Should You Buy A Fujifilm X70 in 2019?

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.

3 Nov 2019 - Little Myanmar with the X70

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.

3 Nov 2019 - Little Myanmar with the X70

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.

3 Nov 2019 - Little Myanmar with the X70

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!

3 Nov 2019 - Little Myanmar with the X70

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.

3 Nov 2019 - Little Myanmar with the X70

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.

3 Nov 2019 - Little Myanmar with the X70
3 Nov 2019 - Little Myanmar with the X70

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!

3 Nov 2019 - Little Myanmar with the X70

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.

3 Nov 2019 - Little Myanmar with the X70

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.

3 Nov 2019 - Little Myanmar with the X70

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.

3 Nov 2019 - Little Myanmar with the X70
3 Nov 2019 - Little Myanmar with the X70

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!

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