After researching the web, saving money, and waiting for two long years, I finally got my mirrorless camera, the Fujifilm X30 on February 2, 2015—14 days ago. Since then I’ve played with it for a while and reading the Basic Operations Owner’s Manual to getting it ready to shoot. That phase is done. Then on February 14, 2015—Valentine’s Day—I went out to take my first shots. What a great feeling it was having this baby in my hands. The subject was a Guayacan tree with beautiful pink flowers on Ricardo J. Alfaro’s Highway a few blocks away from my house.
Just to play it safe, I decided to set the camera in full automatic mode (Advanced SR Auto). The machine would automatically select the optimum camera settings for certain modes . All I had to do was point and shoot. That’s all. You will decide how bad or how well the camera performed at the end of this post.
First I will introduce the salient characteristics of this compact high-end point-and-shoot mirrorless camera. On August 14, 2014, Fujifilm Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) proudly announced the launch of the new Fuji X30 camera. Now in its third generation, the X30 replaces the Fuji X20 with new functions and improvements that makes it a joy to use. Initially the price tag was $598.95. That’s the price I paid for. Then a few months later, the price dropped to $498.95 at Amazon.com. That’s a whopping drop of 16.7 percent. Ouch!
I. The Machine
This is a beautiful camera with an aesthetic retro and modern design full of nostalgia. It displays a refined and mature look with straight strong lines. It’s manufactured with a high-quality solid magnesium alloy metal frame and a rugged rubberized mid section. It feels like a real camera in your hands; not a light plastic inexpensive toy. It has a fairly compact size—portable and light enough to carry comfortably out to the field. Its dimensions are: Wide (4.6″), Height (2.6″), and Depth (1.6″). You can buy it in silver or black. I chose silver.
A light but strong magnesium alloy is used for the top and bottom of the body. Metal rings milled from aluminum are used for the lens, while the large 3 dimensional rubber grip fits well in the hand and enhances overall operation. A classy thumb grip would be great to improve the shooting experience.
The main reason for my purchasing the Fuji X30 was to have an enjoyable experience using a fun easy-to use-camera; not a super complex “rocket science” device to take pictures. The machine has generous characteristics that make it desirable for everyday use. There are also a few minor negatives I have found after using the camera for a few days.
Two top-plate dials and six function buttons positioned on the back of the body offer faster access to regularly used features for a more instinctive operation. I have to learn how to handle this features better. It’s still confusing for me at this stage.
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. It’s cool once you know how to do it.
The control ring also facilitates to easily access the film simulation features. Fuji is famous for manufacturing unprecedented high-quality photographic films. This technology has been transferred to its digital cameras as well. Fujifilm’s renowned image quality, produced through the development of photographic films, helps to reproduce warm skin tones, bright blue skies and rich green trees in beautiful colors, just as they were in the real world. The X30 features the new, ‘Classic Chrome’ film simulation mode, which delivers muted tones and deep color reproduction.
Last but not least, the Fujinon lens features super f/2.0-2.8 brightness and a 4x optical zoom that assures high-resolution optical performance across the entire range from 28mm wide angle to 112mm telephoto.
The NP-95 battery has a capacity about 1.8 times greater than that of past models. Couple this with a low energy-consumption design due to system optimization and the X30 enables shooting of up to approximately 470 photos with one charge. By using the supplied micro USB cable, the camera can also be charged anytime and anywhere without a battery charger. I found the charging cable to be extremely short—24 inches. It is very difficult to plug the charger to the electric outlet of my house. I’m planning to buy an independent battery charger to replace the Fuji one.
My other complaint is the On/Off switch. I can’t understand why the Fuji people decided not to add a simple no-nonsense On/Off switch like the rest of the cameras’ manufacturers do. As of this moment, this is my main irritation with the camera. Perhaps with time, I’ll acquire the habit of using it without losing my patience. Other than that, the Fuji is a darling.
II First Photographs – February 14, 2015
After waiting over two years, I’m finally taking pictures with a mirrorless camera. I’ve joined the privileged club of the elite X-Shooters. 🙂 Good Day.