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Fujifilm X30 Full Review

Fujifilm X30 Full Review - Read our full review of the new Fujifilm X30 - the serious compact camera from Fujifilm features an electronic viewfinder, a tilting screen and built in Wi-Fi.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Fujifilm X30
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification
Fujifilm X30 Black (1)
The Fujifilm X30 is a new serious compact camera from Fujifilm, and updates the X20, the camera features a large electronic viewfinder with 2.36million dots, a tilting 3inch screen, improved battery life, improved controls with a new control ring around the lens, and built in Wi-Fi. The camera is available now priced at £479 in black or silver.

Fujifilm X30 Features

Fujifilm X30 Black (3)

Like the Fujifilm X10 and X20, the X30 switches on and off with the manual zoom control and the camera now features a new command dial that surrounds the lens.

The camera features an improved rubber grip at the front and back, as well as a command dial at the rear. There is a front function button, as well as a rear function button. The exposure compensation dial now goes to 3 (+/-), compared to 2 on the X20.

A high resolution electronic viewfinder with an eye-detection sensor can be found on the back and the camera will automatically switch to the EVF when held up to the eye. The electronic viewfinder is larger than most found in compact cameras, at 0.39 inches and is of a high resolution at 2.36million dots.

The camera features the same 12 megapixel Hybrid AF CMOS sensor as the X20, with phase detection built into the sensor to give improved focus speeds, and the X-Trans sensor has no anti-aliasing filter for the sharpest image quality possible.


Fujifilm X30 Black (5)

The sensor used in the X30 uses the same colour filter array as introduced with the X-Pro1 which is designed to give better noise performance, and also allows the removal of the anti-aliasing filter, which is said to give better detail, over the sensor used in the X10. The sensor is designed to be better in low-light and show less noise. DR (Dynamic Range) options extend to 400% in this model.

Fujifilm X30 Hands On (2)

Technology implemented in the X30 and X20 is designed to reduce the effects of diffraction and aberration when using smaller apertures, which should result in sharper pictures.

Key Features 

  • 12 megapixel 2/3inch X-Trans CMOS sensor
  • 4x optical zoom lens, f/2.0-2.8, 28-112mm equivalent
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 2.36m dot OLED Real-time electronic viewfinder (EVF) 0.65x, 0.39inch
  • 3inch tilting screen, 920k dots, Vertical screen mode
  • Front and rear command wheels (lens ring at front)
  • RAW shooting, P/A/S/M
  • New battery for 470 shots (same battery as X100)
  • New Classic Chrome film mode
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Full HD video, 60/50/30/25/24fps
  • Stereo sound, Mic socket, Mic level adjustment, ISO100-1600 selectable (Video)
  • 12fps continuous shooting
  • Available in black, or two-tone black and silver

Fujifilm X30 Handling

Fujifilm X30 Black (9)
Handling - Build quality is excellent with a solid metal body and there is an improved rubber grip at front and back (instead of just texture on the X20) giving a much more re-assuring grip when holding the camera with just one hand, and in addition, the handgrip is also larger. The focus mode switch is found at the front as well as a new function button. On top is a classic shutter release button with screw thread.

The Q menu gives quick access to a number of settings on the rear screen, with the Fujifilm menus providing more advanced photo and setup options, neatly arranged into colour coded sections. A pop-up flash is activated by using a manual switch on the back, and is closed by simply pushing it back in. The optical viewfinder in the X20 gave 85% coverage, whereas the new electronic viewfinder gives 100% coverage so you can see exactly what you are shooting.

Fujifilm X30 Black (7)

On top of the camera is an exposure compensation dial, which lets you quickly adjust the exposure, although it’s quite easy to forget that you’ve changed it and leave it set by accident. 

Battery life - The X30 has improved battery life offering 470 shots, thanks to the camera using the same NP-95 battery as the X100/s series. 

Fujifilm X30 Black (10)

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras

  Fujifilm X30
Shutter Response <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.2
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.25
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.3
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.6
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.2
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
9fps (22 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - RAW 8fps (12 shots)


Focus was quick, as was shutter response, and using the high speed shooting mode we were able to shoot at 9fps when shooting JPEG images, and 8fps when shooting raw. 

Fujifilm X30 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Fujifilm X30 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Exposure is reliable with the camera consistently producing bright saturated images with good levels of detail. The flash performs quite well with a good mix between the subject and background detail, giving natural look results, although the flash does appear quite weak. The camera produces images with excellent colour that is typical of Fujifilm cameras, particularly if you like rich saturated colours. 

