Fujifilm X100V vs- X-T30: Battle of the cams

With the appearance of the fifth iteration of the X100 series – called the “X100V” – we can choose between two very compact cameras with the latest generation of sensors/processors built in: The Fujifilm X-T30 and the X100V. The both share the latest X-Trans-CMOS-IV and X Processor 4 – the same as in Fujifilm’s APS-C Flagships X-T3 and X-T4 – they both have a tilting touch screen, the same battery etc..

So, I believe that a lot of people will face this decision: To buy the Fujifilm X-T30 or the Fujifilm X100V.

As much as the basic technology of both models is the same, the two differ from the outside: First, we have a rangefinder camera with a fixed 23 mm lens, the fifth edition of the X100 street and travel camera series. On the other hand, the smaller sibling of the X-T3, that can keep up with its big sister – with the exception of a few compromises regarding the body and a little bit of video performance. However, with this DSLR-Style camera we have the whole world of Fuji-X lenses to choose from.

So, the big question is: Why should one camera be more valuable to you than the other?

How I award the points

And this is how I personally award the point: First the main categories, for which there are 2 points to be won:

  • Price
  • Versatility
  • Size
  • Design/Usability.

This is followed by additional features, two of which are so important that there is one point each:

  • Viewfinder
  • Shutter

And finally there are some smaller features, each of which means half a point.

  • Film Simulations
  • WR
  • ND-Filter (in-built)
  • Continuous Shooting
  • Video Features
  • Full-Auto-Mode

So, let’s try to find out today with in is for you and – spoiler alert – in the end it will be of course your personal Pros and cons that make the difference.

#1: Price

So if your amount of money is limited, you may be able stop reading after this part. I’ll talk about it right now to not waste more of your precious time.

Let’s start with the hard facts and assume that you want to buy both cameras brand new:

The X100V currently (April 2020) costs around 1,499€ in Germany and 1,399$ in the US. In contrast, you can currently find the X-T30 – body only – for around 700€ or 799$. So in Germany, the X-T30 would be around 800€ cheaper, in the US only 600 US Dollar cheaper than the X100V.

But of course we have not yet bought a lens with the X-T30, it’s still only the body, with which we can of course not do anything. To keep it fair, we want to buy the exact same setup, so we have to add the price of the XF23mm F2, the most wanted focal length for street- and travel photography, a 35mm FullFrame equivalent. The cheapest price in Germany for this is currently 369€, in the USA I can find it for around 375$ at the moment (April 2020). So in Germany there is a price difference of 430€ for the X-T30 with lens, in the US 225$. So here we have a pretty clear winner. The X-T30 is definitely the cheaper option for a 23mm f2 package at the moment.
0:2 (X100V vs. X-T30)

#2: Versatility/Lens

First things first here: Today I will not compare the 23mm lens of the X100V with the other 23mm interchangeable options from Fujifilm. This is another story and will take more time. Leave me a comment if you want an article about that. But by seeing other peoples reviews who already did the comparison, it seems to be that the 23mm f2 WR lens is slightly ahead at least regarding AF performance and also sharpness, followed by the new lens of the X100V, while the 23mm f1.4 is last. But this one has the largest aperture of course, what may be crucial for you. I don’t know the 1.4 option personally, but in my opinion the two f2 lenses are great, with an advantage of the X100V due to the smaller minimum focus distance of 10 cm compared to the 22cm of the interchangeable f2 lens. But, back to topic. 

I think today versatility is what most users want: You don’t want to be trapped in one section of photography. Maybe you want to do all kinds – from Macros to the widest landscape images, so I give two points here.

And regarding versatility a camera body for interchangeable lenses should clearly lay ahead. And of course it will also be like this here. So with the X-T30 all gates are wide open for you for the wide range of lenses offered in the Fujifilm world.

Think different

But let’s at least talk about something that is hidden under the surface here: What has made the X100 series so popular (among other things) is the limitation to one focal length. Many photographers tell of their experience that they have learned to take photographs very differently with it and that “zooming” with their feet and practicing the composition have made them better photographers. I can understand this point because I already owned fixed lens Cameras, but my X100V is the first of the series, so I can’t say much about this specifically yet. We will see.

