The switch from an optical to electronic viewfinder is biggest change in latest version of Fujifilm's camera for discerning photographers looking for a fast, pocketable camera with advanced features.
Today the Fujifilm X30 debuted, a compact camera with a built-in 4x optical zoom, a new "Real Time" electronic viewfinder with a larger eyepiece that replaces the previous version's optical one, claimed faster startup and AF acquisition times, and manual zoom and camera control rings on the lens.
Note: The Fujifilm X30 will be available from Adorama for $599 starting in September. Adorama is accepting pre-orders now, and will ship the camera on a first-come, first-served basis. Credit cards will not be charged until the camera ships.
The Fujifilm X10 and X20, both discontinued, developed a loyal following among experienced photographers who wanted a fast little pocketable camera. With the X30, Fujifilm has kept the same 12MP sensor but have boosted the camera's performance and reduced lag time, while switching from an optical "squintfinder" with 70% coverage to a high-resolution electronic viewfinder with 100% coverage and a larger eyepiece for more comfortable viewing. In addition, Fujifilm has improved the lens and increased LCD Monitor resolution.
Fujifilm X30 Key features
- 12MP 2/3” X-Trans CMOS II sensor
- EXR Processor II
- New Real Time Viewfinder with 0.005 second lag time, 0.65 magnification and 2.36M dot OLED
- Intelligent Hybrid AF with claimed 0.06 second focus time
- Fast start-up time of 0.5 seconds
- Claimed Shutter time lag of 0.01 seconds
- Up to 12fps burst rate (11 frames continuously in JPEG at full resolution)
- f/2.0-2.8 lens 4x manual zoom lens with HT-EBC coating
- Tilting 3.0” Premium Clear LCD (920k dots)
- ‘Classic Chrome’ and other film simulation modes
- Pop-up Flash
- Macro focus to .039”
- Focus Peaking
- Motion Panorama 360
- Q” button for frequently used menu items
- Full HD video 1080p at 60fps; bit rate of 36Mbps for clear capture of delicate movements
- Manual focus available during video recording
- Output for Stereo Microphone
- Electronic level
- Live histogram
- Interval timer shooting (1 second to 24 hours up to 999 frames)
Let's take an in-depth look at the Fujifilm X30
The Viewfinder Goes Digital
Is the optical "squintfinder" dead? Today's introduction of the Fujifilm X30 may be yet another nail in the optical reverse-gallilean zooming viewfinder—and good riddance. The Fujfilm X30, which replaces the X20, features a brand new, high-resolution electronic viewfinder in place of the X20's optical one.
Optical viewfinders in compact cameras have become increasingly rare. While they have been appreciated because they promote holding the camera up to the user's eye, which reduces camera shake, the typical reverse-Gallilean zooming viewfinders most recently found on posh point-and-shoot cameras only show about 70 percent of the image, frustrating attempts at good composition. Compounding that, the lens often blocked part of the view, and parallax made it difficult to compose when shooting relatively close subjects. By replacing this with an EVF with 100% coverage that projects the image direct from the imaging sensor, Fujifilm has added a feature that is expected to be welcomed by discerning photographers who are looking for a fast, pocketable camera with advanced features.
The X30's lens is now constructed of 11 glass elements in nine groups includeing three aspherical lens elements and two new ED lens elements. As with previous models the lens has a 4x optical zoom range which covers the equivalent of a 28-112mm lens on a 35mm camera and has a maximum aperture of f/2 at 28mm and f/2.8 at 112mm. Zoom is accomplished by turning a manual zoom ring on the lens barrel. The lens has seven diaphragm blades for pleasing Bokeh.
Image stabilization is accomplished by shifting five lens elements; Fuji claims this can compensate for camera shake by up to four stops. Fuji also says the image stabilization system can also prevent motion blur while stopping vignetting and loss of image resolution due to camera shake compensation. As with previous models, users can focus manually with the aid of focus peaking, a new addition.
Ergonomics and Customization
In addition to the zoom ring, Fuji has added a control ring around the lens which will let the user change aperture and shutter speed. Other functions can be assigned to the ring by pushing the control ring setting button. The camera also has two dials on the top plate and six function buttons on the camera back that offer quick access to frequently-used features.
New Film Mode
The Fujifilm X30 will also have a new film emulation mode, Classic Chrome. Unlike popular super-saturated, contrasty print and slide film looks, Classic Chrome will deliver muted tones and deep color reproduction, a good choice for portrait photography.
The Fujifilm X30 will be available in September in black and silver bodies, and will sell at Adorama for $599.95.