Fujifilm X30 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Dynamic range (DR) is good, with the camera offering a number of ways to expand the amount captured, with an option for up to 400% DR. Macro performance is excellent with the camera letting you focus with the subject as close as 1cm from the front of the lens in super macro mode, giving excellent results. Purple fringing and chromatic aberrations are low, and there is very little lens distortion visible.

Fujifilm X30 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - ISO performance is good at the lowest ISO setting of ISO100 and detail is also good until you reach ISO800 where fine details can be lost. Images are sharp even at ISO1600, and noise becomes more noticeable at ISO3200. ISO6400 and ISO12800 images aren't resized as they were on the previous model, however noise is quite strong so these settings are best avoided.

Fujifilm X30 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Auto white balance (AWB) performance is good under tungsten lighting with a warm result, with the tungsten preset giving more natural results. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent preset giving a colour cast to the image.

Panoramic | 1/450 sec | f/5.6 | 7.1 mm | ISO 100
Panoramic | 1/450 sec | f/5.6 | 7.1 mm | ISO 100

Panorama mode - The camera features an automatic panoramic mode that automatically stitches the photos as you hold the shutter release button and pan the camera around. Results are good, with the camera offering 120, 180 or 360 degree photos.

Fujifilm X30 Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a number of film simulation modes, dynamic range options (100% - 400%), as well as effects, including Toy camera, Miniature, pro low-light mode, pro-focus mode, multiple exposures, and more. There are a number of bracketing options available including DR and Film Simulation bracketing, as well as ISO bracketing. RAW processing is built in and can be used in playback mode. Although the RAW file is not saved or available as an options with a number of these modes, or the scene modes.

Video - Video quality is impressive, recording full HD video, at 60fps, giving smooth results, although with a manual zoom ring, getting a smooth zoom can be difficult. There is now a microphone socket on the side of the camera to add an external microphone. 

 

Value For Money

The Fujifilm X30 is up against a number of competitors, with nearly all manufacturers having a camera or even two models available in the “serious compact” market. As the Fujifilm X30 features a built in EVF, here are the nearest competitors with EVF, OVF or option available:

Olympus Stylus 1 – f/2.8, 10.7x optical zoom lens, EVF, £449 
Canon Powershot G16 – f/1.8-f/2.8, 5x optical zoom lens, optical viewfinder, £369
Nikon Coolpix P7800 – f/2.0-f/4.0, 7.1x optical zoom lens, vari-angle screen, EVF, £380 
Panasonic Lumix LX7 – f/1.4-f/2.3, 3.8x optical zoom lens, optional EVF available, £275 
Panasonic Lumix LX100 - f/1.7-f/2.8, 3.1x optical zoom lens, 1.33inch (m43) sensor, with EVF, £699
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mark III - f/1.8-2.8, 2.9x optical zoom lens, 1inch sensor, with EVF, £699

The Fujifilm X30 is available for £479 – which prices it higher than a number of the other models listed above. For more suggestions, have a look at our Top 10 Best Serious Compact Cameras. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Fujifilm X30 Verdict

The Fujifilm X30 delivers sharp, detailed images with rich saturated colours typical of Fujifilm, as well as good noise performance. The camera has a 3inch tilting screen, plus a high resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF), built in Wi-Fi, and improved battery life.  

The Fujifilm X30 delivers high image quality, unique handling and features, as well as a high resolution electronic viewfinder, in a well built and stylish camera, with full manual controls, raw shooting and flash hot shoe. If these are features you’re looking for, and have the money to invest, then the Fujifilm X30 comes highly recommended.

 
  The Fujifilm X30 delivers impressive image quality from a compact camera with retro styling, and good battery life.
   

Fujifilm X30 Pros

Excellent colour and image quality
Excellent build quality and design
Electronic viewfinder
Eye-detection sensor
f/1.8 4x optical zoom lens
Manual controls
Fast continuous shooting
Q menu gives quick access to options
Printed manual and neck strap included
Improved battery life
Electronic level

Fujifilm X30 Cons

Price
RAW not available in some modes

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

 

Fujifilm X30 Specifications

ManufacturerFujifilm
Lens
Max Aperturef/2 - f/2.8
35mm equivalent28mm - 112mm
Optical Zoom4x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels12Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4000
Pixels (H)3000
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size2/3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution920k
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-3
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting12fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS60, 50, 30, 25, 24fps
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiYes
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLi-ion battery
CIPA Rating470
Box Contents
Box ContentsLi-ion battery, Battery charger, Shoulder strap, Lens cap, USB cable, CD-ROM (Viewer software, RAW File Converter etc.*4) Owner's manual
Dimensions
Weight423g
Width118.7mm
Height71.6mm
Depth60.3mm

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Photographs taken using the Fujifilm X30

Victoria
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Comments


josa 2 25 Czech Republic
26 Aug 2014 8:59AM
Just like LX7, it's big for my pockets...

