Fujifilm X-T30 Review-Sexy Beast

Fujifilm X-T30 Review-Sexy Beast

Fujifilm X-T30

$899
9.4

Image Quality

9.5/10

Video Performance

9.2/10

Portability

9.2/10

Value For Money

9.5/10

Lens Support

9.5/10

Pros

  • Excellent Image Quality
  • Excellent 4K Output
  • Burst Speeds using E-Shutter
  • F-Log & 10-bit 4:2:2 Output
  • Film Simulations
  • USB-C for charging & Audio

Cons

  • 10 Min Video Capture
  • Ergonomics could be slightly better
  • No IBIS

Review Fujifilm X-T30

There are many cameras out there that take exceptional images, but in the sea of plastic bodies & smoothly transitioning curves, Fujifilm stands apart with its X-Series of cameras. With their prominent viewfinder hump, dial heavy interface and the classic 70-80s DSLR look, Fujifilm Cameras adhere to retro design philosophy. Probably not the best ergonomics, but shooting with a Fujifilm X series camera indicates good taste. In the words of Masazumi Imai, Fujifilm’s Designer, “Cameras are capturing machines, but they also express peoples’ minds.”

And today I look at the Fujifilm X-T30, a camera launched in March of 2019. With the same impressive X-Trans processor and sensor from the groundbreaking X-T3, the Fujifilm X-T30 delivers astounding results in a smaller body and an even smaller price. You can easily find the X-T30 with the 15-45mm lens bundle for less than $1000. So let us take a look at this capable machine and see what makes it tick.

Primary Features

·        Compact interchangeable lens Fujifilm X Series mirrorless camera
·        26.1-megapixel backside-illuminated APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 image sensor
·        4:2:0 8-bit internal recording or 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output
·        Native ISO range of 160-12,800, expandable to 80-51,200
·        X-Processor 4 Quad-Core CPU
·        Phase-detect autofocus covering the entire image area with 425 AF points
·        Up to 8 frames per second continuous shooting using the mechanical shutter
·        Up to 20 frames per second continuous shooting using the electronic shutter
·        Can capture 16MP images using the electronic shutter at up to 30 frames per second in 1.25x crop mode
·        Includes Fujifilm Film Simulations and Color Chrome Effect
·        Face-detect and eye-detect autofocus, including face selection and eye-detect in continuous autofocus modes
·        4K DCI/UHD video at up to 30 frames per second
·        2.36M Dot OLED electronic viewfinder
·        3-inch rear tilting touchscreen
·        Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

That’s an impressive feature set and quite a lot of camera for a grand. Now let us deep-dive into details.

Fujifilm X-T30 Ergonomics

Fujifilm_X-T30

The overall design is reminiscent of the excellent X-T20. The X-T30 has a smallish body, compared to rivals at a similar price point, and a superbly constructed metal body. The control dials on top are also all-metal, though the body isn’t weather sealed. The dials are intuitive and make it quite easy to control settings and modes.

The camera is not a very tall device thereby allowing your fingers to support it from below when shooting. The grip protrudes slightly and isn’t the most comfortable, however it gets the job done. There is the addition of a joystick for easier navigation and shifting AF points around. The position of this joystick could have been a little higher to allow easier access as you can inadvertently touch it when shooting.

Fujifilm_X-T30

As I have mentioned earlier, the Dials on the X-T30 are well placed and allow easy control. The one on the left of the EVF bump is the mode dial allowing access to various modes. On the other side, you have the dials for adjusting shutter speed & Exposure compensation. The Exposure compensation dial stops at ±3, but by setting at the ‘C’ position it allows you to access the entire ± 5 Range.

Fujifilm X-T30 EVF

Fuji-xt30-EVF

The X-T30 sports a standard 2.36M dot OLED EVF, more or less exactly what other comparative systems offer. The EVF has an eye sensor allowing it to disable the screen while viewing through the EVF.

The EVF has a refresh rate of 60 fps, but can be boosted to 100 fps to allow black-out free shooting. Also, we do recommend always having your Fujifilm camera in the boosted mode for better performance.

Fujifilm X-T30 Screen

Fujifilm_X-T30

The X-T30 has a 1.04M dot tilting LCD on the back. The display can be used as a touchpad for AF when viewing through the EVF & seems pretty responsive. There is an option called Movie Silent Control, primarily introduced to avoid capturing the clicks made by the dial while shooting a Video. This allows you to adjust the exposure, ISO, wind filter, and select the film simulation, headphone level & white balance. All these controls can be accessed via the touch screen or can be navigated by using the joystick. This allows you to also have separate settings for Video and Stills thus allowing you to easily switch between two modes and continue using them with the least amount of time lost.

