Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless Digital Camera Review
Fujifilm has been producing exceptional flagship mirrorless cameras ever since the X-T1 and X-Pro2 cameras hit the market. Since then they have continued to focus on regular updates with the latest and greatest technology that they can muster.
Fortunately for consumers, a similar approach has also been applied to the next tier of Fujifilm X System cameras.
The Fujifilm X-T10 and X-T20 provided consumers with a more affordable camera system, featuring most of the same great capabilities as the flagship bodies.
The most recent Fujifilm X-T30 has set new standards, with a range of features and performance that comes close to its big brother the Fujifilm X-T3.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is an incredible camera at an affordable price that is ideal for anyone from enthusiast to professional.
Its stylish design, superb build and amazing capabilities for both photography and video make it a firm favourite of photographers seeking a smaller, light-weight mirrorless camera that doesn’t compromise on quality.
Let’s dive into the Fujifilm X-T30 review.
Fujifilm X-T30 Specs
- Fully featured
- Gorgeous retro design
- Snappy autofocus performance
- Placement of bottom screw mount
- Limited thumb real-estate
- 26 Megapixel X-Trans CMOS IV sensor & X-Processor Pro 4
- Touchscreen operation
- Focus Lever for selecting focus points
- 3.0-inch touchscreen and flip LCD (1,040K-dot)
- 2,360K-dot OLED colour viewfinder
- Wireless communication with Bluetooth®**
- 4K Video recording
- Single SD card slot
- 118.4mm (W) x 82.8mm (H) x 46.8mm (D) / 4.66″ (W) x 3.26″ (H) x 1.84″ (D)
- 383g / 13.5 oz. (including battery and memory card)
The Fujifilm X-T30 was released in March 2019 with firmware enhancements including superior autofocus that outpaced even the Fujifilm X-T3. Fortunately, the X-T3 caught up with a firmware update not long after.
This is a testament to Fujifilm’s Kaizen or continuous improvement approach to ensure that their products are as good as they can possibly be.
Build & Appearance
As seen with the past generations of the Fujifilm X-T10 and X-T20, the Fujifilm X-T30 is of exceptional build quality.
Typical of Fujifilm, it also has that same gorgeous retro design and styling.
The body is made from a strong alloy as is evident on the base plate, the whole top plate and even under the tilting flip screen. The remainder of the surface space is wrapped in a textured rubber made to represent the look of leather and provide greater grip.
All of the buttons and dials are equally well designed and located around the camera body.
Starting with the top plate, there are three notable command dials that are pretty consistent with the X-T range of Fujifilm cameras. A drive dial, shutter speed dial and exposure compensation dial grace the top of the camera.
The rear of the camera is dominated by the 3-inch tilting LCD touchscreen. The 1,040K dot screen is vibrant and bright even in sunny conditions.
Further to this is the 2,360K dot colour viewfinder, which provides a suitable level of magnification information when in use.
These are both features of the Fujifilm X-T3 and bring the Fujifilm X-T30 up to flagship-level in this regard.
The front and rear of the camera feature sub-command dials that can be fully customisable, allowing for you to set full control of key features such as ISO, Film Simulation and Aperture to override the lens, etc.
Other features are assigned their own buttons, and again, most are customisable to suit your needs.
There is a built-in flash in the X-T30 that is accessed via the switch located under the drive dial. The flash is hidden under the hot-shoe box in front of the EVF.
This camera operates on the Fujifilm NP-W126S battery that slides into the same door that houses the snug SD cardholder.
I would have liked to have seen the screw mount located on the bottom of the camera to be centre aligned with the sensor. This would also enable the camera to be attached to a tripod without blocking the battery/SD door.
Ergonomics & Handling
In most ways, the Fujifilm X-T30 is just a smaller version of the Fujifilm X-T3, but one that is just as feature-packed and capable.
I was instantly comfortable with the menu system used for this camera. It has the same feel and flow and in most cases options available as on the other Fujifilm camera bodies.
I was also easily able to find menu settings that I prefer and further to this I found it quick and simple to customise the buttons and dials on the camera to my liking.
From an ergonomics perspective, it took me some time to get used to the smaller form of the camera. Keep in mind that I predominantly shoot with a Fujifilm X-T3, which is a bigger camera with more space for my hands and fingers to fit comfortably.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is easy to grip thanks to the grip bump at the front edge of the camera and the thumb rest at the rear of the camera.
I did find that I often hit the Q menu button accidentally which is mounted flush on the top of the thumb rest. There is very little space for my thumb to sit comfortably for a long time without bumping the Q button.
Gone is the usual D-pad featured on most cameras and in its place is the tiny joystick that can be used to move focus points, navigate menus and set functions.
Aside from this, there is a great arrangement of buttons for various standard functions. All are appropriately spaced and make a nice returning click when pressed.
