As I’ve been using a DSLR for a couple years now ( from 2008 exactly) I’ve been missing the opportunities of enjoying everyday photography with something light and small.
As a street photographer I’ve been dealing with something that many of us (street photographers) have to deal with – the fear of taking close, candid photographs, due to the camera size. After finishing my small project in Portugal, I felt really tired. I spent almost 10 hours everyday carying NIkon D610 with three pretty heavy lenses with me for a whole week.
After that I started to think I do not really need that kind of stuff on the streets. What was the most important thing to me and what I realized is that i need something inconspicuous, something that will give me the possibility to come as close as I can to the subject and not be spotted. I started to dig in the depths of internet reading tons of information about compact cameras, but all of the small compact cameras seemed a bit crappy to me. Then I found some stuff about the Fuji x70 and I decided to give it a try.
Size, weight and ergonomy:
The first thing that came to my mind when I unpacked it was: „wow, looks solid for such a tiny thing”. I’ve got two color versions, black or black/silver. I took the second one as I like the „retro” look.
The size and weight are one of the things that make it your best friend on the street. As one of my mottos is „the best camera you can have is the one that you carry with you no matter what”, and this little guy is so small, it litteraly fits into your pocket. But enough about the size for now. Let’s head into some specs.
We’ve got the shutter speed controls on the head of the camera and aperture dial also making it look DSLR like. Those controls will make it easy for you when it comes to quick changing the aperture or shutter speed without getting into the menus. The first thing on the back of the Fuji x70 I want to write about is the LCD screen. It has a touchscreen which is very helpful when you want to quickly change the AF section or even make the photo unnoticed just by touching the LCD screen. Tilting LCD in x70 is extremely fun and important for the street photographers. We can try to make some „hip photography” and not lose the look into the frame. If you have seen the movie „Finding Vivian Maier” you definitely wanted to try this at least once. This is almost like getting the legendary Hasselblad or Rolleiflex. The screen swivels up and down and if you only need you can make yourself a selfie! Unfortunately we don’t have the viewfinder, but I don’t think it will make any problem here. Shooting with the LCD screen will only make yourself more creative with finding different angles and trying to shoot more from the low perspective. We have the possibility to buy the optical external viewfinder but I would not recommend this one here. If you want this camera you will probably buy it because of its extra small size and the external viefinder will only make it bigger plus if you are shooting from the close distance (and you will with the 28mm focal length) it will be pretty inaccurate. The other controls on the back of the camera like FN, Menu and so on are pretty standard for me, but they are just perfectly matched with all the possibilities the touch screen gives you. We have also got the built-in flash (hot shoe too of course) making it easy when you need too light up the scene a bit or give a try to make some street photography overnight. One more thing that is worth noticing is the small button on the left side – it gives us the possibility to change the function of the manual focusing on the lens. We can pick the new functions like ISO, White Balance or the Film Simulation, nice!
As i said before, I’ve been dealing with the DSLRs before for couple years and the AF is one of the things which I care about really much. The auto focus system in the Fuji x70 works absolutely stunningly. I would give it a strong 8,5/10 in my scale. It is fast and accurate. I did not really lost a lot of frames with it and I already made about 10 000 photographs with it. Not much more to add here, when it comes to AF this camera rocks!
28 mm focal length:
I worked with different focal lengths starting from the 35mm up. But the 28mm in a standard lens is something iIdealt with for the first time and I must say the beginnings were hard. It is still hard sometimes for me, and will be hard for you to probably as it needs you to come really close to the subject ( I would say 1 arm away is perfect) on the street. And it will be tough for all of you who are the type of the introvert photographers. But if you want to develop as a photographer and also as a person, you should definitely try to work with the 28mm focal length on the streets. It is a challenge to fill the frame well and if you will overmaster it, you will have pretty easier times with most focal lengths out there.
As I work with the Fuji x70 on the streets for about 3 months now I can already say this: I wouldn’t change it for any camera now as I got the great image quality from the CMOS sensor, the great 18,5mm 1:2.8 (28mm full frame equivalent), fast and accurate AF system, small size and low weight, touch and tilt LCD, extremely silent shutter either electronic or mechanic, and a beautiful retro looking body which is made really solid. I think the Fuji x70 is the best bang for the buck camera for street photographers right now on the market as it costs about 700$ and we do not need to worry about lenses. I think I wrote about the most important things about the x70 for street photography, but if you need any more, feel free to ask me on the firstname.lastname@example.org,