The screen also allows customization inputs via swiping gestures like you would on a cell phone. You can easily manage settings through these.

Fujifilm X-T30 Ports

Fujifilm_X-T30

The X-T30 has 3 ports on the left. These include the USB-C, the 2.5mm mic input, and the Micro HDMI. The camera allows charging & audio via USB-C.

Fujifilm X-T30 Battery Life

Fujifilm_X-T30

The X-T30 has a CIPA rating of 380 shots using the LCD screen for the proven NP-W126S Li-Ion Battery. This is a respectable number and under a real-life situation will frequently be exceeded. Also, the SD card is stored right next to the battery. The X-T30 has a single card slot supporting UHS 1 storage.

Fujifilm X-T30 Sensor & Processor

The X-T30 shares the 26 MP X-Trans BSI-CMOS Sensor & X-Processor 4 from the X-T3. Accordingly image quality is excellent delivering crisp images with excellent dynamic range.

The X-T30 can deliver an 8 fps burst rate with the mechanical shutter and 30 fps with the e-shutter. There is a 1.25x crop at a maximum burst rate using the e-shutter, which can be bypassed by dropping down to a 20 fps burst rate.

The buffer, however, seems limited with 17 RAW images before the device slows down. Shooting JPEGs allows you to increase the buffer to about 90 shots at 8 fps, although the 20 fps burst rate will again limit that to 32 shots.

Fujifilm X-T30 Autofocus

The X-T30 shares the AF system from the X-T3. With 425 AF points providing 100% sensor coverage, the system is extremely fast and customizable.

We have 4 AF Area modes available. These are Single Point, Zone AF, Wide/Tracking & All. The system supports face/eye detect.

You can further customize the sensitivity levels of the AF system. You can play around with three parameters to fine-tune the system to match your requirements.

  • Tracking Sensitivity- The period before which the camera refocuses if there is a change in Subject depth. This allows the camera to disregard any new objects entering the view.
  • Speed Tracking Sensitivity- Tells the camera whether the subject will be constantly moving or how predictable the movement will be.
  • Zone Area Switching- Tells the camera whether it should focus on the subject centrally placed within the focus zone of the one closest to the camera.

X-T30 Face/Eye Detect

The Fuji X-T30 has the ability to detect faces and eyes, and adjust exposure and focus accordingly. Options for Face/Eye detect are Face On / Eye Off, Face On / Eye Auto, Face On / Right Eye Priority, Face On / Left Eye Priority and Face Off / Eye Off.

The Face/eye detect on the X-T30 is quite tenacious and will quickly detect a face from far off and latch on to it. It will also supersede any other form of AF mode unless turned off through the menu. Also, the system now allows you to switch between faces by tapping the screen.

The continuous AF is good with the X-T30 continuously tracking the subject and would quickly reacquire whenever it would move out of frame and back. This makes the X-T30 an acceptable wildlife and sports camera, especially since the frame rate using the e-shutter is quite good.

Fujifilm X-T30 Image Quality

The X-T30 delivers excellent image quality, as the 26MP sensor is sensitive enough to capture an amazing level of detail at low ISO and then allow the shadows to be brightened with almost no noise penalty. The standard film simulation (Provia) produces pleasing colors at default. Color saturation is slightly above the 100% mark, thus producing pleasing, punchy colors, although this can be customized as per ones liking. Skin tones are correctly captured in daylight, especially using the Astia film simulation which produces true to life skin tones.

There is a tendency to produce warm results in artificial lighting conditions, but can be kept under control using customization. Outdoor lighting conditions produce excellent colors even at default settings. The images captured are sharp & detailed.

High ISO performance is excellent and I saw better noise performance than the Sony A6400 at comparable settings. I see excellent details and very little noise upto ISO 3200. ISO 6400 introduces luminance noise along with edge softening due to in-camera noise reduction. I saw degradation in image quality over ISO 12800.

JPEG output remains excellent and the colors are vibrant and punchy. In-camera processing keeps noise levels really down at high ISO, albeit at the cost of fine details.

Fujifilm X-T30 Dynamic Range

Fujifilm X-T30 Dynamic Range

Fujifilm X-T30
Saturation & Hue Accuracy
Good saturation levels with excellent hue accuracy.
Exposure and White Balance

Indoors, incandescent lighting
Auto and Incandescent white balance were too warm, but much better results with the Manual setting. Slightly above average exposure compensation required.

