Blog / A Love Letter to Fujifilm X70
If you’re looking for ‘sample’ photographs, look at my work; more than half of my photographs were taken with Fujifilm X70. All of my recent work is being taken with it because that’s currently the only camera I own. The rest: Fujifilm X100F, Sony RX100 V, and Sony RX0. But this is about Fujifilm X70, a marvellous camera that forever changed how I make pictures.
I thought you needed at least two camera bodies with a collection of lenses to produce photography. I also thought that I had to accept every commercial job that was presented to me. “I need them”, I thought, for pictures that I didn’t even want to take in the first place. What a waste of time.
It was 2016 (one year after I started photography), I bought my Fujifilm X70 on a whim; I wasn’t even particularly interested in having another camera but I had the money, it was alluring to have one that I could take everywhere. I would take it to work, take snapshots of my friends; we became inseparable in just a few months.
In 2017, I took it to a Fashion Week in İstanbul with me along with my ‘big camera’ (Fujifilm X-Pro2 with several lenses and an external flash). I didn’t know I would end up shooting half of the thing with it, while being heavily influenced by Martin Parr’s work, and then move onto turn those pictures into one of my first photo-essays (Fabric, 2017). It was all thanks to my Fujifilm X70 and my newly-found interest in direct flash.
You see, I’m in the camp that always says “your camera doesn’t matter” but when I think about it, it kind of does. Mainly because it can be a determining factor of your approach. I firmly believe that a camera has to make you feel ‘free’ (you should be able to move around like someone without a camera), and it shouldn’t be too expensive: you have no time to lose babying a tool.
I’m not a technical person, I often do things by feel and experience. Fujifilm X70 allows me the luxury of ignoring every technical detail that goes into making a picture, so I can focus on my stories. It’s a point-and-shoot, I set it to aperture priority mode and forget everything; aside from turning the flash on and off and adjusting the aperture. Okay, sometimes I use the exposure compensation dial to influence my flash’s power. But that’s it, really.
It can be considered ‘old’ now by electronic device standards and it sometimes can be limiting: it’s only 16mp and I prefer not to print over 50cm on the long side because of this. Thankfully, I can ‘enhance’ (enlarge) my pictures to 32mp without losing quality and having silly AI artifacts using Adobe Lightroom (Topaz Gigapixel AI, which I’d used for 4 years, isn’t really great at this, in my opinion).
Something about this small camera is really inspiring to me. Maybe it’s the intuitive controls or the fact that I can look like a harmless tourist with it, using Fujifilm X70, I can create images that I could never do with my bigger cameras. I’ve tried other small cameras, too; as I mentioned in the beginning, I also used Sony RX100 V and Sony RX0, and even though I’ve made some great pictures with them, their sensor and dynamic range were a bit limiting for my edits, so I let them go.
If I went for a larger camera, would my photography benefit from it? I sometimes think about it, mainly because of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), but I always come to the same conclusion: I have fantastic chemistry with my tool and why should I even change it? Yes, a larger sensor (more resolution) could have been beneficial and an interface with faster feedback would lead me to use more features but… At the end of the day, I don’t need any of those things, really.
Having worked in advertising industry for nearly ten years, I know a thing or two about marketing. And let me tell you: it is extremely powerful — and image-making industry is no exception. You can easily be convinced that you absolutely need that camera, go out and buy one just because the camera’s product page looks simply amazing.
But I honestly think everyone needs to find their Fujifilm X70 (it can be a different camera) and stick with it until it breaks completely. The one I use is my second copy of the same camera because I dropped my first one onto some rocks and this rendered it unusable. So I got another, second-hand one from someone who simply didn’t know what they had.
Currently, at least in Turkey, there is no Fujifilm X70 for sale. Either it’s rare enough that not many people use it, or there is a club of people who would never sell their Fujifilm X70. I’m in the latter group. So, what happens when my camera breaks? I have a plan B: I will simply just go out and buy a Fujifilm X100V, even though I dislike viewfinders (and Fujifilm X100V has two of them), it’s the closest camera to mine in terms of size and ease-of-use. And the sad fact that Fujifilm has never made a Fujifilm X80 is another deciding factor.
A friend once said “you take big pictures with small cameras”, and I loved it. Maybe I secretly desire to continue to be that person.