The Fujifilm Finepix HS50 EXR feels like a DSLR. It is much larger and heavier than other superzooms, though that may not matter to some users.
This camera has the fastest shutter of any camera I’ve used (I don’t use any DSLR). You point, you press the shutter, and the image is almost instantly captured. I think this feature sets the Fujifilm apart from all other superzooms and is its major strength.
One unusual feature is that the zoom is entirely manual. Just as with a DSLR or traditional film camera, you turn the barrel to move the zoom. Sony has a feature similar to this except that the zoom is powered, whether you use the lever or the barrel. The Fujifilm zoom is very smooth and absolutely quiet.
The lens is threaded for 58mm filters and the lens cap fits very securely. A sensor detects your face near the viewfinder (EVF) to automatically switch between the LCD and the EVF. This feature worked very well for me (Sony has this on some superzooms, as well). The EVF has the highest resolution of any point and shoot and is a real pleasure to use.
The image processor in the Fujifilm is slightly larger than other superzooms. I didn’t see any significant benefit, though in theory is should result in better images. See sample images comparing the Fujifilm to the Canon.
Two years ago, I tried a predecessor to this camera and returned it to Amazon. Almost all of my objections to that camera have been resolved in this camera. (See Why I’m Returning the Fujifilm HS10.)
In the past six months, I have used the Canon Powershot SX50 HS, the Sony CyberShot 200v, and the Fujifilm Finepix HS50 EXR, arguably the top 3 superzoom point and shoot cameras on the market at this moment. Each has its strengths and weakness, its fans and foes. None of the three is perfect. All three produce great images in bright light outdoors, making them excellent for landscapes and wildlife. My complaint that applies to all three is that the image quality doesn’t live up to the superzoom. You’ll get close, but you may not like what you see, especially as you crop.