Gadgets

Fujifilm’s X70 compact may hit the street-photography sweet spot

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While it lacks a lot of the features of the similarly priced Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III, the new little brother to the Fujifilm X100T has something that and its competitors lack: an APS-C-size sensor. The brand-new X70 slips into Fujifilm’s enthusiast-compact line between the small-2/3-inch-sensor X30 and the has-a-cool-viewfinder X100T.

With a fixed focal-length 28mm-equivalent f2.8 lens it has more for the X100T photographer on a budget than the X30’s, but on the other hand it replaces an enthusiast-staple viewfinder with a consumer-friendly flip-up display.

Fujifilm expects to ship the camera this February for $700, £550 and $1,050.

The X70 seems like a somewhat niche camera for street shooting; with the 16.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor and autofocus system of the X-T1(49-area contrast plus 77-point phase detection), it sounds like a faster, more full-featured version of the Ricoh GR II. Fixed focal-length cameras don’t really appeal a lot to people who are upgrading from phones, because their goal is usually to get a zoom lens, not just better photo quality. It uses digital zoom to crop for 35mm and 50mm-equivalent angle of views, but 16MP isn’t really sufficient resolution for decent digital zoom.

It also lacks image stabilization; a lot of manufacturers don’t put stabilization in cameras with wide-angle lenses, though I’m of the opinion that every lens/camera can benefit from some image stabilization.

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A modern camera with its specs, price and size does sound like it might become a street-photography favorite; the similarly priced Ricoh GR II and now-discontinued Coolpix A are both essentially old models. Usually these models have fixed displays, so maybe the tilting/flip-up LCD will help soften the blow of no viewfinder.

Comparative specs

Fujifilm X70 Ricoh GR II Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III
Sensor effective resolution 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS II 16.2MP CMOS 20.2MP Exmor R CMOS
Sensor size APS-C
(23.6 x 15.6mm)
APS-C
(23.7 x 15.7mm)
1-inch
(13.2 x 8.8mm)
Focal-length multiplier 1.5x 1.5x 2.7x
OLPF No Yes Yes
Sensitivity range ISO 100 (exp)/ISO 200 -ISO 6400/ISO 51200 (exp) ISO 100 – ISO 25600 ISO 80 (exp)/ISO 125 – ISO 12800
Lens (35mm equivalent) 28mm
f2.8
1x
28mm
f2.8
1x
24 – 70mm
f1.8-2.8
2.9x
Closest focus 3.9 in/10 cm 3.9 in/10 cm 1.9 in/5 cm
Burst shooting 3 fps
unlimited JPEG/n/a
(8fps for 10 frames JPEG)
4fps
unlimited JPEG/4 raw
2.5fps
(10fps with fixed focus and exposure)
n/a
Viewfinder
(mag/ effective mag)
None Optional
Reverse Galilean
(GV-1, est $230; £150; AU$300)
OLED EVF
0.4-inch/10.2mm
1.44m dots
100% coverage
Hot shoe Yes Yes No
Autofocus 77-point phase-detection AF
49-area Contrast AF
190-point
Hybrid AF
25-area
Contrast AF
AF sensitivity n/a 1.5 – 17.5 EV n/a
Shutter speed 30 – 1/4,000 sec (1/32,000 electronic shutter); bulb to 60 minutes 300 – 1/4,000 sec; bulb; time 30 – 1/2,000 sec; bulb
Metering 256 zones n/a n/a
Metering sensitivity n/a 1.8 – 17.8 EV n/a
Best video H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/60p @ 36 Mbps Motion JPEG AVI
1080/30p, 25p, 24p
XAVC S
1080/60p, 30p, 25p, 24p @ 60Mbps; 720/120p
Audio Stereo Stereo Stereo
Manual aperture and shutter in video n/a No Yes
Maximum best-quality recording time 14 minutes 25 minutes 29 minutes
Optical zoom while recording n/a n/a Yes
IS None None Optical
LCD 3 in/7.5 cm
Tilting touchscreen
1.04m dots
3 in/7.5cm
Fixed
921,600 dots
(plus another set of white dots for brightness)
3 in/7.5cm
Tilting
921,600 dots
(plus another set of white dots for brightness)
Memory slots 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC
Wireless connection Wi-Fi Wi-Fi, NFC Wi-Fi, NFC
Flash Yes Yes Yes
Wireless flash Yes Yes No
Battery life (CIPA rating) 330 shots 320 shots 320 shots (LCD);
230 shots (Viewfinder)
Size (WHD) 4.4 x 2.5 x 1.8 in
113 x 64 x 44 mm
4.6 x 2.5 x 1.4 in
117 x 63 x 34.7 mm
4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 inches
101.6 x 58.1 x 41 mm
Body operating weight 12 oz (est.)
340g (est.)
8.8 oz
248 g
10.2 oz
289.2 g
Mfr. price $700
£550
AU$1,050
$700
£630
AU$890
$800
£700
AU$1,100
Release date (US) February 2016 July 2015 June 2014