Fujifilm just released the Fujifilm X30 compact camera. Well, I say compact, but it’s not that small really. It’s comparable in size to an Olympus E-PL7 or Sony NEX-7. The Fujifilm X30 has a sensor of 8.8mm by 6.6mm. The fact that bigger sensors produce better image quality is a proven theorem – over and over. So it’s a mirrorless size camera, with half the sensor, and integrated zoom lens. It’s priced in the same range as the Olympus E-PL7, but doesn’t offer interchangeable lenses and has a sensor of 12 Megapixels. The Fujifilm X30 might seem like an utter failure, but it does have some redeeming factors.
First of all, Fuji has really revamped its image processing in cameras, attracting fans that desire a certain film look. They offer a variety of shooting options that emulate certain 35mm films. The colours of the Fujifilm cameras have always been held in high regard by enthusiasts, but I can’t help but feel that this camera is a bit odd due to its large size for a compact camera. It offers a 28-112mm equivalent with a f/2.0-2.8 lens – which wouldn’t be possible today with bigger sensors. The Fujifilm X30 sensor isn’t such an odd ball when you consider the lens. Its main use might be as a travel or pocket camera for seasoned amateurs and professionals. The camera also features Wi-Fi, so it fits the profile of enthusiast camera really well.
We’ve seen mobile phone camera technology evolve greatly in the past 5 years, but it can’t come close to a serious camera, even a compact like the X30 – add to that the fact that it has a 4x optical zoom with very big aperture. The Fujifilm X30 also features a tilt screen and 2 rings on the lens that can be used for various purposes – including electronic manual focus and scene settings. I can’t help think they could have made it smaller. At just under 3 x 2.5 x 5 inches it’s not exactly a compact. By comparison, the Olympus E-PL7 is smaller, has a similar price, bigger sensor, more megapixels and better features. The Fujifilm X30 is not a compact, it’s not all purpose, it’s really neither here nor there.