Fujifilm X70: Ricoh GR Destroyer?

I love my Ricoh GR. I bought the original GR-1 back in 1998 for my honeymoon and I’ve never looked back. It was so good I started using it for some commercial and wedding work. I currently own the GR Limited Edition and it is my EDC (Every Day Carry). It is also so good that I can still use it for some of my commercial work. No other camera has come even close to replacing it, except for maybe the Fujifilm X100T. However, due to the size of the X100T, I always stuck with my Ricoh GR. This is because as my EDC, it has to be small enough for me to carry with me when I go out for dinner, to a concert, to a wedding (without looking like I’m trying to take over), or even going incognito for some serious street photography. No camera has come close… until now. Can the Fujifilm X70 topple the king of the compact APS-C sensored camera? Let’s find out

The first question to ask is, who is this camera for? It’s for anyone who has ever thought of buying the Ricoh GR. It’s a quirky camera and it appeals to a very small portion of the market. No zoom, no image stabilization, no fancy bells and whistles. This is why the GR has been around for almost 20 years. It’s simple yet powerful. When reviewing the new Fujifilm X70, it appears as if Fuji was targeting the Ricoh GR because so many of their features are similar. Here is a list of familiar features of both cameras:

compact point and shoot camera with large APS-C sensors
no built in EVF and only optional hotshoe optical viewfinder
fixed focal length lenses with no image stabilization
28mm equivalent focal length at f/2.8 with a 7 element in 5 group design (with 2 aspherical elements) with 9 blade aperture ring
same f/2.8-f/16 aperture range and same 10cm close focus ability
similar mechanical leaf-shutter with maximum 1/4000th sec speed (electronic goes higher)
right hand operation with high customization of button layout and quick controls
flash hotshoe and built-in flash

You can see some of the key elements that make these two cameras very similar and why someone who is currently looking at the Ricoh GR would considering buying the new Fujifilm X70. Here are some key differences between these two, most of them siding the advantage to the Fujifilm. The X70 has these features that the Ricoh GR does not have:

LCD with touch screen for focus point selection, focus and shoot, and image viewing
articulating LCD screen with full 180 degree selfie mode
actual aperture and focus ring surrounding the lens, dedicated shutter speed dial
fully customizable 4-way rear controller
full strap lugs instead of the small point-and-shoot strap connector loop
microphone input (2.5mm) and full 1080P 60fps video (but only 14 min recording time)

These are just features, but there’s more to the new X70 that will make this a possible classic, especially for those who already own a Fujifilm camera. Since it is using the exact same sensor and processor that is currently in the X-T1, X-T10, X-T10 and X100T, you can expect the same performance from the X70. This means superior jpegs compared to the Ricoh GR, better high ISO performance, faster and better control autofocus, precise manual focus control with focus peaking, zoom in, proper focus scale in both AF and MF mode. 
Like my review of the new X-Pro 2, the X70 is only a pre-production model and I could not test every feature, nor was I certain about the overall performance. What I did test was very promising. Please watch my latest YouTube video where I compare the new Fujifilm X70 with the Ricoh GR and other Fujifilm cameras. Also check out my alternate article with images on FujiLove Magazine. Thanks for visiting and happy shooting:

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