The new Fujifilm X 70 is a mirrorless camera from very interesting qualities: it has the ambition to offer a great photo quality within a compact body strongly and very gifted at the same time, in terms of physical construction and controls.
The mission is to engage the large part of the audience that would be ever carrying a big heavy camera, but at the same time want a serious instrument (certainly more of the classic smartphone or tablet) to take pictures which make it really justice to their images. You can tell right away that the result is achieved, although at a price that all will find attractive: the X 70 719 euros on the market, in fact, Italian coast.
At the heart of the Fujifilm X 70 is the now well-known sensor X-Trans: this is a 16 Megapixel APS-C, the same used by consumer SLR and the best mirrorless. The immediate benefit of mounting a sensor so great on a compact camera is to have a much higher image quality than the average comparable instruments, as will become clear shortly.
The other cornerstone of this camera is its goal, integrated into the camera body and thus not removable. The lens has a fixed focal length equivalent to 28 mm: a medium wide angle, ideal for street photography and at the same time very similar to the typical fixed lens of a smartphone, so perfect to fit a certain audience consumer habits. Shame about the opening not too ambitious: corresponds to f/2.8, making it more than good but not as bright as the 35 mm f/2 for example, mounted on big sister x 100.
The rest of the data sheet includes an integrated Wi-Fi antenna for communication with smart-device, a rear screen from 3 e 1040k points (equipped with touch technology and swivels up to 180° vertically: the so-called location selfie), a small flash, a mechanical/electronic shutter that reaches up to 32,000 times 1/s, a burst of 8 FPS with single-focus and Finally a video mode that records movies up to the standard 1080 p with 60 fps per second.
The build quality of the Fujifilm X 70 is very good and mirrors that of a tool from the premium cost. The plastics used are high quality and metal inserts enhance the appearance, as well as increasing the strength.
The overall design is good, and follows for the most part that, now known, Fujifilm’s X series. Don’t miss the ring openings, located around the lens barrel, as well as to manage timing and compensation. Always around the goal, there is another ring: depending on the mode, is used to manage several functions including AF manual or digital, simulating the focal teleconverter for 35 mm and 50 mm, giving you more flexibility when framing. Of course, the images taken are simply digital crop, undergoing a full 16 Megapixel resolution upscaling next and thus lose slightly in sharpness. The function, however, remains significant.
The back of the camera body is quite thick, generally well accessible despite its small size. The only exception is the left button on the digital cross is really very close to the screen frame and can be awkward to press, especially for those with large hands. Even the rec button for video is really small and not very accessible: is placed very close to the compensation ring above it. Finally, the electronic viewfinder is missing: perhaps the greatest waiver with respect to the X 100, performed to minimise the encumbrance.
The physical dimensions are excellent for an APS-C sensor camera: amounted to 112 mm x 64 mm x 44 mm, and weighs 340 grams with battery connected. These are values that make the X 70 trasportabilissima, able to fit comfortably in a jacket pocket or small bag, to be carried with you at all times, even where traditionally they would give up to the weight of a serious camera (a trip to the mountains, a long walk into town and the like).
In terms of the AF speed and overall performance, the Fujifilm X 70 isn’t a lightning and certainly cannot rival the best mirrorless, but the values offered are sufficient for typical usage scenarios of a camera like that.
Ignition timing are relatively quickly, the single AF is responsive (not instant) and burst 8 FPS is definitely enough to freeze movements, although after 10 frames the buffer will be filled and the shutter speeds will drop sharply (approximately 3fps). The continuous AF, however, is hardly sketched and hardly will help to provide a true tracking of fast-moving subjects: who will photograph the intense activity of their children’s game is alerted.
Of course, the real ACE in the hole of the Fujifilm X 70 is its sheer photographic quality. The big 16-Megapixel sensor combined with the excellent integrated lens, produces extraordinary shots, rivaling many SLR middle segment. The images captured by X 70 are very sharp and engraved with a great color profile and a nice dynamic range even in high contrast situations.
Low light performance is excellent, with pictures of all usable up to ISO 3,200-6,400 (with a longer lens open the results would have been even more impressive, but unfortunately would grow even physical measures).
Totally inadequate, however, the video mode. First, to start recording requires a long press of rec, which makes the operation less convenient and immediate than usual. Then, the movies reach the standard 1080 p 60, but are poor in detail and full of artifacts, such as aliasing and moire. This is, unfortunately, a negative sensor trademark X-Trans, which still needs to be solved.
The Fujifilm X 70 is a camera with excellent quality, accompanied by some defect. The combination of compact size, depth of use (or ease of use, for those who want to turn Auto mode) and image quality is really excellent: who wants to always carry a serious photographic tool but at the same time lightweight and portable profile, could hardly be better on the market at the beginning of 2016.
On the face of the criticism, the speed of the operations could be greater, as well as that of autofocus. A lens with maximum aperture of f/2.0 would further improved performance in low light and creative possibilities. Finally, some keys could have been better placed, and the video mode could (perhaps should) reach at least enough compared to current standards.
These defects, however, do not compromise the overall quality of an instrument that will give great satisfaction both to experienced photographers as for those beginner, assuming they are ready to digest the price tag: 719 euros are not too many if compared to the qualities of the X 70, but they certainly do not match the average budget of those who buy a compact camera.