Mighty X-T30. The rise of the middle child.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Hope the love of your life surprises you with X series or better still the GFX series camera. If that is not gonna happened, the strategy is to buy the camera of your choice for the love of your life; borrow it the next day ands never to return it. If X-T30 is what you are looking for; what better time than in this day of Love.
I was handed a X-T30 at the airport in Singapore prior flying off to Dubai to attend the inaugural Fujifilm X-Summit. Like always we were handed the new cameras without any other details. I had the next four days to get acquainted with this new camera and mine X-T3 that I brought along will take a back seat this time. 
I don’t own a X-T10 or X-T20. And with new X-T30; it does looks similar to its predecessor. The only thing that I could quickly identity is the addition of a joystick and the removal of the D pad. Which I believe will be a warm welcome to most that is upgrading from X-T10 and X-T20. 
In retrospect; I think the reason why I have not own a X-T10 or X-T20 is because for my everyday camera it’s the X100F. It’s like a Pick & Go camera. I don’t have to think which lenses should I attached to the body. Also the X-T10 or X-T20 is always living in the shadow of it’s more than able older brother; the X-T1,X-T2 and now X-T3. 
Now that I have to use the X-T30 exclusively, at least for the last four days; I begin to see the reason for this middle child in the Fujifilm line-up. All the photos here are shot in Jpeg and process in Capture One. I wasn’t really excited about using it. As the days goes by; I think the X-T30 is quite an impressive little camera. The IQ is certainly on par with X-T3. Maybe from this day onward I may have a change of heart toward these series. 


Sunrise at modern Dubai. X-T30 + XF 16mm F2.8 1/420, ISO 160, F22.
Jeep racing in the evening light. X-T30 + XF100-400 1/500, ISO 400, F5.6
Bridge at Dubai International Financial Centre. X-T30 +XF10-24mm, 1/45, ISO 160, F7.1
Old Dubai. X-T30 + XF23mm 1/1600, ISO 80, F3.5.
X-T30 + XF23mm 1/9000, ISO 160, F1.4.
Burj Khalifa. X-T30 + XF 100-400mm. 1/150, ISO 200, F5
I was also given the new XF16mm F2.8 to be paired with X-T30. X-T30’s auto focus is quick. Really quick and precise. I can’t really fault it. In general use I can’t really tell the auto focus differences when compared with X-T3. Even if there is a difference; it wasn’t significant enough for me. Who knows; the actual specs of X-T30 could even be a tat faster. 


X-T30 + XF16mm F2.8 WR.
X-T30; perfect for street photography. X-T30 + XF16mm F2.8. 1/500, ISO 160, F10
Lone Taxi. X-T30 + XF100-400 1/150, ISO 250, F7.1
Local mosque. X-T30 + XF100-400mm, 1/2700, ISO 160, F5.2
Dubai Creek. X-T30 + XF23mm 1/14000, ISO 160, F1.6.
X-T30 + XF100-400mm, 1/1000, ISO 160, F11
For the handling; it’s ok to me. As it’s a rather small camera, I don’t get very good grip feel. Not that the grip is bad, just that X-T30 is smaller compare to the chunkier X-T3. On a positive note it certainly works very well with smaller lenses but if you do mount with a bigger lens; say the XF100-400mm which I brought for this trip, balance may an issue for some. Face detection is certain a notch up. Upgraded for sure.


Top view. X-T30 + XF16mm F2.8 WR.
Chef at Al Hadheerah Desert Restaurant. X-T30 + XF23mm 1/34, ISO 640, F1.4.
Dubai. X-T30 + XF16mm 1/34, ISO 160, F18.
X-T30 + XF23mm 1/2500, ISO 160, F1.4.
Shadow play. Anggi from Fujifilm Indonesia. X-T30 + XF23mm 1/34, ISO 1000, F1.4.
Dancer at Al Hadheerah Desert Restaurant. X-T30 + XF100-400 1/430, ISO 3200, F5.2
Lovely weather. X-T30 + XF23mm 1/34, ISO 250, F1.4.
Having tea with So San. He seems very happy with X-T30. X-T30 + XF23mm 1/160, ISO 160, F1.4.
Inside XVA Art Hotel. X-T30 + XF23mm 1/350, ISO 160 F1.4.
The coolest Ferrari in Dubai. X-T30 + XF23mm 1/7000, ISO 160, F1.4.
Construction rush before Dubai World Expo 2020. X-T30 + XF 100-400mm. 1/150, ISO 200, F5
Carmen. X-T30 + XF23mm 1/2000, ISO 80, F2.8.


Morning glow. Burj Al Arab. X-T30 + XF100-400mm. ISO 320,1/500, F5.6
I am not a video person but the specs does look very similar to X-T3. As I look through the video menu between the two camera; they both have the same video feature. Anyway the internal set-up is most likely the same. Minus the weather sealing of course. The 4K video only shoot at max 30P vs 60P for X-T3. Eterna film simulation is now included and also Color Crome function in the X-T30 set-up. USB-C headphone support is now standard. 


X-T30 +XF23mm, 1/340, ISO 160, F1.4
Me at Fujifilm X- Summit! Thank you X-photographer William Chua for this shot. X-T30 + X23mm, 1/45, ISO 160, F1.4
X-T30 + X23mm , 1/210, ISO 160, F1.4
Kunio San at GPP. X-T30 + X23mm, 1/60, ISO 160, F1.4
Jun San and Toshi San. X-T30 + X23mm, 1/60, ISO 500, F1.4
Concept: Modular GFX series. Interesting times ahead.
OK. Here is what I don’t like about X-T30. I do turn the left top command dial by accident 3-4 times during this four days. I wish it do have a lock mechanism like X-T3. Again it’s not a deal breaker for me. As for the size, men with big hands may find this a little small. On the opposite side of the spectrum; women user rejoice. 


Old Dubai. X-T30 + XF23mm 1/7500, ISO 160, F3.2.
Morning. X-T30 + XF100-400mm, 1/640, ISO 160, F11
X-T30 + XF23mm 1/1300, ISO 80, F1.4.
X-T30 + XF10-24mm, 1/320, ISO 160, F4.5
X-T30 + XF23mm, 1/34, ISO 1000 F1.4
Nelson taking a shot at the Hawk. X-T30 + XF23mm, 1/34, ISO 1000, F1.4
Along Dubai Creek. X-T30 + XF100-400 1/900, ISO 160, F4.8
X-T30 + XF100-400mm. 1/650, ISO160, F5.6.
Final thoughts. 
If you are looking at a compact interchange camera body, I would certainly recommend this camera. Especially if a lightweight camera system is what you are looking for. Of course there are lighter cameras in the Fujifilm line-up. If I guess it right X-T30 has to be price below USD$1000. In term of power to money ratio; X-T30 truly shine. Great value with almost professional performance.
For user experience; I did enjoy using it. It’s a very able camera that suit a newbie to even a pro. Whether a pro would use it professionally, I doubt. As for a back-up to X-T3? That will work. I would certainly use the X-T30 as a travel camera; small and powerful. 
If X-T30 weights the same as X-T20; add a XF23mm F2, XF35mm F2, XF50mm F2 and the new XF16mm F2.8, we are looking a total weight of less that 1.2KG. A camera and 4 prime lenses. This can’t get any better. X-T30 no longer hide in the shadow of the amazing X-T3, rather it’s a class leader in its own. Now the headache is which color to choose from? I do like the new “dark grey”. What about you?


The “dark gray” version. Like it?

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  1. Ivan,

    Your photography is excellent! I’m very much interested the X-T30 but I’ll have to rent one to see if I can get comfortable with the viewfinder and systems first.


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