Options for the X100V

But: It should also be mentioned that there are some focal length options for the X100V. Well, let’s say two real and two faked ones. Let’s start with the fakes: If I only save JPEGs, I can use the digital teleconverter that corresponds to a focal length range of 50mm or 70mm. This works quite well, but is not usable when shooting RAW. I shoot JPEGs in street photography, but I always save the RAW files as a backup. So, the digital zoom will not be available then. Too bad. But when I take fast and casual photos of my kids or on holidays, it’s really enough for me. If you want to know more: I made a video about the X100Vs digital teleconverter, check it out here.

The two real focal length options are through Converter Lenses, the TCL X100 II and WCL X100 II. These converters are screwed onto the 23mm fixed lens of the X100V at the front. If you buy the Mark II versions, the body of the X100 will automatically recognize them, if not, you will have to tell the camera in the menus. So with the TCL you have an option for 50mm FullFrame, and with the WCL a 28mm equivalent, that work really nice. But that’s all, no macro, no longer tele, no wider wind angle, so – as I told you –  2 versatility points go to the X-T30 for the choice of over 30 Fuji-Lenses plus the third party stuff available and to come of course.
0:4 (X100V vs. X-T30)

#3: Size

Both cameras are certainly on some users’ wish lists because of their compact size. Let’s take the smaller size as an advantage: Which model offers more compactness besides the other functions we talk about today?

Firs, let’s have a look at the measurements:
The Fujifilm X-T30 is 10mm narrower and 6mm thinner than the Fujifilm X100V but it is also 8mm taller, but all without the lens attached. Since I have the 23mm f2, I can show you the size difference directly. So the X-T30 definitely loses the point with the 23mm f2.

Compact alternatives for the X-T30

But: There are also possibilities for the X-T30 to become even more compact together with a lens. I own the 27mm f2.8 and that brings us a lot closer. Okay: longer focal length, smaller aperture, no aperture ring, so somewhat unfair to compare. But there are definitely users who love the 40mm equivalent and take great street photos with it, for example.

And then there is the 18mm f2, including a real aperture ring and having a almost pancake size. It’s the oldest lens in the Fuji-X System, next to the 35mm f1.4,  and the AF performance is really annoying, what is  the reason I sold it. But if size is your concern, these two could be a real alternative. And this is why I cannot see a clear winner here, so both cameras have earned 2 points.
2:6 (X100V vs. X-T30)

#4: Design

Things start to get irrational here: When it comes to design, all Fuji fanboys go crazy when they talk about the X100V: The appearance has been improved again, the flush tilt screen, which is not recognized as such, the new ISO Dial, the rounded corners: I can absolutely understand all of this. And I also love the design of the camera. But: The X-T30 is also a super stylish piece of gear, especially in my color „Charcoal Silver“ or „Anthracite“ in germany.

In terms of usability, I can say that I miss an ISO dial on the X-T30 more than the drive dial on the X100V. The Q button on the X-T30 was a hot topic, because many people seem to press it accidentally. So, regarding design, I guess it’s a lot about personal taste. Due to the usability features with the better-placed Q button and the existing ISO wheel, the 2 points go to the X100V.
4:6 (X100V vs. X-T30)

#5: Other features

The Viewfinder

Until I bought the X100V, I probably wouldn’t have thought about the viewfinder as a reason to buy a camera. Sure, it should have one at least and it should also offer decent resolution. But in this comparison the two viewfinder concepts here are of course very different, which is why I would like to give at least one point here.

And this point will clearly go to the X100V: Not only does it have the famous hybrid view finder, with which you can switch between optical and electronic, the EVF alone also has the better specifications: 100% compared to 95% coverage and a 56% better resolution. 

And I personally underestimated the possibilities of the OVF: It is really fun to operate the camera in completely analog mode, even if you have the most important information available also in the OVF. It’s a reduction back to analog times, if you like that. I do! Have a look at my analog challenge to see what I’m talking about! So one point for the X100V here.
5:6 (X100V vs. X-T30)

Shutter

The shutters of both cameras differ fundamentally: While we have the usual focal plane shutter in the X-T30, the X100V has a leaf shutter. The basic difference: the shutter of the X-T30 works like a gate and sits in front of the sensor, the leaf shutter, also of the X100V, is round shaped and located inside of the lens. The leaf shutter has some advantages over the focal plane shutter and – for me personally – one disadvantage: It is faster, almost silent, the flash synchronization works all the way up to the maximum shutter speed of it and we do not have rolling shutter issues. The one disadvantage that I personally have with it: I don’t get any tangible, mechanical reaction from the camera when I press the shutter button. But this may be a very personal problem and the advantages of leaf shutters outweight it. So, one point again for the X100V.
6:6 (X100V vs. X-T30)

Film simulation

While I’m writing this article, the X100V has one more film simulation available than the X-T30: Classic Neg.

