Cameras

Fujifilm X-T30 Review: Remembering my love for photography

An ode to how I first fell in love

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I fell in love with photography when I was around 10. There was a different kind of glee whenever my hands carried a compact camera. My younger self would capture photos that I find beautiful, even things with little to no significance like walls, sidewalks, and ugly buildings. It’s probably the reason why I pursued photography and made a career out of it. I just love photography so much.

Soon after joining GadgetMatch, I found myself using my camera less and less. I started leaning towards smartphone cameras, taking snaps to be uploaded on social media and sample photos for our smartphone reviews and camera shootouts. Everything became for work and I forgot why I love photography.

When I got my hands on Fujifilm’s latest camera, the X-T30, there was a yearning inside me — to go around, to see places, to take on an adventure. And I did.

An ode to my love for photography

The Fujifilm X-T30 made me remember why I fell in love with photography. It was like the days when I was 10 years old, carrying a compact camera innocently. The X-T30 felt like an invitation to try photography, once again.

Its vintage look is like a trip down memory lane. It brims with nostalgia and takes you to the wonders of your humble beginnings. No wonder I felt like a kid again, curious about the world and ready to explore.

But despite the classic approach, the Fujifilm X-T30 still has a modern and sleek feel to it. It’s something that youngsters would love to use during their travels; something that will let them flaunt their love of  photography without appearing like a professional photographer.

Going back to where it first started

The X-T30 made me want to use cameras again instead of smartphones during my travels. When I went on an adventure, I kept my smartphone in my bag and focused on taking photographs. The X-T30 is lightweight at 383g and was made with portability in mind. Even though I have thin, fragile arms, I can carry the camera with just one hand.

Despite using a Fujifilm camera in my earlier trips, I found it confusing to navigate Fujifilm’s dials and other functions. It’s because I’ve been using Sony’s mirrorless cameras for more than two years already that I’ve grown accustomed to its design.

Nonetheless, you don’t have to be a quick learner to figure out Fujifilm’s cameras, especially the X-T30. Once you start getting the hang of it, you’ll be unstoppable in taking lots of photographs. It packs a lot of camera modes, complemented by easily accessible controls to suit different situations.

It’s also easier to grip and hold, with ample space for your hand beside the controls. It has a tiltable touchscreen LCD monitor too, so you can take amazing low and high angle shots.

With this camera, you will truly love to fall in love with photography again. I repeat: Photography, not mobile photography. There’s a difference.

Reminding you of your potential

Just like every mirrorless camera out there, the Fujifilm X-T30 can provide my photography needs. But what sets this camera apart from its competitors is its ability to be a beast in photography, despite being small. Some dubbed it a “Little Giant,” and I couldn’t agree more.

The X-T30 sports an even better sensor and processor, the latest X-Trans CMOS 4 and X-Processor 4, respectively. With the combination of these two, it’s easier to take photos quickly with outstanding quality. Your photos will look rich in colors and tones and you can now track a moving subject faster with its improved face- and eye-detection AF. It’s even more accurate as it can let you select faces and focus on them.

Additionally, you can take photos swiftly, too! The mechanical shutter will let you shoot continuously at up to 8.0fps in full resolution, while the electronic shutter allows a high-speed continuous shooting of up to 30fps. Oh, you can take 4K/30P videos too!

This camera just reminded me of my potential when I was just starting, and the potential that I can still achieve. How one can dream big and believe in itself that it can do a lot of things. Despite being small and compact, the Fujifilm X-T30 is one powerful camera.

To put my heart on my sleeve once again

In this age, photographs are meant to be shared. However, taking photographs with the X-T30 didn’t feel like I want to brag about my shots. Yes, I’m happy (and proud) that I didn’t lose my skill and passion, but the photographs I took felt too personal. It’s as if an array of emotions linger in every photo, and personal stuff makes me shy away from the spotlight since it makes me vulnerable.

It’s just like falling in love with someone. We’re afraid of showing off our emotions (or works, in this scenario) that we tend to avoid confronting these mixed feelings — ranging from joy, fear, bliss, and frustration.

Using the Fujifilm X-T30 made me take photos for my own consumption and keep it to myself — just like what I do when I love someone.

On another note, taking photographs with the X-T30 made it less about me and more about the world around me. When I was using a smartphone, I’ve always taken selfies and asked people to take my photo so I can post it on Instagram. This time around, it’s just me, the camera, and the moments waiting to be captured during my adventures.

