Fotoeins Fotografie

photography as worlds between words
Very Large Array, VLA, Plains of San Augustin, Socorro, New Mexico, USA, fotoeins.com

Fuji X70: from Vienna to New Mexico

Instead of merely talking or whining about a desire to carry something lighter for day-to-day photography situations, I decided to do something about it a couple of weeks before my month-long visit to Austria in May 2018.

I looked online for a mirrorless compact camera, but I didn’t need the latest or a top-line model. I preferred an older model with a lot of online reviews and user comments, and I decided on a compromise among three criteria: cost, weight and size, and image quality.

Feather-light fixed-lens prime

I honed in on a Fujifilm X70 which is a fixed-lens prime at a focal length of 18.5mm (28mm full-frame equivalent)1 with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. The lens cannot be removed or switched for wide- or zoom-glass; that keeps the camera light and removes any possibility of exposing the camera interior to “lens swaps”. Although the X70 is no longer in production, I wasn’t concerned because I was confident of finding a second-hand model within the marketplace. I looked online and purchased a “lightly used” silver X70 from a local user on Craigslist in early-May.

Having used a full-frame Canon 6D camera (C6D) since January 2014, I knew what sacrifices with the X70 would entail: no optical viewfinder, fixed focal length, and limited dynamic range in low light. But what I gained were weight and portability: see my emphasis here? On days when I only carried the X70, thoughts about weight and relative inconvenience of carrying a larger camera bundle vanished, and I realized the greater potential for a quick image and less-intimidating presence in a wide variety of situations, especially within cities.

What I like about the X70:

  • Small and fits inside jacket pocket
  • Lightweight, at 340 grams or 12 ounces
  • Articulating touch-screen
  • Intuitive and easy-to-adjust controls for aperture and exposure
  • Beautiful JPG colours straight from the camera
  • Easy to use “panorama mode”

What I don’t like about the X70:

  • No optical viewfinder which sometimes stills throws me off
  • Electronic viewfinder drains battery quickly
  • Too easy to accidentally activate touch-screen setting of Focus-Shot-Off
  • Noise pattern visible at ISO 3200
  • No on-board GPS, but that’s easy to overcome
  • I don’t take much video, but video button very difficult to engage

As I write this, I’ve had the X70 for 5 months, and I’ve “flipped the image number counter”. That means I’ve already snapped over 10-thousand exposures. Ultimately, the temptation to “go light” proved true, fulfilling my own prediction. My usage of the X70 versus C6D was 77%-23% in Austria in May 2018, and 42%-58% in the American Southwest in October 2018 with a big chunk of C6D shots with long-zoom glass of many animals at the Desert Museum in Tucson.

I’m not giving up on the Canon system yet, because of the glass I’ve assembled since 2009. But if I decide to switch, I would give the Fujifilm system serious consideration.

Fuji X70, Fujifilm X70, Fujifilm, X70, Peak Design

X70, front: note adjustable aperture ring set to f/11 (iPT6 pic).

Fuji X70, Fujifilm X70, Fujifilm, X70, Peak Design

X70, top: note adjustable exposure dial set to 1/500-sec. Camera strap: Peak Design Leash (iPT6 pic).


From Vienna to New Mexico

Wien Hauptbahnhof, Wien Hbf, Vienna Central Station, ÖBB, Oesterreichische Bundesbahnen, Austria Federal Railways, Vienna, Wien, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

6pm at the Hauptbahnhof (Central Station): Vienna, Austria – 15 May 2018.

Laimgrubengasse, Mariahilf, 6th District, 6. Bezirk, Wien, Vienna, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

“Afternoon light, in the 6.” 6th District (Mariahilf): Vienna, Austria – 16 May 2018.

Hütteldorf, Hütteldorf-Hacking, Wien U4, Wiener Linien, Wiener Stadtbahn, Otto Wagner, Wiener Moderne, Vienna Modernism, Vienna, Wien, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Waiting for the U4 at Hütteldorf station: Vienna, Austria – 20 May 2018.

US route 89A, US-89A, Jct US-89A/89, Mormon Church, Bitter Springs, AZ, fotoeins.com

10-thousandth picture with X70, near Junction US-89A/89: Bitter Springs, AZ, USA – 13 October 2018.

Dreamcatchers, Vermilion Cliffs, Marble Canyon, AZ, fotoeins.com

Northwest on highway US-89A: near Marble Canyon, AZ, USA – 13 October 2018.

Continental divide, US-60, US route 60, Pie Town, NM, fotoeins.com

East on highway US-60 at the continental divide: near Pie Town, NM, USA – 19 October 2018.

Very Large Array, VLA, Plains of San Augustin, Socorro, New Mexico, USA, fotoeins.com

Very Large Array (VLA) on the Plains of San Augustin, NM, USA – 19 October 2018.


More about Fujifilm X70 at: DPReview | Fuji vs. Fuji | Wired | YouTube

1 I also have the silver Wide Conversion Lens WCL-X70 which simply screws on top of the X70’s fixed-lens. The WCL-X70 converts the camera to a wider 14mm (21mm equivalent) focal length.

Aside from “iPT6” labelled images of the X70, I made all other images above with a X70 in May and October 2018. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bWd.

9 Responses to “Fuji X70: from Vienna to New Mexico”

  1. www.corneliaweber-photography.com

    Thank you for your post Henry, I really appreciated it, since by now I have from several photographers who got this Fuji camera, for the same reasons. I will look into to it, how I could use my Nikon lenses with it. Have a great and creative week.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • fotoeins

      Hi, Cornelia. Because it’s so easy to carry around, you take pictures with X70 the same way as you would with a smartphone, because the camera has no optical viewfinder. The BIG exception is that you can adjust aperture, exposure, and ISO, which provides more versatility than a typical smartphone. And because the X70 is “stuck” at 28mm (full-frame equivalent), I have an idea in my head what pictures will look like. That’s what you have to keep in mind, depending on what glass or lenses you have on your other (Nikon) camera. Thanks for your comment and for stopping by!

      Like

    • fotoeins

      You’re welcome, Cornelia. On the X70, the recommended ISO is between 200 and 6400, but ISO can be set as low as 100 and as high as 51200. Thus far, the highest ISO I’ve used is 20000.

      Liked by 1 person

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