October 21, 2011
- Rugged, solid design
- Easy to use controls
- Built-in GPS for geotagging
- Slow shooting speeds
- Poor low-light image quality
The Fujifilm FinePix XP30 is an easy-to-use digital camera that works really well as a point-and-shoot for times when you're on-the-go. It's also rugged to stand life's bumps and bruises, but if you're in the market for a camera to use as your primary device for taking pictures, this probably isn't the one for you.
The Fujifilm FinePix XP30 comes in a few different colors: black, blue, green and orange. We tried out the blue model and were impressed with the way the color looked. The XP30 is definitely a portable camera as it measures 3.9 x 2.7 x 0.9-inches (whd) and weighs about 5.5-ounces.
The build of the camera feels very solid and Fujifilm had sturdiness in mind with this camera because it's not only waterproof, but also dustproof, freezeproof and shockproof. They also claim it is crushproof, but with the right amount of force, you can crush anything. We didn't test any of these claims, but Fujifilm assures us that it is rated for 2 hours of underwater use up to 16 feet in depth, temperatures to -16 Fahrenheit and shatterproof for up to a 4.9-foot fall.
Because of all of this protection, the XP30 is a good choice for a digital camera to take places where some of these things might happen, like rock climbing, hiking or boating. Despite being all strong on the outside, the quality of the camera's optics aren't quite up to par, which is usually the case with these cameras designed to be rugged. So this is, as we said in the introduction, a great secondary camera to take places where you wouldn't take your more expensive camera.
The controls are pretty simple and straightforward, which is a must for point-and-shoot cameras. On the top there are just the buttons for power and shutter release alongside the zoom toggle. The back has a directional navigational pad and buttons for movie recording and playback. The 2.7-inch LCD on the back has a resolution 230,000 dots and looks pretty good except in direct sunlight where it becomes washed out.
Some of the Fujifilm FinePix XP30's specifications include a 14-megapixel resolution, a 5x optical zoom with f3.9-4.9 (35mm equivalent: 28-140mm) and both digital and mechanical image stabilization. You can use SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards with this camera and images have a maximum resolution of 4320 x 3240-pixels while videos max out at 720p HD (30 frames per second). Images are shot in JPEG format and videos in AVI format.
The FinePix XP30 also has a built-in GPS which allows you to geotag your images. This information can then be viewed alongside your images in most photo editing/viewing software and online services. We recommend that you do not leave the GPS enabled when not using it because it significantly reduces battery life.
Overall image quality in subjective testing came up average with below average ratings in low-light where too much noise become present. Pictures taken in outdoor settings were of good quality, but if you want to print them larger than 5x7-inches, they degraded in quality. Low-light indoor shots was this camera's weakest area and it definitely showed.
Video quality at 720p HD was decent but nothing near stellar. It's good enough for taking a video to share with friends or to upload online. Zooming is allowed while video recording, but the lens motor is quite loud.
Shooting speeds were a little slow, especially from shot-to-shot where it took about 2 seconds without flash and just over 3 seconds with the flash. Shutter lag isn't terrible, but it could be better.
The rechargeable Li-Ion battery has a CIPA rated life of 200 shots, which is about on par with other similar cameras.