The X-T30 is a big improvement on its predecessor and for many photographers could be a viable alternative to the more expensive X-T3, which is almost twice its price. But you miss out on the weatherproofing, there’s only one SD slot and it’s in the battery compartment, where it’s a tight fit.
Announced on Valentine’s day in 2019, Fujifilm’s X-T30 follows the established tradition of bringing out a smaller, cheaper version of its premium compact cameras. With a body weighing only 383 grams with battery and card installed and the same 26.1 megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor as used in the X-T3, the new camera provides an alternative to the higher-priced model and would be ideal as a second camera in a kit based around the X-T3.
The Fujifilm X-T30, shown with the XF 18-55mm lens. (Source: Fujifilm.)
Like its predecessors, the X-T30 will be available in all-black or black and silver. A new Charcoal Silver body will be released in May. The camera will be offered as a body alone or in a kit with the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens at an RRP of AU$2199.
We reviewed the X-T30 with the recently-released XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR lens, which is reviewed separately.
Who’s it for?
With a body that is smaller and lighter than the X-T3 but many similar features, the X-T30 will appeal to serious photographers who can’t afford the X-T3 as well as owners of other X-mount cameras who would like an additional body with all the latest technology. It won’t suit those who require weatherproofing and isn’t suitable for rank novices or technologically-challenged users.
Improvements to video capabilities could make the X-T30 appealing to stills photographers who also enjoy shooting movies, since the X-T30 can record 4K/30p video with high-resolution audio without requiring additional equipment. In addition, at 4:2:0 8-bit video can be recorded directly to an SDXC card.
Other video advantages include support for the DCI format (17:9), F-log recording and the ability to output 4:2:2 10-bit video via the camera’s HDMI port. These features enable the X-T30 to be used for semi-professional video production.
Resolution and performance improvements come via the 26.1 megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, which is also used in the X-T3 and is coupled with a quad-core X Processor 4. Both are covered in our review of that camera. These improvements should enable the X-T30 to deliver images with similar colour reproduction and low noise performance to those from the X-T3.
They also extend the native sensitivity to ISO 160, which is available for both JPEGs and when shooting RAF.RAW files. Film Simulation options now include the ETERNA mode, adjustments are available for both ACROS and Monochrome settings and users can take advantage of the Color Chrome mode to obtain deeper colours and gradations.
Significant improvements (outlined below) have been made to the hybrid AF system through the X-Processor 4 engine coupled with AF algorithm enhancement to boost accuracy in face/eye detection. A Face Select function has been introduced to provide prioritise focus on a selected person when multiple faces are detected within a frame.
The on-sensor phase detection AF area now covers the entire frame (approx. 100%), and the number of phase detection pixels is increased to 2,160,000, with 425 selectable points making it easy to focus quickly and accurately anywhere in the frame. The low light limit for phase detection AF has been expanded from +0.5EV to -3EV, enabling autofocusing in very low light levels.
Six pre-set focus tracking scenarios are available for the AF-C mode. Set 1 (the default) is a multi-purpose that deals with most common situations. Set 2 instructs the AF system to ignore obstacles and continue tracking the selected subject. Set 3 is for accelerating and decelerating subjects, Set 4 is used to pick up focus on subjects that appear suddenly in the frame. Set 5 is for erratic movement, while set 6 can be customised to suit specific situations and contains adjustments to tracking speed, sensitivity and zone or area switching.
Face and eye detection are also supported and users can customise a button for face selection and prioritise the right or left eye. When Intelligent Face Detection is enabled, the camera will automatically switch to the nearest person if the selected subject’s face is not visible.
The Advanced SR Auto mode has been improved to match the camera’s enhanced AF performance. In this mode, which appears to be the default setting when the camera is delivered, the camera automatically chooses the optimum shooting settings for a given scene from 58 presets, so its presence suggests the X-T30 is more focused on snapshooters than serious enthusiasts.
Refinements to the X-T30’s body design have delivered greater stability when holding the camera, while the addition of the Focus Lever (joystick) allows for extra grip space at the rear to improve comfort and stability. The LCD monitor is 1.3 mm thinner than the screen on the X-T20 and provides a better touchscreen response.
Build and Ergonomics
Superficially, there’s not much difference between the X-T30 and the X-T20, although the new camera is marginally thinner. The front panels of both cameras are virtually identical with the only controls being the focus mode adjustment lever at the lower left hand edge of the lens mount and the clickable control dial just below the shutter release.
Front view of the X-T30 (black version) with no lens fitted. (Source: Fujifilm.)
The top panels of both cameras are essentially the same. The auto/manual mode selector from the X-T20 carries over into the new camera and it appears the default setting is auto, which disables most of the shooting controls.
