Fuji X-T30 – an excellent budget camera

The Fuji X-T30 will meet the demands of most photography enthusiasts, says Matthew Partridge.


Shortly after I reviewed the Fujifilm X-T3 mirrorless camera a few weeks ago, Fuji released the X-T30: a smaller, budget version of the main model. It shares many of the same features as its bigger brother, including the sensor and the excellent autofocus system. What's more, the slimmed down size means that you can easily fit the body into a trouser pocket or inside a jacket. Even if you add one of Fuji's smaller lenses, such as the 35mm F2, you can just about squeeze it into a pocket. Those who decide to carry it around their neck or shoulder will appreciate that the X-T30's body is 156g lighter than that of the X-T3, which will make things a lot more comfortable after a long day's shooting.

Mirrorless cameras have a reputation for having relatively short battery lives. This is because they don't have an optical viewfinder, so you have to either use the electronic viewfinder or look at the LCD display at the back to see what you're about to shoot. However, while the camera is only officially rated for 380 shots per charge, you should easily get double that amount without any problem. Similarly, improved sensors mean that the silent electronic shutter mode is free from distortion, banding and flickering, even if you're shooting moving people under fluorescent lighting. I shot a fast-paced play silently from the front row of the audience without any problems.

Fuji sells the camera with an 18-55mm F2.8-4.8 kit lens. While this will cover most people's needs perfectly well, those who like shooting wildlife or theatre may want to put some of the money that they save towards a zoom lens, such as the Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS.

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This lens, which is image stabilised (so you can shoot handheld at low speeds), allows the user to get great shots from much further away. You might also consider a prime (fixed length) lens, such as the Fujifilm XF 35mm F2 R WR, which lets you shoot in low light situations, while narrowing the focus towards the subject.

Dr Matthew Partridge

Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.

He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.

Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.

As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri