I have been testing Fujifilm X-T/two digits models since the beginning of the series. And I remember my skepticism when the Fujifilm Canadian representatives of the time have presented me the first mock-up of the X-T10. But my mind gradually been transformed to a better opinion when I have really started to work with the Fujifilm X-T10 camera model. And simply because the X-T/2digits are compact, competent and reliable cameras that deliver excellent picture results.
The Fujifilm X-T30 offers essentially the same camera body configuration compare to the preceded ones X-T10, X-T20 although the replacement of the previous D-Pad by a joystick of the back side of the camera requires a certain user\’s adaptation. For the rest, similarities with the X-T10 or X-T20 are including the use of the same battery packs, external flashes, optional hand grip and accessories and, accordingly, the same X-mount lens system. Fujifilm have not incorporated an internal camera body image stabilization system (reserved for the newest X-S10 model). This can be partially compensated by selecting Fuji X-mount lenses that have already an optical image stabilization (IOS) functionality.
Many changes done on the newest Fujifilm X-T30 are less apparent but can be decisive regarding the video use of the model but as usual, since I am not a videographer, this small review will voluntary not mentioning these X-T30 abilities. I have no doubt that others internet camera reviewers will give all that interesting inputs about the video capacities of the Fujifilm X-T30.
With its 26MP image sensor, the Fujifilm will equal the same picture quality standard as its big brothers, the X-T3 and X-T4 models. The complete film simulation selection is available on the X-T30 as for the advanced optional picture effects. You can choose to set a specific ISO sensor sensibility or let the camera do it (with the possibility to configure its ISO upper limit and its minimum shutter speed bias). The autofocus system has been also upgraded to be more reactive for action situations or spontaneous picture taking moments.
For the rest, you can easily refer to my longer review on the Fujifilm X-T20 camera model which was a classical on its own. The new joystick that is replacing the older D-Pad is operating almost in the same manner it already does on the Fujifilm X-E3 model. The viewfinder and the back-tilting viewing screen are performing with the same definition level, so no surprise there or major upgrading.
Angular body design
Oppose to others design tendency, the Fujifilm X-T30 camera body present a somewhat angular shape that may rebut some people looking for a more comfortable rounded one. The front grip of the X-T30 is minimalist although it can be increased by adding an optional (and costly!) supplemental hand grip. But despite its first look impression, the Fujifilm X-T30 is real compact camera with a good (one hand) handling except may be if you couple it with a larger size or a heavier lens. In that case the optional hand grip will surely help and secure the prehension of the camera/lens combination.
Control dials and push function buttons can be managed with confidence, but their location may ask you some kind of manual adaptation. The on/off switch is surrounding the shutter release button on which a traditional shutter release cable can be screwed in place. The signalization marking of the shutter speed and the drive setting on their respective dials are very explicit by themselves as for the AUTO activating switch.
There is no usual MODE dial on this Fujifilm X-T30 as the camera will automatically switch on aperture priority when you are selecting a specific aperture value on the lens and the same logic will occur when you are choosing a particular shutter speed (shutter speed priority). In the case you are manually setting both the aperture and the shutter speed, the Fujifilm X-T30 will configure itself into the fully manual exposure metering mode with indications of over or under exposure. The usual focus mode selector is available in front of the Fujifilm X-T30 camera body. So, all the possibilities are available concerning the degree of manually controlling the parameters of the X-T30 and that is including the exposure sensibility (through multifunction back or front control dials or via quick (Q) menu). However the Q pushbutton is by far too easily triggered by involuntary pressure of your holding thumb.
The back side of the X-T30 has less push buttons of the previous models (X-T10, X-T20) with the presence of a new joystick. The Fujifilm X-T30 is a very versatile camera and it is almost impossible not to find a way to configure it for every different picture taking situation. The possibilities of the X-T30 should exceed the needs for most photographers (including myself!).
The electronic viewfinder (EVF) is clean, well definite and adjust its information presentation to horizontal and vertical framing, a nice Fujifilm feature. The tilting viewing back-screen can work perfectly into waist-level or tripod photo taking requirement as for \”over the crowd\” viewing contexts. The informative data are complete, and presentation can be customized.
The battery/memory card access is located into the bottom of the camera which is not a perfect solution for the SD card access. You may also have noticed the tripod screw socket is not centered with the lens mount which is not an optimal solution. A small retractable flash unit is incorporated into the Fujifilm X-T30 camera body and can be assimilated as a \”fill-in\” or as an emergency flash. There is a hot shot socket with dedicated contacts for an optional external (Fuji compatible) electronic flash unit.
The \”Preset\” advantage (a vintage way to photograph!)
Having the possibility to preset your basic parameters without looking to your viewfinder or your Live view back screen such as in selecting your shutter speed or your lens aperture can be very handy for photographers that want to keep their fully attention to not only their main subject but also to the context surrounding it. This is particularly true during a photo reportage. As an ex-photo-reporter, I can testify that presetting your camera can save your working day and … your butt! Today the technological automation advantage must not let you forget the importance to select specific parameters i.e. shutter speed or lens aperture for example) to get a decent picture.
The Fujifilm X-T30 has maintained the traditional control dials for shutter speed and exposure correction (but yes, the ISO analog selector is absent although you can use a multifunctional control dial in front or back of the camera to do so). So, the transition from older analog-film cameras is fairly easy and the reverse is also true especially in regard for the increase of interest for traditional film still photography.
Live Experiences with the X-T30
I have frequently travelled during my modest life and during all these years, I have developed a special attraction for more compact cameras of any kind because of their easiest in bringing them and their obvious discrete presence. As an interchangeable lens camera (ILC) the Fujifilm X-T30 is remarkable compact size photo device. Couple with smaller lenses it permits you to be less intrusive facing different subjects and allow you to realize more spontaneous pictures. In that sense the Fujifilm X-T30 model replicate the good experiences I have with the previous Fujifilm X-T20 and X-T10 models.
If you are looking for a good picture taking companion that is not proclaiming your presence among your surroundings, the Fujifilm X-T30 could be a logic choice. It is not a heavy and big sized photographic device and couple with a more compact lens it could be a very productive and creative photo option. Although nothing is really perfect and may need a certain learning curve, the results you can obtain with the X-T30 may fulfill and more your photographic goals.
As we are facing the new social challenges generated by the actual sanitary Mondial situation with the Covid-19 limitations, it is paramount to be able to continue documenting our surrounding work as a present testimony of our world. Future generations have to understand the present challenges. I can only emphasize the photographer responsibility to record and preserve these special times.
I can only hope that Fujifilm will preserve the X-T/2 digits series heritage with further similar models. Not that I want to depreciate the X-S series models, but it remains part of the very original Fujifilm heritage to be still offering models with more analog interface as it was with the X-T1 and X-T10 first models.