The top plate features three prominent command dials and each has a firm amount of resistance with a noticeable click as you turn them. The dials have been well-proportioned to the size of the camera body and are easy to access and control.
Given that the Fujifilm X-T30 houses the latest X-Processor Pro 4, it boasts an incredibly capable and speedy autofocus system. (Again, this is the same processor (and sensor) that is on-board the Fujifilm X-T3 flagship body.)
Autofocus on this camera is incredibly fast and accurate and through the use of the various autofocus modes, subjects can be quickly tracked and captured continuously.
Focus points can be set via the use of the joystick located on the back of the camera. Equally, a focus point can be set via the use of the rear touch screen.
I found this really effective if I was shooting from the hip and wanted to hold the camera low whilst choosing a focal point.
The LCD touchscreen can be set to purely focus on the point you select, or focus and take the shot. While this is a fantastic addition to the camera’s features, I found that when I held the camera up to my face to frame my shot in the EVF, my nose or even cheek would move the focus point.
In the end, I had to disable to touch screen feature completely to prevent this from happening.
In low light conditions, I did not have any issues with this camera attaining and holding focus. A lot of the focus performance obviously depends on the lens involved in the shot, but I found that there was no focus hunting when shooting in low light, regardless.
Another feature worthy of mention is that the Fujifilm X-T30 incorporates eye and face detect. I found this a great feature to activate when shooting children and trying to get maximum sharpness.
Low Light Performance
The Fujifilm X-T30 has great low light performance with an ISO range of 160 up to 12,800.
The ISO function includes three preset bands of Auto ISO control that are set-and-forget, depending on the lighting conditions. Under extended sensitivity settings, the ISO can extend to 51,200.
From my testing with this camera, I found low light performance to be solid, and that the RAW files were highly recoverable even when underexposed considerably.
Even at higher levels of ISO, the images were not overly grainy nor polluted with excess noise.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is employing the latest and greatest Fujifilm sensor and processor available to the X Series cameras. Aside from the Fujifilm X-T3, no other Fujifilm camera currently has this level of technology.
To say that this camera produces excellent image quality is an understatement. The advanced sensor and processor are pulling in a significant amount of information and constructing optically brilliant images.
Many Fujifilm photographers are big fans of the quality of Fujifilm JPEGs and the use of colour technology.
Straight out of camera JPEGs can be edited and enhanced in-camera and can be shot with any of the wonderful Fujifilm Film Simulations. A
lternatively, you can shoot in RAW and work with the highly pliable files in Lightroom or other image editing software, to create your own look.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is a brilliant little camera that will surprise any user with its overall performance and capacity to produce exceptional image quality.
This camera can be paired with any of the Fujifilm X Series lenses and can be employed in any genre of photography.
The X-T30 is highly responsive to the needs of the photographer from its start-up time to its ability to shoot up to 8 frames per second continuously with the mechanical shutter.
With the electronic shutter, the camera can achieve a staggering 30 frames per second with a 1.25 crop.
I found that even with a standard SD card, the buffering was able to keep pace for a few seconds before it started to slow down. I was not disappointed by this as it is a feature I rarely use.
Another worthy mention for the Fujifilm X-T30 is its video capabilities – it can shoot 4K(4096×2160) at 30fps for up to 10 minutes.
There is a range of other video recording options included shooting at full HD at 60fps for up to 15 minutes.
These video features provide a full range of creative options for movie recording – check out the video above for a deeper look at the video performance of this impressive camera.
Value for Money
The Fujifilm X-T30 is exceptional value for money in its own right.
It is a fully-featured and highly capable mirrorless camera that houses most of the core capabilities of the Fujifilm X-T3.
It has the same processor, same sensor, same OVF and LCD touch screen as the Fujifilm flagship body which is a considerable step up in price.
If you are looking for the body only, the Fujifilm X-T30 currently retails for around $,1500.
Alternatively, you can get this camera in a bundle with the Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens for around $1,900 – see here. If you are in the market for a complete entry-level kit this bundle offer is great value.
Fujifilm X-T30 Review | Conclusion
It is no wonder that the Fujifilm X-T30 is an industry recognised and award winning camera.
Fujifilm has managed to develop an incredibly stylish and durable camera body and packed it full of features that will impress even experienced photographers.
This little mirrorless camera has exceptional performance that will result in fantastic image quality.
Regardless of your shooting style, the speedy autofocus, customisable menu and overall ease of use will be evident.
The X-T30 is the sort of camera that I recommend people to pick up and use if they have lost the joy of photography.
If you want to go back to basics with full manual control of ISO, aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation in a camera that features the latest Fujifilm technology, then the Fujifilm X-T30 is a must.
Similarly, if you are new to photography and want to do it right the first time around, you cannot go wrong with a camera like this.
Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post may contain affiliate links.