I’m going to share with you all the key differences between these two cameras, including a handful of major differences, plus a few minor ones. I’ll also give you careful recommendations based on my own experiences with these two cameras, because I’ve spent countless hours shooting with both of these cameras on my hip.
By the time you’re done, you’ll know which model is right for you. And you’ll be ready to start capturing stunning images with a beautiful Fujifilm camera!
Let’s get started.
Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: Overview
They offer plenty of customization, plenty of power, and the opportunity to capture jaw-dropping images – assuming you know how to use them to their full potential.
That said, the Fujifilm X-T3 is designed to be the more professional of the two models, as displayed by its:
- Bulkier build
- Dual card slots
- Weather sealing
The X-T3 is also the stronger all-around model because it packs pro-level video recording, as well as both high-level image quality and relatively thorough action capabilities.
Whereas the Fujifilm X-T30 caters more toward travel photographers, walkaround photographers, or casual photography enthusiasts, thanks to its smaller size and reduced weight.
Related Post: Fujifilm X-T30 Review: A Great Camera for a Great Price
Personally, I love the X-T3, and I love the X-T30, but they both have their pros and cons. There are times when I’d rather have the X-T3 in my hands, and there are times when I’d rather have the X-T30 in my hands – it all depends on what I’m shooting!
So let’s dig down deep and take a look at the differences between these cameras, starting with:
Build Quality and Design
The Fujifilm X-T3 and the X-T30 both sport Fujifilm’s retro design, as you can see in this image of the X-T3, here:
And the X-T30, here:
However, the X-T3 is significantly bigger and heavier than the X-T30; honestly, when I first held the X-T30 in my hands, it felt like a point and shoot camera (in the best possible way – it was wonderfully light!). And when I first held the X-T3 in my hands, it felt like a brick.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a brick, provided you want a heftier camera and you don’t mind having a dead weight dangling around your neck for hours on end. And the X-T3 is a brick for a reason; it has weather sealing, unlike the X-T30, which makes it the superior option if you like to shoot in the rain, sand, or snow. It also just feels better-made overall, so if you’re the type of person who has a habit of banging up your equipment, the X-T3 may be the better choice.
Also, there are plenty of photographers who prefer bigger cameras, especially those who have big hands. A bigger camera comes with a little extra comfort, courtesy of (at least in the X-T3’s case) an elongated front grip, and a wider, taller body overall for gripping in the back and on the sides.
On the other hand, if you’re a travel photographer or a street photographer, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable with the X-T30. You can slip it in your pocket or your camera bag, carry it around with you, and not have to worry about lugging around a heavy, conspicuous camera.
Ultimately, I’d recommend the X-T3’s build for anyone who shoots in tough conditions, and who doesn’t mind (or even prefers) a builkier camera body.
Whereas the X-T30 is tailor-made for photographers looking to cut down on weight and size when out shooting.
The X-T3 and X-T30 are designed as tactile, somewhat dial-operated cameras, which means that you’ll be spending a lot of time changing settings via the dials on the top of the camera, rather than with dials or buttons at the rear.
The Fujifilm X-T3 boasts three top dials:
An ISO dial, a shutter speed dial, and an exposure compensation dial.
(And you can often adjust the aperture via a dial on the lens.)
The X-T30, on the other hand, offers a shutter speed dial and an exposure compensation dial. The third dial is a shooting mode dial (Fujifilm calls this the Drive dial), which lets you change your burst mode speed, bracket your images, and more.
If you’re used to conventional DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, you may find the X-T30’s approach – with no ISO dial – more familiar. But there’s something wonderful about adjusting your ISO via a top dial; it feels organic like you’re adjusting the settings yourself (I know, I know, that probably didn’t make any sense, but I have no other way of describing it), which is why I prefer the X-T3’s layout here.
As I emphasized in the previous section, the X-T3 is bigger than the X-T30. In addition to feeling more comfortable for large-handed photographers, increased size often improves handling, because it’s easier to differentiate between the buttons without looking. I’m a man with average-sized hands, and I didn’t notice much of a difference – but I could definitely see this mattering to other folks.
One issue I did have with the X-T30 was its Q button on the back; my thumb constantly pressed this on accident, which would open up the quick menu and cause a lot of unnecessary frustration.
