Getting My Feet Wet With the Fujifilm X30


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.

The camera has two control dials on the top, (e.g., the mode selector dial in aluminum cast and the aperture compensation dial). The first dial is common in most cameras and the latter is convenient for adjusting more or less light at your fingertips. The red shutter button avoids dust getting inside the camera. I bought it from another supplier. It adds a touch of pizzaz to the camera. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
This is the Mode Selector Dial manufactured with  aluminum cast. The Mode Dial allows you to quickly select various shooting modes. For example, the Advanced SR Auto mode determines the type of scene and automatically uses optimum shooting settings for high-quality images. I’ll be shooting in this mode for a while. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

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.

This is a snapshot of the Aperture Compensation Dial. I use this feature often with my ole P&S Canon PowerShot A720 IS camera. Having it on the top of the camera next to the shutter button is very convenient. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
In this image you can see the Control and Zoom Ring/ON-Off switch. The first ring is a bit confusing to use and the latter is a nuisance. I prefer the normal On/Off switch commonly found in most cameras. Simple is beautiful in my opinion. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

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.

This is the Control ring options button which works together with the large control ring nearby to fully optimize the operation and customization of the camera. Still too early to test how well these two buttons work together. They have been temporarily placed in the back burner until I acquire more experience with the basic operations of the device. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
View of another command dial often used to quickly find useful features of the camera. Instead of digging deep into the menu, you can use this button to find and select the features you need to optimize your shots without losing valuable time. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

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

Photograph of a Guayacan tree wrapped in pink flowers blooming a couple of blocks from our house in Panama City, Panama. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

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.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Getting My Feet Wet With the Fujifilm X30”

  1. Excellent job with this post describing the cameras features and command dials. I do believe when you get used to the on off switch you will like it better than a simple switch. As for the separate charger it is the same one used for the X100/100s/100T the Fuji BC – 65N. I purchased mine through Amazon for $24.95 plus shipping (I believe the supplier was Abe’s of Maine). I would stick with the Fuji charger because I have seen quite a few second party chargers ruin manufacturers batteries. Your best friends on this camera will be the Q menu, the front command dial and the exposure compensation dial Omar. The flowers on the tree look similar to the magnolia tree in the southern US. Good luck with your new camera Omar 😃

  2. I know that things look pretty different with anything new, being it a new car, a new job, a new house and so on so forth.

    Today I tested the x30 with macro shots of flowers. I was very impressed. I know that great experiences lie ahead with this camera. I’m a slow learner albeit a persistent subject.

    In Panama this tree is the Guayacan tree with pink, white, purple and yellow flowers. It is very popular in this country. They bloom during the dry season.

    Bye,

    Omar.-

  3. This is a great post, that I’m bookmarking for future reference. In fact, I may just print it out. I don’t need it now, since I don’t have the camera, but who knows what may come in the future!

  4. Hello Linda:

    It is indeed a great camera for a tempting price. Yesterday I took several macro shots of flowers in my living room. I had never seen such a sharp view finder.

    Even though I’m still learning how to use it, I feel it is the camera that best suits the needs of a person who is interested in taking good pictures but who is not interested in being an expert in cameras. Camera is only the tool needed to take good shots. It is only the conduit to get to the subject, but not the subject itself.

    This is why this camera is so interesting to me. I can’t complain of the performance of my loyal P&S Canon PowerShot A720 IS. We have become good buddies over the years. It is often with me when I go out on a shooting spree.

    Thank you for your kind comments and reading my blog posts. Having readers like you is a respected priviledge.

    Enjoy the rest of the day,

    Omar.-

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s