Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR

Started Feb 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
Orion12 Senior Member • Posts: 2,014
Re: Personal Yea's and Nay's of HS50EXR

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.


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.


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.

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

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

 Orion12's gear list:Orion12's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Pentax K10D Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax Q7 Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro +5 more
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