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themak 1 112 Scotland
26 Aug 2014 10:27AM
Nice. Hard to fault the spec.
kitsch 8 439 4 United Kingdom
26 Aug 2014 6:46PM
Oh I've just bought the x20 and the thing that bugs me is the 85% view!!! Arghhh also would have liked the tilt function :-( wish I'd known they were bringing this new one out! Should teach me to keep in the loop...
Seems they have made all the right improvements anyway
josa 2 25 Czech Republic
2 Sep 2014 8:37PM
"and the X-Trans sensor has anti-aliasing filter for the sharpest image quality possible." ????
joshwa e2
4 605 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2014 9:37AM
Hi josa, this error has been corrected, thanks
joshwa e2
4 605 United Kingdom
10 Oct 2014 3:51PM
Full review now live Smile
Paul Morgan e2
13 15.7k 6 England
10 Oct 2014 9:59PM
Hi Josh why are the WB test charts alway`s under exposed, this is out by more than a stop, its like this with most reviews.

Apart from this its not a bad review.
11 Oct 2014 7:55AM
One of the reasons I didn't buy an x20 was the smearing of low contrast detail - such as grass, foliage etc - in the processing. Fuji said they would improve this - the big question is; have they?
can you print the pictures large, without them looking like watercolours?

I look forward to the reply!
Chris_L e2
1.3k United Kingdom
12 Oct 2014 11:18AM

Quote:Although the RAW file is not saved or available as an options with a number of these modes, or the scene modes.

Are you saying you can't get the raw file to a PC?

The tree taken in pretty unforgiving light with strong shadows wasn't the best subject, I guess you have to use what you can on the day but I think another scene with a larger range of colours, tones and shades would have demonstrated the film-effects better.

Good review but I also agree with Paul about underexposure in the chart tests - if you put the photo into Photoshop the colour picker shows that mid-grays are well under the 128 where they should be. Could there be a clue in the review Wink

Quote:On top of the camera is an exposure compensation dial, which lets you quickly adjust the exposure, although itís quite easy to forget that youíve changed it and leave it set by accident.

Paul Morgan e2
13 15.7k 6 England
12 Oct 2014 6:00PM
Are you saying you can't get the raw file to a PC?

Some of the special modes are jpeg only Chris, as are the film types, it makes sense really.

A good example is the first picture demonstrating pro focus, the out of focus areas are produced digitally in camera and this only works with jpegs.
mikesavage 12 248 2 England
12 Oct 2014 6:08PM
Regarding the smearing of low-contrast detail mentioned by MrScott: I have the Fuji XF1, which uses the same 2/3" sensor, and I haven't noticed any such smearing of detail. I've always thought it reproduced foliage rather well.
13 Oct 2014 1:03AM
@mikesavage. It is cause ur xf1 uses an EXR sensor which HAVE NOT the xtrans filter, responsible for the bad foliage and watercolour effect. U can't compare, totally different cameras
RJPhoto 2 9 1 United Kingdom
14 Oct 2014 10:22AM
No sample photos?
14 Oct 2014 11:16AM

Quote:No sample photos?


We are having some technical issues on the server at the moment. The sample images will be available again soon.
31 Oct 2014 11:58AM
May be it's self-conviction, but seems like samples of High ISO chart from review of Fujifilm X20 are much sharper at ISO 200-1600. They have a bit more noise, but also details are overwhelming. Not only that, check the telephoto sample of X30
http://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/X30-5574/highres/Fujifilm-X30-Telephoto-DSCF9911_1412588533.jpg
- it all mushy, details of roof carcass clearly eaten by NR!

Then check X20 at full zoom and f/2.8
http://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/X20-4991/highres/fuji-x20-zoom-DSCF0004_1366756513.jpg

I was considering X30 for its EVF, but guess that will look for discounted X20. At current exchange rate of USD/RUB = 42 you can buy new X20 in Moscow for 430$.

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