It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a photographer in the possession of a good camera must be in want of a pocket-sized version*.
About this time last year, I was mulling over the purchase of another camera. I had only really turned seriously digital the previous August with the purchase of a Fuji XT1. The XT1 was, and still is, marvellous. I was enjoying using it, but I wanted something pocket sized, but better than my iPhone. A camera I could carry everywhere with me, wherever I was.
What else is a girl in search of a camera to do? I hit the internet of course. First stop was the Fuji website. My eye was caught by the X70 and the X100T. Rumour had it that the X100T was going to be replaced in early 2017, with Fuji users everywhere eagerly awaiting the announcement of new kit. There seemed to be a strong argument for waiting for the anticipated new release. It would have the new Trans III sensor, the X100 series has a view finder… all sorts of reasons to wait. The trouble was the, little X70 kept nagging at me from the dusty corners of my mind. So, I Googled, I Googled specs, and reviews and example images. I Googled until I could Google no more.
The X70 is small, properly pocket sized. It has the same sensor, the X-Trans II, that the XT-1 has. It is fixed lens, a full frame equivalent of 28mm, and I worried that this might be too wide. Then I realised the camera on my phone had an equivalent focal length of about 29mm, and I was happily snapping away with that, it was just the quality wasn’t there due to the small sensor size in the phone.
By this time a week had passed, and I made an alarming discovery. Fuji were no longer manufacturing the X70. I remember sitting at the kitchen table thinking, that one way or another I needed to find one of these little cameras. The laptop was fired up, and The Delightful Mr F supplied drinks and snacks whilst I trawled the internet trying somewhere that had one in stock. At last, I found a black one, the last one a retailer had. The credit card number was duly entered, next day delivery added to the basket and I spent the subsequent 24 hours lurking by the front door for the delivery man.
Since then the little X70 has gone everywhere with me, even when I intend to use other cameras. It is, after a year rattling around in my bag, looking a little scratched, but I don’t care, it has, and continues to serve me well. Of all my favourite images, a good number were taken on my X70 (use the tag cloud on the right to filter for X70 images).
So, why do I like it so much? It is small, and discreet. It is excellent for street photography being nearly silent. The quality of the images straight out of camera is, like all the Fuji cameras I own, superb. I rarely have to do much in the way of post processing, and often just use the Jpeg. For all the tech, the long and the short of it is that this camera brings me joy when I shoot with it. The size means I am unencumbered by loads of kit and counterintuitively seems to give me far more freedom than when I have the XT1 and all my lenses available.
If the internet rumours are to be believed, then next year will see an upgraded version of the X70. Do I want one? Of course, but only if Fuji manages to retain the charm and sheer pleasure of shooting with the X70.
*Apologies to Jane Austen