The Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR features a 42x optical zoom lens equivalent to 24mm wide-angle zooming all the way to 1000mm at the telephoto end. A 16 megapixel EXR CMOS II sensor features hybrid auto focus, and optical image stabilisation is built in, as well as a 3inch vari-angle tilting screen.
Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Features
The Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR features an impressive 42x optical zoom lens, with the lens starting at a wide 24mm equivalent zooming all the way to 1000mm equivalent at the telephoto end.
Included is Full HD video with stereo sound, a mic socket, and adjustable microphone level. High speed 11fps continuous shooting at full resolution. Manual controls, RAW shooting, P/A/S/M modes, manual focus with peaking and focus ring surrounding the lens. On top is a flash hot-shoe.
On the back is a 3inch (920k dot) tilting / swivelling screen to allow self portraits as well as tilting up and down for varied angles, and an EVF (920k dot) with eye-detection sensor to automatically switch to the EVF when the camera is held up to your eye.
16mp 1/2inch EXR II CMOS sensor
42x optical zoom lens, 24-1000mm equivalent, f/2.8 - f/5.6
Lens shift optical image stabilisation
3inch 920k dot vari-angle screen
EVF 920k dot, with eye-detection sensor
Hybrid AF Sensor
Manual zoom barrel, RAW shooting
Full HD Video at 60fps, stereo sound
ISO100-12800 (6400 M, 12800 S)
1cm macro mode
EXR: DR: Dynamic Range, HR: High Resolution, SN: Low Noise modes
Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Handling
The camera has a large rubberised grip with a deep recess for your fingers and on the rear is a good sized section of rubber grip for your thumb, as well as a large rubber ring around the lens to aid grip and zoom control. There’s another textured area on the left of the camera, however this is simply textured plastic and the plastic on the camera has a soft touch to it. On the same side as the main grip is the memory card slot, and underneath is the battery compartment. On top is exposure and drive buttons.
Surrounding the lens is a large manual zoom ring, and closer to the body is a focus ring, for manual focusing. A switch on the left of the camera lets you switch between manual, continuous and single focus, with the button in the middle letting you zoom in when using manual focus. If you hold the button you can switch between standard focus and focus peaking – the focus peaking mode has a neat bar at the bottom that shows you how much of the image is in focus, with a dot signifying optimum focus, and this aids focus. Unfortunately the focus ring and button do nothing else, unless you are in manual focus mode, it would have been clever if you could use the ring to change aperture or shutter in manual mode, instead the rear command wheel is used for this and you press the +/- exposure button to switch between aperture and shutter.
Also on this side is the mic / USB / remote and HDMI sockets, as well as the manual pop up flash button.
A small petal shaped lens hood is provided and the camera has a 58mm filter
thread at the front, that does not rotate when the lens is zoomed in or focused.
A Q button gives quick access to options on the rear screen, and next to this is an Evf/LCD button, although the EVF also features an eye-detection sensor and dioptre adjustment. On the other side of the EVF is a dedicated video button that can be used in any mode, and easily reached by your thumb. AE/AF lock, 4-way controller with Fn, Flash, Macro, Timer, and middle Menu/OK, with display/back and playback buttons underneath. The fn button can be customised.
The screen tilts and rotates and can be closed for protection, but is not a touch screen. Despite the plastic body the camera feels well built with good battery and memory compartment covers, although surprisingly for a relatively large camera, the tripod thread is plastic. There is one custom position on the mode dial.
– The menus are clearly laid out with the photo options in a set of red colour coded menus, setup menus in blue, with playback in green. In playback you can mark photos for upload to Facebook, Youtube and MyFinePix, and there are also a number of ways you can search for photos. Photo options include settings for colour, tone, sharpness, noise reduction, dynamic range, microphone level, as well as electronic level to name a few.
– A 7.2v 1260mAh (typical) rechargeable lithium-ion battery is included which is rated for 500 shots according to Fujifilm / CIPA testing.
- We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Fujifilm FinePix HS50
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
10fps (6 shots)
7fps (speed priority mode, 15 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash
Continuous Shooting - RAW
6fps (5 shots)
4fps (13 shots)
Shooting RAW limits some of the shooting options and continuous shooting speeds available (11fps available shooting JPEG, 6fps shooting RAW), as well as some of the settings available, such as dynamic range bracketing and film simulation bracketing which are only available when shooting JPEG.
Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database
, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR Sample Photos
- Colour is good with bright saturated colours and you can enhance these using one of the Fujifilm film modes, including Velvia for increased saturation and richness, or Astia for a softer effect. Flash performance is good with no signs of red-eye although it's worth keeping an eye on the (Auto) ISO setting as the camera often increases the ISO setting when using flash.
Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR Lens test images
- The lens shows low vignetting, purple fringing and chromatic aberration which is impressive considering the amount of zoom on offer. Macro performance is impressive with the camera focusing on subjects just 1cm away from the front of the lens. There is very little barrel distortion at the wide end, and little pincushion distortion at the telephoto end of the lens which is good. Lens flare is noticeable when shooting with the sun in the frame, however the provided lens hood helps avoid this occurring regularly. The camera provides good levels of detail, particularly at the wide-angle end of the lens, although detail noticeably drops when using the lens at the full telephoto end of the lens.
Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance
- ISO settings range from ISO100 to ISO3200, at full resolution with RAW available. At ISO6400 and ISO12800 RAW isn't available, and images are resized to 8 and 4 megapixels respectively. Noise is very low at ISO100, with a slight increase at ISO200. At ISO400 noise increases a little again, and detail drops a little. At ISO800 and ISO1600 noise increases again and detail suffers as a result, although images should still prove useful. At ISO3200 noise becomes strong and detail suffers noticeably. The ISO6400 results are decent and should provide useable images for use on the web. ISO12800 is best avoided.
Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR White-balance test images
White Balance Performance
- Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under Tungsten and Fluorescent lighting, with the Tungsten preset giving a slightly more natural result under Tungsten lighting. The fluorescent presets give a colour cast and it's best to stick to AWB.
Panoramic | 1/450 sec | f/8.0 | 4.4 mm | ISO 200
- Panoramic mode lets you choose 120/180/360 and 360 circular(?) with the camera auto stitching the image as you hold the shutter button and pan the camera around.
Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR Other sample images
In normal shooting modes DR expansion can be set to 100, 200 and 400%. Using the EXR DR mode, this can also be set to 800 and 1600% with a noticeable improvement in dynamic range as can be seen in the examples above.
Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR Digital filters
Digital Filters -
The camera has a number of options when set to advanced filter
mode, with multiple exposure, pro low-light, pro focus, and filters including: toy camera, miniature, pop colour, high key, low key, dynamic tone, soft focus, and partial colour (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple). There are two scene positions on the dial so you can choose your favourite two.
- 1920x1080, 60fps, 1280x720, 60fps, 640x480, 30fps, 640x480 HS 120fps, 320x240 240fps, 320x112 240fps. It’s also possible to take photos while recording videos, and it takes a 16:9 aspect ratio photo (1920x1080 resolution). You can also adjust the microphone level. Using the optical zoom while recording can be difficult due to the stiff zoom ring, although mounting the camera on a tripod should help - there are additional examples on our ePHOTOzine YouTube channel
Value For Money
The Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR is available for around £400, and is up against the Fujifilm X-S1
with 26x optical zoom lens around £400, Fujifilm FinePix SL1000
with 50x optical zoom lens, £295, the Nikon Coolpix P520
with 42x optical zoom lens, £349, the Canon Powershot SX50
with 50x optical zoom lens £349, and Olympus SP-820
with 40x optical zoom lens £279.
You'll also need to buy a memory card
and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags
Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Verdict
The Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR updates the HS30/35
and offers a longer 42x optical zoom lens with manual zoom control, and is quite large compared to the previous model, with other cameras offering 50x optical zoom lens, such as the Fujifilm FinePix SL1000
, and Canon Powershot SX50
. The DSLR styling gives the camera the look and feel of a DSLR, yet offers a much larger optical zoom than you would be able to get with a DSLR at a much smaller size, and offers a fairly rare set of features including a microphone socket and focus switch.
The HS50 offers rapid performance with high speed shooting (11fps full resolution when shooting JPEG), a tilting swivelling 3 inch screen, and a manual zoom control which is good for photos, but not so good for video. It has full manual controls, RAW shooting, flash hot-shoe, and a 16 megapixel EXR sensor which can help improve low light shots as well as dynamic range, although these give the best results at a much lower 8 megapixel resolution. If you don't want the bulk of carrying a DSLR with you, and want a large optical zoom, as well as full manual controls, then the HS50 EXR would make a good choice, particularly if you find yourself shooting in difficult lighting conditions, where the extended dynamic range and low light performance of the EXR sensor will be of benefit.
Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Pros
EXR Dynamic range mode
Good battery life
Good colour reproduction
Tilting / Swivelling screen
Excellent macro performance
Full manual controls and RAW
Quick operation and focus
Can rate images out of 5 stars
Wide neck strap included
Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Cons
Plastic tripod mount
Image quality at telephoto end
Difficult to zoom smoothly with manual zoom ring
Size difference / compared to previous model
VALUE FOR MONEY
Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/2.8 - f/5.6|
|35mm equivalent||24mm - 1000mm|
|Sensor Type||Back-lit CMOS EXR (B.S.I.)|
|Sensor Size||1/2 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||920k dots|
- Face Detection
- AF Tracking
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||30sec|
- Scene modes
- Program Variable
- Centre-weighted - Average
- Multi Pattern
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 12800|
- 1280x720 720p
- 640x480 VGA
|Video FPS||1080p 60fps, 720p 60fps|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Box Contents||Li-ion battery NP-W126, Battery charger BC-W126, Shoulder strap, USB cable, Lens hood, Lens cap and Lens cap cord, CD-ROM, Owner's manual|
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