The Fujifilm X20, introduced in January 2013, was a pretty impressive camera. With a 2/3″ X-Trans sensor, relatively fast 28-112mm equivalent F2-2.8 lens, and a design that fitted right in with the company’s other X-series models, it was a refreshing alternatives to other premium compacts.
While not a huge leap forward, Fujifilm’s X30 has some noticeable changes, including a move from an optical to electronic viewfinder as well as adding an articulated LCD. The X30 also gains a ring around its lens for adjusting settings, as well as a dedicated movie record button. The ‘guts’ of the X30 remain the same, meaning that it has a 12MP X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II. One of our main complaints about the X20 – battery life – has been dramatically improved on the X30.
FUJIFILM X30 KEY FEATURES
- 12MP 2/3″-type X-Trans CMOS II sensor (8.8 x 6.6mm)
- EXR Processor II
- 28-112mm equiv. F2.0-2.8 lens with manual zoom adjustment
- Hybrid (contrast + phase detection) autofocus system
- ISO 100-3200, expandable to 12800 (JPEG only)
- Six customizable buttons plus ring around lens
- 36M dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.65x (equiv.) magnification
- 0″ 920k dot 3:2 tilting LCD
- 12 fps continuous shooting
- Addition of ‘Classic Chrome’ Film Simulation Mode
- Built-in Wi-Fi including remote control from a smartphone or tablet
- Full HD movie recording (1080/60p, 36Mbps bit rate), with built-in stereo microphone and external mic input
That’s an impressive list of specs for a camera with an MSRP of $599. We’ve been using X-Trans sensors for a while now and have been impressed with their quality, though they don’t tend to handle green tones terrible well. The EXR Processor II performs well, with snappy focusing and a fast burst mode. The only areas in which the camera feels sluggish are menu navigation and wake-from-sleep (which is slow on most Fujifilm cameras).
While a lot of people love their optical viewfinders, the one on the X20 wasn’t terribly good. The X30 has a beautiful XGA OLED viewfinder that’s quite large for this class. The rear LCD is also nice, and now has the ability to tilt upward by a little more than 90 degrees and downward by 45.
Fujifilm has expanded its selection of Film Simulation modes with the addition of ‘Classic Chrome’, which simulates the appearance of Kodachrome (though for licensing reasons, Fujifilm can’t say that). The camera lets you bracket for film similation modes (among other things) and you can also change it using the in-camera Raw processor.
One final addition is Wi-Fi, which is nearly standard on enthusiast cameras in 2014. Using the Fujifilm Camera Remote app you can control the camera, download photos, or add location data