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Thoughts on the X30? (crossposted from Fujixspot)

Discussion in 'Fuji Forum' started by tonyturley, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. tonyturley

    tonyturley SC Veteran

    385
    Nov 24, 2014
    Scott Depot, WV, USA
    Tony
    I presently own an X100 and X-E1. Great IQ, both, but there are times I really miss the tilting screens I once used on my previous Sony and Olympus cameras. I'd also like to have a wee bit more reach, without going to large and heavy zoom lenses.

    As I prefer smaller cameras, I have been looking at both the X-T10 and X30. X-T10 would certainly have better IQ, while the X30 would have more versatility. X-T10 would also require larger lenses. I have read a lot about both, and both have their fans and detractors. The X30, in particular, seems to be divided between those who raved about the camera's utility and stated it really "punches above its weight", while others have claimed it to be a disappointment with marginal IQ.

    Given that I sold all of my m4/3 equipment because I found its low light IQ lacking, I'm thinking I may not be satisfied with the X30, even as a second. I'm going to rent one for a few days, just to satisfy my curiosity. Any other thoughts from the crowd?

    TT
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  2. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    A couple of thoughts here (also cross-posting from FujiXspot). First, remember the X30 won't be that much smaller than the X100. But that's not really a problem IMHO.

    Second, I think your plan to rent one is the best way to go. Using the X30 in the way you personally would use such a camera over a period of several days will answer your questions better than anyone else's input.

    With all of that said, it is likely you will find the X30's low-light performance lacking if you already have an issue with similar images from a micro four-thirds camera. Nonetheless, others have found output from the X30 to be at least real-world competitive with the more-recent one-inch sensor cameras. The camera really does punch above its weight.

    On the other hand, what kind of lenses were you using on your micro four-thirds bodies? As in, what kind of aperture range? The fixed lens on the X30 gives you f/2.0-2.8, which generally means you can keep the ISO fairly low.

    Personally, I have found I can operate my older X10 and XF1 up to ISO 1600 without issue and even ISO 3200 in a pinch. There'll be some noise in the latter case but I'm an old film guy, and it doesn't upset me. It's more a subjective thing. Most ex-film people don't mind some noise, especially of the luminous nature (grain) rather than chromatic nature (random colored sparkles). Many others who came to photography in the digital age believe the mere thought of any noise at all ruins any and all images. Just don't expect noiseless images beyond ISO 200 or so.

    I'd be tempted to give the X30 a try if the price ever drops again (no guarantee there). It's back up to $499 in the U.S. after having been on sale for $399 a few months ago.

    Good luck with your decision and let us know how it goes!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  3. Richard

    Richard SC Top Veteran

    564
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    With a good choice of cameras with 1-inch sensors available now, I think you need a good reason to buy anything smaller. The X30 shares the excellent ergonomics of the X10 and X20, which might be enough of a reason. On the other hand, the electronic viewfinder of the X30 doesn't seem to be liked as much as the optical viewfinder of the X10 and X20.

    I believe the size of the sensor is fundamental to a camera's low-light image quality, so if you weren't happy with the IQ of m4/3 cameras it seems unlikely that the X30 will be satisfactory. But by all means rent one first in case its other virtues (excellent ergonomics, good lens) tip the balance.

    -R
     
  4. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    I'm an X20 man. I didn't really like the X30 when it came out and I still don't. The loss of the OVF combined with the introduction of the tilty screen were both no-nos for me. I use the X20 regularly and still find that it punches above it's weight.
     
  5. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    To some extent you answered your own questions. I think in good light, so long as you don't expect very shallow DOF, the X30 should be able to satisfy you. In low light or with great contrasts, you'll see the difference with cameras with a larger sensor. Converting to B&W might be an option to salvage the X30's images in those cases where the conditions exceed its shooting envelope.

    If you prefer a tilting screen and more zoom reach, I'd suggest perhaps looking into the Canon G5X. The sensor performance is roughly equal to m43 of a few short years ago, and the lens is decently long and fast, and the screen tilts.
     
