Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fuji HS50EXR and F900EXR – Review Part 1 – The Arrival

Right around lunch time, the courier rang my door bell and I ran downstairs to accept this fairly small package from Fujifilm Canada in Toronto. MSL had taken to shipping cameras in aluminum trunks, but Fuji just shipped them packed against the sides with that big bubble wrap stuffed on two sides to hold everything tightly in there.

Fuji F770EXR  250iso  f/5  1/60

They came in very new boxes …

fuji F770EXR  320iso  f/4.5  1/60

The paper tags had been removed but the straps, batteries etc were all in sealed plastic, so if someone else reviewed them before me they did very little with these cameras.

And here they are in all their glory after I installed all the useful bits that make it possible to carry and shoot them. In this image, I contrast them to the G5 + 14-140 and the F770EXR just for fun.

Panasonic GF3 + Olympus 45mm 1.8  200iso  f/8 1/15

The F900EXR feels a wee tad smaller than the F770EXR owing to the missing GPS hump.

First Impressions

The HS50EXR feels nice in hand. The lens sticks out a mile :-) and the zoom in incredibly sticky. The latter should improve with use and I have until 19 April to ship it back, so I should get to the point where it feels more like my existing lenses. The fully articulated LCD is very nice, reminding me of why I like the Panasonic G and GH series so much.

The F900EXR feels a lot like the F770EXR in use but I think it starts up faster. I know that bright light PDAF is much faster and more sure than the F770EXR’s CDAF. Low light AF seems identical, as in both using CDAF. This, by the way, is exactly what was reported for other recent entries in the PDAF on sensor sweepstakes. Nikon 1 behaves this way too.

All in all, I am impressed and look forward to testing all sorts of things. Since this is a new generation of sensor with PDAF pixels and apparently with front side illumination instead of back side (at least, BSI is no longer mentioned by Fuji,) I am very much looking forward to creating ISO ladders with all three cameras with the G5 as reference. Should be a hoot …

If you have suggestions for tests, feel free to comment on this article. Thanks.