To set the regular P/A/S/M shooting modes and access key functions like ISO sensitivity and raw file recording you MUST be in manual mode (with this lever pushed forward). This lever is not found on the X-T3 body.
Top view of the X-T30 (black version) with no lens fitted. (Source: Fujifilm.)
Two changes have been made on the rear panel. The Q (Quick Menu) button has been moved to sit on the thumb rest on the top right hand corner, its place being taken by a new focus stick lever.
Rear view of the X-T30 (silver version). (Source: Fujifilm.)
The OLED EVF is the same as in the X-T3, with a resolution of 3,690,000 dots, although its default refresh rate is 60 fps, with a boost setting taking it to 100 fps, the same as the X-T3’s. The ‘Sports finder mode’ function is also available, with blackout-free high-speed continuous shooting at up to 30 fps with the 1.25x frame crop (equivalent to 16.6 million pixels). It is only available with the electronic shutter.
The monitor screen offers the same three-way tilt as the X-T3 and has the same overall size and 3:2 aspect ratio, 1,040,000-dot resolution and 100% frame coverage. It has a touch-panel overlay that offers standard touch controls.
The menu system is similar to the X-T20‘s with three pages each devoted to image quality and focus, two shooting settings pages, four movie settings pages and one each for flash and setup. In playback mode there’s s single page covering playback and another with transfer and setup operations.
The battery and card compartment is in the usual place in the base of the camera, below the grip moulding. It’s effectively identical to the one in the X-T20 and rather cramped, making the card difficult to extract.
The battery is the same NP-W126S lithium-ion rechargeable pack as the X-T3’s but power consumption is the X-T30 is marginally higher. It’s CIPA rated at 380 shots/charge, compared with 390 shots/charge for the X-T3.
A Type C USB connector, mini HDMI (Type D) and 2.5 mm external microphone or remote release, are located in a dedicated compartment in the left hand side panel. Like its predecessors, the X-T30 has no provision for an optional vertical battery grip.
Like the X-T3 and the X-T20, the X-T30 combines a mechanical shutter encompassing a range between 60 seconds and 1/4000 second with an electronic shutter that covers from four seconds to 1/32000 seconds. With the mechanical shutter, the X-T30’s burst speed is limited to 8 fps, and at full resolution, the buffer can accommodate approximately 90 JPEGs or 18 raw files.
When the electronic shutter is used, the X-T30 includes a 1.25x cropped frame mode with reduced resolution of 16 megapixels. In this mode, it can reach burst speeds of 30 fps with a buffer depth of 26 JPEGs or 17 raw files.
Alternatively, if you need a larger buffer memory for JPEGs, a 20 fps frame rate is available, which increases the buffer depth to 32 frames. The buffer depth for raw files remains at 17 frame. In the cropped frame mode, the electronic shutter can also provide a blackout-free view with a refresh rate of 40 fps or 60 fps.
The X-T20 introduced 4K movie recording to Fujifilm’s mid-range cameras, but the X-T30 takes it a lot further. As in the X-T20, recording is accessible via the drive dial on the top plate.
Like the X-T3, the X-T30 records movies at 6K resolution (6240 x 3510 pixels) and downsamples it to produce high-quality 4K (3810 x 2160 pixels) footage. Both cameras include the DCI 4K format (4096 x 2160 pixels) but the X-T3 can record UHD 4K movies at 50 fps, whereas the X-T30 is limited to 4K at 30p.
In addition, the 4K 30p recording bit rate for the X-T30 is slower at 200Mbps. which is half the rate of the X-T3. Recording times are also shorter, with a maximum of 10 minutes in 4K or 15 minutes in Full HD for the X-T30, while the X-T3 can record for 20 minutes in 4K/50fps or 30 minutes in 4K/30fps or Full HD.
Both cameras include internal features such as Fujifilm’s F-Log profile, adjustments to dynamic range, Zebra patterns, the ETERNA film simulation mode, 4K inter frame noise reduction and digital high-bit-depth sound (24-bit 480Khz). However only the X-T3 supports HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) video recording and only the X-T3 can record 4K/50p internally at 200Mbps while sending the signal simultaneously to an external recorder.
The addition of tracking AF with adjustable point and area sizes will make a significant difference to video recordings of moving subjects. A nice feature is the ability to adjust both AF point and area sizes and take advantage of face and eye detection.
A memory card with UHS Speed Class 3 or higher is required for recording 4K movies and recording will stop when the file reaches 4GB in size. The Film Simulation modes can be used during recording and 10-bit 4:2:2 video footage can be output via HDMI to an external recorder or monitor.
