Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Review – Taking on Simplicity at the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory

Camera buyer’s today have their task cut out for them.  Do I buy a simple compact or DSLR, Point and Shoot and what is a mirrorless camera anyway? The options and selection available simply can’t be rivaled so we thought we might tackle a camera review this morning that takes three of the most important features to be found in a camera purchase today, value, simplicity and absolutely incredible pictures.  We found that in the new Fujifilm HS50 EXR Point and Shoot Camera and had a blast taking this camera along with us to the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory along our journey.

Fuji HS 50 EXR Featured

Many of you are reading this article and walking the fine line between DSLR and a Point and Shoot Camera and it is an interesting dilemma.  As promising as a DSLR camera is, there will ALWAYS be a learning curve regardless of the system you choose and this is multiplied by such things as lens, filter and even flash choice.  Point and Shoot cameras, on the other hand, offer close to the best in photography with a fixed lens, built in flash and there is absolutely no need whatsoever to learn anything other than how to turn your camera on, zoom and push a button.

Simplicity is key and I knew, with the project I had in mind early yesterday, it would have to be present in order to pull this off.  Our destination was the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory and the cameras in play were the Canon EOS 6D, with 100mm F2.8L EF IS USM Lens and the Fufifilm Finepix HS50 EXR Point and Shoot Camera.  My wife knew nothing about the HS50, including the fact that she would be using it, which she learned just prior to entering the conservatory.  Her camera of choice is the Sony Cyber-shot TX30 that we reviewed some time ago and she makes no bones about her photography prowess; simplicity has to be key.

So let’s start this journey off by stating that the most difficult part of the day was prying the Sony from her hands and replacing it with the Fuji HS50 EXR without any instruction whatsoever.

Fuji HS 50 EXR 2


The Fujifilm HS50 is a ‘Point and Shoot’ fixed lens camera that is the only of its kind, in that it is the only to offer those advanced camera users the capability of taking RAW pictures.  It has an incredible 42X optical zoom (24-1000mm) that can be stretched to 84X (equivalent to 2000mm) with Fuji’s Intelligent Digital Zoom.  To find a comparable zoom in a DSLR, you are looking at more than $10,000.  To add to this feature, the HS50 has image stabilization for those long shots and an aperture rating of F2.8-F5.6.  It is a 16 megapixel camera with a 3″ 920K-dot TFT full color LCD monitor that is capable of full swivel operation.

The beauty of the HS50 lies in low light and close up shots though.  Its EXR CMOS II sensor makes for great low light photography and macro pictures can be taken, without effort, from as close to 1cm away.  Once again, this is an added lens cost of thousands for a DSLR camera.  Things don’t stop there though as the Fujifilm HS 50 EXR is also capable of Full HD 1080P video at a frame rate of 60FPS with the worlds fastest auto focus at 0.05s with continuous phase auto detection.  Even I wish my 2K+ Canon EOS 6D had this feature. Last but not least, the HS 50 is incredibly compact, at only 28oz and, unlike many cameras of today, is capable of utilizing SDXC flash cards on top of the typical SD/SDHC.  This means that you can use higher capacity cards for extended photo and video, such as the Lexar Professional 600x 256GB SDXC card we reviewed a short time ago.

For now, lets demonstrate zoom by showing a full moon multiplied by 10x from 0-84x zoom.  Simply hover over the photo below and then click the right arrow to progress to full zoom 10x at a time:


  1. Remarkable..! Excellent shots, thanks for sharing! Seriously looking to pick up this camera myself =)

  2. hi, thanks for the review. this statement bugs me, though: “The beauty of the HS50 lies in low light and close up shots”
    how much low light do you mean, and would it require using a tripod to get good sharp pictures?
    i don’t see any shots demonstrating its low light ability. the only reason i’m wondering is because up till now i still haven’t found a bridge camera that is capable of taking good, HANDHELD, motion-freezing pictures of anything from a distance in, dim lighting or indoors for that matter. example: a basketball game in a stadium, dogs playing in the house, a rock band at twilight.

    would it be appropriate to say that hs50 performs just as well as most bridge cameras in bright daylight and just as bad under dim lighting when it comes to capturing anything other than static subjects, like those butterflies?

  3. I have had the hs50 about 6 months now great camera the 1000mm lens is ideal for moon pics and wildlife 10/10 from me

  4. Hi,
    Very useful review; just bought a HS50EXR and I love the camera.

    One question: I have a Lexar 256GB card but it doesn’t want to work in the camera – message, ‘Card not initialised’ keeps coming up. How did you make this card work, please?The 128GB works fine.

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