Amy Davies is a journalist and photographer. As well as being a Features Editor for Amateur Photographer magazine, she also writes about cameras and associated technology for a range of publications and websites, including T3, Photography Blog, Stuff, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar, Camera Jabber, ePhotozine, Expert Reviews and our own Fujiholics. Amy is also one of the judges in the Fujiholics Photographer of the Year competition.

There’s a heck of a lot of love for the Fujifilm X70 among the Fujiholics community.

This pocket-sized powerhouse made waves when it was first released a few years ago, with its APS-C sized sensor and diminutive dimensions.  Barely a week seems to go by when somebody isn’t trying to get hold of one of these beauties second hand, so it has always felt extremely disappointing that Fujifilm took the decision to discontinue the product, and not release a definitive replacement. Perhaps there wasn’t the mass appeal that made production worthwhile.

That said, the XF10 made its way on to the market in the summer of last year, with it being a de facto X70 Mark II / X80 / whatever else Fujifilm might have called it.

Fujifilm XF 10 Review

It features some similar features, but in order to keep the price down, it also includes some compromises. It’s not hard to imagine why – at over £550 at the time of launch, the X70 occupied a sort of middle ground of being too expensive for a pocket camera, while not being quite advanced enough for serious users who were probably more tempted towards the X100 models. By contrast, the XF10 can be picked up for around £400, making it just that little bit more tempting.

At that price, you might consider picking one up to have with you at times when your other X series cameras (or even GFX) are not particularly practical and you don’t want to rely solely on your smartphone.

Having been a big fan of the X70 myself, I was keen to find out if the XF10 was a worthy replacement for this favourite, so I spent some time using both together to see how I got on – here are my findings.

Fujifilm XF 10 Review

Fujifilm XF10 vs Fujifilm X70: Lens

Both thE XF10 and the X70 have a fixed 18.5mm f/2.8 lens. As this is paired with an APS-C sized sensor, the crop factor gives it a 35mm equivalent of 28mm. That makes it a bit wider than the X100 series, which features a 23mm (34.5mm equivalent lens). XF10 and X70 lenses have a minimum focusing distance of 10cm, too.

Fujifilm XF 10 Review

Fujifilm XF10 vs Fujifilm X70: Sensor

Here’s one example of where Fujifilm has used cheaper technology in the XF10 to keep costs down. The XF10 uses a traditional Bayer type sensor that you’ll find in many other types of cameras, while the X70 had an X-Trans II sensor. On the plus side, there’s a bump in resolution with the XF10 giving you 24.2 megapixels, compared to the X70’s 16.3 megapixels. Realistically however, the differences between these sensors are likely to be fairly unnoticeable unless you’re zooming at 100% or printing at massive sizes. Both are APS-C sized, which is the same as you’ll find in an X series interchangeable lens camera, too.

Fujifilm XF10 vs Fujifilm X70: Screen

This one is a big one for me – and the biggest downside I found when shooting with both cameras. There’s no viewfinder with either of these cameras so of course you’re relying on the screen for composition and playback. The X70 had a very handy tilting screen that made it easier to shoot from awkward angles, or from the hip when shooting street.

Sadly, the XF10’s screen is fixed. Whether that bothers you is down to personal preference – it certainly makes it look a bit sleeker and is of course less prone to damage.

Both screens are touch-sensitive, 3-inches and with a 1040k-dot resolution.

Fujifilm XF 10 Review

Fujifilm XF10 vs Fujifilm X70: Handling

In terms of size and weight, the XF10 is fairly closely matched to its sort-of predecessor. To me, the X70 feels a bit sturdier and well-built, but the XF10 is still very nice.

the X70 feels like it’s aimed more at enthusiasts than the XF10, as it has a dedicated shutter speed and exposure compensation dial, plus the very useful aperture ring around the lens. The XF10 has none of those – in their places you’ll find a mode dial with a bunch of automatic, semi-automatic and manual settings, plus two dials that change function depending on the shooting mode you’re in. You don’t get an aperture ring, but you do get a control ring which can be used for a variety of functions (not aperture though).

Overall, for me, the X70 definitely has the edge here – but if you’ve never used one, then you might not realise what you’re missing out on here.

Fujifilm XF10 vs Fujifilm X70: Image Quality

As suspected, image quality between the two is actually very similar. If image quality is your main concern (as it should be), you shouldn’t feel like it’s too much of a compromise picking up the XF10 over the X70.

That APS-C sensor and great f/2.8 lens is a lovely combination that works well for a variety of different subjects. It’s a good length as a “walkaround” lens, being useful for landscapes, interiors, even environmental type portraits and pet shots.

Fujifilm XF 10 Review

Fujifilm XF10 vs Fujifilm X70: Performance

It’s fair to say that neither of these cameras are designed with sports or action shooting in mind – even if they had more exciting burst speeds and burst depths, you won’t find many people shooting those kind of subjects at 28mm. The XF10 gives you 6fps (compared to 8fps from the X70) if you want to give it a go, though.

More interestingly is the differences in the shutter. The XF10 tops out at 1/16000 when using the electronic shutter, compared with 1/32000 with the X70. That might have an impact when you’re photographing at wide apertures in very bright light, but it’s probably not going to affect most on an everyday basis.

In terms of focusing, the XF10 has its faults. There are times when it hunts to acquire focus and other times where it gives up altogether. Frankly, the X70 wasn’t perfect either but I was hoping this would have been improved with the XF10. With the XF10, you’ll need to appreciate the slower things in time and take your time – not necessarily a bad thing.

 So what should I buy?

If you’re after a brand new camera, you really don’t have much choice between the two – you’ll have to plump for the XF10.

Finding second-hand models of the X70 isn’t too hard at the moment, but they’re becoming increasingly rarer. It’s probably worth going for it sooner rather than later before stock dries up completely. At the time of writing this, I can see a couple of “like new” second-hand examples on websites such as MPB, pricing the X70 at about £490, which is not far off its launch price – an indication of how highly regarded it is.

Fujifilm XF 10 Review

If you want to save cash, the XF10 makes a lot of sense. If you don’t think you’ll be too bothered by the tilting screen, and can live without the better handling of the X70, then you’ll be rewarded with very similar image quality.

Tempted?

Sample images taken with the Fujifilm XF10