Fujifilm X-T30 Review
|Full model name:||Fujifilm X-T30|
(23.5mm x 15.6mm)
|Viewfinder:||EVF / LCD|
|Native ISO:||160 - 12,800|
|Extended ISO:||80 - 51,200|
|Shutter:||1/32000 - 900 sec|
|Max Aperture:||3.5 (kit lens)|
4.7 x 3.3 x 1.8 in.
(118 x 83 x 47 mm)
|Full specs:||Fujifilm X-T30 specifications|
Fuji X-T30 Review -- Now Shooting!
by Jeremy Gray
Preview posted: 02/14/2019
The Fuji X-T10 and X-T20 mirrorless cameras have proven to be very popular with photographers for many reasons, not the least of which is that they combine high-end imaging performance with a compact and lightweight form factor. The newly-announced Fuji X-T30 continues this trend by blending many of the features and performance of the X-T3 with the tried-and-true form of the X-T20. Let's take a closer look at the X-T30, seeing what's new, what has stayed the same and how it fits into the Fujifilm X Series lineup.
Key Features and Specs
- Compact interchangeable lens Fujifilm X Series mirrorless camera
- 26.1-megapixel backside-illuminated APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 image sensor
- 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
- Up to 8 frames per second continuous shooting using the mechanical shutter
- Can capture 16MP images using the electronic shutter at up to 30 frames per second
- 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
- OLED electronic viewfinder
- 3-inch rear tilting touchscreen
- Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Camera Body and Design
The X-T30 is a pretty compact camera. In total, its dimensions (width x height x depth) are 4.66 inches (118.4 millimeters) x 3.26 in. (82.8mm) x 1.84 in. (46.8mm). The height and width are precisely the same as the X-T20, although the X-T30 has slightly more depth due to a revised thumb grip. The weight of both cameras is identical at 13.51 ounces (383 grams) with battery and card.
Dial-based, manual control is an important part of the Fujifilm X Series DNA. The X-T30 continues in this tradition by offering dedicated dials for shooting mode, shutter speed and exposure compensation. There is also a lever for enabling the SR Auto shooting mode, which automatically selects from 58 presets depending upon the subject you are shooting. In terms of command dials, there are two, one on the front and a second on the back. Both of them can be pressed for further functionality.
While the Fuji X-T30 looks the same as the X-T20 from the front, there are important differences between the two cameras when we look at the back. In lieu of the four-way keypad of the X-T20, the X-T30 opts instead for an 8-way joystick. Further, the "MENU/OK" and "DISP/BACK" buttons are relocated. Another important change, one which you will be able to feel immediately, is the redesigned thumb grip. The "Q" button has been relocated to the top of this thumb grip, providing easy access to the customizable Quick Menu.
There are a couple of other differences between the body design of the X-T30 when compared to its predecessor, although they would easily fly under the radar when comparing product shots. The electronic viewfinder of the X-T30 is an 2.36M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder offering 0.62x magnification, like the EVF in the X-T20, although the X-T30's EVF is brighter by a margin of 300 cd/m2 (800 versus 500). Further, the EVF offers a 100 frames-per-second refresh rate in Boost Mode, so it is smoother than the 54.54 frames-per-second refresh rate of the X-T20's EVF. Similarly, the rear two-way tilting touchscreen is 3 inches and has 1.04M dots, but the touchscreen has been upgraded for a faster response time.
Imaging and Performance
The Fujifilm X-T30 uses the same backside-illuminated APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 image sensor as the Fujifilm X-T3. This newly-designed sensor offers a native ISO range of 160-12,800 and can be expanded to a range of ISO 80 to 51,200. While we will put the X-T30 through all the paces in our lab, you can get a very good sense of what to expect in terms of image quality by viewing our First Shots initial lab samples.
With the same imaging pipeline as the X-T3, the X-T30 also comes sporting the X-T3's new autofocus system. The phase-detect autofocus system covers the entire image area, which is a very impressive feat. In addition to its full-sensor coverage, the autofocus system is also better in low light than the one found in the X-T20. In fact, the X-T30 can focus down to -3 EV, whereas the X-T20 was limited to -0.5 EV.
