Fujifilm X-T30: the little GIANT is ready for full-scale video production

Small and light, with just 383g, the X-T30 aims to be a darling of videographers, featuring recording in DCI format and 4K/30P video that can be recorded at 8bit 4:2:0 on an SD card.

Fujifilm X-T30: the little GIANT is ready for full-scale video production

Designed, says Fujifilm, to meet the needs of full-scale video production, the newest APS-C sensor camera of the X family has arrived. The X-T30 costs $899, body only.

While everybody was discussing the merits (or not) of Canon’s new mirrorless camera, the EOS RP, Fujifilm introduced its newest model, the X-T30, which one can sum as “a X-T3 without some features and with a lower price”. One thing in common for Canon and Fujifilm launches: both have created discussions online about the features present ( or removed) from the cameras. What many seem to forget, in Canon’s case, is that the Canon EOS RP costs $1299 (confirming that Canon is trying to make this a new EOS 300D success) and that Canon continues to protect its Cinema EOS line, and the top models, taking away features as they see fit. Yes, sometimes it is hard to see the logic behind some decisions, but the truth is one: Canon continues to sell.

With the Fujifilm X-T30 the reasons may be different, but the camera has some missing features, some explained by the fact that it costs $899 – and so can not have all the features of the X-T3 – and some others by design, as apparently Fujifilm has decided to change some of the interface. For some users this is enough, they write online, to move to a completely new system. I must say it continues to puzzle me the amount of people that, every other month, move from one system to another, because they don’t like something their – apparently “temporarily” –  elected brand made. It must be a sign of the times, and also the influence of so many said Internet “influencers”…

Fujifilm X-T30: the little GIANT is ready for full-scale video production

A smaller X-T3, at a lower price

Coming from a time and world where we only had cameras with a film roll compartment to work with, on newspaper or magazine work, assignments from which we had to come back with usable images, I don’t understand some of the expectations many users (or online commentators) seem to have regarding cameras: it’s as if everybody wants to pay for a FIAT and get a Ferrari!

I have not tried the Fujifilm X-T30, but looking at the specifications, I believe it’s an interesting little camera. Still being blessed with the presence of a X-T3 at home, which Fujifilm allowed me to play with for some more time, I sat down to compare features, and from what I see, I could well live with the X-T30. In fact, the camera seems like a good choice if you’re coming into Fujifilm and want to buy a modern camera that will last for some years. As a small package for traveling (or take anywhere, in fact), this “little GIANT”, as Fujifilm calls it, appears to be a wise choice. Coupled with a 35mm f/2 lens  in the kit available, it costs $998.00. For street photography, this is a package to consider.

Fujifilm X-T30: the little GIANT is ready for full-scale video production

The X-T30 has Fujifilm’s latest tech

The X-T30 comes in silver, but also in charcoal silver and black, so you can choose the color that best suits you. I would go for black, if asked, as these metal bodies looking like cameras from the past look very nice in black, as I remember from a Canon A-1 I had decades ago, which was stolen when its corners were getting the nice little tone of yellow from too much use.

While some are still discussing which camera to choose between the X-T30 and an older model, that can had for a lower price now,  the fact that the X-T30 includes the latest tech from Fujifilm should be taken into account. According to Fujifilm, “the X-T30 inherits popular exterior design features of the X-T20, while adopting a new grip design that makes the camera body sit comfortably in your hand. It also has the “Focus Lever”, replacing the “Selector Button”, to afford extra grip space at the rear. These design enhancements have created added hand-holding stability despite the camera’s compact and lightweight body, even when it is mounted with a large lens such as a telephoto zoom.”

Fujifilm X-T30: the little GIANT is ready for full-scale video production

AF similar to the X-T3

The light and compact body features a X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor that has 2.16 million phase detection pixels, about 4 times that of the previous generation, to expand the highly-accurate phase detection AF area to the entire frame (approximately 100%). This means that the X-T30 offers, “highly-accurate AF performance across the frame and fast / silent continuous shooting of up to 30fps to capture every decisive moment.

It should be noted that the value above is only available when using the electronic shutter, associated with a cropped frame (1.25x) equivalent to 16.6MP. If you don’t mind the crop, this translates into one thing: even a fast-moving subject, positioned away from the center of the frame, can be autofocused at an amazing speed and accuracy, ensuring that you will not miss a decisive shutter moment.

Fujifilm X-T30: the little GIANT is ready for full-scale video production

Working in low-light

Fujifilm adds to this one more important  piece of information: the X-Processor 4’s high processing speed and improved AF algorithm has boosted the camera’s capability to accurately detect human faces and eyes. The “Face Select function” has been also introduced to provide priority auto-focus on the face of a selected subject when multiple faces have been detected within a frame. The low-light limit for phase detection AF has been extended from +0.5EV on previous models to -3EV, making on-screen phase detection AF available in very poor lighting such as at night or under a light source of limited luminosity, such as candlelight.

Evolved functionality of the “Advanced SR Auto mode” can be activated instantaneously with the use of the “Auto Mode Selector lever”, positioned on the camera body’s top panel. The camera automatically chooses the optimum shooting settings for a given scene out of 58 presets so that you can achieve the best image quality without having to worry about settings yourself.

Fujifilm X-T30: the little GIANT is ready for full-scale video production

Recording in the DCI format

There are other specifications that reflect the changes adopted by Fujifilm, but you’ll find, online, all the in formation you need about the camera. Here, at ProVideo Coalition, I want to look at the video options present in this model, which is presented by Fujifilm as designed to meet the needs of full-scale video production.

The X-T30 is able to record with high-resolution audio and track human eyes even during video recording, says the company. Smooth 4K/30P video can be recorded at 8bit 4:2:0 on an SD card, and also output to external storage media via the HDMI port at 10bit 4:2:2 to include more color information. The camera is also capable of F-log recording, which captures footage in wider gamut for later editing of color tones and luminosity. These extensive video functions cater, adds Fujifilm, “to the needs of full-scale video production.”

Video data, greater than what is required for 6K video, is scaled down to 4K to achieve advanced sharpness with minimal moiré (also remember the 26.1MP resolution APS-C sensor does not use a low pass filter).The camera supports recording in the DCI format (17:9 aspect ratio), used in digital cinemas, for dynamic video footage in high resolution.

Fujifilm X-T30: the little GIANT is ready for full-scale video production

Smaller and lighter than the X-T3

The X-T30 can apply “Film Simulation mode”, popular for stills, while recording video, so that you can enjoy a diverse range of unique effects, including the “ETERNA” for rich color grading. Capable of recording 4K(3840×2160) at 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 200Mbps/100Mbps up to approx. 10min, the X-T30 has a series of limitations in terms of capture time that should be dully understood by anyone looking at the camera as a potential choice. All this information is available on Fujifilm’s website.

Presented as able to offer “similar performance to the Fujifilm X-T3, in a smaller and lighter body”, the X-T30 has the same phase-detection AF system with almost 100% frame coverage, blackout-free high-speed continuous shooting of up to 30fps, monochrome adjustment function, Color Chrome effect and Sports Viewfinder mode while also offering functions that cater to the less professional photographer, such as the Advanced SR Auto function as well. A camera that adapts to your needs, the “Little Giant – X-T30″ seems designed to offer premium image quality – as the X-T3 I tested – at a more accessible price than ever before.

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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