Fujifilm X-T30 Review

Fujifilm X-T30 Review: Flagship technology in the mid-range – with 26 Mpx and 2.16 million autofocus points

Fujifilm is regularly bringing the most important technologies of its flagship of the previous year into the middle class. The X-T30 offers the same image quality with 26 megapixels resolution and fourth generation X processor, as well as the same autofocus with 2.16 million phase autofocus points on the image sensor as the X-T3. The X-T30 can also record 4K video in high quality with AF-C. The touch screen, the operation (now with focus lever) and the handle have also been improved.

Short evaluation

Pros

  • High-quality case, partly made of metal and generously “leathered
  • Cleverly integrated pop-up flash
  • Good to very good image quality up to ISO 1,600
  • Wide range of functions
  • Good combination of classic “analogue” operation and fully automatic lever

Cons

  • Unfavorable placement of the Q-Menu key (updated in 2020 by firmware)
  • Unsecured exposure correction wheel too easy to move
  • Not particularly fast autofocus with focus priority

 

The Fujifilm X-T30 offers the same 26 megapixel CMOS sensor as the X-T3, also the autofocus with 2.16 million phase detection pixels was adopted. [Photo: Fujifilm]

For less than 1,000 Euros (at least for the naked camera), Fujifilm always offers the most important key features of its flagship model of the previous year in its mid-range. The Fujifilm X-T30 currently features a 26 megapixel APS-C sensor with 2.16 million integrated phase AF sensors and 4K video recording, as well as the latest X processor 4. Fujifilm has also worked on the ergonomics of its mid-range model. Whether all improvements have been achieved and what the X-T30 achieves in terms of image quality and autofocus is clarified in our test report.

Fujifilm’s two-digit X-T series is known for consistently bringing the technology of the latest flagship model into a compact and affordable mid-range model. The X-T30 is in no way inferior and impresses with the image quality and the autofocus of the X-T3 at a price of less than 1,000 Euros. Like last year’s X-T20 model, the X-T30 is also extremely compact: Less than twelve centimetres wide, just over eight centimetres high and slimmer than five centimetres, it weighs less than 400 grams ready for operation. In order to improve ergonomics, Fujifilm has slightly enlarged the handle on the front. However, it is still not possible to speak of a large, ergonomic handle; the X-T30 continues to be based on the design of the handleless SLR cameras from the 1980s. Unfortunately, Fujifilm’s middle class still has to do without splash water and dust protection.

The core of the X-T30 is the 26 megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 image sensor, which was used for the first time in the X-T3. Not only does it offer high readout speed and low noise (ISO sensitivity ranges from 160 to 12,800 without and 80 to 51,200 with extension), it also records 4K video. In addition, it has 2.16 million integrated phase AF sensors distributed over the entire sensor. At up to -3 EV, the sensors should still be working. In addition, the X-T30 not only recognizes faces, but also eyes. This recognition has been further improved and now also allows the prioritization of a selectable face.

On the front, the handle of the Fujifilm X-T30 has been slightly enlarged compared to the previous model X-T20, which is supposed to improve ergonomics. [Photo: Fujifilm]

The X-processor 4 is responsible for data processing and image processing. It improves image quality with the help of the Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO), for example, which combats diffraction effects as well as lens errors. The continuous-advance function achieves a maximum of ten frames per second with mechanical shutter and 20 frames per second with electronic shutter; with 1.25x crop, 30 continuous-advance images per second are also possible.

Even though the Fujifilm X-T30 is preferably operated manually or semi-automatically via the exposure time wheel and the aperture ring of the lens, it offers an automatic scene mode control that recognizes 58 scenes. The film simulation modes are also on board, such as the Fujifilm Velvia, the Acros, Classic Chrome or the Eterna. The latter should be particularly suitable for video recordings.

On the back, the Fujifilm X-T30 features a touchscreen with improved response and now a joystick instead of four-way keys. The menu of the Fujifilm X-T30 is complex and extensive, but therefore not necessarily clear. The touch screen does not work in the menu. [Photo: Fujifilm]

In the video function, the X-T30 also inherits the genes of the X-T3. In DCI4K mode, for example, video can be recorded with 4,096 x 2,160 pixels at up to 30 frames per second in a 17:9 aspect ratio. But also 4K videos in 16:9 aspect ratio can be recorded with up to 30 frames per second and stored with high quality of 200 Mbit/s (4:2:0 8 bit on SD card). You can also dial 17:9 instead of 16:9 in Full HD. Here the frame rate is up to 60 fps, in high-speed mode even up to 120 fps. The sensor is always read out with 6K in order to achieve a high image quality when calculating down to 4K or Full HD resolution. Via HDMI (Micro, Type D) even 10-bit videos with 4:2:2 color scanning can be recorded externally, F-Log is also available. In addition, the internal stereo microphone should enable “high-resolution audio”. External microphones can also be connected via the 2.5mm stereo jack socket.

