FZ70 or Fuji HS50?

Started Oct 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP Stevie Boy Blue Senior Member • Posts: 1,074
Re: John M

With respect John, you do seem a little EV obsessed to me. Maybe your FZ50 and fairly constant need to keep it ISO 100 warrant a little more care than I’d expect from new FZs such as the 150, which lends itself well to shooting with a fluctuating ISO well above base and yet it consistently returns correctly exposed OOC Jpegs, ‘in my experience’.

Although I wouldn’t argue that FZ cameras of any age need a little adjustment from time to time – usually in the minus direction to avoid clipped highlights – I generally do quite well after pre-fixing Exposure Compensation to appropriate conditions. For example, a reasonable but not too bright sunny day and I may set EV to minus 1/3 of a stop, changing only if necessary either way if cloud cover allows more light through. If it’s sunny to begin with, minus 2/3rds EV is my first port of call, and often there’s no need to change from that setting at all when using the FZ150, even if ISO bumps up to 400. Detail will still be very much evident and highlights preserved. In this respect, FZs have moved on considerably since the 50, but if you continue to ignore this in favour of your old and limited machine, that’s entirely down to you. I know what it’s like to be set in one’s ways. I used to be very much like it myself.

I used to think that SLRs with their ‘manual zooms’ were the bee’s knees and the be all and end all of portrait and people photography and that I’d miss opportunities through having a motor zoom. (I did use SLRs for quite a while in my younger days.)

Actually, now I’ve learned to largely predict people at public events a little better than I used to, I doubt very much that a manual zoom camera would get me more shots than a motor zoom, regardless of whether it was a FZ50 or not. If I were to shoot an event/party tomorrow, I’d probably pick the FZ150. For indoor shots, I’d fix the EV at default and for outdoor shots begin with minus 1/3 of a stop with no likely requirements for change when shooting in shutter priority mode. I would have no qualms at all carrying the relatively light 150 around my neck all day long and two charged batteries would last 8 hours with the camera left switched on and power save mode off.

As I’d be shooting people (large ‘easy’ subjects), I’d rarely need to extend the 600mm lens beyond 300 mm, and I’d be confident that any slight detail defect that may otherwise show if the subject where otherwise small, furry or feathered will be unnoticeable in the skin and/or clothing of the people I’d be photographing. In my experience, compared to wildlife photography, snapping away at people and events is an absolute doddle. People are far, far easier to predict than the majority of wild creatures that I shoot more often these days. And therein lays the answer to ‘ALL’ public events shooting. People are predictable, are predictable and predictable. Once any photographer has developed experience in people watching and, arguably more importantly, learned just who to watch, it will not matter whether he uses a motorised zoom or manual one, simply because he will predict the focal length in advance of any behaviour worth recording and will therefore be ready to shoot as it happens. I can’t speak for you, of course John, but that is how I managed to capture events and countless images over a moderate period of time. To me, successful event shooting is much more about observation of the crowd rather than the shooting itself.

Naturally I realise that you may feel obliged to reply and perhaps praise your beloved FZ50 yet again. In all honesty though, whilst I would happily debate forever and a day that modern FZs not only shoot overall better images than the FZ50, but they’re are every bit as quick – albeit in different ways with improved continuous shooting modes and far better battery life – I frankly don’t feel I nor anyone else could sway your apparently engrained view. Who knows? One day you might just take a plunge and move on with some other camera, until which time I’ll expect you to continue singing your praises of a machine that, as far as I’m concerned, was just another flagship FZ; no more no less.

With respect, therefore, I will refrain from adding anything to this reply should you feel any requirement for the last word. As far as I’m concerned, I couldn’t say more about the FZ 50 than I’ve already mentioned since I joined DPR a few years back (since which time I’ve gone through a FZ20, FZ28, FZ38, FZ150, FZ200 and a borrowed FZ50). I would, however, always attempt to make time to write about those more modern FZs I’ve used with success, and possibly other long-zoom fixed lens models from other manufacturers I’ve yet to try. No offence intended, of course. We’ve gotta keep on smiling, and at the end of the day it’s not as if the cameras I use aren’t replaceable, or that I’d die if I never shot another photograph since the last time I ventured out with a new FZ200.

Oh, and if you have any example party/function/people shots that you managed to successfully shoot with your even older FZ20 that you’d like to share with us all, I’d be keen to see them posted. As I said to Vandyu above, I’ll try and pop a few up myself shortly. To me, nothing speaks louder than a photograph in any discussion.

In closing, please forgive my ignorance of the posting with quotes thingamajig. It’s a process with which I’m not at all familiar but I’m sure you’ll be able to decipher the parts of your post to which I refer.


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