As we approach Photokina next month the various manufacturers of photographic equipment have started to announce what they will be presenting at the show. This morning Fujifilm announce the successor to the popular X-20 the all new X-30.
I always had a soft spot for the X-20 and if it wasn’t discontinued as early as it was last year I would have probably picked one up as my compact camera. I always preferred it over the the overpriced X100/X100s is camera, whilst it had a larger sensor and direct controls (you know what I think about them) the fixed 35mm equivalent focal length was something I never liked.
Whilst the internals of the new X-30 and its high precision F2.0-2.8 28-112mm manual barrel zoom lens seem to have largely not changed the externals now have been improved in many areas:
- New Real Time Viewfinder: High-definition Live View thanks to the new 2.36M-dot organic EL electronic viewfinder and newly-designed dedicated lens, plus visibility has been improved by automatically controlling finder brightness according to the ambient light levels. This also supports the rotating text when in portrait mode ala the X-T1.
- Manual zoom and control ring: A new control ring positioned behind the manual zoom control allows the immediate change of aperture settings and shutter speed while fine-tuning composition. Functions such as ISO sensitivity, film simulation, white balance and continuous shooting can be assigned by pushing the control ring setting button at the front.
- Exposure compensation: The exposure compensation dial on the top of the camera now support +/- 3 stops.
- Six function buttons: these are positioned on the back of the body and also offer faster access to regularly-used features for a more instinctive operation.
- Tilting LCD: 3.0-inch 920K-dot premium clear LCD monitor can be tilted so shooting can be enjoyed from any angle.
- Long Lasting Battery: The NP-95 battery has a capacity approximately 1.8 times greater than that of past models. Couple this with a low energy-consumption design due to system optimisation and the X30 enables shooting of up to approximately 470 photos with one charge.
- Fast high-speed AF at 0.06sec: A combination of the X-Trans CMOS II sensor with phase-detection AF and the EXR Processor II processing engine means the X30 delivers a high-speed performance, along with high resolution and low noise. The phase-detection system focuses in just 0.06sec but the camera will automatically switch to contrast AF according to the subject and scene, so high-speed and high-precision AF is guaranteed on any scene.
- New film simulation mode: The X30 features the new, “CLASSIC CHROME” film simulation mode, which delivers muted tones and deep colour reproduction.
- Full HD movies: 60fps smooth Full HD movies can be shot with the X30. 50fps, 30fps, 25fps and 24fps frame rates can also be selected.
- Enhanced wireless functions: The (free) Camera Remote application and Wireless Communication function allows users to remotely shoot images from smartphones and tablets.
There are many more details about the new X-30 camera that I don’t have time to list here. Suffice to say (on paper) that this is an impressive update that fixes a few things that were wrong about the older X-20 and brings this camera up to date with it competition. It cannot quite match the image quality of the larger sensor on the Sony RX100 but its pretty close and no-one really complained about this on the X-20. I look forward to playing with one of these when they become available – there is no indication of UK price at the moment only a US price of $600. I suspect that the UK price will be in the region of £500 to £600 but we’ll have to wait and see. I expect that both WEX and Park will email me today with the UK price and pre-order options.
There are a few negatives though. Fujifilm still insist that 3 stops at a maximum of 1EV is OK for bracketing; the camera no longer includes an external charger and the grip although better is still too small so the purchase of a bracket and charger now need to be included in the price.
More detail can be found at the X-30 site here (warning it’s still a Work in Progress at the moment, in the mean time you can go to the main Fujifilm site here as they have their page up already). The press release can be found here and DPReview already have their first-look ready too, this can be found here.