Unveiled: The Compact X30 Updates Fujifilm’s X Series

Share

With a fistful of improvements and a couple of “nice touches,” Fujifilm has updated its compact X-series, fixed-lens camera. Stepping in to replace the X20, the Fujifilm X30 Digital Camera retains the major components of its predecessor as well as its handsome, dial-centric, retro styling, but updates the viewfinder, adds a second lens ring for faster adjustments, a new longer-lasting battery, and even a new “Classic Chrome” mode to its wonderful set of film-simulation effects.  

"The X30 has a unique image-stabilization mechanism that shifts five lens elements to compensate for camera shake―by up to four stops."

As with all the X-series cameras, including the high-end mirrorless models, the X30 utilizes X-Trans sensor technology, in this case, a 12MP 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II sensor. The X-Trans sensor uses microlenses and a unique randomized pixel array to avoid the use of a resolution-reducing optical low-pass filter. The sensor, in combination with the EXR Processor II, creates images with particular clarity and sharp details. Speed is also a calling card of this sensor/processor combination, including its fast Intelligent Hybrid autofocus system, which is listed as able to reach focus in just 0.06 of a second. Additionally, the shutter lag time of 0.015 of a second, shooting interval of 0.5 seconds, and 12 fps continuous shooting speed indicate the advanced performance possible with this point-and-shoot.

The X30, like X20 before it, features an impressive fixed lens with 28-112mm focal-length equivalence and a fast maximum aperture of f/2.0-2.8. At the wide-angle end of its zoom range, the f/2.0 aperture is very effective in low light and enables shallow depth-of-field control. A maximum f/2.8 aperture at the telephoto end is also notably fast, particularly for a point-and-shoot camera. The X30 has a unique image-stabilization mechanism that shifts five lens elements to compensate for camera shake―by up to four stops. The innovative image stabilization system also reduces the vignetting and loss of image resolution that often results from shake compensation.

New to the X30’s lens structure is a second control ring. The first ring, which was also featured on the X20, provides manual control of the zoom and is a very welcomed feature for anyone comfortable with shooting DSLR or mirrorless cameras. The new second ring is positioned behind the zoom ring and allows immediate control of aperture and shutter-speed settings without removing your eye from your subject or finagling with buttons and menus. Also, by pushing the control ring button you can assign numerous other functions such as ISO, white balance, and film-simulation mode to the control ring. This is a great tool for those who want more of an intuitive and immediate sense of control over their images.

For image composition and playback, the X30 offers both a 3.0" 920K-dot Tilting LCD screen and the new Real Time OLED Viewfinder with a high-resolution 2.36M-dot resolution. This bright and fast viewfinder provides a large 0.65x magnification factor and a display lag time of just 0.005 of a second. Those multiple zeros indicate that the X30 is solving a persistent problem of electronic viewfinders―their image delay between shots. The live view displayed by the EVF lets you see changes made to images before shooting and can be set to reflect shooting conditions or offer a natural view approximating that which is seen by the naked eye. A diopter is supported and the eye sensor of the viewfinder not only automatically turns on the EVF when your eye touches it, but automatically switches the visible information when the camera is positioned vertically or horizontally. A dedicated lens in the viewfinder improves visibility and controls brightness based on ambient light levels.

Full 1080p video at 60, 50, 30, and 24 fps with a bit rate of 36 Mbps is supported by the X30 and it features the ability to manually focus and adjust aperture and shutter speed during recording. An output for an external microphone is provided for better audio recording. The X30 also offers interval recording up to 999 frames over 24 hours. Additional features include electronic level, live histogram, focus peaking, Super Macro mode with focusing to 0.04" and advanced filters for creative control. The X-series cameras have always offered Film Simulation modes, which replicate the specific tones and characteristics of famous Fujifilm emulsions such as Velvia and Astia. The X30 provides 11 film-simulation options, including the new Classic Chrome mode, which offers the muted tones and deep color reproduction created by reversal films of years gone by.

By utilizing the free Fujifilm Camera Remote app and the X30’s built-in wireless communication function, you can control the camera’s functions, including focus and shutter release from your smartphone or tablet. Built-in Wi-Fi also enables easy sharing of images to your smart device. You can transfer up to 30 images at a time in their full size or in an automatically reduced web-ready size. Auto image back-up saves your images to your Wi-Fi enabled PC and you can set up your camera to acquire location data from your smartphone to geotag your images.

The lightweight, die-cast magnesium-alloy body of the X30 is styled as a retro rangefinder and features two top plate dials, six function buttons, and the “Q” button on the back for fast access to regularly used controls. A built-in pop-up flash and a hot-shoe mount are supported on this very restrained but elegant compact camera. Finally, the X30 features a new long-lasting battery with approximately 470 photos per charge, and uses a supplied micro USB cable for charging. The X30 is available in Black or Silver models.

