The small and perfectly formed Fujifilm X-T30 builds on the considerable success of the X-T20 and offers much of the impressive feature set of the pro-spec X-T3, but in a compact form and at a killer price
For a start, the smaller a digital camera is, the more likely you are to hold it around with you. There’s also the gain that it’s going to take in much less area of your baggage in case you’re touring. For sure, there is probably an assumption that a ‘serious’ camera needs to be a sure length to have credibility, but then again, in case you examine the feature set provided by the latest Fujifilm X-T30, you will then quickly apprehend this is not always the case.
The Fujifilm X-T20 is said to be one of the most successful cameras in the company’s history. So it is that the formula hasn’t been messed with and the new X-T30 is remarkably similar in its appearance and size, with just a little shaved off thanks to a slimmed-down LCD screen. From the front, it’s virtually identical, while on the back the only noticeable change is the welcome addition of a focus lever to make the handing of the menu a little simpler.
Most of the updates have happened internally, and the good news is the X-T30 comes with around 90% of the feature set of the more expensive, but still highly popular, X-T3, while being more compact and around 65% of the price. It features the same updated 26.1-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor as its big brother, backed up by the latest X-Processor 4 with Quad-Core CPU, which is around three times faster than the previous version.
The camera weighs in at just 383g (body only) and feels light and well balanced in the hands. For those with sausage fingers, it might almost be a tad too compact since the various buttons are, by necessity, very close together, but I found it easy to find my way around and very similar in operation to the X-T20. For those who know that particular camera, this will be a logical step up, and Fujifilm is building on a proven success that offers just that little bit extra.
For those who enjoy photographing high action, the camera offers blackout-free 30fps in ES (electronic shutter) with a 1.25x crop, while the AF is formidable on a number of levels. The X-T30 offers real-time face and eye detection thanks to an improved algorithm, which currently betters the features offered by the X-T3 (until the next firmware update kicks in).
It also comes with low-light AF that works down to -3.0 EV, 240 simultaneous AF/AE calculations and 300% faster PDAF focusing between near and far subjects. In use, the AF felt very responsive, and the X-T30 would make a formidable street camera.
Also, highly impressive were the video specifications – something more and more hybrid operators need to be aware of. The X-T30 comes with advanced 4K 30p video functionality, including eye-tracking during video recording. It can also record in 6K to create high-quality 4K footage, and the camera supports the DCI format (17:9) to enable a cinematic look.
Meanwhile, 4K 30p video can be recorded at 4:2:0 8-bit to an SD card, while F-Log recording and 4:2:2 10-bit via the HDMI port capabilities means the camera can record a video suitable for more serious videographers. In short, this camera can do almost anything the X-T3 can on the video front – except 4K 60p recording — quite an achievement for a camera at this level and this price point.
Overall, this appears to be a fantastic addition to the Fujifilm range, and one can only imagine it will follow in the footsteps of the X-T20 and become hugely popular.