I find myself using it exclusively in my color street photography at the moment. It’s simply great what comes directly out of camera with it. But I hope that a firmware update will improve the X-T30 and also the X-T3 here. But, at the moment it’s a half point for the X100V.
6.5:6 (X100V vs. X-T30)

WR

The X100V is completely weather sealed, if the optional WR Kit is mounted.  I am still waiting for mine – there are definitely delivery problems at the moment (April 2020, Corona crisis). It’s 69€ and a shame, that it’s not packed together with the X100V. I like to go outside in heavy rain to take photos and don’t like to think about how to protect my gear. But all in all: Better than no Weather sealing at all. The X-T30 is lacking this possibility completely (except for the lens if one with WR is mounted). So half a point for the X100V.
7:6 (X100V vs. X-T30)

ND Filter:

The X100V has a 4 level in-built ND Filter that I find myself using all the time. Strange is: I don’t use filters a lot when the possibility is not built-in. But it’s definitely a very nice feature in bright sunlight or when you want to lower your shutter speed for catching movements or just to shoot with larger apertures for a shallower depth of field. I set the function to the front custom button of my 100V, and I really like to use it a lot. So this is for sure another half point for the X100V.
7.5:6 (X100V vs. X-T30)

Continuous Shooting:

NOTE: In the corresponding YT Video of this comparison, I gave away the points to the X-T30 only, because I was referring to the capabilities from an – obviously wrong – specification list without checking the facts by myself. Sorry for that! The X100V is doing continuous shooting exactly the same speed/crop as the X-T30.

If you want to do sport photography or have any other reason for doing fast continuous shooting – children, animals, events – the X-T30 will be your weapon of choice. It’s capable of shooting up to 30 stills per second with a 1.25 crop.

Of course it’s the same with the X100V, but only with the very limited choice of focal lengths to choose from. So in real life only very few people will choose a camera like this for this kind of photography. But it’s there, so the points are shared…

8:6.5 (X100V vs. X-T30)

Video Features:

Both cameras can capture 4k Video up to 30fps but with a 10 Minute limitation. The two can also record Full HD in 60fps with a 15 minute limitation and 120fps with a crop, so not much of a battle going on here. One little difference: The X100V can become very warm when doing video or continuous shooting. But that’s a different story…
8.5:7 (X100V vs. X-T30)

Full Auto Mode

X-T30 has a full auto switch that the X100V is lacking.

This may be not interesting for Street- or Travelshooters, but for me as someone who takes photos of kids in changing situations, it’s really nice to have. Or if you hand over your camera to someone to take pictures of you and your family. 

Of course you can set the P-Mode on the X100V, but it’s not the same as full auto. Is it because the X100V is made for Photographers not casual shooters? I don’t know, but I still like the feature, so it’s half a point for X-T30.
8.5:7.5 (X100V vs. X-T30)

Conclusion

Well, what is the conclusion here?
The final result: 8.5:.7.5 points.
Even if the X100V is one point ahead, my personal opinion is: The X-T30 is clearly the winner in the main categories price and versatility and can also score with it’s auto mode. The X-T30 is definitely the rational winner of this battle.

In terms of size and compactness, EVF, shutter and viewfinder, the X100V is clearly ahead. And a few other interesting features make them interesting: the new film simulation Classic Neg, weather sealing and the built-in ND filter are really interesting for many street and travel photographers, , even if none of them is a must-have. But the design is beyond any doubt and may give the push in this irrational direction. In short: The X100V is definitely the more emotional decision and the winner for street and travel.

As I told you at the very beginning: It is a very personal thing which of both cameras is for you. Maybe the price is decisive, maybe the compactness – everything depends on your personal pro and contra list. Both are definitely great cameras that have their justification. I personally think it’s extremely difficult to decide which one to buy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll Up