Fujifilm X30 is a compact camera for advanced photographers, with full manual controls, and an excellent goal 28-112mm bright electronic viewfinder.
Fujifilm X30 is a compact but ambitious new top of the range of Fujifilm, designed for the audience of fans and advanced photographers. It is offered on the market at the price of $599, then going to fall in the premium segment, braving dangerous competitors such as the Canon G16 or the Sony RX100 III (the latter, it must be stressed, much more expensive).
The sensor of the Fujifilm X30 is equipped with an X-Trans CMOS II 12 megapixel real and 3.2″ in size, smaller than 1 inch from that you begin to find more and more frequently in the premium compact. The consequences of this choice will become clear shortly.
The image processor is a fast EXR II, while the target is a bright stabilized zoom equivalent to 28-112 mm, respectively, with a maximum aperture of f/2.0 and f/2.8. It should be a good wide angle to a medium telephoto, both pretty fast. Note that the zoom mechanism is not electronic, but manual: you rotate the focus ring on the lens barrel to change the focal length, which is the most demanding photographers will appreciate (the movement is faster and more accurate).
On the back of the Fujifilm X30 is a large LCD screen 3-inch, 920,000-dot, articulate and with good visibility. The addition of greater interest is that of an electronic viewfinder, which replaces the optical present in previous models of this series and that is of great quality, comparable to that included in the Fujifilm X-E2, mirrorless a very different price. The equipment is completed by a small pop-up flash built-in, Wi-Fi connectivity and a slide for connecting external flash.
Fuji film X30: Design and Controls
The ambition of the Fujifilm X30 to represent much more than a ” simple ” compact is also noticeable in the study in place such design elements and controls. From one side, the dimensions are very abundant for a camera of this type: 119 x 72 x 60 mm to about 423 g in weight. Those looking for a super-pocket must look elsewhere. On the other hand, the depth of the controls offered is excellent and rivals that of many mid-range SLR.
On the camera body are present a control dial back, one on the front (around the lens, just behind the one that operates the zoom), a dedicated exposure compensation (up to ± 3 stops), the classical ring PASM modes, the ” Q ” key dedicated to the Quick Menu (for the first time can be customized), a ” fn ” key programmable and, finally, a selector to cross. With this abundance of commands, the user experience is immediate and deep at the same time.
As regards the quality of construction and the general ergonomics, the materials used in Fujifilm X30 are certainly good level for a compact. The camera is solid and pleasant to hold, though, as we have already said, a little big and heavy for the average of these tools. The front grip, coated with rubberized texture provides a good grip, but for prolonged use is recommended to use a wrist strap or shoulder strap included in the package.
Fujifilm X30: Performance
In terms of performance, the Fujifilm X30 does not disappoint. The autofocus is fast and accurate in virtually any situation, slowing usually in extreme low light. The same also applies to the electronic viewfinder, which offers a great detail, nice colors and an update always very fluid.
The ignition timing is really quick, even if the particular boot mechanism can be inconvenient: you need to turn the camera manually extend the lens (this is not a classic switch around the shutter button), which compromises the immediacy for use with one hand.
Speaking of blast, the Fuji X30 allows you to capture up to 12 frames per second at full resolution and with continuous AF, not bad for a compact. The tracking of moving subject is not always perfect, but it is still more than adequate for a car of this category. Also of note autonomy: the Fujifilm X30 uses the same battery used by larger, more expensive models, such as the Fujifilm X100 and Fujifilm X100S, and thanks to that fails to reach the remarkable threshold of about 470 shots on a single charge, whereas the majority part of the compact stops around 300. This is an important feature, which allows you to travel more safely without the need to carry a spare battery with you.
As for usability, it is worth highlighting two very important aspects. The first is the macro mode, which focuses only 1 cm from the lens and allows you to record shots really impressive. The second is the shutter speed, which at maximum apertures is limited to 1/1000 s. and only stopping down, reaches a top speed of 1/4000 s. Lacking a built-in neutral density filter, the result is often that, to shoot in full sunlight, you have to close the aperture and lose control over depth of field. The good news is that, at least, the shutter is able to synchronize with the lightning flash at all speeds, thus offering interesting creative possibilities.
The image quality expressed by the Fujifilm X30 is excellent. Although the sensor is only by 3.2″, the pictures taken are pleasant and well balanced in a lot of situations. The detail is generally good up to ISO 800, with the possibility of using the value of ISO 1,600 without many concerns, especially if you are not going to print at large. Also notable is the performance objective, which well contains distortions and aberrations throughout the entire zoom range.
Even the color values are consistently excellent, thanks to a good auto white balance and JPEG engine of Fujifilm, notoriously one of the best on the market. The contrasts are those strong characteristics X-Trans sensor, but those who prefer a more neutral tone can always shoot in RAW and then open the shadows, or use the special control ” shadow ” in the room and set a value of -1 or -2.
The only really tangible effect of having a sensor to a reduced diagonal, in this case, it is a greater difficulty of control of the depth of field: blur backgrounds, despite good maximum openings of the lens, can be complicated. For the rest, the quality of photos taken with the Fujifilm X30 should be able to meet the majority of photographers looking for a compact tool.
As regards the video mode, Fujifilm has never been at the forefront in this specific field and again confirms this tradition. Despite the Fujifilm X30 offers an excellent choice of different resolutions and frame rates (up to 1080p60, with options for 50, 30, 25 and 24 fps) and includes a mini-jack for connecting external microphones, the final results are still disappointing. Recorded movies are not bad, but are still quite poor in detail and full of artifacts, losing the confrontation with what is offered by other manufacturers.
The Fujifilm X30 is an excellent camera quality, which offers a great depth of control, the best electronic viewfinder of the class, a versatile zoom lens and a bright and image quality that, despite the use of a sensor small enough by today’s standards, can satisfy most of the occasions.
It’s an only flaws is potential in size, that nowadays you cannot properly define ” compact “. Even the video mode is not excited; a secondary in detail perhaps a tool primarily photo, but which should be taken into consideration. Overall, the price is certainly well compared to the great quality of this camera, which offers performance very close to that of an SLR camera body in a versatile, robust and pleasant to use.