Speaking of connections: The X-T30 now has a USB-C socket, the battery can be charged via this socket. After all, the NP-W126S should allow 380 shots. The rear touchscreen is 1.3 millimetres thinner than the predecessor model and should be easier to operate. It continues to measure 7.6 centimeters diagonally and has a resolution of 1.04 million pixels. The OLED resolves 2.36 million pixels and magnifies 0.62 times in 35mm equivalent. Thanks to WLAN and Bluetooth, the X-T30 connects to computers and smart devices with Android or iOS. Thanks to a permanent Bluetooth connection, the smart device can be used as a GPS, firmware updates are also possible on the move. Of course, the X-T30 can also be remote controlled via app and transmits pictures wirelessly.

On the top side, the Fujifilm X-T30 has very classic function wheels for setting the exposure time and exposure compensation as well as for function selection. [Photo: Fujifilm]

The Fujifilm X-T30 is available since late 2019 in silver and black and was also available later, since 2020, also in anthracite. The price is about 950 Euro without lens. [Photo: Fujifilm]

 

The Fujifilm X-T30 consists of a solid looking mix of plastic and metal, with neither the workmanship nor the appearance being too short. [Photo: Fujifilm]

Ergonomics and workmanship

The Fujifilm X-T30 is a very compact mirrorless system camera with about twelve times eight times five centimeters, even if it is noticeably higher than a Sony Alpha 6400, for example. In contrast to Sony, Fujifilm relies on a very classic camera design in the style of the 80s, which also becomes clear when using analog wheels (more on this later). The case, with an operational weight of 380 grams, is even slightly lighter than the Sony Alpha 6400 used above for size comparison, which we recently tested. The set of the X-T30 with our mid-range test lens XF 18-55 mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS weighs just under 700 grams and costs a good 1,300 euros.

The Fujifilm feels very high-quality and is cleanly processed. The top and bottom plates are made of a magnesium alloy and are available in black (as with our test specimen), silver or anthracite. The middle part of the case is made of plastic, but you can’t see much of it, because the X-T30 is classically generously covered with leather, which is grained rubber with a good grip.

Compared to the predecessor model X-T20, the handle is minimal and the thumb cavity is even much stronger, but Fujifilm’s middle class still doesn’t have an ergonomic, hand-filling handle. The little finger reaches into the void anyway. On the other hand, the thumb cavity offers a noticeably better grip, so that the camera can not only be held more securely than the X-T20, but also carrying it in the right hand is better.

If you are still dissatisfied with the handle, you can extend it with either the MHG-XT10 handle extension or the BLC-XT10 leather half-shell, both of which are also compatible with the predecessor models. The X-T30, on the other hand, does not have a multifunction handle with an additional rechargeable battery, control elements and a portrait-format handle. Fujifilm’s mid-range range also does without splash water and dust protection altogether.

Fujifilm has reworked the operating concept of the X-T30 somewhat, which can be seen especially on the back compared to the X-T20, but Fujifilm doesn’t deviate from the classic operating concept. Three control wheels and the classic threaded release for a wire remote release are enthroned on the top side. But also a cable remote release or even more modern solutions can be used, but more about that later. But the photographer doesn’t have to completely do without modern multifunction wheels with the X-T30, because it also offers them in an easily accessible position for thumb and index finger. The grip of these wheels is reasonably good, and they are pressable, which triggers a function depending on the mode, but does not necessarily improve the grip, since you must not press too hard for pure turning with too little grip.

The exposure correction wheel sits prominently at the right rear corner and can be easily rotated with the thumb. Though it rests quite tightly, but nevertheless we managed in everyday life to accidentally twist it and thus spoil some shots while taking careless pictures. With sunglasses the exposure was simply not accurate enough to judge. Thus, it is better to check the exposure balance or the wheel regularly if the focus on the holiday is more on the experience than on the photography, but one doesn’t want to spoil the memory photos (even in the fully automatic mode, the exposure correction wheel doesn’t lose its function).

Another annoyance is the Quick Menu button placed on the top of the thumb tray. When handling the camera, the Quick Menu was repeatedly switched on unintentionally by different people. Fujifilm probably recognized the problem itself and provided a firmware update in December 2019 that minimally slows down the response time of the key. However, this has hardly brought an improvement for us. Hopefully, Fujifilm will revise its positioning in the successor model.

Otherwise, the X-T30 is easy to operate. The left dial sets the shooting mode you want to use, i.e. single shot, continuous shooting, continuous shooting, filter functions, etc. Only the flash lever underneath seems somehow out of place. You wouldn’t suspect him at this point. To the right of the viewfinder hump sits the exposure time wheel with automatic position and exposure time imprints in whole f-stops from 1/4,000 to one second. The intermediate steps can be set in third steps using the multifunction wheel. It is more practical, however, to use the aperture ring on the lens, which runs in third steps, for manual exposure, because the small difference in aperture is often not a hundred percent accurate in terms of depth of field. If the exposure time wheel is set to T, the exposure time can be conveniently set using the multifunction wheel, just like with any other modern camera.

A new feature is the joystick on the back of the camera, which replaces the four-way keys. This makes the autofocus point more convenient to place, while it makes virtually no difference to the buttons when navigating the menus.

Speaking of menus: At Fujifilm, these are very extensive and offer many individualization options for the camera, from function and key assignment to special functions. The menu is divided into six sections, each with up to four screen pages.

