On January 15th 2016 Fujifilm had it’s largest announcement since I started working for them in 2013. The launch of the highly anticipated, highly sought after, flagship mirrorless camera, the X-Pro2 and what an unbelievable camera it is. The new sensor and processor are both a work of technology and art. So if that was the biggest announcement, and rightfully so, since I started then why did I choose to say something about the X70 (also announced at the same time as the X-Pro2) seeing as I’m a former professional photographer and love high end cameras? Well, I’m not really sure. I love the X-Pro2, I love the stated above new processor and sensor, the image quality is unbelievable, I love the weather sealing and size and who knows, I may even end up picking one up (I likely will) but I do have to be honest with myself. I’m not a professional photographer any more, I’m not aspiring to be one either, I pretty much always shoot wide and the majority of the photos that I take these days are of my family or on family walks. Also there are going to be plenty of reviews, by phenomenal photographers of the X-Pro2 who will be able to review it in a manner far more suited to the type of customer who will likely buy it.
When I started out as a photographer I had the big bodied Canon 1D MK II and a Hasselblad and at that time, for the work I was doing, that made sense. Now I find, no fuss, no muss works best for me. I own an X100T, owned an X100 before that and for me that camera is my benchmark for what the perfect camera is for me. Fixed focal length, fast lens and compact size is my jam. So that brings me to the new X70. Fixed focal length 18.5mm (28mm equivalent field of view in 35mm talk), great/fast lens and compact, pocketable size and a tilty, flippy screen. I wasn’t sure if I would like it at first but what I ended up doing was putting it is aperture priority more, flipping up the tilt screen to 90 degrees and shooting it like a waist level finder and ended up loving it. It reminded my of shooting a combination of my old Hasselblad, my Yashica T4 and a Richo GR. It’s a pretty winning combo of fun, size and control.
I do have to be honest I miss the film days when cameras had viewfinders even if they were crappy optical ones that just kind of gave you a rough idea, that being said you can get an optional one for the X70 which looks great but it wasn’t available to try at the time that I had one. As much as I love waist level viewfinders I do like to be able to put the camera up to my eye as well. Everything else about the camera was very familiar since I have an X100T. The 28mm f2.8 lens is a Fujinon lens so it’s what you’d expect, it’s beautiful, sharp and contrasty. The SR Auto switch is also really nice if you want the camera to do the thinking for you which I do a lot these days and the touch screen is a really nice new addition that I really enjoyed. The camera I had was a pre-production version so I can’t share high-res images but the image quality is fantastic, exactly what I’ve come to expect from the X-Trans sensors and Fujifilm in general.
As I mentioned earlier, compact and simple with a great lens is perfect for me these days. It’d also be an incredible street photographers camera or travel camera neither of which I do much of but hey. The tilty flippy screen also tilts up 180 degrees so it would also make a great party cam/ selfie cam…ugh. Fixed lens, compact cameras always remind me of the old greats, the Contax T2 & 3’s, Yashica T4’s and Richo GR’s and I love, love, love those cameras and the X70 for me is the modern day rendition of those old greats and I really dig that and I’m sure you will too.