On my desk at work are three cameras. One is a Canon 6D that I use all the time. One is a Nikon N50 film camera which I never use and hate the way it looks. And, most beloved, a Pentax K 1000. It’s a camera I wish I used more before because it exudes a classic coolness that’s missing in my main camera. Never heard of a Pentax K1000? Here’s what my baby looks like:
It’s simultaneously sleek and industrial, reminiscent of a bygone era in photography. It’s quintessentially a camera: classic and utilitarian. Frankly, it’s a look that I wish newer DSLRs would embrace. I’d love to see more camera makers break out of the “black plastic” design and create cameras that look and feel like fashion statements. Thankfully, Fujifilm has done just that with their new X Pro2 and X70 cameras. The line is decidedly retro, but impressively packed with technical specifications you’d expect to find in the best cameras today.
First, let’s talk about the simpler of the two cameras: the X70. The X70 is a point and shoot digital camera with a resolution of 16.3 megapixels. Complete with manual controls and a f/2.8 lens, the $699 camera most embodies the emblematic look of my prized Pentax K1000. The x70 is somewhere between a cheaper point-and-click and a cheaper DSLR, albeit closer to the DLSR side of that spectrum. Alluringly, the camera is super compact at just 0.7lbs and 4.4 x 2.5 x 1.7 inches.
If you’re looking for something more capable, Fujifilm has the X Pro2 to satiate you. Priced at $1,699 ($1,999 with a 35mm lens), the X Pro2 is a mirrorless DSLR with interchangeable lenses that are impressively compact. At just 0.98lbs (body only) and 5.5 x 3.2 x 2.2 inches, this is one of the smallest, RAW-shooting, lens-changing, filter-having cameras you can get. It’s an enticing argument if you want high quality, professional shots but don’t want to carry around a camera bag.
The X Pro2 only comes in one color (black), but keeps a classic shape and a leather texture on the body. Most importantly, looking at this camera, you’d believe it was from 1980 – you know, if you don’t notice the LCD panel on the back.
More importantly than the specifications of these two cameras, though, is Fujifilm’s embrace of nostalgia. Fujifilm isn’t exactly the hippest, coolest company around, but they’re smart enough to lean on the classic designs people think of when Fujifilm comes to mind. There’s no reason a DSLR – especially a mirrorless one – needs to be large and uninteresting. We should feel cool when we shoot, and a classic aesthetic never goes out of style.