The setup menu even works with two levels, with the lower level in turn comprising up to three screen pages. Although these sublevels can be switched through steplessly, the overview suffers a little. Fortunately, there is a My menu, which can be equipped with preferred menu options, as well as the Quick menu with twelve functions that can also be individualized, although in contrast to the My menu, it is preset with meaningful functions. However, with such an extensively equipped camera as the Fujifilm X-T30, it is unavoidable to spend a little more time with the menu and to familiarize oneself with it.

The rear screen and the electronic viewfinder do not require superlatives. But even if they technically only supply standard food, this does not mean that they are bad. Both can be used for solid and uncomplicated work. The screen measures around 7.5 centimetres diagonally and doesn’t waste any space in the live image thanks to the 3:2 aspect ratio. With 1.04 million pixels, the resolution is sufficient and the brightness of 715 cd/m² in bright sunlight is also sufficient to recognize something of the subject. But you have to turn up the brightness in the menu, otherwise you won’t see the exposure in the sun as well.

Very practical is not only the touch function, but also the folding possibility by 45 degrees downwards and a little more than 90 degrees upwards. That’s not enough for the selfies in demand, but it’s enough for ground level and overhead shots. The touch function is not limited to focusing on a subject detail with a fingertip and triggering, but also wiping by taking pictures in playback and zooming in and out is possible. The touchscreen does not work in the main menu, but it does work in the Quick menu. Nevertheless, the touch function is only a nice additional feature for those who want to use it. Nobody is forced to do this, everything also works with keystrokes.

Of course, the Fujifilm X-T30 also has an electronic viewfinder as a “classic” camera. It is permanently installed and has an OLED resolution of 2.36 million pixels. In addition, it shows a high contrast and a beautiful color brilliance. Brightness and color balance can be adjusted, with the viewfinder automatically adjusting its brightness by default, unlike the screen. The viewfinder works virtually instantaneously and with a high frame rate, so that it does not jerk when there is sufficient ambient light. Thanks to the proximity sensor, the viewfinder activates automatically. With the 0.62x magnification equivalent to a small image, it is sufficiently large, but cannot be completely overlooked with the glasses on. The diopter correction is comfortably accessible and one should use it accordingly, as long as the adjustment range from -4 to +2 diopters is sufficient for the correction of one’s own ametropia.

Both the viewfinder and the screen offer numerous information displays and fade-ins. These include various recording parameters, various fade-in grids, a digital spirit level, an exposure preview including live histogram and setting aids for manual focusing. By the way, the image reproduction including the magnifying glass in the viewfinder also works, so that one can view photos in high resolution and with less influence of interfering light. However, an eyecup would be helpful in this case, as it would shield scattered light even better.

 

The Fujifilm X-T30 can, but doesn’t have to, be operated via the classic adjustment wheels. It also offers a fully automatic set of scene mode programs and modern multifunction wheels. [Photo: Fujifilm]

The interface flap is located on the left side of the Fujifilm X-T30. It is made of plastic and has a spring that helps to snap it on and off. Here there is a 2.5 mm jack socket for either a cable remote release or a stereo microphone, a micro HDMI connection and a modern USB-C socket, which can also be used to charge the battery. However, a charging cradle is no longer part of the scope of delivery, but only a USB plug-in power supply. The X-T30 is not choosy, it can also be charged with external devices or a USB power bank, which is very practical when travelling. Even when switched on, it uses USB power, but always needs an inserted battery to function.

The battery compartment flap is located on the underside of the camera and is pressed down by a spring after unlocking. Alternatively, a power supply unit for continuous power supply can also be connected here via a battery dummy. The battery should be sufficient for at least 380 shots according to the CIPA standard measurement procedure, which is a very decent value for such a small mirrorless system camera. The SD memory card is also used in this compartment, whereby the X-T30 only supports SDHC and SDXC with UHS I, but not the faster UHS II standard. The write speed of 60 megabytes per second is sufficient for a camera of this class. Much too close to the battery compartment flap and clearly outside the optical axis is the tripod thread. Even the smallest quick-release plate blocks access to the compartment.

Equipment

Even if it’s not obvious due to the classic operating concept, the Fujifilm X-T30 has a fully automatic mode including scene recognition as well as manually selectable scene modes. This mode is activated via the practical “Auto” lever below the exposure time wheel, which can be easily reached with the thumb or index finger. The front multifunction dial can then be used to switch between automatic mode with Scene Recognition and scene modes, with the X-T30 covering everything from portrait mode with and without skin smoothing to landscape, sunset, sports, beach, snow and party to fireworks and long exposure with and without a tripod. In these modes, the only possible interventions are exposure compensation, self-timer, flash mode, movie simulation, and file format. Manual focus, on the other hand, cannot be activated despite the dedicated switch near the bayonet; the camera always focuses in automatic mode and in the subject programs itself.

The Fujifilm X-T30 offers completely different intervention options – and this is what the camera is primarily built for – in the semi-automatic mode as well as in the manual mode thanks to the very direct operation via the corresponding dials. This makes the change between automatic and manual parameter selection very smooth. Since the X-T30 also has multifunction wheels in addition to the direct setting wheels, even the direct change of the ISO sensitivity, for which the X-T30 does not offer an “analog” setting wheel in contrast to the X-T3, is very easy. The automatic can also be reached directly by turning the knob accordingly and it works together with the exposure correction even with manual setting of aperture and exposure time.