Playback and Software
Playback options are the same as in the previous camera and pretty standard on the whole.
No software is bundled with the camera but links are provided to the very basic MyFinePix Studio and the ‘light’ version of the popular Capture One raw conversion software, which is available to buyers of Fujifilm’s cameras and far superior to the previously-offered Silkypix software. Raw files from this camera can also be converted into editable formats with the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw, our preferred file converter.
Imatest showed the review camera with the Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR lens to be a good partnership and resolution was able to exceed expectations for the camera’s 24-megapixel sensor with RAF.RAW files, which were converted into 16-bit TIFF files with Adobe Camera Raw. The graph below shows the results of our Imatest testing.
Low light performance was slightly better than the X-T20‘s with little in the way of noise up to ISO 6400, where the first signs of image softening were just detectable. There was a gradual deterioration in sharpness as sensitivity was increased but even shots taken at ISO 51200 would be usable at small output sizes. Exposure levels remained constant throughout the camera’s sensitivity range and both saturation and colour accuracy were retained throughout its sensitivity range.
Flash performance was generally good, although with our tests, the use of a 16mm lens meant shots were taken much closer to the subject than usual. However, many shots were unevenly exposed, with a central hot spot that was particularly obvious at low ISO settings.
There was no apparent loss of colour or contrast throughout the series of test shots. Noise also appeared to be a little less at high ISO levels, although softening was apparent at the two highest settings.
White balance performance was similar to the results we obtained from the X-T3, which isn’t surprising since both cameras have the same presets and adjustments for correcting colour casts before shooting. The auto setting produced close-to-neutral colours under fluorescent and flash lighting but, as expected, failed to eliminate the orange cast from incandescent illumination or warm-toned LED lighting.
There’s no preset for LED or flash but the tungsten present came close to removing the warm casts of LED lighting and no correction was needed for flash light. The tungsten and fluorescent pre-sets slightly over-corrected both colour casts introducing a purple/magenta bias in each case. Manual measurement produced neutral colour rendition with all three types of lighting.
Autofocusing performance was generally fast and subject tracking was very good in both bright conditions and low light levels and with low-contrast subjects. Unfortunately, being limited to a wide-angle lens, we’re unable to assess whether it’s good enough to capture action sequences.
Movie quality was significantly better than we obtained from the X-T20 although, again the lens supplied for our review was not ideal for shooting movies. Autofocusing in movie mode with the 16mm f/2.8 lens was generally much faster and more accurate than we found with the X-T20.
Audio quality was also good, given the small size of the camera’s microphones and the location in which our clips were recorded. Although the location in which we recorded or video tests was relatively immune to wind noise, unlike the X-T20, the X-T30 has a wind suppression filter, which is handy when making recordings out of doors. We were unable to test audio performance with an external microphone.
We carried out our timing tests with a 64GB Panasonic SDHC UHS-1 U3 card which has a maximum write speed of 90 MB/second and is fast enough to support 4K movie recording. The review camera took roughly one second to both power-up but shut down almost instantaneously. We measured an average capture lag of 0.16 seconds, which was eliminated with pre-focusing. Shot-to-shot times for JPEGs averaged 0.6 seconds because the camera can’t record a subsequent shot until the last one was processed.
Going by the indicator light on the rear panel, it took just over half a second on average to process each JPEG file and just under one second for each RAF.RAW file and RAW+JPEG pair.
When the mechanical shutter was used in the continuous high-speed shooting mode, the review camera recorded 91 high-resolution JPEGs in 10.59 seconds before slowing, which is close to the specified maximum rate of eight frames/second. It took just over eight seconds to clear the buffer memory.
The capture rate slowed once the camera had recorded 18 uncompressed RAF.RAW files, which were captured in 2.2 seconds in the continuous high mode. Processing time for this burst was 11.21 seconds. Recording paused after 17 RAW+JPEG frames, which were also captured in 2.2 seconds. It took 14.2 seconds to process this burst.
