FUJIFILM X70 / SHOOTING REPORT
The X70 is an APS-C format compact camera featuring a 28mm equivalent prime lens and it fills the gap between the X100T and the X30 in the lineup. While it inherits the 16-megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor and the EXR Processor II from the X100T, it's smaller than the X30 because it doesn't have the EVF. Speaking of the combination of large APS-C sensor and 28mm F2.8 lens, we also think of the RICOH GR/GR II and the Nikon COOLPIX A which realized perfect balance between portability and image quality. So, I'm sure users of the two cameras, including myself as a GR user, are particularly curious about the new X70 which makes a great competitor of them. Yet, I think it's slightly different from them in orientation and I will explain it as well.
( Photography : Naz & 4beats & Z II / Text : Naz )
X tradition: Analogue interface
X-series users must welcome the layout of dials and buttons on the top cover. While the majority of cameras force us to control by looking at the rear LCD monitor while turning dials, this camera has independent shutter speed and exposure compensation dials as well as an aperture ring around the lens base. This layout shows Fujifilm respects the importance of camera-like analogue interface. A snapshooter is eager to set exposure before aiming the camera and check camera settings straight away. The mode dial is omitted, but you can switch between manual, shutter speed priority AE, aperture priority AE, and program AE by changing configuration of the shutter dial and the aperture ring with "A" position. And, this operation is most appreciated by experts. In addition to the buttons and dials on the top cover, it has analogue elements on other sides of the body as well: a focus switch lever on the front side, a control ring on the front end of the lens, and 8 buttons for desired functions. In my opinion, the operability of this camera is at the top level and it lets you control the camera at your command.
Up-to-date flexibility in the minimum body
In addition to the excellent operability, the X70 inherits the AUTO switch lever from the X-T10. By selecting the AUTO mode, the camera automatically sets the best scene mode to capture the moment without fail (you can also select scene mode manually with the control ring). Great news for those who are stepping up from smartphone is the rear LCD that tilts up to by 180 degrees. Yes, you can take selfies with it! Plus, just like smartphones, you can focus and shoot by touching the anti-static touch-panel. And, you won't miss the target even when it's around the edge of the frame.
Reassuring "X" quality
No photographers would deny the excellent image quality achieved by the combination of the high-performance Fujinon lenses, the lowpass-filter-less X-Trans CMOS II sensor realizing sharpness and high sensitivity performance, and the high-speed EXR Processor II. And of course, it's perfected by the accurate white balance and film simulation exclusive to Fujifilm. This "X" image quality is the very identity of the series and the X70 absolutely inherits it.
Compared to the X100 series cameras' fixed lens whose rendition is a bit soft around wide open, the X70's 18.5mm F2.8 lens is very sharp wide open. And as you see, distortion is almost non-existent and bokeh is smooth and natural, front and back. I simply cannot find faults with this lens.
The on-sensor phase detection AF is quick and focuses as close as 10cm without switching. Because the built-in Wi-Fi function lets you send images to and control the camera from a smartphone, you can share shots easily.
Shoot easy, from a high angle or a low angle. A stoic shooter may not need the tilting LCD, but better are small fish than an empty dish. By changing the angles, you can view clearly in a bright situation. To take this shot, I lightly pressed the camera on the white wall to stabilize it and looked up. Of course, without the tilting LCD, I didn't think of taking this shot.
Snapshooter for everyone
The more I used the X70, the better I understood how well it is made. The body is a little thicker than other cameras in the same category, but it's mainly because of the non-collapsing lens design. Actually, it shortens start-up time and shutter lag, improve image quality, and improve airtightness and durability. I think this camera is designed to be hung around the neck and shoot reflectively, rather than grabbed out of the pocket just before shooting. With the dedicated leather bottom case, it looks very stylish. Put your finger around the lens barrel. Read the light and ponder the combination of the aperture and shutter speed. Or, leave everything to the camera and shoot quick and easy. The X70 is made to enjoy shooting as well as the comfortable operation feeling.
Including film cameras, the majority of cameras in this category were designed quite simply as a pure photographic tool with essential functions. While the X70 follows the philosophy, it also features modern functions such as touch-panel tilting LCD. This is not only a great sub camera for experts but also a perfect main camera for beginners, and they can use it for a long time. I urge you to try it.
( 23.03.2016 )