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- Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR
- Fujifilm extends focal range, scales back physical controls. Will the enthusiast base appreciate the changes?
Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR First Impressions Review$549.95
Most of them are pushing the limits with preposterous zoom ranges, including the attention-grabbing Canon SX50 HS; big numbers always look great on spec sheets. A select few, like the Panasonic FZ200, are banking on more subtle enhancements like constant, bright apertures and intricate DSLR-level controls—features that appeal more to hands-on, enthusiast photographers. Both approaches have merit, as our ratings suggest. Those two cameras are our number 1 and 2 superzooms, respectively, as we're writing this.
The HS50EXR should be a good superzoom—a 1000mm telephoto range is mighty impressive, and we've seen Canon and Nikon do it well already. It's just a little bit surprising to see Fujifilm shying away from that enthusiast-centric approach. It isn't a drastic departure from its predecessors, and the lens-barrel design alone makes it one of the most attractive superzoom designs out there.
The image quality could blow us away once we get it into our labs, and then we'll happily eat our plaid shirts. The Q menu should make it easy to forget the dearly departed physical controls, too. But it feels more like "just another superzoom," and less like a camera that you'd brag about owning because it makes you different—if that's something that matters to you.