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Image sensor: 23.5 x 15.6 mm (APS-C) X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor with million photosites (26.1 megapixels effective)
Image processor: X Processor 4
A/D processing: 14-bit
Lens mount: Fujifilm X mount
Focal length crop factor: 1.5x
Image formats: Stills: JPEG (Exif Ver. 2.3), RAF.RAW, RAW+JPEG; Movies: MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264,Audio: Linear PCM / Stereo sound 24bit / 48KHz sampling)
Image Sizes: Stills – 3:2 ratio: 6240 x 4160, 4416 x 2944, 3120 x 2080; 16:9 ratio: 6240 x 3512, 4416x 2488, 3120x 1760; 1:1 ratio: 4160 x 4160, 2944 x 2944, 2080 x 2080; Movies: DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 200Mbps/100Mbps; 4K (3840 x 2160) at 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 200Mbps/100Mbps; Full HD (2048 x 1080) at 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 200Mbps/100Mbps; Full HD (1920 x 1080) at
59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 200Mbps/100Mbps; Full HD (1920 x 1080) High speed rec. at 120p/100p 200Mbps (recording)
Image Stabilisation: Lens based
Dust removal: Ultra Sonic Vibration
Shutter (speed range): Focal plane shutter; 30 to 1/4000 second with mechanical shutter, up to 1/32000 sec. with electronic shutter; Bulb mode up to 60 minutes; X-synch at 1/180 sec.
Exposure Compensation: +/- 5EV in 1/3EV steps (+/-2EV for movies)
Exposure bracketing: Frames: -2, -3, +3, +2, +/-9, +/-7, +/-5, +/-3 Step: 1/3EV, 2/3EV, 1EV, 4/3EV, 5/3EV, 2EV, 7/3EV, 8/3EV, 3EV
Other bracketing options: Film simulation bracketing (Any 3 types selectable), Dynamic Range Bracketing (100% · 200% · 400%), ISO sensitivity Bracketing (+/-1/3EV / +/-2/3EV / +/-1EV), White Balance Bracketing (+/-1 / +/-2 / +/-3), Focus Bracketing (Frames: 1 – 999, Step: 1-10, Interval: 0 – 10s)
Self-timer: 2 or 10 seconds delay
Interval timer: Yes (Settings: Interval, Number of shots, Starting time)
Focus system: Intelligent Hybrid AF (TTL contrast AF / TTL phase detection AF)
AF points & selection: Single point AF: EVF / LCD: 13 x 9 / 25 x 17 (Changeable size of AF frame), Zone AF: 3 x 3 / 5 x 5 / 7 x 7 from 91 areas on 13 x 9 grid, Wide/Tracking AF: (up to 18 areas), AF-S: Wide / AF-C: Tracking, All
Focus modes: Single AF (S-AF) / Continuous AF (C-AF) / Manual Focus (MF) / S-AF + MF / AF tracking (C-AF + TR) / Preset MF; C-AF lock (5 steps), AF scanner (3 types); AF targeting pad; AF limiter; 3x , 5x , 7x , 10x , 14x Magnified frame AF; face/eye detection AF; Manual focus assist (magnification and peaking)
Exposure metering: TTL 256-zone metering, with multi, spot, average and centre-weighted metering patterns
Shooting modes: P (Program AE), A (Aperture Priority AE), S (Shutter Speed Priority AE), M (Manual Exposure)
Film Simulation modes: PROVIA/Standard, Velvia/Vivid, ASTIA/Soft, Classic Chrome, PRO Neg.Hi, PRO Neg.Std, Black & White, Black & White+Ye Filter, Black & White+R Filter, Black & White+G Filter, Sepia, ACROS, ACROS+Ye Filter, ACROS+R Filter, ACROS+G Filter, ETERNA/Cinema
Other shooting modes: Advanced SR AUTO, Face / Eye detection AF, Auto Red-eye Removal, Select custom setting, Panorama, Colour space, Setting (Colour, Sharpness, D-range, Highlight tone, Shadow tone), Framing guideline, Frame No. memory, Histogram display, Preview depth of focus, Lens Modulation Optimizer, Pre-AF, Number of Focus Points setting, MF Assist, Focus check, Focus Peak Highlight, Electronic level, Multiple exposure, Release priority / Focus priority selection, Fn button setting , ISO AUTO control, Instant AF setting (AF-S/AF-C), AF-C Custom Settings, Shutter AF/AE, AF-ON, Interlock spot AE & Focus area, Focus area setting, AE-L/AF-L button setting, Edit/Save Quick menu, Preview exp./WB in manual mode, Shutter Type, Touch Screen Setting, Sports Finder Mode, Pre-Shot, Flicker Reduction
In-camera effects: Toy camera / Miniature / Pop colour / High-key / Low-key / Dynamic tone / Soft focus / Partial colour (Red / Orange / Yellow / Green / Blue / Purple)
Dynamic Range functions: AUTO, 100%, 200%, 400%
Colour space options: sRGB and Adobe RGB
