Fujifilm X30: Your money’s worth

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Review by Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla First published in Speed January 2015

Fujifilm has been on a streak of sorts with both its fixed lens X100 variants and its interchangeable-lens X-T1 bodies. So, it’s easy to miss the midrange point-and-shoot that is the X30. Styled in a similar retro look and feel and all-metal body, the X30 is more intuitive and versatile than the X100S or X100T because it has a bit more zoom, good automatic features, and all the filters and effects that your heart could desire. For shooters who need an all-around compact and stylish that will yield great photos in almost all conditions, it is hard to beat the X30, especially because it is half the price of the more prosumer X100S. There’s a new control ring, along with extra dials and function buttons. Control extends in terms of functionality with the tilting LCD and improved battery performance that’s good for 470 photos on a single charge. This is the sweet spot for a day’s worth of shots without having to carry an extra battery pack. The X30 has smarts, too, with the Wi-Fi connectivity option to offload images to connected smartphones and tablets for quick editing and sharing. The X30 is also user-focused, the OLED viewfinder is clear and accurate, and makes it hard to go back to simply using the LCD monitor to compose shots. Zoom is not outstanding but usable in most conditions. This small camera can manage up to 12 frames per second, although it isn’t the type of camera that I would personally use for high-impact sports or action photography. For portraits, landscapes, street photography, food and product shots and moderate actions shots, the X30 will deliver good photos and videos. I shot the X30 mostly wide at its f/2.0 aperture and was very happy with the results. Detail is vivid and almost filmic, which is exactly the point. Fujifilm wants to reintroduce us to the joy of shooting great photos but obviously without the film aspect. Various film modes replicate some of Fujifilm’s more legendary film products to create desired effects and moods. When used with purpose and planning, you can coax impressive performance out of the X30, rivaling that of more expensive DSLRs matched with high-end lenses and filters.