And note that the X-T3 does offer an extra card slot over the X-T30. If you ever plan to shoot weddings, sports, or other events, then you’ve got to have dual card slots, because there’s no option to redo a shoot; if you misplace a card or it fails on you, then your clients will not be happy.
Hence, while I think both the X-T3 and X-T30 handle well, I’d give an edge to the X-T3 – and if you plan to shoot events for money, the X-T3 is the only camera to choose.
LCDs and Viewfinders
The LCDs on the Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30 are essentially identical:
Both are three-inch touchscreens, both offer 1040K resolutions, and both are quite nice for reviewing images and previewing photos when out in the field.
The X-T3 LCD does tilt out, however, compared to the X-T30’s LCD, which only tilts up and down. While this might not be a big deal for casual photographers, if you’re the type to shoot at odd angles – for instance, if you like capturing architecture from below – then the X-T3 is going to suit you better. This is an even bigger deal for hybrid shooters and videographers, who will want to be able to preview the scene from various angles when recording.
As for the electronic viewfinder:
The X-T30’s EVF packs 2.36M dots, whereas the X-T3’s EVF packs 3.69M dots.
Honestly, 2.36M-dots is pretty decent, and I’ve never been frustrated with the X-T30’s viewfinder when using it. It’s crisp, clear, and it lets you preview exposure without any problems.
The X-T3’s EVF is just really, really nice. I love looking through it, I love working with it, and I’m just an all-around fan of the clarity, the colors, and the detail.
But how important is this?
It comes down to personal preference and shooting style. If you often work through a viewfinder (either electronic or optical), then you’ll appreciate the X-T3’s EVF a great deal. But if you’re more of a Live View shooter, then it probably won’t make much of a difference (and bear in mind that the rear LCDs on the two models are identical.
So if the EVF matters to you, I’d consider this a major point in favor of the X-T3.
If not, the X-T30 is still very much in the running.
Autofocus and Speed
The X-T3 and the X-T30 offer identical autofocus hardware:
425 phase-detection AF points with near-complete sensor coverage.
And at one point, the X-T3 and the X-T30 were evenly matched. These days, however, the X-T3 has a slight edge, because it has received firmware updates since debuting that improve low-light AF performance, as well as overall speed.
But I’ve never noticed much of a difference between the two cameras, and I consider them both to be very capable autofocusers. And while they’re not quite on the level of a Sony mirrorless model, you’ll have no problem capturing shots of people on the move, medium-speed sports, and even birds or wildlife.
Continuous shooting speeds and buffers is another story, however. Here, the X-T3 has a slight but significant edge, because it offers:
11 frames per second shooting via the mechanical shutter for up to 36 shots.
20 frames per second shooting via the electronic shutter for up to 36 shots.
Compared to the X-T30, which boasts:
8 frames per second shooting via the mechanical shutter for up to 18 shots.
20 frames per second shooting via the electronic shutter for up to 17 shots.
If you’re just an occasional action shooter, you probably won’t notice the difference. But if your goal is to shoot sports, wildlife, or birds, then I highly recommend you go for the X-T3. The buffer is double the size, which can be the difference between a nailed shot and a failed shot when you’re in the thick of the action.
If you’re like me, then image quality is the most important feature of a camera. If it can’t capture great images, then it’s just not worth using.
Fortunately, both the X-T30 and the X-T3 are capable of outstanding images, whether shooting in low light with high ISOs, or in stellar light with optimal settings.
In fact, the X-T3 and the X-T30 pack identical 26 MP sensors, so you’re not going to find an image quality difference between these two cameras no matter how hard you look.
So from an image quality standpoint, the X-T3 vs X-T30 comes in as a perfect tie.
The Fujifilm X-T30 offers decent video capabilities. You can shoot 4K at 30 frames per second, videos look very nice, plus you get a microphone port for improved audio quality.
But the X-T3 takes this a step further, recording up to 4K/60p, and packing a mic jack and a headphone jack for enhanced audio quality and audio monitoring.
If you’re a videographer or a vlogger, then the X-T3 is undoubtedly the right choice; you can shoot beautiful slow motion, plus high-quality standard footage that looks stunning.
But if you only plan to do occasional video shooting, you can probably get away with the X-T30. It’ll do a good job, even if it’s not on the level of the X-T3.
If you’ve made it this far, then you’ll know that the X-T3 is better than the X-T30 in a few key ways, including build quality and video.
But the X-T30 is still a powerful camera in its own right.
