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Product Listing

Fujifilm X30 – A premium prosumer compact with retro good looks

By Hafeez Sim - 31 Dec 2014
Launch SRP: S$899

Introduction, Design and Handling

Introduction

Camera manufacturers are stepping up their game for the high-end/ prosumer compacts segment, with Canon releasing its PowerShot G7 X and Panasonic throwing in a Four Thirds sensor in the Lumix LX100 that's aimed at the pros. Being one of the first camera vendors to spearhead the retro camera aesthetic, Fujifilm has been pretty quiet since its X20 prosumer compact from last year. Fortunately for Fujifilm fans, its successor, the X30 was launched a couple of months back.

We managed to spend a short while with the X30 during an earlier preview session, and the things that stood out was the X30's electronic viewfinder (EVF) and a few design changes. Now that we've had time to take the final retail model for a good shooting session, read on to find out more about Fujifilm's latest prosumer compact.

Fujifilm X30 and X20 compared
  Fujifilm X30 Fujifilm X20
  Fujifilm X30 Fujifilm X20
Launch SRP
  • From S$899
  • From S$899
Effective pixels
  • 12MP
  • 12MP
Sensor
  • 2/3" CMOS
  • 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II with primary color filter
Lens
  • 28–112 mm
  • 28-112mm
ISO rating
  • 100-12800
  • 100-12800
Zoom ratio
  • 4x optical zoom
  • 4x optical zoom
Aperture range
  • F2.0 - F2.8
  • F2.0 - F11 (Wide)
  • F2.8 - F11 (Telephoto)
Shutter speed
  • 30 sec - 1/4000 sec
  • 30 sec. to 1/4000 sec
Auto Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Exposure Control
  • Auto
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
  • Auto
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Exposure Compensation
  • ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
  • 2.0EV - +2.0EV 1/3EV step
Metering
  • Multi
  • Average
  • Spot
  • Multi / Spot / Average
Flash Modes
  • Auto
  • forced flash
  • slow synchro
  • commander
  • suppressed flash
  • Auto
  • Forced Flash
  • Suppressed Flash
  • Slow Synchro
Recording Formats
  • Still Image: JPEG (Exif v2.3), Raw (RAF format)
  • Video: H.264
  • Still Image: JPEG (Exif v2.3), Raw (RAF format)
  • Video: H.264
Display
  • 3-inch 920,000 LCD
  • 2.8-inch, approx. 460K-dot, TFT color LCD monitor
Storage type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
  • SD/ SDHC/ SDXC(UHS-I) memory card
Connectivity
  • USB 2.0
  • Micro HDMI
  • Wireless 802.11b/g/n
  • USB 2.0 High-Speed/ Microphone input (only with MIC-ST1 w/adapter sold separately)
  • HDMI mini connector
Battery
  • NP-95 lithium-ion battery
  • Li-ion battery NP-50
Dimensions
  • 119 x 72 x 60 mm
  • 117.0 x 69.6 x 56.8 mm
Weight
  • 423 g (including batteries)
  • Approx. 353g (including battery and memory card)
Image Stabilization
  • Lens shift type

 

Design and Handling

The Fujifilm X30 is slightly larger than the X20, but has a reassuring heft to its size. The bad news is that with the smaller Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III possessing a larger sensor in a smaller body, and the Panasonic LX100 having a larger Four Thirds sensor in a body that’s not much larger than the X30, the Fujifilm camera feels unnecessarily large and cumbersome when compared. Fortunately, the camera does not look or feel cheap, and comes with a more pronounced hand grip on the front and a larger thumb rest on the rear (compared to the X20). You can certainly get a reassuring grip of the X30 no matter how of you handle it.

Another reason why the Fujifilm X30 is slightly bulkier is probably because its using a a different battery pack than its predecessor. Fujifilm’s NP-95 battery is rated to be good for 470 shots which puts the X30’s battery life well above the competition which averages about 300+ rated shots. For heavy shutterbugs, this may even be a deciding factor to go with the Fujifilm X30 as it gives you more shots before requiring a battery swap.

The hand grip on the X30 is more pronounced compared to the X20.

The Fujifilm X30 brings with it a couple of changes compared to its predecessor, with one being the 3-inch tilting rear display. Having a tilting display helps a fair bit when you’re shooting from a low or high angle, so it's definitely a welcomed addition. Also, the screen's resolution has been bumped up from 460k dots to 920k dots, which makes the X30’s screen much sharper. It isn’t a touchscreen though, so you will still have to rely on the D-Pad to set the focus area.

You can tilt the X30's display up or down.

Similar to the X20, you turn the zoom ring on the lens to power up the camera and there’s also the new control ring around the lens, which you set to control white balance, ISO, drive mode or Film Simulation mode. There’s no shortcut to set this though, as you will have to access the menu if you want to change the control ring’s function, so it might be a hassle to change the control ring’s function between shots.

There's a control ring on the X30's lens barrel to help adjust aperture or shutter speed, depending on the mode you're shooting in.

Similar to DSLR lenses, you twist the lens barrel to zoom, and it’s definitely a much faster way of getting close or zooming out when compared to the standard zoom lever on a compact. The X30 comes with a separate mode dial and an exposure compensation dial, which does hasten the shooting process by a bit as you won’t have to rely on the camera’s UI to adjust exposure compensation.

The X30 comes with a dedicated exposure compensation dial.

Fujifilm has also cut down on the number of controls found on the rear and rearranged the button layout. The scroll wheel around the D-Pad has been removed, and there’s a good degree of customizability as you can assign functions to the Fn button as well the as D-Pad buttons.

The X30 also comes with a now obligatory quick menu button which brings up a menu of shooting settings when pressed, and saves you the trouble of accessing the various tabs in the main menu. There’s also a dedicated dial to adjust exposure compensation.

The Q buttons is a shortcut to various shooting settings.

The optical viewfinder on the X20 has been replaced by an electronic OLED viewfinder (EVF), which provides 100% coverage as opposed to the X20’s 85% coverage. It’s quite big for a camera in this class and is pretty sharp as well, with a resolution of 2.36 million dots. Refresh rate is good, so you won’t see any ghosting or lag unless you’re shooting in darker areas where the EVF slows down just a bit. But the EVF most definitely comes in handy when you’re shooting in bright light and don’t want to deal with reflections on the rear display.

The EVF on the Fujifilm X30 is one of the best we've come across on a digital compact.

8.0
  • Performance 8.5
  • Design 8
  • Features 8.5
  • User-Friendliness 8.5
  • Value 8
The Good
Good color reproduction
Sturdy build
Good EVF
Long battery life
The Bad
Smaller sensor compared to competitors
No touchscreen
Bulky
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