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Fujifilm X70 review

March 16, 2016

Overall Rating:

4.5

Fujifilm X70


  • Features:
  • Build/Handling:
  • Metering:
  • Autofocus:
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Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£549.00

With a rich heritage, the X70 from Fujifilm has a lot going for it. Phil Hall sees if it can live up to expectations

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Fujifilm X70 review – First look

In recent years we’ve seen an increasing number of manufacturers squeeze large sensors into pocket size compact cameras. Fujifilm is the latest manufacturer to release such a product and the all-new X70 is a stylish premium compact complete with a fixed FUJINON 18.5mm f/2.8 lens.

The Fujifilm X70’s lens is completely new, yet it shares a similar optical design to the Fujifilm X100T. The construction of the lens is made up to seven elements in five groups, including two high-performance aspherical elements. The 9-blade aperture diaphragm combines with an f/2.8 aperture and the lens allows users to focus as closely as 10cm.

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The Fujifilm X70 on show at an exclusive press event prior to its official launch

Behind the lens lies a 16.3-million-pixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor that runs beside Fujifilm’s EXR processor II. Just like the Fujifilm X100T, the standard output sensitivity stretches from ISO 200-6400, with the extended ISO settings allowing users to shoot as low as ISO 100 and as high as ISO 51,200. On-sensor phase detection AF is said to focus in an ultra-fast 0.1sec and thanks to the speedy processor, the camera starts up in a brisk 0.5secs, has a shutter time tag of 0.01sec and a shooting interval of 0.5sec. The X70’s autofocus system provides 49 AF points in single point mode and there are the new Zone and Wide/tracking modes that use a larger 77-point area to capture moving subjects more effectively.

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The Fujifilm X70 features a hotshoe on the top-plate

One of the key standout features on the X70 is its 3inch 1.04-million-dot touchscreen LCD at the rear. It becomes the first X-Series camera ever to boast touch panel functionality and this can be used to refine the focus point position and fire the shutter by enabling the touch shot function. During playback, smartphone-style operations can also be performed such as swipe, drag and pinch in/out.

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The screen pulls out effortlessly and can be tilted by 180 degrees for capturing self-portraits

Looking at its design, the X70 shares the same stylish look as other cameras in Fujifilm’s X-series. The body is constructed from solid aluminium and the milled shutter speed and exposure compensation dials contribute to its premium feel in the hand. In-between the shutter speed and exposure compensation dial you’ll find a drive mode button and the camera is also equipped with an Auto Mode switch lever for those who’d like the camera to automatically choose the optimum setting for any scene.

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The Fujifilm X70 features an aperture ring behind its thin manual focus ring

Looking at the X70 from the front you’ll notice the lens barrel features a control ring in addition to an aperture ring. Frequently used functions such as white balance, film simulation and ISO sensitivity can be assigned by using the control ring setting button that can be found on the left of the body.

Another attractive feature is the X70’s digital tele-converter. The X70’s 18.5mm f/2.8 lens is equivalent to 28mm in 35mm terms, however users can also select 35mm and 50mm options from within the menu. Other features of note include Full HD video at 60/50/30/25 and 24fps, there’s built-in Wi-fi connectivity and an interval timer function for shooting time lapses with intervals of one second to 24 hours for up to 999 frames.

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The X70’s touchscreen panel is the first on an X-Series model

Available in both black and silver, the Fujfilm X70 will be available in February with prices starting from around £549.

Supported Accessories

The Fujifilm X70 will be supported by good range of premium accessories. For landscape photographers and those who’d like to shoot wider than the FUJINON 18.5mm f/2.8 lens allows, a wide conversion lens (WCL-X70) is available. This conversion lens multiples the fixed focal length by 0.8x, turning it into a 21mm equivalent. Fujifilm will also produce an external optical viewfider (VF-X21) that clips onto the top-plate as well as a lens hood (LH-X70) with an adapter ring ready to attach filters via a 49mm thread. Users who’d like to keep their X70 in pristine condition may also be tempted by a leather case (BLC-X70). This has been designed in such a way that it allows you to charge batteries without having to remove the case.

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The X70 is the smallest and lightest X-series model with an APS-C size sensor

Build & Handling

The Fujifilm X70 shares many similarities with Fujifilm’s more advanced X100T. For those who’d like to own an X-series fixed-lens compact but don’t want the bulk that comes with the X100T, the X70 could be the perfect solution. The X100T fits into generously-sized jacket pockets, but it’s not exactly trouser pocket friendly. The X70 slides into trouser pockets with ease and it’s not until you get hold of it that you truly appreciate how petite it really is. The advantage of equipping the X70 with a fixed lens as opposed to a retractable zoom such as that found on Fujifilm’s X30 has allowed the manufacturer to keep the camera thin.

The fit and finish of the body is to the excellent standard and it gives the impression that it has been very well constructed. The key feature the X70 lacks is a viewfinder. You can buy the optional VF-X21, but I didn’t have the opportunity to use the X70 with one during my hands-on session. A hard decisions those interested in the X70 will have to make is which colour to choose. If the X70 is being purchased as a second camera, the black version might match the camera you already own slightly better. The silver and black finish is smart and compliments other silver and black X-series models such as the X-E2 and X-T10.

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The X70 will be available in both black and silver versions

First Impressions

The large sensor compact area of the market was rife with new models last year and if the start of 2016 is anything to go by this year could be much the same. It was only a matter of time before Fujifilm looked to fill the gap between the X30 and X100T with a smaller and lighter compact that features an APS-C size sensor. The X70 slots in-between the X30 and X100T nicely and stands out in the fixed-lens premium compact category with an impressive spec.

For those who’d like a pocket-friendly compact that’s small, slim and light it’s worth a closer look and it looks likely to be a great camera for city breaks, street photography and times when a smaller camera is preferable. The X70 feels great in the hand and offers more advanced photographers the precise control they need with an aperture ring around the lens and shutter speed dial on the top plate. Needless to say we’re eagerly awaiting our review sample in the coming weeks, which is expected to arrive with us at a similar time as the new Fujifilm X-Pro2.

  • Sensor: 16.3MP, APS-C X-Trans CMOS II
  • Output size: 4896 x 3264
  • Lens: 18.5mm f/2.8 (equivalent to 28mm)
  • Shutter speeds: 1/4,000sec-30secs (extended to 1/32,000sec), bulb up to 60mins
  • ISO: 100-51,200 (extended)
  • Exposure modes: PASM, Advanced SR Auto
  • Metering: Multi, Spot, Average
  • Exposure comp: ±3EV in 1/3 steps
  • Drive: 8fps
  • Movie: Full HD at 60fps
  • LCD: 3in, 1.04-million-dot tilt-angle touchscreen
  • Stabilisation: N/A
  • AF points: 77-point
  • Memory card: SDHC/SDXC
  • Dimensions: 112.5 x 64.4 x 44.4mm
  • Weight: 340g (with battery and card)

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