The Fujifilm X-T30 has to take criticism for the placement of the tripod thread. It not only sits outside the optical axis, but also so close to the battery and memory card compartment that even the smallest quick-release plate blocks it. [Photo: Fujifilm]

Of course, the X-T30 can also be used to set the typical film simulation modes of Fujifilm such as Velvia, Astia or Classic Chrome, which slightly change the look of the pictures. The Acros black-and-white effect and grain simulation originally introduced with the GFX system has now also arrived in Fujifilm’s middle class, the X-T30. If you wish, you can also activate other image effects such as miniature, pinhole camera, etc. by setting the Adv. setting on the drive selector wheel. By the way, the panorama function can also be found here, whose resolution leaves much to be desired on the short side despite the mechanical shutter with a maximum of 2160 pixels. High-resolution panoramas are better made manually with the help of a corresponding tripod head or attachment and PC software.

What the X-T30 is better at is interval shooting. Up to 999 photos can be taken at intervals of one second to a maximum of 24 hours. The bracketing function for series shooting is also very powerful. Here you can not only take series of exposures with up to nine photos and up to three EV exposure distances (this results in a mad +/-12 EV), but also series of exposures with the variation of ISO sensitivity, film simulation, white balance, dynamic range and focus. However, one has to decide for two preferred presets, as only two can be placed on the dial. If you want to change a setting, go to the depths of the menu. Just as an example: Record menu (third category from above), first page, second menu item “Drive setting”, call up BKT1 or BKT2 there and then make the settings.

It’s similar with the continuous shooting function, there are also two directly callable presets here, but if neither of them fits, you have to change them in the depths of the menu. Incidentally, the X-T30 has a mechanical shutter that can take up to 1/4,000 seconds, which is by no means noiseless, but works with a nice mechanical sound. To reduce vibrations, an electronic first shutter curtain can be activated, then the shutter only has to scurry over the sensor at the end of the exposure and thus becomes a little quieter. In addition, the X-T30 offers a purely electronic release with shutter speeds of up to 1/32,000 second. Then the release is also completely quiet.

The choice of electronic or mechanical shutter does not only influence the volume or the exposure time, but also the continuous shooting speed. In addition, an electronic shutter has disadvantages such as the rolling shutter effect (fast subjects are distorted by the line by line exposure) or the impossibility of using the flash. The serial frame rate of the X-T30 reaches up to eight frames per second with a mechanical shutter, which the camera holds out in JPEG mode for 82, but in raw mode for only 17 frames. Then it continues in JPEG with 3.6 and in Raw only with 1.9 frames per second until the memory card is full. Although the focus is adjusted, the exposure is not. The relatively small buffer is emptied in a good ten seconds, with the camera always ready for use. With an electronic shutter, the X-T30 achieves a rapid 20 frames per second without and even 30 frames per second with 1.25x crop. Even here, Fujifilm follows the focus unflinchingly.

Speaking of focus: Fujifilm has integrated a total of 2.16 million phase AF sensors on the image sensor. For a better usability, the choice of AF fields is limited to a maximum of 425. But Fujifilm cheats a bit about the autofocus speed. In the factory setting, it does not work with the classic focus priority in AF-S mode, but in a balanced mode consisting of focus and shutter priority. In this one she actually focuses very fast, the AF-C including face and eye recognition also works well and subjects are followed wonderfully across different autofocus fields.

Even though we always recommend the Fujifilm XF 18-55 mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS as a good set lens, my specimen on the X-T30 provided by the dealer, did not do a bad job at all. [Photo: Clara Andersson]

But if the camera is set to focus priority, it needs just over 0.3 in wide angle and even half a second in telephoto to focus from infinity to two meters including shutter release. The pure release delay without focusing is very short at 0.06 seconds. In balanced mode, the images are mostly quite well focused, but the hit rate decreases, especially when the last grain of resolution is important. So you have to choose between fast and reliably precise focusing.

Fortunately, this doesn’t matter in the video mode, because here you want to refocus permanently anyway or better not at all, even a refocusing only on command (for example by touching the touch screen) is possible. Thanks to the phase AF points, the focus hardly pumps and 4K shots are no problem at all. The sound can also be heard, but the autofocus remains inaudible. But in terms of quality it can be clearly improved by using an external microphone, whereby the 2.5mm jack has a somewhat flimsy effect. The micro HDMI interface is also not optimally stable, but at least 10 bit videos with 4:2:2 color scanning can be recorded with external recorders instead of the H.264 compressed 4:2:0 8 bit on the memory card. In addition, the X-T30 can handle 17:9 4K and Full HD video recording, and its oversampling and high storage rate ensure a high level of quality. The entire sensor width is used, while only the optical image stabilizer virtually inaudibly takes care of the camera shake.