  6. davidzvi

    davidzvi SC Regular

    180
    Apr 18, 2014
    David
    I like the features and handling of the X30. But I can't get past the sensor size. 1" is my base. For a P&S I love the manual zoom, it's the main reason I've sold every compact camera I've tried and owned. I'll echo the size comments, the X-T10 isn't really smaller than the E-X1. The E-X1 is wider, but shorter, thinner, and lighter than X-T10. Similar when compared to the X30, toss up between LXDXHXW.
     
  7. tonyturley

    tonyturley SC Veteran

    385
    Nov 24, 2014
    Scott Depot, WV, USA
    Tony
    Thanks for the replies. I am planning to stay in the Fuji camp, as I like what they have done with the 3 Fuji cameras I have purchased or rented to date ... the X30 will make 4 when it arrives. I intend to take the X30 on my latest hiking excursion this weekend before returning it.

    Funny how we all have different preferences; I'm not a big fan of the OVF, and prefer an EVF myself. The tilting LCD, however, comes in handy when doing low angle compositions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  8. tonyturley

    tonyturley SC Veteran

    385
    Nov 24, 2014
    Scott Depot, WV, USA
    Tony
    The rented X30 arrived yesterday afternoon, and I wasted no time in examining it and snapping photos of everything around - coffee cups, other cameras, PC monitors, you name it. I do like the handling. I took it with me to church last night and used it to record a bunch of different scenes, from up close low light shots in the sound booth, to wide sweeping views of the sanctuary. Even at ISO 1600, I found the images crisp and eye pleasing. They did have some visible noise at the higher sensitivities, not so much as to be distracting. I do have the camera set at NR -2, to avoid smearing of details. Next step will be to take it out on my weekend hike, along with the X100. I want to see how the X30 handles deep canopy areas, places where I know the X100 excels.

    Perhaps my mind is stuck in the "bigger sensor >>> better" mindset, but one thought that has come to my mind is that an APS-C X300, with the body of an X100 and all the functionality of the X30, would be an incredible camera. Adding the tilting LCD would make it thicker, and with the lens mechanism it would be heavier and probably far more expensive. It is an intriguing notion, though. When I look at the current X-mount cameras, the only way I see to get all of the function and range of the X30 is with an X-T1 or X-T10 and the XF 18-135 WR. Much heavier and far more expensive setup. As I have been searching for ways to reduce what I carry on my hikes, that is something to consider. Looking at this simulation . . .

    Compact Camera Meter

    . . . one can see the the obvious differences between the two X-mount APS-C cameras and the X-30. I know from experience that carrying 2+ pounds of lens and camera for 10 miles or more on a neck strap is tough, and I'm trying to get away from carrying camera bags. It would take several primes to cover the range of the 18-135. Sometimes I am perfectly content with a single FL lens; other times I would like more flexibility. The ruminating continues . . .

    TT

    PS: I no longer own the X-E1 and XF 14mm. While the IQ of the combination was excellent, I found the FOV too limiting for general purpose use, and the lack of a tilting LCD on the X-E1 has led me to continue looking elsewhere.
     
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  9. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    What did I tell you about reliably being able to use the X10 and XF1 up to ISO 1600 with 3200 in a pinch? It appears the X30 is no different or a bit better in that regard. That's good news. I hope the rest of your experiments go well because the size and utility of the X30 seem to work for you. Keep us up to date.
     
  10. tonyturley

    tonyturley SC Veteran

    385
    Nov 24, 2014
    Scott Depot, WV, USA
    Tony
    A couple of samples . . .

    DSCF0053a.
    DSCF0056a.
     
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  11. Casey

    Casey SC Veteran

    247
    Mar 17, 2016
    Atlanta, GA
    Casey
    I would say try a Ricoh GR if you want a larger sensor, IQ and something that will fit in your pocket. It feels like an extension of the hand, and the button access and customization ability is great.

