<![CDATA[J.Brunner - Blog]]>Tue, 01 Mar 2016 22:56:42 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Fuji X70]]>Mon, 29 Feb 2016 01:01:56 GMThttp://yogibrunner.weebly.com/blog/fuji-x70Picture
​In the last 30 or so years of taking pictures, I had the fortune of getting to use a lot of different cameras and brands through friends, school and also spending my hard earned cash. 
The transition (back) to full frame a few years ago from APS-C was like going back in time! Brilliant! Nice big viewfinder again!
But then cameras got bigger and heavier and were a far cry from the likes of Minolta X700 or Canon EOS 620 and it wasn't too long before I was looking for smaller alternatives, which I found in the form of the Fuji X100S.
The X100S was my introduction to Fuji (mainly because it reminded me of my first ever camera, an Olympus AF-S QuickFlash combined with very positive reviews) which changed my photography back to a more modest pace after the ever increasing megapixels and frames per second race with hours of sorting pics in front of a screen.

​It wasn't long before this beautiful reminder of older times convinced me to sell all my full frame Nikon kit and invest into a X-T1 and some lenses. Despite the short comings in AF. It was just so much more fun! And because the jpegs SOOC were so much better, I had a lot more time available for taking pictures!

​The X100S has a very clever OVF, however, I found myself rarely using it. I much preferred the fact that I could see what the picture was going to look like before I even pressed the shutter and am now a fully converted EVF user. I also found the 23mm (APS-C) a little bit too long for my general photography. I had a look through my pictures on my computer and realised that a majority of them was taken below 20mm (APS-C).
So when the X70 was announced, it was a no brainer for me to pre-order one to replace my X100S.
​The X70 arrived a few days ago and will hopefully fill the gap, my X100S left as my take anywhere camera.

​The X70 comes with the usual accessories apart from an external charger - USB charging in camera is the only way right out of the box and no RAW software (download from Fuji Website). There are cheap third party charger options available on the internet though. It also uses the same batteries as the X100S.
​The 49mm filter adapter from the X100S does fit as well, which is a nice touch as I can use all my filters! Mine is silver but that doesn't really bother me (see pictures below).

​I also have the Fuji half case for it which looks nice and makes it easier holding the camera with one hand. Included with it was also a soft pouch in which the camera fits nicely but the strap on it confuses me as it doesn't really close the pouch. Perhaps to hang the camera from? Seems a bit flimsy for that though. No idea ... ideas welcome. But it is nice to have some additional protection.

​The camera looks and feels very nice and has some reassuring weight. Unfortunately the metal lens cap can't be attached to the body, so you have to hold it or put it in your pocket when taking pictures. With the filter adapter, there is the option to use a 49mm plastic cap which will be smaller and more pocket able, however, the lens will protrude a bit more.

​I've been using Fuji cameras for a couple of years now and especially after setting up the X-T1 and X-T10, the X70 proved very logical and straightforward. The UI is the same as the X-10/X-T1 including customisable hard buttons and Q-Menu. Nice! 
New is the customisable 'manual focus' ring round the lens (see picture below), which has different functions depending on camera configuration (functions change when put to AUTO). It can be quickly accessed by a flush button on the left hand side of the camera.
When set to 'Digital Tele Converter' the camera needs to be set to JPEG only, otherwise turning the ring doesn't do anything, which took me a while to realise. The digital converter also doesn't work when the camera is set to continuous drive which seems very odd. Also when the camera is set to Advanced Filters and the AF selector to MF, the camera stays in AF Mode with the MF ring not doing anything or changing filter effects. Bit of learning required from my part I guess.

​I set the focus ring to change ISO speed but realised that I inadvertently changed the ISO settings when changing apertures in Aperture Priority. Perhaps something I have to get used to or be more careful? It works well and quickly when done with intend.
​During playback, the front ring moves images left and right which comes in handy when viewing magnified images as the magnification factor remains.

​The DRIVE Mode selector on top is well positioned and allows for quick access to functions like Filters, Panoramas or Bracketing.

​When SHOOT is selected on the screen (one little section on the right of the screen is always touch sensitive and allows immediate change) in Continuous drive mode, the camera only takes one picture. It would be nice to have the option to specify the amount of pictures after pressing the screen. Or just continue until the buffer fills up or the screen is pressed again?!