In 4K there are 24, 25 and 30 frames per second available, in Full-HD there are an additional 50 and 60 frames per second, whereby the clip length is limited to a maximum of ten minutes at a time. The X-T30 can also record high-speed videos in Full-HD (only 16:9), optionally reaching 120 or 100 frames per second, but only for six minutes at a time. The video function is also achieved via the drive selection wheel, as in photo mode, semi-automatic or manual exposure can be used, the film simulations are also available. Worth mentioning here is perhaps the Eterna film simulation, which is supposed to offer a typical cinema look with soft colours and rich shadows.

The Fujifilm X-T30 is hardly inferior to a “big” camera in terms of flash functions. At first glance, one might hardly suspect that a pop-up flash jumping about 5.5 centimeters above the center of the lens is hidden in the small viewfinder hump, which, according to our measurements, reaches a guide number of a little over six. With a red-eye pre-flash (even with optional automatic digital retouching), flash exposure correction, long-term synchronization, flash at the beginning or end of exposure and optional manual flash power selection, it leaves nothing to be desired. External system flashes can be used on the TTL flash shoe, even simple center contact flashes can be used. The shortest flash synchronization time is 1/180 second, but corresponding TTL system flashes also allow high-speed synchronization (with corresponding power loss).

In addition to standards such as a slide show, rotating, protecting, cropping and resizing, the Fujifilm’s playback function also features a built-in raw converter, voice memo function and a photo book wizard. Of course, the Fujifilm Instax instant image printers can also be used on the X-T30, even if they cannot bring the image quality of the system camera to paper.

Behind the small interface flap of the Fujifilm X-T30 there are also small connectors, such as HDMI in the Micro version or the microphone jack connector in the 2.5mm version. The USB-C interface is very modern. [Photo: Fujifilm]

Wireless communication is modern with the addition of Bluetooth to the WLAN. The Bluetooth connection is not only very easy to establish, but also allows a very energy-saving permanent connection, so that you can use the GPS of your smartphone. Via WLAN, photos can be conveniently and quickly transferred to a mobile device or PC. In addition, the Fujifilm app allows remote control of the camera from the smartphone, including live image transmission and setting the recording parameters.

Fujifilm’s solution is also to use the powerful X-processor 4 when connecting the camera to a computer for raw conversion. Especially on less powerful systems, raw images can be processed faster and converted into a JPEG.

Picture quality

The Fujifilm X-T30 stands out from other APS-C cameras in two respects that influence the image quality: On the one hand, its image sensor resolves around 26 megapixels instead of the usual 24, and on the other it uses the X-Trans color filter design invented by Fujifilm instead of the usual Bayer pattern. This should provide better image quality with higher color resolution and fewer moirés. Among other things, each sensor line (and column) contains all three primary colors red, green and blue instead of just two primary colors (green and red or green and blue) as in the Bayer pattern. Fujifilm is also the only manufacturer of mirrorless APS-C system cameras that has consistently developed its lens range and aligned it to this sensor size.

This ensures a large selection of high-quality fixed focal lengths, but also great F2.8 zooms and very good mid-range lenses. One of these is the XF 18-55 mm, which in contrast to cheap 18-55 lenses has a higher light intensity of F2.8 to F4. An aperture ring and an optical image stabilizer round off the lens, which costs about 350 euros extra. In contrast to most newer XF lenses, however, the splash water and dust protection is missing. Nevertheless, compared to the XC 16-45 mm, which is cheaper by 300 Euro, it is the clearly higher quality and more recommendable lens.

The handle of the Fujifilm X-T30 is quite small in favor of the optics. It can be extended with an optional additional handle. [Photo: Fujifilm]

In order to get to the bottom of the picture quality of the Fujifilm X-T30 with the XF 18-55 mm, we tested the combination in practice, and also examined it with the testing software.

As usual, the test was carried out in JPEG format and in factory settings, but without the automatic “dynamic optimizer” that interfered with the laboratory test. For example, the Lens Modulation Optimizer is active to compensate for optical errors of the lens. This led to surprisingly fluctuating laboratory test results in our test pattern for the aperture-dependent measurements. First of all, optical errors such as chromatic aberrations, distortions and edge darkening are very small, and the correction works well here.

The resolution, on the other hand, fluctuates greatly, including the “associated” sharpness artifacts from the image processing. Virtually every resolution curve has a distinct waveform. In wide-angle, the center resolution and edge resolution start at a meager 30 line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm) in 35mm equivalent at 50 percent contrast. While the edge resolution drops sharply to 23 lp/mm when dipping to F4 before it recovers to its original value at F5.6 and then rises to its maximum of 46 lp/mm by F8, only to slowly drop again due to diffraction, the resolution rises continuously to 58 lp/mm when dipping to F8 in the center of the image before it drops again due to diffraction when dipping again.

The best performance is achieved at medium focal length. Even with the aperture open, it reaches 58 lp/mm in the centre and 55 lp/mm at the edge of the image. When fading down, the resolution initially drops, but only very slightly, before recovering slightly at F8, but everything happens at a very high level from just under to well over 50 lp/mm. In the telephoto, the image resolution starts at just under 50 lp/mm in the image center, then drops sharply to 36 lp/mm at F5.6 and then recovers to a good 52 lp/mm by F11, before diffraction reduces the resolution again. At the edge of the picture, the telephoto lens is less good at an open aperture of 33 lp/mm, drops slightly at first, but then increases to a good value of 47 lp/mm at F8 and is still good at 45 lp/mm at F11.

