Owning a big bulky full-frame DSL camera with tons of mega pixels, exceptional dynamic range and a set of exquisite prime and zoom lenses has been one of the biggest joys of the last few years… until you factor in travel.
While I don’t mind the physical demands of carrying big and heavy equipment when I have reached my destination, the growing constraints of carry-on travel and in particular the necessary compromises to make when travelling with family have made the questions of space and weight increasingly frustrating on more than one occasion.
This isn’t so much of an issue when flying for commercial work as extra luggage fees or on-location gear rental are perfectly justifiable answers to the issue, but these are simply not options when it comes to lean. budget-conscious, family travel.
In my general reflexion on how my camera gear should evolve over time, these issues have become a prominent argument, along with investing in a camera system that will deliver outstanding performance and quality, exceptional stills and video capabilities, and a future proof roadmap.
With that in mind, fresh from recent travel in France and Canada, and planning for my next trip to the UK, I recently decided to invest in a compact, reasonably priced, yet highly capable camera, chosing the highly regarded Fujifilm X-T30 APS-C mirroless camera and its ecosystem of compact and exquisite lenses.
It has only been in my bag for a few days. So far I am enjoying the latest addition to my kit. In addition to addressing the size and weight issue and being a perfectly capable second shooter, this camera instantly brings a much better answer to my video shooting needs.
As good as a Nikon D800 is, it has never been the most practical tool when it comes to shooting video. The X-T30 brings a wealth of outstanding features to make my life so much easier. That includes a highly capable phase-detect AF system with face and eye tracking, 4K and slo-mo HD, 4:2:0 8-bit internal and 4:2:2 10-bit external recording F-Log flat profile, Fujifilm color science including the delightful Eterna film simulation, good audio pre-amps. Not to mention must-haves such as a tilting touchscreen display, zebras and focus peaking. No wonder why this camera is widely considered to be the best video option in this price range right now.
On the flip side, I have yet to find the recording limits or the lack of slo-mo 4K, as compared to the X-T3 or X-H1, to be an issue for my video needs. And properly rigging this camera for video, picking stabilized lenses or a gimbal will mitigate the lack of in-body image stabilization.
Whether the X-T30 is my first step into the Fujifilm camera system remains to be seen and isn’t a question for today. Right now I am simply enjoying the opportunities opening up with this wondeful camera.