Fujifilm X30 Review
Performance - How well does it take pictures?
Ultimately a camera is only as good as the images it produces which is why performance measurements from the basis of digital camera ratings here. The Fuji X30 is a premium compact with a high-end lens and a relatively small sensor, similar to the most fixed-lens models except for the few large-sensor cameras.
The Fuji X30 produces high-quality images with low noise and nice sharp details until ISO 400. Even at the lowest setting, noise-reduction effectively removes most noise up to ISO 1600 with a slight detriment to fine-details at ISO 800 and a little more at 1600. This reduces possible print sizes somewhat but matches the image-quality of other best-in-class small sensor cameras.
At ISO 3200 results are still acceptable for medium prints, showing relatively low-noise but also soft fine-details at 100% scale. ISO 6400 seems rather blurry yet remains impressively usable for small prints. ISO 12800 is a blurry mess and should be avoided. This is completely normal and expected of even the best 2/3" sensor.
Dynamic-range of the Fuji X30 is very good and only exceeded by Fuji cameras with EXR sensors. This makes it better than most compact cameras for use in broad daylight. Exposure is generally good and very conservative. It rarely over-exposes yet has the tendency to produce rather dark images for low-contrast scenes. Such scenes are rarely under-exposed and can by brightened up in software which unfortunately amplifies image-noise.
Colors are nicely saturated by default in Provia film simulation mode. For a more realistic rendition, set Color to -2. Keep in mind though that this setting is ignored outside of PASM modes. Velvia is visibly over-the-top while Astia film simulation produces relatively accurate colors with a nice level of saturation. The new Chrome mode offers a slightly more subtle look. Reality falls somewhere in-between with the former being a little too red and the latter a little too yellow.
Automatic White-Balance is visibly improved over previous generations. In broad daylight, it nails the color of most scenes. When light is low though, it is frequently slightly off, leaving a yellow tint or magenta cast, particularly with artificially-lit scenes. Custom white-balance, however, is spot-on.
The sharpness of the Fujinon F/2 - F/2.8 lens is superb. Details are consistently sharp from edge-to-edge with no visible corner softness or vignetting. There is a gentle but noticeable amount of barrel distortion near wide-angle but it quickly disappears after zooming in a little. Purple fringing is virtually inexistent.
The X30's 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II sensor features built-in Phase-Detect autofocus. This is something pioneered by Fuji on their SuperCCD EXR which they brought over to CMOS sensors. This provides the X30 with an AF system which is faster than nearly every other fixed-lens camera to date.
The Fuji X30 focuses extremely quickly and manages to stay fast and accurate even in very low light. Autofocus speed hovers around ¼ - ½s, except in very low-light where it can take just over ¾s. In bright to moderate light though, ¼s is almost always enough to lock focus. This is clearly a class-leading performance.
The X30 is generally fast and responsive. Its performance can be characterized by the following measurements:
- Power On: ¾s. Great.
- Power Off: ½s. Excellent.
- Focus: Usually ¼s. Class-leading.
- Shutter-Lag: Instant. Excellent.
- Black-Out: ¼s. Amazing for a compact.
- Shot-To-Shot: 1s. Good for a compact.
- Playback: About ½s to enter or exit. Average.
- Video: 2s to start, 1s to stop.
- Zoom: No speed limit.
Compared to any other fixed-lens camera, this is an excellent performance. Focusing is one of its strongest points and it does so with remarkable consistency. The shot-to-shot speed is great for its class but will be on the slow side for action photography. Battery life, quoted at 470 shots per charge according to the CIPA standard, is above average and immensely improved compared to the X20.
The Fuji X30 is an excellent premium compact digital camera. It delivers the same great image-quality and speed as its predecessor with refined controls and a very welcome EVF. This viewfinder is absolutely class-leading and gives the X30 a nice boost in usability.
Image quality is excellent and rivals the best premium digital cameras with similarly-sized sensors. Images show very little noise until ISO 1600 and details are remarkably well preserved until ISO 400, just before noise-reduction kicks in. Colors are very nice and adjustable. Metering and white-balance are good yet not perfect but manual-controls easily allow them to be improved when needed.
