FZ70 or Fuji HS50?

Started Oct 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP Stevie Boy Blue Senior Member • Posts: 1,077
Re: Vanyu

Thank you for the kind words, especially in terms of your believing “I’ve been a great asset here in the Panasonic forum”, Vandyu. I’m not sure all visitors would agree but the truth is, I’m only too pleased to offer help wherever I can, and I’d like to think I’ve helped a number of users along the way to using FZ camera whilst I’ve been posting in my on and off fashion over the years.

Anyway, I doubt that I’ll be deserting the Panasonic forum anytime soon. Even if I do buy a Fuji HS50, or any other make of camera, I’ll still be shooting from time to time with my beloved FZ150, so I’ll occasionally feel obliged to share the odd result here occasionally. I’ll probably be tempted to post comparison shots from other makers too, assuming I feel they’re on a par with or better than the Panasonic versions.

I appreciate that you’ve never owned a Fuji. I’ve had a couple of their compact film cameras over the years myself, but have no hands-on experience of Fuji digital. That said, amongst many Fuji images I’ve seen spoiled by purple fringing/CA, and excessive amounts of croma noise mingled in fur and feather detail, I’ve also come across some pretty excellent shots when the cameras have been in the right hands and shooting conditions ideal. By far the best digital image of a frog on a lily pad that I’ve ever seen in my life was shot by an acquaintance of mine who used an old s1000, or whatever the model number was around 2003. He also had a collection of very impressive low light photos he’d taken at dusk/sunset. Hence I’ve no reservations about garnering good results from an HS50, beyond the apparent limitations I’m told come into to play at the longer end of the lens, which, to me, is the most important aspect of any camera used for wildlife/small bird photography. The fact is, if the HS50 or whatever camera cannot render crisp and punchy OOC Jpegs at maximum telephoto more often than it fails to do so, then the model won’t be for me. No point in messing around attempting to make silk purses from sows’ ears, as the old saying goes. Something will be released soon I'm sure, that’s if the HS50, SX50, FZ70 or Nikon P-whatever it is doesn’t match my ideals already.

I also have reservations re the FZ70, least of all because the camera does not come with and has no slots on the lens barrel for a lens hood, which is vital for any wildlife photographer. I don’t care that Panasonic may have struggled to shape an appropriate hood to prevent it masking the wider angle to any degree, but in my opinion there’s no excuse for them not sorting out and supplying an appropriate hood. I’m certainly not prepared to conduct any sort of DIY job either.

Despite that the FZ70 (72) appears as though it will handle well in the field, after viewing one around three-weeks ago, I actually walked out of the shop with a FZ200 at a price that suited me well at the time. Thing is, the FZ200 doesn’t solve my long end dilemma. In fact, and in rather humorous fashion, I've given myself an additional problem because despite various in-camera settings and attempts to obtain the quality from FZ200 Jpegs I see from the FZ150, the FZ200’s left lacking in some way.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not averse to more trial and error and fiddling around with the 200’s settings, and I’m confident I can eventually achieve more satisfying results, but it is frustrating knowing that it took me less than two short sessions and about 500 shots to set up the FZ150 exactly to my liking, yet 10 or 12 sessions and around 3,500 shots into the FZ200 have left me only a little wiser as to where I’m headed. In short, from the first week I used the FZ150, I was and still am blown away by the results this camera produces. Often a FZ150 Jpeg has given me the ‘wow’ factor, where I’ve thought to myself or said to others, ‘blimey, just look at that for a picture!’ In truth, FZ150 photos can POP right out at the viewer and are often in no way hampered by the noise that may be present to some degree.

Thus far I cannot say the same of the FZ200 in the absence a little more fine tuning in camera and with additional need for some PP. Although I have more FZ200 in-camera adjustments to make, it’s already easy to conclude that I’ll struggle to match the consistency in OOC Jpeg quality I’ve enjoyed for so long with the FZ150. Even with the in-camera sharpening set to default, noise is far more obvious and interferes more with Jpeg quality than it ever could with the FZ150. In fairness only those having used both cameras for shooting fur and feather may notice this and, as I’ve said, I have more adjustments to make and experiments to conduct, with the bonus being that the higher resolution of the FZ200 viewfinder offers less in the way of eye strain than the 150 gives me. Ultimately, however, it is OOC images that matter to me most. And in the event I cannot remain entirely satisfied with FZ200 photos, the camera will be reserved purely for shooting at dusk and on really dull days with the ceiling ISO set to a maximum 400 (a good replacement for my ancient FZ20, which I will now sell). For all other eventualities, however, it could well be the FZ150 every time I work up to 600mm. Hmm, it looks like I'm still waiting for that true all-in-one jobby then!

Thanks again for posting…

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