NOT an No-Brainer to get the Most from this Camera but it Can Deliver a Wide Range of Quality Shots IF handled correctly. . .
Some will also try to Bad Mouth the HS50EXR because it doesn't have "DSLR" Quality & True Enough a 1/2" has it's Limitations but their are FEW DSLR's that have 24mm - 1,000mm Lens Range.

Cheers from Orion 

ISO-400 Telephoto with the Low-Light Subject ~ 1 Mile Away. . .

Click to View Full Sized. . .

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photoreddi
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to JPEG Shooter, 6 months ago

JPEG Shooter wrote:

...

That is actually one thing that made me lean toward the HS50... it can do 11fps at full rez while the X-S1 can only do 7fps at full rez. At reduced rez, the HS50 can do 16fps while the S-X1 can only do 10fps. That's still fast, of course, but for a wildlife shooter, the higher fps the better.

Do you know if the HS50 can continue focusing between shots during 11 fps bursts? If birds are flying toward you or flying away, most of the photos won't be in focus if it doesn't.

The HS50 might, because it has PD AF "pixels" on the sensor, but if it does continually refocus it may not be at the highest frame rates. Nikon's N1 cameras for example, can shoot full resolution RAW+JPEGs at 60 fps, but depending on the model, only refocus between shots when the frame rate is reduced to 10 fps (V1, J1, etc.) or 15 fps with the newer models using the higher resolution sensors (V2, J3, etc.)

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Orion12
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Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR
In reply to Me Tarzan, 6 months ago

Me Tarzan wrote:

My experience with the HS series is much like Ralph's comments above. EV's are so poor that I have to use the LCD when shooting. If you are looking for a camera with an impressive EV, try picking up an 'old' panny G1. I own two of these baby bears. Nice sensor, perfect birding camera and beautiful EV, and manual to boot. I'd also highly recommend the Fuji s100fs. They are difficult to find, solidly built. There have been lots of noise about some areas of imperfections but hey, no camera is going to be perfect. The s100fs sure comes close in my books.

Set Your Power Management to HIGH PERFORMANCE
Set Your Viewing Frame Rate to 60 fps

These (2) Setting MAJORLY Effect Your "Viewing Experience" BOTH Rear Display & EFV Display

Frank
http://www.flickr.com/photos/112360977@N08/

More Cheers from Orion 

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