Fujifilm Week Day Five - The X-70

on July 07, 2016

I was nearly going to entitle that The Fellow Traveller, but something about the phrase seems wrong - perhaps I'll settle for the Little Traveller...because that is what this camera is.

To give you a first impression of it...well, a lot of people will think of it as the Fujifilm X-100T in miniature. Fine as far as that goes, and it has some basis in fact, but it misses a couple of important points; this camera has no built-in viewfinder system, and the lens is set to be considerably wider.

There are also other features like the tilting LCD screen ( tilting all the way over to 180º selfie mode ), the WiFi simple connectivity, and the automatic lever just under the shutter speed dial that suggest casual modern usage. Just the thing for a pocket traveller.

I second Fujifilm's choice of the 18.5mm focal length of the lens matched to the APS-C sensor as being of prime importance to the tourist market. Okay, you say that this will not help taking pictures of bears in Alaska, but then you could not really contemplate that with this part of Fujifilm's output - that would be a job for the X-Pro2 and at the 100-400mm lens. The European or Asian traveller, however, will quickly realise that many of their best photo opportunities will be close at hand and require some considerable breadth of vision. Temples, cities, wide scenic landscapes are all rendered well by that 18.5mm on APS-C. If you must, remember it as 28mm on a 35mm film camera...

The selfie-flip of the sighting system - the LCD screen - is whatever you wish to make of it. If you are determined to have a picture of yourself in Angkor Wat or in front of the Buckingham Palace by all means go ahead - neither temple nor monarchy will take much notice nor harm from it. At least the 18.5mm will give you a little more view of the surroundings on the final photo - you'll be able to see the pickpocket as they scuttle away with your wallet.

Where you will appreciate it is in the landscape shots that can now be done from a lower perspective and with less vertical distortion. You'll be looking down into the image, much as you did in the TLR days, and some people find that this makes it much easier for them to level out their horizon lines. By all means use the in-built green horizon indicator in the camera. Likewise, press the wide flat shutter button that Fujifilm have thoughtfully provided with your thumb when you are looking down -you'll be much more comfortable at the end of a shooting day.

Note that you can focus and shoot with that screen - it is one of the touch models.

If you are determined to shoot with the camera at eye level but not at arm's length, there is an optional bright viewfinder that you can slot into the hot shoe. I would do this, but then I am of the older generation that owns sports coats and ties and hats...and that may frighten you.

In any case, you can, as you can with the X-100T, confidently take the X-70 on holiday with a couple of cards and batteries, a retro half case, and nothing else. And come back with some of the best tourist shots you've ever taken. My favourite setting would be Classic Chrome JPEG + RAW and let the little beast have its head with the auto ISO.