It's a compact mirrorless camera with above the average sensor size and a lens with a useful zoom range and maximum aperture. It's built around a 12 megapixel 2/3 inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor with EXR Processor II providing it with all the necessary power. While this sensor isn't as big as the 1-inch sensors we usually find in these types of cameras, it's still noticeably bigger than the 1/2.3 inch sensors found in a lot of cameras in its price range, so we have no complaints here.
The image quality you can expect from this camera is rather good. You can get a lot of detail in your shots at lower ISOs and also benefit from good dynamic range if you end up with some over or underexposed areas in your photos.
The noise performance is also very respectable for such a relatively small sensor
and you can get usable images up to ISO 1600. At an ISO of 3200 there's a little too much noise for our taste, but at least the amount of detail retained is still ok if you decide to shoot in RAW
. If you aim to get the most detail out of X30, we suggest you use RAW capture when shooting at ISO of 800 or above because the JPEG algorithms apply too much noise reduction at these ISO values and we believe that so much processing really isn't necessary. The same applies to video quality, it's good at normal ISO values while some noticeable noise creeps in at 1600 and 3200.
The body of the X30 is another of its strengths being made out of magnesium alloy and looking very sharp and retro-like. There's also a lot of manual controls available for a compact camera with as much as three dials. There's also a very useful articulated 920,000 dot 3-inch TFT-LCD and a large high resolution 2,360,000 dots EVF - Our only complaint here is the omission of a touchscreen which is a pretty normal affair these days on many cameras. We understand that some corners had to be cut to keep it competitive price wise, we just wish that this wasn't one of these cuts.
The AF system in X30 consists of 49 focus points and its performance is average at best. You won't have many problems with it in regular use, but it can be quite hesitant to focus correctly while you're shooting extreme macro or portrait photos when you aren't holding the camera in landscape. Unfortunately, the situation for video isn't any better and you'll get much better results when using manual focus helped by the focus peaking.
Back on the more positive note, the lens on the X30 is of very high quality; besides having such a useful aperture range it's also sharp, exhibits minimal distortions and is also quite resistant to flare because of Fuji's familiar EBC coatings. Its Wi-Fi capabilities are also very good and give you an easy way to connect to your smartphone or a tablet with Fuji Camera Remote app. The app itself is well thought out and easy to navigate through and also serves as a replacement for the missing touchscreen by giving you the ability to use tap to focus on your smart device. Other noticeable features include a pop-up flash unit, 12 fps burst rate, RAW support, micro-HDMI port and a battery life for 470 shots.