    I've had several Fuji's in the order of: x100s, XT1, x100, x100t. I tried so hard to want the x30 but I just never fell in love with the IQ on it from the smaller sensor and the ISO limits were just too much. For the size of it, I was just better off using any of the x100's available to me.

    Then I found the pocketable Ricoh GR. Killed the x100 line for me sad to say. The Fuji stuff will still be my first love, but I can take the GR with me anywhere in my front pocket and get amazing shots and not have to sacrifice sensor size at all.
     
  12. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    But the GR doesnt have an EVF or a tilty screen, which I think were things that Tony was looking for.
     
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  13. Casey

    Casey SC Veteran

    247
    Mar 17, 2016
    Atlanta, GA
    Casey
    Crud, I read that and then totally had a brain fart about it when I responded. Whoops.
     
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  14. Casey

    Casey SC Veteran

    247
    Mar 17, 2016
    Atlanta, GA
    Casey
    Upon further reflection, I've decided I need a coffee now cause I read thru again and now I just feel like a GR fanboy that came in stomping around haha.

    Now, about the Fuji stuff...

    Can we get an x200t now with the new 24mp sensor, the evf with a flip out screen and some longer battery life??? It would basically be the x30's dad.
     
  15. tonyturley

    tonyturley SC Veteran

    385
    Nov 24, 2014
    Scott Depot, WV, USA
    Tony
    No sweat, Casey. I already have an X100, and like it quite a bit, but have had several times when I wished I had more reach. However, I have gone the route of carrying a Pentax DSLR with a long lens, and also tried Olympus cameras with the 4/3 50-200 ED. Loved the IQ, hated the bulk and weight. Unfortunately, we can't fight physics. A larger sensor with any kind of reach involves a large lens. Ergo my auditioning of the X30. It is under consideration as a supplement to my X100. Although it doesn't have as much reach, I'm also thinking of renting an X-T10 + XF 18-55 for comparison sake.
     
  16. Casey

    Casey SC Veteran

    247
    Mar 17, 2016
    Atlanta, GA
    Casey
    I had the 18-55mm 2.8 on my XT1 almost all the time. It is an amazing addition to the bag. The x30 was something I really wanted to want. I guess the limits of the ISO for me and the sensor size just had me constantly over thinking if it was really for me. Every time I would say yes to the x30 it was because I wanted the perks of Classic Chrome and wifi vs just going with the x20. What made it hard was that I also had the x100t and xt1 setup at the time and I was trying to go smaller for pocket carry. The x30 just couldn't sway me for some reason. Then I came to a scary conclusion that with the way I had my x100t gripped it was basically the same size as my XT1 (with 27mm mounted) and I just really felt like everything was starting to overlap, yet there I was still with no pocket carry option.
     
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  17. tonyturley

    tonyturley SC Veteran

    385
    Nov 24, 2014
    Scott Depot, WV, USA
    Tony
    That is a problem for me ... overthinking. In the end, it is just a camera. I don't sell my photos, or even print many. I'll never be a pro photographer. Why is sensor size so important to me? I guess I need to answer that for myself.
     
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  18. Casey

    Casey SC Veteran

    247
    Mar 17, 2016
    Atlanta, GA
    Casey
    Same boat here. As long as you're having fun and enjoying a creative outlet, it's all win win.

    One of my large aluminum prints from my xt1 with the 18-55mm blew me away. And ya know what? It was only possible for me for me to get the photo using both the Fuji wifi app, and the tilting screen. So the x30 might actually be the right tool given you can keep the ISO and noise levels where you need them.
     
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  19. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Tony, I can't wait to learn what you think after the weekend hike. Full speed ahead!
     
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  20. pictogramax

    pictogramax SC Top Veteran

    979
    Aug 18, 2011
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Did you consider Canon G5X? EVF, articulated screen, 1" sensor, small as X30?
    I played with one the other day in camera shop and if I had the money with me I would have taken it home.
    Take a look at this video:
    Or this one:
     
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