With some extremely strong competition in the premium compact market, how does Fujifilm’s X30 stack up? Michael Topham takes a closer look in our Fujifilm X30 review
Build and Handling
Fujififlm X30 Review – Build and Handling
The X30, to all intents and purposes, feels as solid and robust as the manufacturers CSCs in terms of its build quality, and if it’s anything like the X-E2 that I’ve battered and bruised, it’ll happily survive the test of time and the occasional knock along the way. The only downside to its muscular build is that it is quite heavy. Weighing 383g, it’s equivalent to around 100g heavier than its closest Canon and Sony rivals.
The rubberised grip gives it a highly tactile feel, but if I was to be picky, I would have liked to see this stretch all the way around the left side of the body where there’s a mismatch (albeit a subtle one) between the texture of the rubber and imitation plastic.
Metal dials and a threaded shutter button for the attachment of a wire cable release are carried across from the X20’s top plate, however there’s a small movie-rec button added in front of the exposure compensation dial, which itself is no longer recessed into the body and stands proud just like the mode dial.
Revisions to button placement are also found at the rear where the larger screen sees the playback button positioned beside the viewfinder’s dioptre dial, while buttons to the right of the screen take up a similar arrangement to the company’s X-E2.
At the front corner of the body there’s a switch to instantly toggle between single, continuous and manual focusing modes, and just to the side of where the index finger lays to rest at the front of the grip is another button that allows users assign a function to the all-new control ring that’s positioned behind the zoom ring.Though fairly thin it remains easy to access from behind the camera and is by far the best handling improvement.
Being customisable, it allows users to take instant control of white balance, ISO, film simulation modes, or continuous shooting from a simple twist of the ring, plus it doesn’t notch or click into place meaning it won’t interrupt you when you’re adjusting aperture or shutter speed, or recording HD video.
As for the zoom ring, this doubles up as the X30’s on/off switch. Extend the zoom past the off setting on the lens barrel and the camera instantly powers up ready to shoot, with the manual zoom ring offering a satisfyingly smooth and fluid movement across its range.
There’s a good level of resistance when you reach the wide end to prevent turning off the camera accidentally, and Fujifilm’s idea of lining the inside of the lens cap with felt means that even if the cap gets knocked, it refuses to engage the lens, thus helping to preserve battery life and prevent lens damage.