Why on earth would I consider getting the Fujifilm X70 camera from 2016 – especially since I have the latest X-T3?
Yet that is exactly what I did!
After I tested the Ricoh GRiii, I found it much to my taste but I couldn’t get over the poor lowlight performance coupled with abysmal battery life. There were several times when I contemplated just getting it but something always held me back.
What I wanted was a little unnoticeable ninja camera like the Ricoh GRiii and that’s where the idea of the X70 came from – I had already been told it was a great little camera and all the reviews online were mostly positive.
So when a minty one appeared on Carousell for a relatively crazy price, I decided to pull the trigger and bought it without hesitation.
Every Sunday, the foreign workers from Indochina gather in the vicinity of Peninsular Plaza and Excelsior, just above City Hall MRT station. I call this area little Myanmar because the crowd that gathers here is mainly from Burma.
Given the large numbers of people, it’s the perfect place to test the X70 as a ninja camera for street photography.
What I did was to pull out the articulating screen of the X70 to be parallel to the ground, and then I enabled the touch screen to shoot upon my finger tapping it.
So while it looked to the unsuspecting public that I was fiddling with my camera – in reality what I was doing was taking close up shots.
This was even better than the Ricoh GRiii which has no articulating screen!
With the X70, I could actually sneakily frame my shots from time to time too!
As the X70 has no ‘Snap Focus’ mode like the Ricoh GRiii, what I did was enable zone focusing.
By setting my aperture to F8, I could manually set my focus 1.5 meters away which meant everything from 1.5 – 3 meters would always be sharply in focus without any effort.
ISO was set to auto mode, but the X70 could automatically adjust from 200-800 when required.
Shutter speed was locked at 1/250 to ensure sharp shots.
The 18.5mm lens of the X70 was perfect for taking in the mood of the day. I really like this focal length for street photography instead of my usual 35mm.
While the 18.5mm focal length meant I had to really get up close, again with the ninja articulating screen trick – I had no problems. After all, the camera was black and I was also wearing black while holding it close to my stomach making it almost unnoticeable!
Another reason why I wanted another camera in addition to my X-T3 was because I was thinking that when I am on holiday, I don’t want to be constantly changing lenses.
So I aim to have my X-T3 equipped with the 10-24mm for wide shots to take in the scenery or the 35mm for portraits. The X70 will always be on hand for the ‘regular’ shots with it’s 18.5mm lens.
All of these shots were shot using the classic chrome film simulation in JPEG with minimal post processing other than horizon correction and some cropping.
I must say I am impressed what the old 16.3MP X-Trans sensor can produce. The JPEGS were better than I expected, and I think I will just shoot straight to JPEG in the future which makes this a great everyday camera when you combine the fact that it’s crazy portable.
The fact that the X70 is a Fujifilm camera, and has those amazing Fuji colours is also a huge advantage over the Ricoh GRiii which produces ok images but nothing that makes me swoon over for.
I have to also say the leaf shutter is a joy to use – I had no idea what it was under I had one and now perhaps I will find it difficult to do without.
Finally, I was in a couple of low-light situations. While the X70 did alright as you can see in the images above, it certainly will never ever beat my X-T3.
I did test my Godox TT685 on the X70 and it worked just fine so low light situations shouldn’t be a big issues. The X70 also has a built-in flash which will work in a tight situation.
So in conclusion, I am grateful I made the decision to buy the X70 – although it’s old but the build, handling and images spark joy for me, and that is what is important!