The Fujinon lens used on the X30 is both a great technological achievement and a pleasure to use thanks to its mechanical zoom which gives perfect framing precision. The bright maximum aperture and built-in stabilization makes the X30 usable in lower light than most cameras in its class. Plus, it remains fast and responsive under most circumstances.
This advanced digital camera is very versatile given a complete set of manual controls, including manual focus, bracketing and a hot-shoe. Dual control-dials and plenty of controls make these features efficient to use.
Given its nice image quality, performance and ergonomics, the Fuji X30 makes an ideal camera for users seeking advanced photographic controls in a compact body. The zoom range offered by its lens makes this camera highly suitable for travel, portraits and social photography.
Fujifilm X30 Highlights
Sensor-Size: 8 x 6mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|12 Megapixels Fixed Lens||ISO 100-12800|
|4X Mechanically Linked Wide Optical Zoom||Shutter 1/4000-30s|
|Built-in Stabilization||Full manual controls, including Manual Focus|
|0.39" Built-in EVF 2.4 Megapixels (0.65X)||Custom white-balance|
|Automatic Eye-Start sensor||Spot-Metering|
|12 FPS Drive, 18 Images||Hot-Shoe|
|1920x1080 @ 60 FPS Video Recording||Lithium-Ion Battery|
|3" LCD 920K Pixels||Secure Digital Extended Capacity|
Fujifilm X-T4 Review
Fujifilm APS-C flasghip mirrorless with 5-axis builtin stabilization mechanism using the same high-speed 26 MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor as the X-T3. New 15 FPS mechanical shutter and builtin HDR. Professional mirrorless with mechanical controls, dual control-dials, dual memory-card lots, a built EVF with Eye-Start Sensor and a huge feature set.
Canon RF-Lens Info
Info on all Canon native RF-mount lenses added to the Canon EOS R5 preview.
Canon EOS R5 Preview
Preview of the Canon EOS R5 flagship Full-Frame Mirrorless with 45 MP sensor on a 5-axis stabilization system effective to 8-stops. First 8K video capable digital camera. 20 FPS electronic and 12 FPS mechanical drive.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Review
Third-Generation OM-D that packs a 20 MP Four-Thirds CMOS on a 5-Axis Stabilization System. Fast 121-Point Phase-Detect AF, 30 FPS Continuous Drive, Cinema 4K Video and more in a weatherproof and freezeproof body. Features dual control-dials and a builtin 2.4 MP EVF with Eye-Start Sensor with 0.69X magnification and 100% coverage.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Review
20 MP Micro Four-Thirds Mirrorless with 7-Stop 5-Axis Image-Stabilization, 121-Point Phase-Detect AF 30 FPS Continuous Drive and Cinema 4K capability in a weatherproof and freezeproof body with dual control-dials and dual SDXC memory card slots.
M.Zuiko 12-45mm F/4 PRO Review
A review of the M.Zuiko 12-45mm F/4 PRO added to the Olympus Premium Lens Roundup.
Peak Design Travel Tripod Review
Review of the unique Peak Design Travel Tripod with its own ballhead and the universal ballhead adapter.
Nikon Z-Mount DX Lens Roundup
Review of Nikon Z-Mount lenses for APS-C mirrorless digital cameras. Covers all current Z-mount DX lenses available.
Nikon Z50 Review
The first Nikon APS-C mirrorless is built around a 20 MP BSI-CMOS sensor with ISO 100-204800, 209-Point Phase-Detect AF, 11 FPS Drive and 4K Video capability. Compact body with dual control-dials and 2.4 MP 0.39" EVF with 0.68X magnification, 100% coverage and an Eye-Start Sensor.
Mirrorless Digital Camera Buying Guide 2020
The Mirrorless Digital Camera Buying Guide was fully rewritten for 2020, including all new systems from Nikon, Canon and Leica joined by Panasonic and Sigma. This new extensive 2020 Edition shows in 5 simple steps how to choose a mirrorless camera.