I was given the X30 to try out, but as I have hardly used the X20 and never owned one, it is hard for me to do a full comparison. I did manage to get my hands on an X20 during this review. It will be a very quick compression and a not very scientific testing.
At the time of writing and reviewing, I had no technical information on the camera.
The body and layout
When I took the camera out of the box, my first impression was that it was bigger. When I gave it a good look-over, it struck me as a bit more modern-looking over the retro look we have come to know (and which I love) from Fujifilm. The edges seem to be more square, the corners are sharper and don't bend as subtly as they did on the X20, while the lens looks the same to me.
The on-and-off switch is still the same; built into the lens. They have added a function ring around the lens that can be defined to things like aperture, ISO, white balance, film simulation and continuous but can differ depending on the mode you're in. I set it to aperture and kind of like the cool fake clicking noise when I am changing my f-stop.
It also felt like it was a bit heaver, but not by much.
The size increase has also allowed them to put a bigger battery in. It is now the same as the X100 battery (NP95), so in theory you should get more shots out of the charge. However, there is the EVF, Wi-Fi and bigger LCD to be powered. The battery and SD-card are both in the same place as before, while the tripod mount is still to the left of the centre of the camera.
Overall the camera feels strong and solid. The only plastic I could feel and see, was the new function ring. .
Few buttons have been moved and added. You'll be happy to know that the Wi-Fi is there, and this can also be set as the Fn button. Unfortunately, I could not test the Wi-Fi just yet, as the app had not yet been released to the Appstore.
What I did find and liked a lot, was how they implemented some toggles, e.g. when you hit the macro button, it toggles between off, macro and super-macro.
View-button and drive-button has been added to the top of the LCD. There are no more buttons on the left of the LCD, allowing for more screen space.
There is the record movie button added next to the shutter release and EV now has been increased to -3/+3.
The toggle switch for AF-type is still on the front left, but has moved a bit to the bottom and is a bit smaller.
LCD and EVF
The tilt screen is much the same as we've seen on the X-A/M/T. The resolution of the screen you can see straight away is better. The text on the screen is small, sharp and crisp.
When I put my eye to the EVF, the first thing I could see was that it is very similar to the X-T1. Big and bright with small, sharp text on the edges, not obscuring the view at all.
I was also impressed when I turned the camera for portrait photos. The EVF rotated, again the same as the X-T1. The refresh rate looked good, but I did notice a bit of a drop in low light. The EVF also has the adjustable diopter for your eyes.
Performance has improved in the menus and is a lot better than the X20 and the AF is way better. It focuses much faster, even in low light. Again, this is all on gut feel, but it felt pretty much on par with the X-A/M1.
I see they have added a new film simulation called 'Classic Chrome’, here is a sample of the simulation compared to the Provia and Astia:
What else I noticed
They also allow you 7 custom presets for your menu, which I really missed when I used the X20. Focus peeking is there and one can define the colours. The sensor or the way it reproduces the jpeg at least is definitely better. I can't tell you technical details, but you can see by these two shots of the X20 and X30 that there is a definite improvement on the noise sensitive side.
Interval Timer Shooting option is in the menu, so for the time laps shooters out there, I'm sure you'll be happy!
They added the ability to connect to the Instax printer in the last menu. They had 3 auto ISO settings you can define and select with the Fn ISO button.
Charging is with a USB cable into the camera, there is no loose charger. One can easily buy the X100 charger, though. The side flap has the mini HDI, USB/Power and the mic input.
In closing, I’m not sure what it will cost and hopefully fits the pocket for its class of camera. I am sure there will be far more detailed reviews out there once the official release has happened. It was nice to see a lot of the new features coming from the X-T1, and a lot of tweaks that we see come out in new firmware and newer models. Overall the camera is fast, good AF and improved ISO performance. Overall a great package all round, and it will be a great travel and everyday camera.