ISO range: Auto (default) : LOW (approx. 64) ‐ 6400 with customisable upper limit (200 – 6400) with extension to ISO 25600 available; adjustable in 1/3 or 1 EV steps
White balance: Auto, ; +/- steps of Blue/Amber, Magenta/Green bias adjustments
Flash: GN 7 (ISO200 · m) Manual pop-up flash plus hot-shoe for TTL compatible flash
Flash modes: TTL (Auto / Standard / Slow Sync.) / Manual / Commander / Off; 1st/ 2nd curtain synch available
Flash exposure adjustment: +/- 3 EV in 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV steps
Sequence shooting: Max. 20 frames/sec. with electronic shutter at full resolution; up to 8 fps with mechanical shutter and locked AF
Buffer capacity: Max. 90 Large/Fine JPEGs, 18 RAW files or 17 RAW+JPEG pairs
Storage Media: SD, SDHC, SDXC cards (UHS-I compatible)
Viewfinder: 0.39 inch OLED colour EVF with 2,360,000 dots, 100% frame coverage, 0.62x magnification, built-in eye sensor
LCD monitor: 3.0 inch, 3:2 aspect ratio touch screen colour LCD with approx. 1,040,000 dots, 100% frame coverage
Playback functions: RAW conversion, Image rotate, Auto image rotate, Face Detection, Red-eye removal, Photobook assist, Erase selected frames, Multi-frame playback (with micro thumbnail), Slide show, Protect, Crop, Resize, Panorama, Favourites, Voice Memo Setting
Interface terminals: USB Type-C, Micro HDMI (type D), 2.5 mm stereo mini jack (microphone)
Wi-Fi function: Built-in (IEEE 802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth Ver. 4.2 (Bluetooth low energy)
Power supply: NP-W126S rechargeable Li-ion batteries in special base pack; CIPA rated for approx. 380 shots/charge
Dimensions (wxhxd): Approx. 118.4 x 82.8 x 46.8 mm (excluding protrusions)
Weight: Approx. 330 grams (body only); 383 grams with battery and card
Distributor: Fujifilm Australia; 1800 226 355; www.fujifilm.com.au
All tests carried out with Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR lens.
For JPEG files.
For RAF.RAW files processed with Adobe Camera Raw.
All shots taken with Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR lens.
Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.
Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.
Auto white balance with warm-toned LED lighting.
Auto white balance with flash lighting.
80-second exposure at ISO 80, f/4.
45-second exposure at ISO 160, f/4.
20-second exposure at ISO 800, f/4.
6-second exposure at ISO 6400, f/5.6.
6-second exposure at ISO 12800, f/8.
3-second exposure at ISO 25600, f/8.
1-second exposure at ISO 51200, f/8.
Flash exposure, ISO 80, 1/60 second at f/2.8.
Flash exposure, ISO 160, 1/60 second at f/2.8.
Flash exposure, ISO 800, 1/60 second at f/2.8.
Flash exposure, ISO 6400, 1/60 second at f/5.6.
Flash exposure, ISO 12800, 1/60 second at f/8.
Flash exposure, ISO 25600, 1/75 second at f/8.
Flash exposure, ISO 51200, 1/60 second at f/8.
ISO 160, 1/150 second at f/5.6.
ISO 160, 1/100 second at f/3.2.
ISO 800, 1/160 second at f/5.6.
Close-up, ISO 160, 1/320 second at f/2.8.
Close-up with mixed lighting, ISO 640, 1/15 second at f/5.6.
Moderate backlighting, ISO 160, 1/100 second at f/4.5.
Mixed lighting, ISO 1600, 1/15 second at f/5.6.
ISO 800, 1/10 second at f/8.
ISO 160, 1/42 second at f/5.6.
ISO 160, 1/60 second at f/5.
Still frame from DCI 4K 17:9 video clip (4096 x 2160 pixels) recorded at 25p, 200Mbps.
Still frame from DCI 4K 17:9 video clip recorded at 25p, 100Mbps.
Still frame from 4K 16:9 video clip (3840 x 2160 pixels) recorded at 25p, 200Mbps.
Still frame from 4K 16:9 video clip recorded at 25p, 100Mbps.
Still frame from Full HD video clip recorded at 50p/200Mbps.
Still frame from Full HD video clip recorded at 50p/100Mbps.
Still frame from Full HD video clip recorded at 50p/50Mbps.
Still frame from Full HD video clip recorded at 25p, 200Mbps.
Still frame from Full HD video clip recorded at 25p/100Mbps.
Still frame from Full HD video clip recorded at 25p/50Mbps.
Additional image samples can be found with our review of the XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR lens.
RRP: AU$1599; US$999 (X-T30 Body with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS: AU$2,199)
- Build: 8.9
- Ease of use: 8.7
- Autofocusing: 9.0
- Still image quality JPEG: 8.7
- Still image quality RAW: 9.0
- Video quality: 8.8