Image quality

Our test scene is designed to simulate a variety of textures, colors and detail types you'll encounter in the real world. It also has two illumination modes to see the effect of different lighting conditions.

Key takeaways:

  • The X-T30's image qualIty is the same as the X-T3's, which is to say: excellent
  • JPEGs have Fujifilm's trademark colors
  • The 26MP sensor allows the user to shoot at low ISOs to retain highlights and brighten shadows in their Raw editor, with no significant noise penalty

Studio scene

Given that the X-T30 shares the same sensor as the X-T3, it shouldn't come as a surprise that they capture the same amount of detail. The Sony a6400 shows a bit more detail, though it comes at the cost of aliasing. You can see another comparison of fine detail capture by looking at the currency in our test scene.

At high ISOs there's virtually no difference between the X-T30 and X-T3. The X-T30's closest competitor, the Sony a6400, has more visible chroma noise, with the Panasonic GX9 and its smaller Four Thirds sensor holding up the rear. (The Panasonic Lumix DC-G95/G90, which is a closer competition than the GX90, was not available for testing when this review was published.)

Switching to JPEG, you can see that the vibrant, attractive colors that Fujifilm cameras are known for. Sharpening looks good in areas of high contrast, though Sony's system seems a bit more sophisticated, which you can see when looking at the details in the currency section of our test scene. At high ISOs, the camera keeps noise at bay, though fine detail tends to get crushed by noise reduction.

Raw dynamic range

Our ISO invariance test shows that, in sum, this sensor is a very good performer in that there's nearly no difference between shooting Raw at the base ISO of 160 and pulling the shadows up by 4+ stops, vs. shooting at ISO 3200. For advanced users, working this way can help keep the brightest highlights you want to preserve from clipping to white and being unrecoverable. This is a 'dual gain' sensor design though, and if you are shooting in very dark conditions, you will want to swap from ISO 160 to ISO 800 and brighten from there.

Looking at exposure latitude, in which we use the camera's base ISO and try brightening increasingly dark exposures to see how much noise is being added in the deep shadows. Here you can see that the X-T30 is a little noisier than the Sony a6300 (which uses the same sensor as the newer a6400).

JPEG dynamic range modes

It's worth mentioning that the X-T30, like all Fujifilm cameras, have three dynamic range modes for JPEG shooters. The default is 100%, with options for 200% (1-stop of additional highlight capture) and 400% (two stops). The minimum ISO setting will increase every time you increase the DR setting: ISO 160, 320, 640. Technical intricacies aside, the bottom line is that the X-T30 is capable of capturing extra highlight tones in its JPEGs, if you don't mind the change in minimum ISO and the slight noise hike that comes with it.