We can only explain this overall process by the fact that the optimisation of the image processing is indeed optimised for the lens type itself, but not for the single copy (which would also be much too complex for a lens of this price class) and our copy simply only fits very badly to the standard optimisation. This is now our tenth test of an XF 18-55 and this waveform has shown itself every time, but never so strong. The majority of the tests of this lens were very good, so that we would like to stick to the recommendation to buy the camera with this instead of the XC 16-45 mm, because the latter did not achieve a good resolution at the edge of the picture and not even in the middle of the picture in our test on the X-T100.

The Fujifilm X-T30’s X-Trans sensor with a resolution of 26 megapixels delivers a very good image quality, especially in terms of colors. [Photo: Fujifilm]

The Fujifilm X-T30 performs well with the lens-independent picture quality. Up to ISO 400, the signal-to-noise ratio is at a good level of over 40 dB. Only above ISO 800 does the critical limit of 35 dB fall below, but at ISO 1,600 and 3,200 only minimally. While brightness noise above ISO 3.200 becomes visible, but remains fine-grained, color noise is virtually invisible. Noise suppression above ISO 800 means that fine details are lost, which at ISO 1.600 is of a metrological rather than a practical nature. At ISO 3.200, on the other hand, the losses in detail become clearer, but are still barely acceptable.

The input dynamics in the range from ISO 160 to 12,800 are at a good level of over ten f-stops, the peak value of eleven f-stops is reached at ISO 1,600. This is not uncommon in modern image processing, since the noise reduction also draws black areas, which actually appear brighter due to noise pixels, darker. The fact that this point becomes clear at ISO 1.600 confirms that noise suppression is more powerful from here on, as could already be observed in the texture reproduction of fine details.

The tonal value curve is slightly divided but not exaggerated and is therefore well tuned. In terms of output dynamics, the Fujifilm up to ISO 200 achieves an excellent value of almost 256 of 256 possible brightness gradations. Up to ISO 1.600, this value drops almost linearly to a good 160 steps. Above ISO 3.200 the value drops steeper again and reaches 12.800 poor values with less than 100 brightness gradations. Brightness gradients are then displayed with clearly visible transitions.

The Fujifilm X-T30 clearly shows the strengths of the X-Trans sensor in terms of colours. The X-T30 not only shows a low average color deviation, but also, unlike many other cameras, shows practically no clear outliers. One or the other color is slightly more saturated or slightly shifted in hue, but in total the X-T30 can be said to have a high color neutrality. White balance is also precise and the actual color depth is high. Up to ISO 200, a good eight million colour gradations are distinguished, even at ISO 3,200 there are still more than four million.

In practice, the Fujifilm X-T30 also delivers beautiful, well-balanced images without any effects showmanship, whereby the film simulation modes and the possibility of adjusting image processing parameters can be used to achieve more pop-like or even muted colors, contrasts, detail resolution, etc. The exposure is good at times rather scarce, but this is definitely better for image processing than overexposed photos. Only in very high-contrast situations did it occasionally happen that the camera exposed a little bit more and that shadows could have turned out darker in favor of more drawing in the lights. As with any other camera, the photographer is challenged here if the automatic system is overstrained and cannot decide exactly whether more drawing in the lights or the shadows is desired.

The battery and memory card share a common compartment on the bottom of the Fujifilm X-T30. The battery lasts long, but the memory card is a bit tricky to remove, in my opinion. [Photo: Clara Andersson]

In case of doubt, the raw format is advisable anyway, in which more details can be teased out of the lights and/or shadows in critical situations due to the higher color depth. However, the JPEG image processing is so good, as with any modern camera, that one has to make a lot of effort in order to get much better results out of the raw format with standard scene modes.

Bottom line

The Fujifilm X-T30 is a successful, but not perfect mid-range system camera with a good price-performance ratio. In spite of the lack of splash water protection, it is solidly manufactured, although compactness and design were more important than ergonomics. So you have to arrange with the small handle or invest in the additional handle. Despite the classic design, the X-T30 is a technically very modern camera with practically no missing equipment details. She manages the balancing act between automatic camera and manual operation brilliantly. Its speed doesn’t break any records, but the X-T30 is fast enough. Above all, however, it convinces with excellent image quality at low ISO sensitivities and good image quality up to ISO 1,600. When it comes to color drawing, it is even a bit ahead of most cameras in its class.

Firmware updates for the Fujifilm X-T30: Q Menu Button adjustments and phase AF compatibility

Fujifilm again adjusts the behavior of the Q-Menu button on the X-T30. Not only have we found in our test that this key is pressed far too easily inadvertently. With firmware 1.10, Fujifilm degrades the Q-Menu button to a simple Fn button, which can be assigned any function (optionally none at all). A different Fn key can be configured as a Q menu key for this purpose.

The Q Menu button on the Fujifilm X-T30 is so exposed that it is too easily accidentally pressed. Now it is possible to reconfigure or completely switch off the Q menu, which can then be reached via an Fn key.

