Back On Air..


As you may have noticed I haven’t been around for a while lately. Work and family commitments have demanded more of my time than usual. Photographically we are in the middle of winter as well and this year has been bad, so very little photo opportunities  for us shutter bugs.

For our Kiwi readers a little more good news on the HS50EXR front.

As of 9.00AM this morning PriceSpy was showing seven NZ retailers with the HS50. Bear in mind that most are direct importing so you will need to confirm warranty details. Photo and Video International in Christchurch have them in stock, but note that they are also the most expensive of all the suppliers shown in Pricespy.

Curiously most of the main stream electrical goods chains don’t stock the HS50 currently and neither do the local Fuji Specialist shops. To date I have yet to see an “Official Product Launch” for the HS50. One has to wonder just what the sales & marketing people at Fuji are doing.

Prospective HS50 buyers may well want to consider spending a little more and getting the X-S1, as its generally $100.00 or less above the HS50 price. The X-S1 with its larger lens and sensor gives arguably better IQ, but new users will want to check that its a new generation ( produced after the sensor bloom issue  was raised) before purchase or whether Fuji will still honor its replacement lens/sensor assembly warranty.

To date I’m still not convinced that the HS50 in IQ stakes is much if any of a step up in this area. Reports are that in others ways, excellent AF, fast write times, swivel LCD just to name some of the changes are working very well. As to Image quality, it may not be class leading but this example at 2500 ISO from Photography Blog gives some indication of what the camera can achieve. For ease of use I have re-sized the images to 1600 pixels long axis, both original and edited version. In the edited version I have applied a slight sharpen with medium contrast, small luminance curve, and a little foreground back-light. The result is a sharper and more contrasted image. Not perhaps to everyone’s taste but suitable for this demonstration. For an ISO 2500 image this isn’t bad and with a better understanding of this camera could in fact have been improved upon.

fujifilm_finepix_hs50_exr_46-original resized
Original Image
fujifilm_finepix_hs50_exr_46-edit-resized
Edited version

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7 Replies to “Back On Air..”

  1. Love the shots Ralph. Did you shoot in M size SN EXR mode or L size HR mode?..at iso that is quite remarkable for such a small sensor camera. Cheers Ian

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  2. Oooops…. I realise now that the shot is off of photography blog….just as you said!…I guess they would have shot that using 16mp L size ….so that makes it all the more impressive. If they had used the SN EXR mode at that iso speed I would guess that there would have been less noise. Cheers Ian

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    1. Yes I would agree. As to be expected there was a good deal of noise and I think SN mode would have been a good option. This shot however is considerably better than I would have gotten from my HS20 so clearly they have made improvements both to the sensor and its detail retention as well as high noise capability.

      As much as I hate to swallow my own words I may have to re-access the performance of the HS50 as time goes on. I’m hoping that she who must be obeyed will give the all clear for funding for a new camera around the end of the year. She hates it when I go out and buy just after a product is released 🙂

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  3. Had my HS50 for 6 weeks now and working it flat out onholiday in the UK. Find that the fast AF, bright screen and viewfinder, swivel screen are very useful features of this model, compared to my HS20. And the 1000mm lens, with monopod, enables me to create some excellent bird images. I have used the Digital Zoom a few times in the field and whilst the results are understandably not as sharp as one would want, it is very handy in the ID of birds at a distance. Good on Photo & Video for leading the way in making them available. If the HS50 is a bit more expensive from them, you get your money back with their outstanding after sales service.

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    1. I have to agree. I’ve always had good dealings with Photo & Video. I use them to develop and scan when I have blasted off a couple of rolls of film. Their prices are pretty good too. While the HS50 is still a little pricey, especially when there are DSLR’s available for a little less, as an all in one package it will appeal to a good many folks. Had the XS-1 been priced around this area or even a little less I have the feeling it would have rocketed off the shelf even if it were a somewhat troubled beast in its early days.

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  4. Also, I saw an HS50 for sale 5 weeks ago in a Jessops store in Aberdeen. They were happy with sales which would suggest that they just hadn’t put it on the shelf.

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  5. Hi Ralph … good to have you back 🙂
    I bit the bullet a month ago and ordered an HS50 from Hong Kong. I expected only incremental improvements over the HS30 but it is streets ahead. The really fast AF and the long lens make nature shots a breeze. The swivel screen …. well, after 4 weeks I can say I’ll never buy a camera without one. Okay, so the noise in low light reflects the sensor size but as an all rounder it’s hard to criticize the HS50. Downsides? Lens movement isn’t as smooth as the 30. Strange. Cheers, Tony.

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