Buying options in 2014

Once again work is intruding  more than it should and as a consequence I have had precious little time to get out and take some photos. Hopefully that will change at the end of next week as the National Drag Racing Champs  are on and the long range weather forecast looks to be excellent. Hopefully I will have a camera load of images for you to peruse.

On another note it looks like my journey with Fuji bridge-cameras may be coming to an end. With no HS50 replacement in site and Fuji’s focus for the X series cameras, I think there is little likelihood of a successor to the HS50 any time soon. I hope I’m wrong but my gut feeling is Fuji believes that there is a better market in the mid-high camera than elsewhere.

I had considered buying a HS50 or a late model X-S1 if we could get a late model one here in NZ. That too is unlikely and the HS50 for all its performance improvements is still the same in the IQ stakes ( as my HS20) so there really isn’t anything to be gained apart from a little extra zoom which isn’t really applicable for what I shoot.

As much as I really didn’t want to go the interchangeable lens route it seems that for the step up in performance I was hoping for with Fuji I may have no choice.

At today’s price for the Pentax k500 its a little hard to justify buying the HS50 which currently has the lowest price from a reputable dealer here in NZ.

Add to that the 100-300 mm telephoto lens I already have which equates to 150 – 450 mm equivalent and I have a pretty good set-up for less than $800.00 NZD.

To put this in perspective the new Fuji S1 is available on pre-order from B&H and is $500 USD which is $600.00 NZD plus about $50.00 US for the freight. Retailers of the S1 I expect to inially see price the S1 at about $700 to $750 at launch, which is similar to the Panny FZ200 and the Nikon P530’s current price. Canon and Sony’s top line bridge cameras are between $500 and $600.00 NZD. Fuji and Nikon have traditionally always been expensive here. When you match these prices against the Pentax K500 there really isn’t much of a contest if you are serious about your quality of photography. The Pentax wins hands down in this scenario.

Nikon and Canon also have excellent mid/entry level DSLR’s as well for very similar prices, and all of the cameras would simply stomp the HS50 in every area other than having a long focal length lens, which compared to the lenses of the DSLR’s really isn’t all that good.

When you see this sort of aggressive pricing in the entry levels of the DSLR market one cam understand why Fuji are concentrating of quality high value cameras and leaving the lower tiers to slowly disappear over time. Most of this has of course been brought about by the advent of the much better imagery now available to the consumer right in their phones. To be brutally honest my daughters iPad 2 takes a better lowlight image than my HS20 does on most occasions.

Sadly none of this helps those of us who want a high quality, manual zoom lens, bridge-camera. Come on Fuji be the point of difference, be original in a sea of mediocrity ( motorised zoomers ) and continue to find a balance between both worlds.



6 thoughts on “Buying options in 2014”

    1. I’m intrigued by your comment re: FGM UK, not sure what you are referring too. Ahh just Googled that , yep methinks wrong blog 🙂

      The Sony for me ticks all but two boxes.

      1. Far too expensive when compared with other options using a similar sensor.

      2. Just a hair too short in the telephoto stakes, 300 to 400 mm would have been perfect, as a large majority of what I shoot is in this range. Still its a whole lotta camera.


  1. as an owner of hs20 like yourself, i have just ordered a Nikon D7100…. i just tried out the Finepix S1 @ the recent it show in Singapore, autofocusing is much faster than hs20 at the tele end, but image quality is really the same. AND the S1 doesnt even have Astia film simulation FYI. So yea, i do think going along with the Pentax route is a better option for you!


    1. Thanks for the feedback. D7100 is a good camera. I would have chosen that if I didn’t already have a cupboard full of good Pentax lenses.
      You should get several years worth of excellent photography from that camera, and that’s the thing with DSLRs, you don’t have to change models very often as they have so much higher specs.


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