Outdoors, daylight
Very good color and exposure outdoors.
Sharpness & Detail
Sharp images at default settings, with only minor edge-enhancement artifacts appearing around high-contrast subjects. Mild noise suppression is visible in the shadows at base ISO.
ISO & Noise Performance
Excellent high ISO performance for an APS-C sensor.
Extremes: Sunlit, dynamic range and low light tests
Decent dynamic range in JPEGs at default settings. Very good low-light AF performance.

The sensor on the X-T30 is an ISO Invariant sensor and display excellent details retaining capability at lower ISO. Basically what it means is that an image shot at ISO 160 and pushed up by 4 stops and an image at ISO 3200 will have no visible difference. The noise levels, however insignificant, remain the same. Also, the sensor was able to focus in very low light (-5.6 EV) which is sn excellent performance from an APS-C sensor.

Fujifilm X-T30 Video Performance

The X-T30 inherits all the powerful Video features that the X-T3 has. With beautiful oversampled 4K/30p footage & support for F-Log & 10-Bit 4:2:2 output to an external recorder, the X-T30 is an impressive video machine. There’s a high-speed movie mode as well, which is captured at Full HD (1920 x 1080). Video is captured at 100p or 120p and played-back at 59.94p, 50p, 29.97p, 25p, 24p or 23.98p. There is a 1.3x crop when using the high-speed mode.

Video AF is either continuous or Manual. The AF system uses Face & Eye detect to keep the subject in focus. There is a tracking sensitivity mode that defines how long the camera will wait before refocusing on a subject entering the frame. Overall I saw excellent face tracking and the X-T30 easily keeps the subject in focus.

One thing of note is that the time limit for 4K video capture is 10 minutes, presumably to prevent overheating. But recording to an external source negates this time limit. Also rolling shutter on measured at 23ms which is great and way better compared to the Sony A6400.

Overall the Fujifilm X-T30 is a very capable and versatile Video Machine.

Fujifilm X-T30 Conclusion

The Fujifilm X-T30 is a beautifully designed performance machine. Despite the fact that it is significantly cheaper than the X-T3, it does not skimp on features and delivers superb images and videos. Ergonomically it may not fit a professional event photographer, however, for an advanced enthusiast, it will deliver everything as expected. It is quite capable of delivering stunning wildlife or sports shots, thanks to its rapid burst rate using the e-shutter or effectively captures precious personal memories with ease.

AF performance is excellent, second only to the Sony A6400 and that’s saying a lot. The 4K capture capability with its impressive rolling shutter performance, second only to the Canon EOS M6 II, and oversampled output is excellent. The FHD performance is best in class.

I can ask for more here, like the addition of IBIS or better ergonomics, but that would demean what this little camera is actually capable of. The Fujifilm X-T3 is in short, an excellent APS-C camera and an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a performance beast in an attractive package.

Who is the Fujifilm X-T30 for?

The Small Size, the image quality, the video quality and, the Fujifilm Lens selection are all very favorable conditions which ensures that the X-T30 can be used in a variety of situations. It is an excellent travel camera thanks to its size, it can function as wildlife or sports camera thanks to its frame rate, although the buffer size here is a bit of a let-down. In fact, if we take its price into consideration, there are very few cameras out there who can outperform the X-T30. The only situation where it may seem inappropriate, at least as a primary camera, would be at formal events where ergonomics and the lack of a secondary storage slot don’t really make the X-T30 a good choice. If any of the above-mentioned scenarios fit your requirement, then you can’t go wrong with the X-T30.

       

 

Fujifilm X-T30 Competitors

 

Sony A6400

sony

The closest competitor to the X-T30 performance-wise is the Sony A6400. With excellent image quality and video performance, the A6400 is a formidable camera. The rugged, weather-sealed body may not have the best ergonomics, but has an incredible EVF and great build quality. The price difference between these two cameras is negligible and the choice here is a matter of personal opinion rather than any major performance gap.

 

 

Canon EOS M6 II

Canon EOS M6

The Canon EOS M6 II is an impressive successor to the original EOS M6. With a 32MP sensor, excellent build quality, the M6 II only falters because of a lack of integrated EVF. The price difference here is again negligible and the overall performance is at par.

 

 

Nikon Z50

Nikon Z50

As Nikon’s first APS-C mirrorless camera, the Z50 has a lot to prove and in most cases meets or even exceeds those expectations. It’s a well-built camera with probably the best ergonomics in its class, a lovely weather-sealed body, and superb image & Video quality. It’s just the lack of a native lens ecosystem which is a let-down.

 

Related Links,

Nikon D7200 vs D7500 Review
Nikon Z6 Long Term Review
Nikon Z50 Review
Nikon D780 Review
Nikon Z50 vs Z6 Differences

 

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