At this point, the difference often comes down to price, and you’re forced to ask yourself:
Is the higher price tag on the X-T3 worth the extra features?
At present, the X-T3 goes for $1500 USD, body only. If you’d like to purchase it alongside a lens, you can grab the X-T3 plus the 16-55mm f/2.8 for around $2700 USD, or the X-T3 plus the 16-80mm f/4 for $2000 USD.
The X-T30 costs about $600 USD less, body only (it’s $899 USD). And with an 18-55mm kit lens, you can grab it for $1299 USD.
For many photographers, especially more serious photographers, I do think the X-T3 is worth the extra $600 USD.
But if the X-T3’s additional features over the X-T3 don’t thrill you, then you can grab the X-T30 for under $1000 – a major bargain!
Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-T30: Which Should You Get?
That depends on the type of shooting you do.
The X-T3 does have some clear advantages over the X-T30, including the dual card slots, the beautiful electronic viewfinder, the 4K/60p video, a larger buffer, and the enhanced build quality.
But the X-T30 is still a formidable camera, and while it can’t go toe-to-toe with the X-T3, it still captures plenty of images, plus it’s smaller, lighter, and more convenient to carry around.
So here are my best recommendations:
Get the X-T3 if you:
- Want to shoot sports, landscapes, or portraits in all weather.
- Don’t mind a larger camera body.
- Aim to record videos on the regular.
- Are rough with your camera gear.
- Are desperate for a top-notch electronic viewfinder.
Whereas you should get the X-T30 if you:
- Want to save on size and weight.
- Don’t mind the extra cost.
- Are willing to accept a less-clear viewfinder.
- Travel frequently with your camera.
- Want a flexible, on-the-go model for casual shooting.
You can get the X-T3 here:
Best for serious photographers and videographers
The Fujifilm X-T3 offers excellent build quality, outstanding image quality, plus some impressive video capabilities. If you’re looking for an all-around camera that can handle pretty much anything, the X-T3 is a great purchase.
And the X-T30 here:
Best for travel photographers and casual shooters
The X-T30 combines a compact body with serious shooting capabilities. If you’re after a smaller, lighter camera that can go toe-to-toe with larger, pro-level bodies, the X-T30 is the way to go.
That depends on the type of photography you plan to do! The X-T3 is a highly professional camera, one that’s capable in nearly every way, plus it offers dual card slots and impressive video capabilities. But it’s bigger and more expensive than the X-T30. The X-T30, while still a powerful camera in its own right, is best used by street photographers, travel photographers, and more casual enthusiasts, thanks to its small build and excellent image quality.
The Fujifilm X-T3 is a professional camera; it offers a well-built body, dual card slots, lightning-fast continuous shooting speeds, and stellar image quality – in other words, everything that you’d expect from a pro-level body. The X-T3 doesn’t include a full-frame sensor, but that is a careful choice made by Fujifilm, and it keeps the size and weight down for shooters who prefer a smaller form factor.
Yes, the Fujifilm X-T3 does have a superior viewfinder. You get over 3M-dot resolution from the X-T3, compared to the 2.36M-dots offered by the X-T30. Whether this is a big enough difference to matter depends on your experience with electronic viewfinders, as well as your preferences. Personally, I think the X-T3’s viewfinder is worth the extra money, but if you don’t frequently shoot via a viewfinder, you may be fine with the X-T30.
Technically, yes. While the X-T3 and the X-T30 use the same autofocus hardware, the X-T3 has received a firmware update since its launch. This update has improved the X-T3’s autofocus capabilities in key ways, so that it is now ahead of the X-T30. But while you might notice the difference when shooting side-by-side, both cameras are very capable autofocusers, and I myself felt them to be equally fast in real-life shooting situations.
The Fujifilm X-T3 offers a bigger body, weather sealing, 4K/60p video recording, dual card slots, faster continuous shooting (with the mechanical shutter), a better electronic viewfinder, plus improved autofocus. Whether these upgrades are worth it depends on you!
Yes, the Fujifilm X-T3 is definitely the better camera for videographers. While the Fujifilm X-T30 can shoot beautiful 4K/30p, the X-T3 can record at 4K/60p, plus you get a headphone jack. Also, the X-T3’s LCD flips out, whereas the X-T30’s LCD only tilts; the former is helpful for doing videography at odd angles while still monitoring your composition, focus, and exposure.
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