​The folding screen is nice and easy to read and even in bright sunshine I had no problems with visibility. The screen on the X-T1 has two little lugs on the left side of the screen frame to make it easier to pull out, unfortunately, the X70 only has one on the upper left side which makes pulling the screen up a bit awkward - especially when the camera is in the half case.

The camera feels slightly faster than my old X100S but not quite on par with the X-T1. When MF is selected, there is no noticeable delay between pressing the shutter button and the picture being taken. The clever thing is that the camera remembers the last set distance when switched off and on again. Pre focus with the AE-L/AF-L button in MF is also possible which is a very nice touch.

As most modern Fuji cameras, the X70 is very customisable and can be set to suit a personal shooting style or mimic for example the X100S button layout.

​The touch screen is something I need to get used to - changing the AF button or 'touch and shoot' is very easy and much quicker than pressing several buttons. I just have to remind myself to actually use it. I picked up my X-T1 afterwards and punched the LCD screen .... X-T2 with touch screen come quick .... ;-) I think using hard keys during playback is quicker though but I might change my mind in the future. Need to find an appropriate screen protector now!
​The functionality of the touch screen is limited to selecting focus points/focus and shoot and swiping or enlarging images in review. It would have been nice to be able to use the function to delete pictures or select functions on the Q Menu. Perhaps a firmware update in the future could take care of that?

The shooting experience is slightly different to what I was used to with my X100S in the sense that the X70 can be used as a simple point and shoot camera. Something I think my X100S wasn't designed to do. I feel the X100S was more involving and intimate and forced me to slow down, look through the viewfinder and have a think. You can still do that with the X70, however, it also allows you to just put it into AUTO and use it at arm's length. AUTO Mode doesn't however override all settings: flash can still be selected off, so it's not a fool proof mode and requires a bit of setting up first. Another option! :-)

The flip screen offers completely new possibilities compared to my X100S (you look like your tying your shoes now rather than lying flat on the floor for those low angle shots) and with WiFi control, pictures can be uploaded within seconds.
​I have tried the flash with mechanical shutter up to 1/4000sec at f2.8 which surprised me but once the electronic shutter is activated, the flash won't fire. There is no build in ND filter but the electronic shutter goes up to 1/32000sec.

​AF is the same as on the X-T10/X-T1 and works in exactly the same way. Apart from being able to quickly select your AF point via the screen. There is a little bit of hunting but nothing that would get in the way.

​Image quality from the X70 is brilliant and the lens is very sharp. Jpeg output is brilliant as expected as it is the same sensor and processor as the X100S/T.

One of the questions that popped into my head was, if this little camera could possibly replace my X-T1 with XF16mm lens!
​So I went out with the X70 and X-T1 with XF16mm f1.4, set exactly the same settings on both and took pictures from the same point and same scene.
​The most obvious difference became apparent immediately: size! While shooting with the X-T1, the X70 quite easily fitted into my jacket pocket. No chance of that with the X-T1.
​What I also didn't expect was, how much wider the extra 2.5mm of the XF16mm were and is. Both have a panorama mode to accommodate a wider field of view (jpeg only though).

Comparing images from both cameras, the XF16mm beats the X70 towards the edges at most apertures and has a little bit more contrast. To me at least. I am inclined to say that it is slightly sharper than my X100S and that is more than good enough for me.  So my XF 16mm will stay where it is but the X70 will stay with me wherever I go from now on.

​It may not be quite as pretty as the X100S and people will probably just see another P&S camera but I think I quite like that idea. The X70 is like my X100S on steroids but in disguise without the OVF/EVF with plenty of custom features and options. Taking pictures with the X70 was and is a very enjoyable experience and just looking at it makes me want to go outside and take some pictures. But it's raining and the camera not weather sealed! :-( Judging from the name it appears to be a 'downgrade' from the X100S/T but I see it more on a similar level, just for a different type of photographer.
The new features and the smaller size make it the perfect take anywhere camera for me and well worth the change!

Pictures of the X70 were all taken with Fuji X-T1 and XF16mm f1.4.
X70 pictures Jpegs, Capture One Pro doesn't support X70 RAW files yet. Haven't tried SilkyPix.