I've been wanting to try the X70 ever since it was announced early this year. For me, the most intriguing aspect of the X70 is that an APS-C sensor has been crammed into such a tiny body. It's not quite as small as a high end point and shoot like the Sony RX 100 series cameras, but it's still small enough that it can easily fit into a jacket pocket. It's also light enough that carrying it around all day won't be a chore. The X70 is the first APS-C Fujifilm camera to incorporate a tilting touchscreen, which proved to be useful in several situations. I spent the last couple of months trying out the X70, some quick thoughts and photos after the jump!
I'll get this out of the way first, the X70 will not replace pro-level DSLRs for serious work...but that doesn't mean it can't take excellent images. I'm constantly trying to find a camera that isn't as clunky as my DSLR, but that can still deliver excellent images in several situations on the go. The X70 was designed to be that camera, and it performs exceptionally well. The one major limitation of the X70 is that it's a fixed 18.5mm focal length (28mm equivalent). That didn't bother me so much, it was just a matter of composing the shot by moving my feet. If you're looking for a small camera that has a more versatile focal length, you could try the Sony RX 100 series. It doesn't have an APS-C sensor like the X70, but from the all the reviews out there, the RX 100 cameras are great performers . The X70 was definitely designed with the travel/street photographer in mind. As mentioned before, it's light and small enough to fit in a jacket pocket or small bag. The size also makes street and urban shooting discrete. The tilting screen is also a welcomed addition. It allowed me to shoot more from the hip. Aesthetically, it's also a great looking camera.
The X70 benefits from an updated sensor and firmware. It's a a camera that can quickly auto focus on the subject. For most of the shots shared in this post, focusing was set to wide. The touchscreen also allows you to fix on a specific point in your composition to focus. I did have to get used to the fact that there is no view finder on the X70. It does feel a little strange at first shooting without a view finder on such a nice camera, but you do eventually get used to it. One thing that Fujifilm mirror-less cameras have been famous for is the quality of their JPEG files pulled straight from the camera. I'm definitely a RAW shooter, but the film simulations provided in the firmware are amazing, especially the monochrome filters. I find myself converting the RAW files in camera to JPEG about 75% of the time. Any post processing that needed to be done after was usually minor perspective corrections. The shots below were all edited in camera, converting from RAW to JPEG.
My overall impression of the X70 is that it is a great travel companion. It may not be ideal for all situations, particularly if you prefer the reach of a zoom lens, but it does the job for most street situations. The quality of the pictures exceeded my expectations as well. As I mentioned before, the JPEGS that come straight from the camera are excellent. Almost no post production was needed for these photos. One of the drawbacks for me was the fact that there is no view finder (even an EVF) built in. Maybe a future model will have one, but in the mean time, there is an optional external electronic viewfinder that can be purchased (VF-X21). If you need a wider perspective you can also purchase the WCL-X70, which will give you a 21mm equivalent focal length. If you're looking for a lightweight camera that can take great pictures, I'd give this one a try. More pictures below.