Image Sensor 2/3" X-Trans II CMOS Sensor with primary color filter
Effective Pixels 12MP
Maximum Resolution 4000 x 3000
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1
Still Image File Format JPEG (Exif Ver 2.3); RAW (RAF Format)
Storage Media 55MB Internal memory; SD / SDHC / SDXC(UHS-I) memory cards
Card Slot 1x SD card slot
Lens Type Fujinon 
Focal Length (35mm Equivalent) 28-112mm
Optical Zoom 4x
Aperture Range f/2.0-2.8 to f/11
Lens Construction 11 elements in 9 groups including 3 aspherical lenses
Diaphragm Blades 7
Minimum Focusing Distance Normal: 1.6' (50 cm); Macro: 3.9" (10 cm); Super Macro 0.4" (1 cm)
Filter Thread Diameter N/A
Digital Zoom 2x
Image Stabilization Lens shift type
Viewfinder Type OLED color viewfinder
Frame Coverage 100%
Magnification 0.65x
Eyepoint 17.5mm (from the rear end of the camera's eyepiece)
Diopter Adjustment  -4m-1 to +2m-1
Shutter Speed 30 sec to 1/4000 sec  (1/1000 sec at full aperture)
Drive Modes Single, Continuous, Bracketing, Self-Timer
Top Continuous Shooting Rate 12 fps (max. 18 frames)
Self-Timer 2 sec, 10 sec
Exposure Metering System TTL 256-zone metering
Metering Method Multi / Spot / Average
Metering Range Not Supplied by Manufacturer
Exposure Modes Programmed AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual exposure
Exposure Compensation -3.0EV - +3.0EV 1/3EV step (movie recording : -2.0EV - +2.0EV)
Exposure Bracketing AE Bracketing : ±1/3EV, ±2/3EV, ±1EV
ISO Sensitivity Auto1, Auto2, Auto3, ISO 100 - 12800
Autofocus System Intelligent Hybrid AF (TTL contrast AF / TTL phase detection AF)
Number of Focus Points 49
Focus Modes Single AF / Continuous AF / MF
Autofocus Sensitivity Not Supplied by Manufacturer
Built-In Flash Manual pop-up flash (Super intelligent Flash)
Flash Control TTL
Flash Modes Auto, Forced Flash, Slow Synchro., Commander, Suppressed Flash, Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash, Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro., Commander, Suppressed Flash
Flash Compensation Not Supplied by Manufacturer
Flash Bracketing Not Supplied by Manufacturer
External Flash Interface Hot shoe (Dedicated TTL Flash compatible)
White Balance Modes Auto, Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light, Underwater, Custom, Color temperature selection
White Balance Bracketing ±1, ±2, ±3
Movie Recording 1920 x 1080 pixels / 1280 x 720 pixels (60 fps, 50 fps, 30 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps) / 640 x 480 pixels (30 fps, 25 fps)
Movie Metering TTL 256-zone metering
File Format MOV
Compression H.264
Audio Recording Stereo
Audio File Format  Linear PCM
External Microphone Input Yes, 2.5mm, stereo mini connector
Headphone Jack N/A
Maximum Recording Time Not Supplied by Manufacturer
Monitor 3.0" 920K-dot, Tilt type color LCD monitor, aspect ratio 3:2
Monitor Viewing Angle Not Supplied by Manufacturer
Interface USB2.0 / micro USB, HDMI mini connector (Type D), 2.5mm, stereo mini connector
Wi-Fi Yes, IEEE 802.11b / g / n (standard wireless protocol)
GPS Yes, via smartphone
Power Source NP-95 Li-ion battery
Battery Life Approximately 470 frames 
Operating Environment 32°F - 104°F (0 - 40°C ); 10 - 80% humidity (no condensation)
Dimensions  4.7 x 2.8 x 2.4" (118.7 x 71.6 x 60.3 mm)
Weight 14.9 oz (423g) including battery and memory card

Items discussed in article

Add new comment

Delighted with my X 10 and don't want to part with it. Can I convert to Infrared?

Converting a camera to infrared is something that you'd have to search around online to see if any companies offer that service for your camera.  Keep in mind in doing so that you would void the warranty, and the camera would only be able to be used for infrared purposes.    You may wish to look into the conversion services that are available online (click here), and see which cameras they offer conversion services on, and then possibly search for a used version of one of those cameras so as not to damage a nicer camera such as your X10 (since you mentioned not wanting to part with it).

I'm a professional artist photographer considering an off duty wepon

Looks like the X30 is still lacking a built in ND filter like it's big brother the X100s?

It seems that way yes.  The camera does have the option to add the LH-X10 which is a lens hood/filter adapter, and will allow you to use 52mm sized filters on the lens.