Regarding autofocus modes, the X-T30's hybrid autofocus system offers single point, zone autofocus and wide/tracking autofocus modes with changeable point and area sizes. In addition, the camera offers face and eye tracking. The X-T30 allows for direct selection of a primary face within the frame and also offers eye-detection during continuous autofocus. While this feature is not currently available on the X-T3, it will be added via a firmware update next month.
The X-T30 is equipped with Fujifilm's latest quad-core X-Processor 4. With this processor, the X-T30 is a speedy little camera (on paper, at least, as full lab tests have yet to be completed). However, there are many caveats to consider. Firstly, there's a distinction between available shooting speeds when using the mechanical shutter versus the electronic shutter. It is worth pausing briefly here to note that the mechanical shutter has an exposure range of 60 minutes to 1/4,000s and the electronic shutter's range is 4s to 1/32,000s. When using the electronic shutter, the X-T30 will offer faster shooting speeds than when using the mechanical shutter, all else equal. There is also a special 1.25x crop mode to consider, which produces a 16-megapixel image.
When shooting with the electronic shutter and the 1.25x crop mode, the X-T30 can shoot at up to 30 frames per second. Fujifilm states that the buffer depth will be 26 JPEG images or 17 raw files. You can slow the camera down to 20 fps and capture slightly more JPEG images (32) or 17 raw images. There is also a special Pre-shot mode, which captures up to 10 images while the shutter is pressed halfway. The camera will then capture up to 68 additional images once the shutter is fully depressed at speeds ranging from 10 to 30 frames per second. At 30 fps, however, you can only capture a dozen post-press frames, for a total of 22 images. Again, this is available only with the electronic shutter and when shooting with a 1.25x crop.
If you want to use the mechanical shutter or capture full-size images, the shooting speeds are understandably less, but still pretty quick. When using the mechanical shutter and capturing 26-megapixel images, Fujifilm states that the X-T30 will be able to shoot at up to 8 frames per second and capture a total of 90 JPEG images or 18 raw images (lossless compressed or uncompressed).
Video has become an increasingly important component of interchangeable lens cameras for most manufacturers, and Fujifilm is following the trend. The X-T30 can capture 4K (both DCI and UHD) video at up to 30 frames per second and 1080p (Full HD) video at up to 120 fps. The X-T30 also offers 10-bit 4:2:2 recording through the camera's HDMI port and 4:2:0 internal recording.
The maximum bitrate is 200Mbps across both 4K and Full HD resolutions. When recording DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) and 4K UHD (3840 x 2160), the maximum clip length is approximately 10 minutes and you can record using 29.97p, 25p, 24p and 23.98p frame rates. In a standard shooting mode, Full HD (1920 x 1080) video can be recorded at 59.94p and 50p frame rates in addition to the ones listed above for up to approximately 15 minutes. The high-speed mode is separate and offers up to 6 minutes of recording at 120p and 100p frame rates.
There are many video improvements when compared against the X-T20. For example, when recording 4K UHD video, the X-T30, like the X-T3, records a 6K image and then downsamples it to 4K. Further, it offers 24-bit 48KHz audio recording and Fujifilm's video-focused Eterna Film Simulation, which was first introduced with the Fujifilm X-H1 camera. Face and eye-detect autofocus performance has also been improved.
Connectivity, Storage and Power
The Fuji X-T30 has some changes compared to its predecessor when it comes to ports as well. It still includes a Micro HDMI Type-D port and a 2.5mm stereo microphone/remote jack, but its Micro-B USB 2.0 port has been changed to a USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1) port. It still supports in-camera charging, but also supports a USB-C headphone adapter.
Of course the X-T30 still has a dedicated hot shoe. Regarding the built-in flash, it is a manual pop-up flash with a guide number of 7 at ISO 200 and 5 at ISO 100, the same as the X-T20.