Even our producer Vincenz focused more on his surrounding during his travels. Here’s an example of the night shot he perfected by being in tune with the world around him:

Knows how to match you (and your aesthetic)

What I love about Fujifilm is its unique Film Simulation modes. It lets me use a certain film as a preset to be applied to the photo I’m taking. For instance, my favorite is ETERNA, which subdues the color as if it’s a still from a movie. Take a look at the example below:

While it’s better to apply our favorite presets and our own editing style during the post-processing, Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes made me feel like it knows me, my taste, preference, and aesthetics. And even though I have a particular set of style that I like, there are still a lot of films to choose from. I think what I’m saying is we all deserve something (or someone) that offers more than what else you want — and the X-T30 has that.

Some of the film simulations are Fujifilm’s very own photographic films: PROVIA, which delivers radiant colors exactly as you remember them, and Velvia, which provides high saturation and vivid colors.

Film Simulation: PROVIA | Photo by MJ Jucutan

There are also ASTIA offering soft tones for outdoor portraits, CLASSIC CHROME for creating subtle colors and muted tones, ACROS for a monochromatic shot that is rich in texture and deep blacks. Furthermore, PRO Neg. Hi and PRO Neg. Std both offers natural skin tones with the former creating high-contrast portraits while the latter produces realistic and softer tones in portraits.

There are stories that we can keep in our hearts forever

While on the boat looking out on the horizon, it dawned on me that I haven’t checked my smartphone in a while. I started living in the moment. One second, I’ll be stunned by the gorgeous landscapes we encountered along the way. Another second, I’m out shooting these vivid sceneries.

I’m astounded with how Fujifilm made me focus on capturing these wonders. It’s also amazing how it lets me keep these stories and it hit me: We can store these memories in different ways — it can be uploaded on social media, saved on our smartphones’ clouds and galleries, or for old souls, printed on a scrapbook and kept in a photo album.

Photographs, for me, are forms of moments translated into something tangible. Fujifilm lets you decide how to keep these memories. It remains modern in a way that it lets you transfer your photographs to your smartphone through its Camera Remote app and Bluetooth connectivity. It also has a micro USB cable for you to connect it to your laptop or PCs, since I’m sure some of you would opt to print your photographs the old-fashion way.

Is the Fujifilm X-T30 your GadgetMatch?

If you’re looking for a travel companion or getting back into photography as a hobby, the Fujifilm X-T30 is the right match for you. It’s basically a down-sized X-T3 complete with style and power.

The Fujifilm X-T30 starts at a retail price of PhP 52,990 (US$ 1,012) for its body only and PhP 75,990 (US$ 1,452) for the 18-55mm lens kit bundle. It’s now available in stores nationwide.

Cameras

Canon’s full-frame EOS R5 mirrorless camera can shoot 8K

It’s also the first EOS R with in-body stabilization

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Image by GadgetMatch

With the announcement of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III in the Philippines, it was also revealed that the EOS R5 is already in the works. Rumors have finally come to an end after Canon confirmed its existence.

EOS R is Canon’s full-fledged mirrorless lineup that was launched last 2018. The EOS R and EOS RP haven’t aged that much, but another successor is already being developed.

Both models received mixed bags of praises and criticisms. However, one known problem is the lack of stabilization. Older models rely only on stabilization found on the RF lenses. The R5 will finally have in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and it’s the first EOS R camera to do so.

Another highlight feature is the ability to shoot 8K videos. It can be extracted as high-resolution images — most likely 33-megapixel stills just like in the Galaxy S20 series. 8K footages can also be downscaled to higher 4K quality for crisper details.

There’s also the high-speed continuous shooting which Canon has aced in their DSLR bodies over the years. It can approximately take continuous shots of up to 20fps through Electronic Shutter (ES) and 12fps when Mechanical Shutter (MS) is in use.

Shooting with 8K means you need a lot of storage space. Dual media card slots will be implemented, similar to the recently announced EOS-1D X Mark III. They’re also creating a system setting that will automatically import images through Canon’s cloud system.

Other than R5’s sudden announcement, Canon also plans to release nine new RF lenses this 2020 — including the RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM, Extender RF 1.4x and Extender RF 2x. These are just some improvements made by Canon to alleviate the concerns of EOS R’s concept when it comes to speed, comfort and image quality.

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Cameras

Canon officially launches the EOS-1D X Mark III in the Philippines

Beyond exceptional full-frame DSLR

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After four years, Canon Philippines has finally launched the EOS-1D X Mark III. This full-frame DSLR camera is Canon’s latest flagship model, replacing the old EOS 1D-X Mark II from 2016.

Their latest DSLR is their best offering for both professional photographers and videographers alike. Aside from its superior image quality, power users can also enjoy recording high-quality 4K videos.

Canon is very clear with their intended market. This full-frame camera is meant for professionals who are into sports, action, wildlife, and news coverage.

