Friday, May 6, 2011

On Second Thought...

Remember how I told you a couple of weeks ago that I was keeping the FujiFilm HS20?  Well, it’s going back after all.  I really tried to like this camera since it fit our price point and had most of the features that we wanted.  In the end, I decided to return it for two really good reasons: it consistently doesn’t take good pictures and it continually freezes.

I had issues with the HS20 from the start, but I thought it was mostly due to my not knowing how it worked.  I tried all of the settings in different light and I was never entirely happy with what turned out.  I was continually pleased with close shots that were in decent light.  Check out this great detail.

But last week while I was shooting for Pretty Things Thursday, it decided to start freezing.  I thought maybe I was running out of batteries (which was ridiculous in itself, but I was willing to deal with this camera being a battery-hog), so I switched them out for brand new ones, and then it froze again.  I thought maybe I was shooting too fast for the setting I was on, so I switched to the Manual setting.  And it froze again!

As if the freezing issues weren’t bad enough, I was never really satisfied with the quality of the photos.  The HS20 comes with a setting called EXR that is supposed to auto-fix whatever is lacking in your setting, most often the lighting.  I appreciated this setting while shooting in our dark house in the evening, but it took way too long for the camera to focus (sometimes up to 10 seconds).  Even worse, it over-corrected when the lighting was nice.  

Like this close up of our red sofa.  The texture is nice but the color is far from accurate.  Nor is our sofa even remotely shiny, as it looks in the top of the picture.

Or like when I was taking this picture in the awesome evening light.  Doesn't it look like the middle of the day?  This photo wasn't Photoshopped in any way.  Aside from being way too light, it looks completely washed out.  Yuck.

Switching to the other modes didn’t really help matters much.  After working with my Canon Powershot S3IS and its 6 megapixels, I expected to be wowed by the 16 megapixeled HS20.  Sadly, I saw very little difference.  Poor Nick spent 45 minutes one night trying to take pictures of the moon without ever being able to take a focused shot despite using many of the modes and manual.  His old point and shoot Nikon could take that shot the first time.  Very disappointing.

Life it too short to be constantly struggling with a camera.  I just can’t put up with a camera that freezes within the first month of having it.  The freezing put me over the edge and after coming up short with a reason for why it was freezing, and being less than thrilled about the picture quality, I decided that this guy needed to go back.  I will not put up with a camera freezing while I’m trying to take an awesome shot of a prairie dog on our Great Western Adventure (I’m really hoping to catch one in action!). 

So where does this leave us?  Tomorrow we will be heading over to New York Camera & Video to bargain down the price on two Canon Rebel T3is and two Tamron 18-270mm lenses.  We are ending up spending more than what we wanted to spend, but in the end we decided it was worth the extra money to not hate our cameras while getting the shots that we want.  In exchange for splurging on the cameras, we’re going light on each other’s birthday gifts this year (Nick’s is next week and mine is in July).  We understand that sometimes you have to spend a little more than you want to get the results you want, and this is definitely one of those times when we aren’t willing to compromise the results.  The T3i has gotten great reviews and I’m really excited about getting it and playing around with it before our trip to DC in a couple of weeks.

How do you feel about your camera?  What camera do you use and what do you use it for? 


  1. I agree, a crappy camera will bug you every time you pull it out. I use a Canon Rebel xsi and I love it. I'm wasn't a huge photographer before getting it and it really opened my world! My favorite thing about it is that it can take pictures fast enough to catch a quick toddler.

  2. I'm so glad to hear that you love your Canon! Right now our kid is our cat and he's pretty hard to get good pictures of sometimes!


I love to receive your comments and try to respond to all via email.