My life in cameras part 14: Fujifilm X70

After buying and selling the Fujifilm XQ2 within three months I still “needed” a small and easily portable camera. As I wrote in an earlier blog post after my purchase of the XQ2:

This brings me to the reasons for buying this small camera. I often take images before or after work and I do not want to bring my big setup with me every day. I also want something discreet for taking shots inside train stations, tunnels, shopping centers and the like. And third when I go for a walk with my little kid I can’t really use a viewfinder and manually focus without loosing track of my wild daughter. The XQ2 allows me keep situational awareness while shooting

A short walk with my “new” Fujifilm XQ2

Why I bought the Fujifilm X70

My main setup is the Fujifilm X-T3 with manual lenses. It works great. But often I need something small and inconspicuous. A camera for quick snapshots and unobtrusive shooting. I also wanted to use this camera for my new interest in street photography and I would feel more comfortable with something small and non-threatening.

The XQ2 had certain limitations and the X70 remedied all of them. The camera has great ergonomics for its small size. It comes with a larger sensor that offers great dynamic range and is well usable under low light conditions. The flip screen is ideal for discreet shots and low angles. Startup was instantaneous and there is no motorized lens to worry about.

The camera is slightly too large for a shirt pocket but it would easily fit into most jackets or pants. I often carried it with a Peak Design Capture plate on my backpack, belt or shoulder bag (at least in summer and autumn). Quick one-handed shooting was virtually no problem. It was a very well designed camera and judging the scarcity and prices on ebay a lot of people agree. Despite being a commercial failure the X70 is now sought after on the used market.

Why I sold it

There was no reason to sell the camera. It is a beautiful, capable and well made camera. I have nothing to criticize. There really was only one problem. I used it too much. That is a problem you say? My X-T3 and all it’s lenses began collecting dust and but I ended up being limited like I was when I used the X100F exclusively. The whole point of buying the X-T3 was being able to use different focal lengths and therefore expanding my creative possibilities.

Shooting with the X70 reminded me of how much I liked the small and compact form factor of the X100 series. Despite being a great camera the X-T3 often felt too bulky and too heavy. On weekend trips I usually took the X70 instead of carrying my backpack and my X-T3 setup in a different bag. It seems I value portability over versatility. But as my almost sole camera the X70 was too limiting. It’s fixed focal length is too wide for my taste, sometimes I needed bigger apertures and the lacking viewfinder was problematic in bright daylight.

In the end I did some hard thinking and sold both my X-T3 and X70 in exchange for an X-E4. The latter camera is about the same size as an X100F when paired with a 27mm pancake lens. But I can change focal lengths and for bigger lenses I can add a grip to improve handling.

There was nothing wrong with the X70. I simply no longer need it. I always wanted to have a “big” camera with the latest features and a small one for my commute, shopping trips and spontaneous walks. I should have known because I usually end up taking most photos with the small but limited cameras like the Panasonic GM1, Sony RX100 or initially the PEN E-P1. So in a way it was inevitable that I grew to dislike the full sized camera but feel limited by the portable one again.

Now technology has improved so much that there is a camera that is small enough for a coat pocket or small bag but fully featured and not limited in any way due to its size. The best of both worlds I guess. Sure the X-E4 is a compromise as well but I like the compromise as it allows me to own and use only one camera.

Fujifilm X70 samples

I intended to use the X70 for street photography. The 28mm equivalent lens though felt too wide. There was either too much of everything else but the subject in the picture or I had to get too close for my personal comfort. For these samples I tried to chose any picture that I used to practice street photography.

Couple (2021)

This is a nice spot so sit and talk or just watch the water. Not sure if these two are a couple. We see a man and a woman sit next to each other and we just assume their are. Maybe they are just friends. Who knows?

Look at your phone (2021)

Tourists and all they do is look at their phones. A somewhat sad sight but for some the need to document their life is almost compulsive. I was able to observe the scene for a few minutes and they really did stare at their phones the whole time. Either taking a picture, looking at a picture or posting a picture.

Translucence (2021)

I like the roundabout way of capturing the waiting passenger. Using mirrors for street photography is neat as it makes the whole process very discreet. Especially because I sat in a train. The X70s small size was ideal for this shot.

Christmas Market (2021)

This year the city banned Christmas markets again after just a few days. Despite the fact that only vaccinated and recently recovered people could attend, plus they needed to register at the entrance and install the privacy horror that is the German Corona Warning app on their phones. But people are people and as such are social creatures. These stands selling “Glühwein” quickly became replacement Christmas markets where people gathered and drank alcohol. Only the vaccinated were allowed to sit down on the benches outside but most people just stood on street corners and sidewalks anyway. I went a few times with a friend and I thoroughly enjoyed the happy atmosphere. Don’t let fear control your life.

Romantic Walk (2021)

A cemetery in Berlin. One of the few calm places in this city. I had a nice romantic walk and a few more since this image was taken. I am sure there will be more.

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