The Ultimate EOS

Canon has developed a new 20.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor for the 1D X III. There’s also the enhanced DIGIC X image processor which promises 380 times faster computational processing. It’s also three times faster than the previous DIGIC 6+ found inside 1D X II. The main processor is paired with the DIGIC 8 which helps in auto exposure, auto focusing, and color profiles.

With an upgraded processor, the ISO sensitivity maximizes up to 102,400 (expandable up to 819,200). This means better output even in low-light conditions. The increased number of AF (autofocus) points — from 61 to 191 — helps in shooting details with precision. Also, there are 65 cross-type AF points when you set the aperture at f/8, a helpful feature for extenders especially when you shoot for sports or wildlife photography.

Speed

With a new image sensor in mind, the latest full-frame DSLR offers 40 times faster performance compared to its predecessor. There’s also a new mirror system which helps achieve higher rate in burst shooting — from 16fps, if you’re using the viewfinder, or up to 20fps when you shoot using Live View.

For fast-moving subjects, Canon has Eye Tracking as well as Face and Head Tracking. If you turn on silent shooting, you can shoot up to 20fps burst speed, ideal for sensitive situations or those that require full silence and concentration. The dual CFexpress card slots allows the 1D X Mark III to have a burst rate of approximately 1000 shots — both RAW and JPEG.

Quality

Image and video quality are both exceptional with the 1D X Mark III. This is the first EOS DSLR that’s capable of storing 10-bit HEIF file, which is half the size of a JPEG file but four times better in quality with improved color data and lesser artifacts. The added HDR PQ support improves the shot’s dynamic range, reducing the need for RAW and additional color correction. You can also do HEIF conversion to JPEG with the almost the same quality as shot with HDR PQ.

If you’re a videographer who’s thinking of getting this beast, it can record 4K UHD videos without cropping. It’s also capable of shooting 4K with the DCI standard. This isn’t exclusive to cinematic films as broadcast-quality footages can also be shot through 5.5K 60p RAW.

There’s also the support of Canon Log 10-bit video output ideal for HDR footages and high-contrast scenes that require advanced editing. If you’re concerned with high-speed shooting, this DSLR can shoot 120p and 100p videos in Full HD resolution.

Reliability

This latest DSLR has a newer camera build. It’s now built with a sturdier magnesium alloy that’s both tough and light at the same time. It’s also weather-sealed with dust-and-moisture resistance features, ideal for harsh weather conditions.

The shutter mechanism is reliable enough that it will last you up to 500,000 cycles — a significant improvement over Mark II’s 400,000 actuations. On top of that, there’s a bump in battery life even when it uses the same battery as its predecessor — from 1200 shots up to 2800 shots — in the newer model.

File transfer speeds are improved, thanks to the new built-in WiFi plus Canon’s SuperSpeed Plus USB 3.1 Gen 2. It’s also equipped with built-in GPS, Bluetooth for better connectivity, and geo-tagging. The optional wireless transmitter (WTF-E9) comes with dual antennas that are compatible with fast Dual Band speeds.

Pricing and availability

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III’s Suggested Retail Price (SRP) is PhP 399,998. It will be available on authorized Canon Dealerships nationwide by the end of February 2020. For early buyers, you can save as much as PhP 7000 if you’ll buy their Special Promo Bundle worth PhP 26,698 which includes a 512GB CFExpress card and reader.

With Canon’s commitment to excellent service, they offer the CPS (Canon Professional Services) Membership with dedicated service support, discounted repair costs, unlimited cleaning, and free lens trial of up to three times.

If you also register through the Red App, it will give you an additional year of standard warranty, invites to exclusive events, and points to get gifts and vouchers.

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Cameras

The Fujifilm X100V makes viewfinder-shooting fun again

Classic-looking, packed with modern features

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Fujifilm just announced the fifth-generation of X100 — the Japanese company’s premium compact digital camera. With its classic and sophisticated design, the X100V exudes a vintage vibe while packing modern features.

For starters, it has a tilting rear LCD monitor, enabling easier shooting in difficult scenarios. However, it also has an evolved version of its Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder. It lets you switch between optical and electronic viewfinders.

If that sounds martian to you, optical viewfinder lets you capture your subject as it is. On the other hand, electronic viewfinder reflects any adjustments you make to suit different shooting conditions.

Additionally, the X100V is equipped with the latest X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 for better image processing, combined with Fujifilm’s signature color reproduction technology. Now, everything will look premium!

Lastly, Fujifilm specifically designed a lens for the X100V, which uses two aspherical lens elements to deliver extreme sharpness in high resolution and contrast.

The Fujifilm X100V will retail for Php 79,990 (US$ 1575).

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