The solution now realized by Fujifilm for the X-T30 is probably the most practicable without changing the hardware, even if you lose a key completely if you deactivate the Q-Menu key completely. By the way, the new firmware does not contain any further changes, as it did in the previous version.

The firmware updates can be downloaded from the Fujifilm support website and installed on your own using the instructions provided there. If you don’t think you can do it yourself, ask Fujifilm or its reseller for help with customer support.

Fact sheet

Fact sheet
Manufacturer Fuji film
Model X-T30
Sensor CMOS APS-C 23.6 x 15.8 mm (crop factor 1.5)26.1 Megapixel (effective)
Pixel pitch 3.8 µm
Resolution (max.) 6.240 x 4.160 (3:2)
Video (max.) 4.096 x 2.160 30p
Lens Fujifilm XF 18-55 mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS (zoom lens)
Video viewfinder EVF, 100 % field coverage, 2,360,000 pixels resolution, 0.93x magnification (sensor-related), 0.62x magnification (KB equivalent), diopter compensation (-4.0 to 2.0 dpt), -4.0 to 2.0 dpt)
Monitor 3.0″ (7.6 cm)
Disbandment 1.040.000 pixels
tiltable yes
rotatable
swivelling
Touchscreen yes
AV connector HDMI Output Micro (Type D)
Fully automatic yes
Automatic scene mode control yes
Scene modes 14
Program automation yes
Program shift yes
Aperture priority yes
Aperture priority yes
Manual yes
Bulb long time exposure yes
HDR function
Panorama function yes, Sweep panorama
Exposure metering Matrix/multi-field measurement (256 fields), center-weighted integral measurement, spot measurement
fastest shutter speed 1/4.000 s
Flash built-in flash
Synchronous time 1/180 s
Flash connection Hot shoe: Fujifilm, standard center contact
WLAN yes
NFC
GPS external, permanent smartphone connection
Remote release yes, cable release, cable release, remote control via Smartphone/Tablet
Interval shooting yes
Storage medium
SD (UHS I, SDXC, SDHC)
Sensitivity
automatic ISO 160-12.800
manually ISO 80-51.200
White balance
automatic yes
manual measurement yes
Kelvin input yes
Fine correction yes
Autofocus yes
Number of measuring fields 425
Speed 0.33 s to 0.52 s
AF auxiliary light LED
Dimensions (mm) 118 x 83 x 47 mm
Weight (ready for operation) 382 g (housing only
)692 g (with lens)
Tripod socket outside the optical axis
Zoom
Zoom adjustment manual on lens
Battery life 380 images (according to CIPA standard)
– = “not applicable” or “not available”

Short evaluation

Pros

  • High-quality case, partly made of metal and generously “leathered
  • Cleverly integrated pop-up flash
  • Good to very good image quality up to ISO 1,600
  • Wide range of functions
  • Good combination of classic “analogue” operation and fully automatic lever

Cons

  • Unfavorable placement of the Q-Menu key (corrected by firmware in 2020)
  • Unsecured exposure correction wheel too easy to move
  • Not particularly fast autofocus with focus priority

Fujifilm X-T30 Datasheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor APS-C 23.6 x 15.8 mm (crop factor 1.5
)26.1 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 3.8 µm
Photo resolution
6.240 x 4.160 pixels (3:2)
6.240 x 3.512 pixels (16:9)
4.416 x 2.911 pixels (3:2)
4.416 x 2.488 pixels (16:9)
4.160 x 4.160 pixels (1:1)
3.120 x 2.080 Pixel (3:2)
3.120 x 1.760 pixels (16:9)
2.944 x 2.944 pixels (1:1)
2.080 x 2.080 Pixel (1:1)
Panorama Swivel panorama
Picture formats JPG, RAW
Color depth 24 bits (8 bits per color channel), 42 bits (14 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.3), DCF standard
Video resolution
4.096 x 2.160 (17:9) 30 p
4.096 x 2.160 (17:9) 25 p
4.096 x 2.160 (17:9) 24 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 30 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 25 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 24 p
2.048 x 1.080 (17:9) 60 p
2.048 x 1.080 (17:9) 50 p
2.048 x 1.080 (17:9) 30 p
2.048 x 1.080 (17:9) 25 p
2.048 x 1.080 (17:9) 24 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 120 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 100 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 60 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 30 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 25 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 24 p
Maximum recording time 29 min
Video format
MOV (Codec H.264)
Audio format (video) PCM

Lens

Lens mount
Fujifilm XF

Focusing

Autofocus mode Phase comparison autofocus with 425 sensors, autofocus working range of 3, contrast autofocus
Autofocus Functions Single Auto Focus, Continuous Auto Focus, Area Auto Focus, Tracking Auto Focus, Manual, AFL Function, AF Assist Light (LED), Focus Peaking, Focus Magnifier
Focus control Depth of field control, dimming button, Live View

Viewfinder and Monitor

Monitor 3.0″ (7.6 cm) TFT LCD monitor with 1,040,000 pixels, anti-glare, brightness adjustable, color adjustable, tiltable 110° up and 45° down, with touch screen
Video viewfinder Video viewfinder (100 % field coverage) with 2,360,000 pixels, 0.93x magnification factor, diopter compensation (-4.0 to 2.0 dpt)

