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
Fujifilm X30 Review – Performance
The X30 excels itself at the speed in which it can focus in single-AF mode, which is claimed to offer an acquisition speed of 0.06secs. It rarely struggles to lock onto subjects quickly and focusing speed was only fractionally slower at the telephoto end of the zoom compared with wide-angle. The X30’s bright AF assist beam is on hand should you require extra illumination in low light, but even with this switched off, I was extremely impressed with how well the camera recognized subjects devoid of detail and focused quickly on scenes lacking contrast.
Some shifting of the lens was experienced in continuous AF at both wide angle and full telephoto, but the way the X30 offers fast access to reposition the AF point, combined with the option to bring up a magnified view on screen by depressing the scroll dial at the rear, in all provides a intuitive way to control autofocus quickly and effectively.
With a good number of physical controls on the body and all the main camera settings you need available from the X30’s quick menu, it’s a camera that’s very simple to setup and use. The performance of the X30’s electronic viewfinder is most impressive however. The eye sensor switches the feed automatically between the screen and the EVF in less than a second, while the view through the viewfinder is bright and clear. Most importantly, it’s superb at rendering fine detail and displaying clear shooting information.
With the viewfinder being as good as it is, I found myself composing virtually all my images using it, other than the times when the camera was held at low or high angles where the tilting screen proved its worth.
Putting the X30’s continuous shooting to the test, we managed to record 18 Fine JPEGs in its Super High (12fps) burst mode. Switching the mode across to High allowed us to record Raw & JPEGs simultaneously at a maximum speed of 9fps, with 12 files being recorded before the X30’s buffer kicked in and prevented any more to be taken. By compact camera terms, the X30 puts in a very respectable performance in all the key criteria a great camera must excel.
The X30 also allows users to view images in playback mode without having to turn the camera on by physically extending the zoom. This is achieved by holding the playback button for three seconds, after which the last image taken will reveal onscreen. A simple tap of the playback button again shuts down the camera to prevent the X30 using up unnecessary battery power. It’s a useful shortcut to know and one that was used frequently out in the field while we were testing the camera.