What's new and how it compares

With few exceptions, the design of the X-T30 hasn't changed much compared to the X-T20 that precedes it. And that's fine, as the design of that camera really didn't need much tweaking. The things that make the X-T30 an major upgrade can be found on the inside.

Key takeaways

  • The X-T30 shares the same X-Trans CMOS sensor as the more expensive X-T3, which promises excellent image and video quality
  • The hybrid autofocus system consists of 425 points across the full width of the frame
  • Both DCI and UHD 4K video can be captured at 30 fps, with bit rates of up to 200Mbps
  • The X-T30 offers the F-Log gamma curve and can output 10-bit 4:2:2 video to an external recorder
  • The camera competes very well against its peers, and you're not gaining that much by upgrading to the X-T3

New sensor and processor

The X-T30 has the same 26MP X-Trans BSI-CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 as the X-T3, which is great news. The X-T3 had excellent image quality, which includes plenty of dynamic range and, of course, Fujifilm's trademark color. While we're yet to put the camera through our studio tests, we have little reason to believe that the X-T30 will perform differently.

The X-Processor 4 gives the X-T30 a lot of horsepower, and one of the benefits is fast burst shooting. Using the electronic shutter the camera can shoot at up to 30 fps with no blackout, albeit with a 1.25x crop. If you want to lose the crop, just drop down to 20 fps. If you want to avoid the e-shutter, which can show banding in artificial light, then the mechanical shutter can be fired at 8 fps.

It's important to note that the buffer is fairly limited if you're shooting Raw. At 20 fps you can take about 17 Raws before shooting slows down, and you gain only one extra shot by dropping to 8 fps. For JPEGs (fine quality) you'll get 32 shots at 20 fps and 90 at 8 fps.

Autofocus

The X-T30 uses a tweaked version of the AF system found on the X-T3, though the latter will catch-up via a firmware upgrade this summer. The camera's hybrid AF system consists of 425 phase-detect points that cover the entire width of the frame. The system is highly customizable, so you can find the settings that work best for the situation. Check out our X-T3 review for more on AF system; we'll cover how it performs on the X-T30 in our final review.

Stationary cats aren't much of an autofocus test, but the X-T30's AF system was responsive here, and in other early photos we've taken thus far. Photo from a pre-production X-T30.

ISO 2000 | 1/50 sec | F5 | Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS @ 51mm equiv.
Photo by Jeff Keller

The two additional focus-related features on the X-T30 are related to face detection and how the camera reacts to subjects at dramatically different distances.

While the X-T30 can detect faces and eyes like the X-T3, you can now switch between faces by tapping the screen or customizing a button for "Face Select" and using the joystick. The feature works fairly well, though our pre-production camera was a bit jumpy when detecting faces. If the detected face turns around, the camera will move on to another person.

The other new feature, known as 'Non-stop Phase Detection', improves focus speeds by 300% when transitioning between far-to-near subjects (and vice versa), according to Fujifilm. We'll get back to you on this one once a production-level X-T30 arrives.

Video

We were expecting Fujifilm to remove some video-related features on the X-T30 to avoid harming sales of the X-T3, but we were pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of the them made the cut.

The camera can capture both DCI and UHD 4K video at up to 30p, oversampling from the full width of the sensor, with a maximum bit rate of 200Mbps and a time limit of 10 minutes. There's no 4K/60p like on the X-T3, which seems reasonable given the $900 price of the X-T30. There's also a high speed 1080/120p mode on the camera, though there's a 1.29x crop to contend with.

We're impressed by the fact that the X-T30 can output 10-bit 4:2:2 video to an external recorder or save 8-bit 4:2:0 video to an SD card

We're impressed by the fact that the X-T30 can output 10-bit 4:2:2 video to an external recorder or save 8-bit 4:2:0 video to an SD card. It also supports F-Log, face and eye detection, time code and a 'movie silent control' mode which lets you use the touchscreen to adjust exposure instead of the control dials. The popular Eterna Film Simulation mode which first appeared in the X-H1 is also available. The X-T30 has a 2.5mm microphone input, but if you want to connect headphones you'll need to use the USB-C port.

While we'll reserve final judgment about video quality for our review, the X-T30 appears to produce footage as good as the X-T3.

Compared to...

We're comparing two things in the table below. One, what separates the three X-T models, especially the X-T30 and X-T3, so you can see what you get by spending the extra bucks on the latter. Secondly, you can see how the X-T30 stacks up against its two main competitors from Panasonic and Sony.

Fujifilm X-T30 Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm X-T20 Panasonic GX9 Sony a6400
MSRP
(body only)
$899 $1499 $899 $999* $899
Sensor 26MP 26MP 24MP 20MP 24MP
Sensor size APS-C APS-C APS-C Four Thirds APS-C
Color filter X-Trans X-Trans X-Trans Bayer Bayer
Image stab. Lens only Lens only Lens only In-body Lens only
AF system Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid Contrast-detect Hybrid
LCD type Tilting 2-axis Tilting Tilting Tilting Tilting
EVF res. 2.36M-dot 3.69M-dot 2.36M-dot 2.76M-dot equiv. 2.36M-dot
EVF mag. 0.62x equiv. 0.75x equiv. 0.62x equiv. 0.70x equiv. 0.71x equiv.
Built-in flash Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Burst w/ cont. AF 20 fps 20 fps 8 fps 9 fps 11 fps
Max. video DCI/UHD 4K/30p DCI/UHD 4K/60p UHD 4K/30p UHD 4K/30p UHD 4K/30p
Video output 10-bit 4:2:2 10-bit 4:2:2 8-bit 4:2:2 8-bit 4:2:0 8-bit 4:2:2
Video capture 8-bit 4:2:0 10-bit 4:2:0 8-bit 4:2:0 8-bit 4:2:0 8-bit 4:2:0
Log F-Log F-Log / HLG None None S-Log 2/3, HLG (8-bit)
Mic/headphone ports Yes / Yes (USB-C) Yes / Yes Yes / No No / No Yes / No
Wireless Wi-Fi + BT Wi-Fi + BT Wi-Fi Wi-Fi + BT Wi-Fi + BT
Weather-sealed No Yes No No Yes
Battery life 380 shots 390 shots 350 shots 260 shots 410 shots
Dimensions 114 x 83 x 47mm 133 x 93 x 59mm 118 x 83 x 41mm 124 x 72 x 47mm 120 x 67 x 60mm
Weight 383 g 539 g 383 g 407 g 403 g

* Sold only with 12-60mm lens

You can see that most of the differences between the X-T20 and X-T30 are video related, aside from the higher-res sensor. You gain a much larger and clearer viewfinder and 4K/60p video if you step-up to the X-T3 for another $600.

The X-T30 is a better camera than the GX9, unless you're in love with the latter's tilting EVF. It's a tighter race between the X-T30 and the Sony a6400.