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement over 256 fields, spot measurement, AF-AE coupling
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 4 s (Auto
)1/4,000 to 30 s (Manual)
1/32,000 to 30 s (Electronic Shutter)
Bulb with maximum 3,600 s Exposure Time
Exposure control Fully Automatic, Program Automatic (with Program Shift), Aperture Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual
Bracketing function Bracket function with maximum 9 shots, step size from 1/3 to 3 EV
Exposure compensation -5.0 to +5.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Sensitivity to light ISO 160 to ISO 12.800 (automatic
)ISO 80 to ISO 51.200 (manual)
Remote access Remote release, cable release, cable release, remote control via smartphone/tablet
, remote control from computer: certain functions
Scene modes Flowers, documents, fireworks, skin, landscape, night scene, party, portrait, sunset, sports, beach/snow, underwater, 2 more motif programs
Picture effects High Key, Pinhole Camera, Low Key, Miniature Effect, Pop Color, Selective Color, Blur, 1 More Image Effects
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sun, White balance bracketing, Fine tuning, Shadow, Underwater, Fluorescent lamp with 3 presets, Incandescent light, from 2,500 to 10,000 K, Manual 3 memory locations
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 8.0 fps at highest resolution and max. 90 stored photos, 20 frames per second with electronic shutter max. 32 shots JPEG and 17 shots RAW
Burst function Burst function with 26 consecutive images at 30.0 fps, 16.6 megapixel resolution
Self-timer Self-timer with interval of 2 s, special features: or optionally 10 seconds
Timer Timer/interval recording with max. 999 recordings, start time adjustable
Shooting functions AEL function, AFL function, live histogram

Flashgun

Flash built-in flash shoe
: Fujifilm, standard center contact
Flash range Flash sync time 1/180 s
Flash number
Guide number 5 (ISO 100)
Guide number 7 (ISO 200)
Flash functions Auto, Fill-in flash, Flash on, Flash off, High speed sync, Slow sync, Flash on second shutter curtain, Manual flash output (7 levels), Red-eye reduction by digital retouching, Pre-flash, Master function (4 channels and 3 groups), Flash exposure compensation from -2.0 EV to +2.0 EV

Equipment

Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
Memory
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I)
GPS function GPS external (permanent smartphone connection)
Microphone Stereo
Power supply Power supply unit connectionUSB continuous power supplyUSB charging function
Power supply 1 x Fujifilm NP-W126S380
images according to CIPA standard
Playback Functions Red eye retouching, crop images, image rotation, protect image, highlight / shadow warning, playback histogram, playback magnifier, image index, slide show function, zoom out
Voice memo Voice memo (PCM format)
Face recognition Face recognition
Picture parameters Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation, Noise Reduction
Special functions Electronic Spirit Level, Grid Display, Pixel Mapping, Zebra Function, Orientation Sensor, Live View, User Profiles with 7 User Profiles and 12 Options
Ports Data interfaces: Bluetooth, USBUSB type
:USB 3.0 SuperSpeedWLAN
: available (type: B, G, N)
AV connectors AV output: HDMI output Micro (Type D
)Audio input: yes (2.5 mm jack (stereo))
Audio output: no
Supported direct printing methods DPOF, Exif Print
Tripod socket 1/4″ not in optical axis
Features and Miscellaneous X-Processor 4 Image ProcessorUltrasonic sensor cleaningZones

AF with 3 x 3, 5 x5 and 7 x 7 screens from 91 fields of a 13 x 9 rangeDynamic range
100, 200 and 400%Exposure correction
Video +/- 2VDynamic rangeExposure range
(DR 100 %, DR 200 %, DR 400 %)
ISO exposure range ( /- 1/3, 2/3 or 1 EV)
Film simulationExposure rangeFocus
Exposure rangePre-Burst function
approx. 30 images/s with 1.25 Crop max. 20 shots before and after shutter releaseFilm simulation
: Provia, Velvia, Astia, Classic Chrome, Pro Neg.Hi, Pro Neg.Std, Black & White, Black & White (with color filters), Sepia, Acros (with color filters), Eterna/CinemaColor
Chrome EffectLens Modulation OptimizerRAW conversionEye sensor

to

switch from monitor to viewfinderHigh-speed video
1.

9

20 x 1,080 with 120 or 100 frames per second max. 6 minutes2
.16 million phase AF measuring points over the entire sensor surfaceEye autofocus

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 118 x 83 x 47 mm
Weight 382 g (operational)

Other

included accessories Fujifilm BC-W126 Charger for special batteriesFujifilm
NP-W126S special batteryShoulder strap
, housing cap, flash shoe cover, instruction manual
optional accessory Fujifilm RR-100 Remote Cable Release

 

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Peter Dench
I am Peter Dench. Digital Photographer, born in London 1972, currently living in Deerfield, near Chicago. I have numerous photography expositions and also working in model photography. In this website, PhotoPoint, I usually review cameras provided by local dealers in Illinois and by the manufacturers. Sometimes I, Peter Dench, review lenses too, but only when I have a suitable camera for them. Please let me know in the comments if I can improve any of these articles.