Is the Fujifilm X-T30 right for you?

Different types of shooting can benefit from different features and camera attributes, so in addition to looking at the X-T30 as a general-purpose, mid-range mirrorless camera, we're going to see how suitable it is for a number of photographic activities.


Travel

Out of camera JPEG, Standard/Provia profile. ISO 160 | 1/300 sec | F4 | XF 23mm F2 R WR
Photo by Jeff Keller

Its compact size, pleasant colors, strong video capabilities and decent wireless connectivity make the X-T30 an ideal companion for the traveler. Out-of-camera JPEGs look great, so there's not always a need to tinker with Raw to get the best results. Fujifilm's most versatile travel zoom lens is 18-135mm F3.5-5.6, and there are plenty of alternatives if you don't need that much zoom. While the interface is confusing and it's slow to connect, photos can be transmitted from camera-to-phone via an app relatively easily.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great out-of-camera JPEGs
  • Excellent 4K video quality
  • USB charging

Cons:

  • LCD design not selfie-friendly
  • Not weather-sealed
  • Wi-Fi interface needs refinement

Video

For $900, the X-T30 is an incredible video camera for the money. It inherits the majority of the video features from the X-T3, so unless you're really hardcore, you can save $600 by getting the X-T30 instead. There is a time limit of 10 minutes for 4K capture on the X-T30, versus 30 minutes on the X-T3, presumably to prevent overheating. Note that the X-T30 has no in-body stabilization, so unless your lens features O.I.S, things may be a bit shaky (though note that in-lens IS does not correct for roll).

Pros:

  • Beautiful oversampled DCI and UHD 4K video
  • Extensive controls
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 Log output to external recorder
  • External mic socket; USB-C port can be used for attaching headphones

Cons:

  • 4K capture limited to 10 minutes
  • Internal recording limited to 8-bit
  • No in-body image stabilization

Family and moments

Processed in Adobe Camera Raw using Standard/Provia profile. ISO 6400 | 1/250 sec | F3.2 | Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4
Photo by Rishi Sanyal

With its compact body, easy-to-use touch interface and great out-of-camera JPEGs, the X-T30 can handle casual photography with relative ease, and a switch on the top plate quickly puts the X-T30 into a scene-selecting Auto mode for more novice users.

Unfortunately, we've found the face-and-eye detection to be less reliable than we'd like; we ended up with far more out-of-focus photos of the toddler above than in-focus ones. It also tends to recognize faces and eyes in inanimate objects, and can 'lose' faces in a scene unpredictably. That means that, quite often, you can't reliably switch between faces in the scene.

On the other hand, stick to single-point or zone focus and you're golden, plus Fujifilm has some nice, compact prime lenses and versatile zooms like the 18-55mm F2.8-4 for everyday shooting. Video is a standout, with some of the best footage you'll find on a camera in this class, as well.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Many small, fast prime lenses to choose from
  • Reliable autofocus in single-point or zone
  • Excellent-out-of-camera JPEGs
  • Top-notch 4K video

Cons:

  • Face-and-eye detection in continuous autofocus lags the competition
  • LCD is not selfie-friendly

Lifestyle and people

Out of camera JPEG from pre-production camera using Standard/Provia profile. ISO 640 | 1/200 sec | F2 | Fujifilm XF 50mm F2 R WR
Photo by Carey Rose

The X-T30 is capable of taking 'artsy' photos, with its Film Simulation modes allowing for added creativity. Fujifilm's color is among the best, and the availability of fast prime lenses allows for shallow depth-of-field. The camera's face and eye detection system is responsive (though a bit 'jumpy') and you can switch faces using the joystick or touchscreen, though not always reliably.

Pros:

  • Excellent JPEGs
  • Flexible sensor allow users to brighten shadows while preserving highlights
  • Responsive face and eye detection

Cons:

  • Face detection can rapidly switch between subjects on occasion

Landscape

Out of camera JPEG, Standard/Provia profile. ISO 160 | 1/4 sec | F16 | Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R @ 74mm equiv.
Photo by Jeff Keller

The X-T30's 26MP sensor offers plenty of resolution for landscape photography, and its wide Raw dynamic range allows you to brighten shadows with no significant noise penalty. If you're sticking to JPEGs you'll get beautiful color right out of the camera, and the camera's DR modes can easily give you extra dynamic range. Fujifilm has a wide selection of fast prime and zoom lenses ideal for landscape photographers. One downside is that the lack of weather-sealing, so it's not suitable for use in inclement weather. Battery life is decent, though not class-leading (bring a spare). The camera can be charged via its USB-C port, with support for portable power banks.

Pros:

  • Excellent JPEG color
  • High-resolution sensor has wide dynamic range
  • Tilting LCD
  • Good selection of landscape-friendly lenses

Cons:

  • No weather-sealing

Sports and action

Converted to taste from Raw. Exposure, sharpness, noise reduction adjusted. ISO 640 | 1/2000 sec | F11 | Fujifilm XF200mm F2 R LM
Photo by Jeff Keller

While we wouldn't run out and buy the X-T30 for sports shooting, it's certainly capable of handling most situations in both zone and wide/tracking modes, especially if you customize the AF settings a bit. Speaking of handling, since the grip on the camera is fairly small, using long, heavy lenses can be difficult. Fujifilm's $110 MHG-XT10 gives you more to hold on to.

Pros:

  • Responsive AF system
  • Good subject tracking after tweaking settings
  • Fast burst speeds

Cons:

  • Limited buffer
  • Small grip make holding large lenses difficult

Candid and street

Out of camera JPEG, Standard/Provia profile. ISO 160 | 1/220 sec | F7.1 | Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R @ 62mm equiv.
Photo by Jeff Keller

With its tilting touchscreen, silent electronic shutter and compact body, the X-T30 can be used discreetly. Fujifilm's collection of compact primes is the icing on the cake.

Pros:

  • Tilting touchscreen display
  • Numerous compact primes available
  • Silent electronic shutter

Cons:

  • Banding may be an issue when using electronic shutter under artificial light

Formal portraits

Out of camera JPEG from pre-production camera, Standard/Provia profile. ISO 320 | 1/200 sec | F2 | Fujifilm XF 50mm F2 2
Photo by Carey Rose

The X-T30's reliable face/eye detection system and good selection of portrait lenses, such as the 56mm F1.2 and 90mm F2. An external flash, such as Fujifilm's EF-X500 or several options such as those from Godox allow control over off-camera strobes. There's no flash sync socket on the X-T30, though a hot shoe adapter will work.

Pros:

  • High resolution sensor
  • Excellent portrait lenses available
  • Malleable Raw files

Cons:

  • Limited external flash options from Fujifilm; you can go third party, though
  • No flash sync port (though third party options are available)

The only one of our use cases we've not considered the X-T30 for is 'Wedding and Events', as it's not a function the camera is designed for. Although, at a push, it could probably act as a second camera, its build quality, small grip, and basic wireless flash system don't lend itself to this use case.