FZ70 or Fuji HS50?

Started Oct 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Stevie Boy Blue Contributing Member • Posts: 989
FZ70 or Fuji HS50?

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

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