The X-T30 has built in Wi-Fi connectivity, but now includes Bluetooth (Bluetooth 4.2). Via the free Fujifilm Camera Remote application, you can wirelessly control the camera and transfer images to your smartphone.
The X-T30 writes to a single SD card, which is still UHS-I rather than UHS-II compliant.
For power, the X-T30 relies upon the NP-W126S lithium-ion battery, the same battery pack as the X-T20. In normal mode, the camera is rated for approximately 380 shots on a charge. That's up from X-T20's 350 shots. When recording video, the X-T30's battery life is rated for 45 minutes when shooting 4K or Full HD. The X-T20 was rated at 50 minutes for 4K and 60 minutes for Full HD.
Fuji X-T30 versus X-T20
While we have outlined some differences between the Fuji X-T30 and its predecessor, the X-T20, it is worth giving a brief recap of some of the biggest differences.
Camera body: Stylistically, the X-T20 and X-T30 are very similar. They weigh the same, have much of the same control arrangement and have nearly identical dimensions and overall specifications. However, the X-T30 has a revised thumb grip and rear button layout, which includes swapping in an 8-way joystick for the four-way directional pad of the X-T20. Further, while the OLED electronic viewfinder has the same resolution and magnification, the X-T30's EVF is brighter and has a higher refresh rate. The rear touchscreen has the same tilt capabilities and resolution, but the X-T30's touchscreen performance has been improved.
Image sensor: Whereas the X-T20 employed a 24.3-megapixel X-Trans III CMOS sensor, the X-T30 uses the same new 26.1-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor as the Fujifilm X-T3. Along with the new sensor, there's a new low native ISO of 160, whereas the X-T20's native range bottomed out at 200.
Autofocus: Like the X-T20, the X-T30 uses a hybrid autofocus system, although the X-T30 has phase-detect autofocus pixels covering the entire image area. The X-T20's phase-detect pixels covered approximately 50 percent of the horizontal image area and 75 percent of the vertical area. Further, the X-T30 low-light autofocus performance is improved, being rated down to -3 EV versus -0.5 EV. Finally, the X-T30 has eye-detect and face-detect functionality, including the ability to select a face in the frame.
Performance: Capable of shooting at up to 30 frames-per-second using its electronic shutter, the X-T30 is 16 frames per-second-faster than the X-T20. Granted, this comes at the cost of a 1.25x crop. Up to 20 fps is possible at full resolution, versus 14 fps for the X-T20. When using their mechanical shutters, both cameras shoot at up to 8 fps. It will be interesting to see how the two cameras compare once we have a full performance analysis in our lab, but it is certainly the case that you should expect improved performance from the quad-core X Processor 4 in the X-T30.
Video: The Fujifilm X-T20 offered 4K UHD video recording and the X-T30 adds a higher resolution DCI 4K video recording option in addition to offering improved autofocus features and performance. Further, the X-T30 adds a 1080/120p recording option, whereas the X-T20 was capped at 60 frames per second. With respect to video fidelity and color, the X-T30 offers 4:2:2 10-bit video out via HDMI and includes the Eterna Film Simulation, features both lacking on the X-T20.
Fuji X-T30 Pricing and Availability
The Fujifilm X-T30 will be available in three color schemes: black, silver and charcoal silver. The first two options, black and silver, will be available in March in body only and kit options. The body will have a suggested retail price of $899 USD in the United States and $1,199.99 CAD in Canada. There will be two kits, each offering a zoom lens. One will come with an XC 15-45mm lens and will sell for $999 and $1,299.99 in the United States and Canada respectively. The second will come with the XF 18-55mm lens with prices of $1,299 USD and $1,699.99 CAD. The charcoal silver X-T30, which will be available in the same body only and kit options, will be arriving in stores in June.
Buy the Fujifilm X-T30
$499.32 (80% less)
24.2 MP (8% less)
Also has viewfinder
$1699.00 (47% more)
24.3 MP (7% less)
Also has viewfinder