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Fujifilm X30 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £479
inc VAT

No game changer, but the Fujifilm X30 is competitively priced and a real pleasure to use


Sensor resolution: 12 megapixels, Sensor size: 2/3in, Viewfinder: Electronic (2,360,000 dots), LCD screen: 3in (920,000 dots), Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths): 4x (28-112mm), 35mm-equivalent aperture: f/7.9-11, Weight: 434g, Size (HxWxD): 72x130x64mm

Wex Photographic


With the same lens, sensor and processor, it’s not much of a surprise to find that the X20 and X30 are closely matched for image quality. Noise reduction was a little more successful at tackling the darker recesses of photos at ISO 800 and above, but that’s the only difference we could spot.

That’s by no means a criticism, though. The f/2-2.8 lens and 2/3in sensor equate to an f/7.9-11 aperture on a full-frame camera. This isn’t far behind CSCs and SLRs at this price, which have bigger sensors but smaller apertures in their kit lenses. In practice that means excellent results indoors in ambient daylight, and respectable snapshots under household artificial light.

^ There’s plenty of detail in skin and hair textures in this indoor daytime shot, even after raising the shutter speed to avoid motion blur. (1/125s, f/2.5, ISO 1000, 68mm equivalent)

^ Shooting at ISO 1600 in subdued light, shaded skin textures are a little noisy but the backlight has been expertly managed. (1/30s, f/2.5, ISO 1600, 56mm equivalent)

^ ISO 3200 shots don’t stand up to scrutiny but they’re fine for casual snaps. (1/56s, f/2.5, ISO 3200, 52mm equivalent)

The lens delivered the goods in outdoor tests, too, with sharp focus into the corners of frames. The sensor and JPEG engine produced some flattering colours but their handling of dense textures was a little below par. Fujifilm’s dynamic range optimisation performed superbly, giving balanced mid-tones and shadows while subtly under-exposing highlights to avoid them being clipped.

^ We’re big fans of the colours produced by Fujifilm’s JPEG processing engine. (1/320s, f/2.8, ISO 100, 112mm equivalent)

^ Focus is sharp from edge to edge of this shot, and there’s no hint of chromatic aberrations in the high contrast lines of the wheel spokes. (1/300s, f/2.2, ISO 100, 46mm equivalent)

^ This is another great result for focus and handling of highlights. (1/850s, f/4, ISO 200, 30mm equivalent)

^ The dense textures in this foliage aren’t rendered so well. This could limit the degree to which photos are cropped or enlarged. (1/950s, f/4.5, ISO 200, 112mm equivalent)


The X30’s price puts it in the middle of the premium compact market, although a £50 cashback offer (valid until 11 January 2015) brings the price down. Some people will prefer to stick with the X20, which is still available for around £340. The even older but still excellent Panasonic LX7 can be picked up for a mere £290. Meanwhile, there are compact cameras such as the Sony RX100 III and Panasonic LX100 (review coming soon) that surpass the X30 for image quality, but then they also cost more.

The biggest challenge to the X30 is last year’s Sony RX100 II, which costs the same and wins for image quality for wide angle shots, although the X30 regains the advantage for telephoto. The RX100 II is significantly smaller but it lacks the X30’s viewfinder and extensive physical controls.

Ultimately, we’d pick the X30. Image quality is consistently excellent, it’s seriously fast and using it is a genuinely pleasurable experience. There’s not much more we can ask for.

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Sensor resolution12 megapixels
Sensor size2/3in
Focal length multiplier3.94x
ViewfinderElectronic (2,360,000 dots)
Viewfinder magnification (35mm-equivalent), coverage0.65x, 100%
LCD screen3in (920,000 dots)
ArticulatedYes, tilting up and down
Orientation sensorYes
Photo file formatsJPEG, RAW (RAF)
Maximum photo resolution4,000×3,000
Photo aspect ratios4:3, 3:2, 16:9 1:1
Video compression formatQuickTime (AVC) at up to 37Mbit/s
Video resolutions1080p at 24/25/30/50/60fps, 720p at 24/25/30/50/60fps, VGA at 25/30fps
Slow motion video modesVGA at 80fps (1/3.2x), QVGA at 150fps (1/6x), 320×112 at 250fps (1/10x)
Maximum video clip length (at highest quality)14m 31s
Exposure modesProgram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed range30 to 1/4,000 seconds
ISO speed range100 to 12800
Exposure compensationEV +/-3
White balanceAuto, 7 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin
Auto-focus modesMulti, flexible spot, face detect, tracking
Metering modesMulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash modesAuto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modesSingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, ISO bracket, film simulation bracket, WB bracket, dynamic range bracket, panorama, interval
Optical stabilisationYes
Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths)4x (28-112mm)
Maximum aperture (wide-tele)f/2-2.8
35mm-equivalent aperturef/7.9-11
Manual focusyes
Closest macro focus (wide)1cm
Closest macro focus (tele)1m
Card slotSDXC
Memory supplied55MB internal
Battery typeLi-ion
ConnectivityUSB, micro HDMI, 2.5mm microphone/wired remote
GPSVia smartphone app
HotshoeFujifilm TTL
Body materialMagnesium alloy
AccessoriesUSB cable, neck strap
Size (HxWxD)72x130x64mm
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Price including VAT£479
Part codeP10NC13270A

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