Fujifilm Debuts Retro-styled X30 Compact Camera

Fujifilm is adding a new compact shooter to its ever-growing stable of more than 20 digital cameras. The $600 Fujifilm X30, available late September, is a retro-styled compact digital camera with a fixed (non-removable) ff2.0-2.8 4x manual zoom lens. The camera will come in two style options: all black or black with silver highlights.

The X30 features a new 2/3-inch 12-megapixel CMOS sensor, about 15 percent the size of the APS-C sensors found in mainstream DSLRs. While Fujifilm says the X30 camera will excite both enthusiasts and professionals, the limitations of a fixed lens system may dissuade more advanced shooters.

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The new compact is capable of high-speed 12 fps continuous shooting and full HD video recording at 1080p 60 fps (with manual focus capability in video). It will also have some features rarely found on cameras of this size and price such as a stereo mic input to for better audio in movies. The image sensor also packs high-speed phase-detection auto-focus similar to what's found in DSLRs, which Fujifilm claims will allow the camera to focus in 0.06 seconds. The company has even created a new battery that that it says will allow photographers to shoot up to 470 shots on a single charge.

Another highlight of the X30 includes a 1024 x 768 OLED electronic viewfinder with a super fast 5-millisecond response time, meaning virtually no lag between what the camera points at and what you see. The X30 also has a 3-inch, 640 x 480 tiltable LCD screen, and film simulation filters for those looking to add an extra artsy touch to their photos.  

The camera will have 11 different filters such as Velvia, Provia, Sepia, and Monochrome that mimic the effects of the company's traditional films. The camera maker has even added a new signature "Classic Chrome" filter that delivers muted tones and deep color reproduction — a shout out to the glory days film. 

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The speedy f2/0-2.8 fixed lens will let in more light than most DSLR kit lenses and features built-in image stabilization. Fujifilm claims that you will be able to shoot four stops lower with the image stabilization turned on, e.g. taking the shutter speed from 1/120 of a second all the way down to 1/16 with no visible camera shake. The fixed lens will also include a dual ring control setup consisting of manual zoom and programmable rings. Users can set the front control ring to adjust ISO (light sensitivity), film simulation mode, white balance or shooting speed.

Finally, every user will be able to use the free Fujifilm Camera Remote app to shoot pictures from their smartphone or tablet. 

The X30 looks to fit between the $500 Fujifilm X20 and the $800 Fujifilm X100 by upgrading the X20's LCD screen from 2.8 to 3 inches and including a larger battery. The X30 will also compete against other cameras like the $800 Sony RX100 III (see review) and a host of new shoots that will be announced at trade shows coming up next month.

Keep your eyes peeled for more camera news as we get closer to IFA 2014 starting September 3 and Photokina 2014 starting September 16.

Sam Rutherford is a Staff Writer at Tom’s Guide. Follow him @SamRutherford on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @Tom’s Guide on Facebook and Google+

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