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Fujifilm FinePix XP30 review




Our Score:


User Score:


  • Waterproof, dustproof and shockproof
  • Cheaper than many tough alternatives
  • Onboard GPS
  • Very compact design


  • Mediocre image quality
  • Particularly poor high ISO performance
  • GPS drains battery quickly

Key Features

  • 14 megapixel sensor
  • 5x zoom lens (28 - 140mm)
  • Onboard GPS
  • Waterproof, dustproof and shockproof
  • Manufacturer: Fujifilm
  • Review Price: £164.99

The Fujifilm FinePix XP30 is another stylish entrant into the burgeoning tough compact market.

Designed for outdoors enthusiasts looking for a camera that can take a few knocks, the XP30 is a ruggedly constructed, 14-megapixel, point-and-shoot compact camera that claims to be water proof to a distance of five metres, shock proof up to 1.5 metres, freeze proof to -10 degrees Celsius, and fully sealed against dust and sand. Priced at a mere £150, it's markedly cheaper than many such rugged compacts so could be the budget choice for adventurous types.

Looking remarkably similar to the XP10 model it replaces, the new model sports quite a few external design tweaks, plus a range of internal upgrades, and some entirely new features altogether.

Chief among these is an all-new, built-in GPS function that can be set to automatically tag the metadata of each image with location details, either in the form of longitude and latitude coordinates, or by place name. More on its effectiveness later, but first the other headline specs.

The XP30 is built around a 14-megapixel 1/3.3-inch CCD sensor that records JPEG images in 4:3 aspect ratio at a maximum resolution of 4320 x 3240 pixels. If card space is scarce, or if you're shooting for the web then there's a 7-megapixel Medium setting and a 3-megapixel Small setting to fall back on too.

The XP30 can also record images in 16:9, although this drops the camera's highest available resolution to 10-megapixels, up to a maximum image size of 4320 x 2432 pixels. For all still images there's also the standard choice of 'Fine' or 'Normal' image quality to choose from.

The Fujinon 5x optical zoom offers a focal range of between 28-140mm in 35mm terms and sits on the top-left shoulder of the camera as you look at the rear monitor, neatly out of the way of any stray fingers that might obstruct it. It's a folded lens design, meaning it's fully encased within the camera. While this keeps dirt and water out we did find the toughened outer glass to be something of a finger-print magnet that required almost constant cleaning.

Helping in the fight against blur caused by hand shake at lower shutter speeds, the XP30 comes equipped with Dual Image Stabilisation that employs a combination of sensor-shift and automatic ISO-raising to help keep images as sharp as possible.

Zoom controls have moved to the top of the camera (they used to found on the back of the XP10) and now take the form of a spring-loaded slider, rather than two buttons. Continuously held, the lens moves through its focal range quite quickly - we repeatedly timed it at 1.8 seconds to go from 28mm to 140mm.

In contrast, and by carefully flicking the spring-loaded trigger to exact the shortest hops possible we managed to find 15 individual stops between the wide angle and telephoto extremes.

Peter 15

April 11, 2011, 4:04 pm

I bought one and sent it back after a week. Average picture quality and shocking battery life.


April 12, 2011, 12:47 am

The street photos looks surprisingly good,
but the ISO test reveals its limit at around 200.
At around ISO 400 things starting to get snowy.
But, under good lighting conditions the XP30 seems to be performing reasonably well.


April 14, 2011, 9:31 pm

Thanks for your feedback, Money. I think I may have been guilty of choosing the 'best' images from the XP30's memory card. I shall, of course, endeavor to select a more 'representative' batch in my next review.


March 28, 2012, 11:33 am

Just a word of warning about Fuji underwater products - I have tried the earlier XP10 twice now, and twice I have gone home after a much looked forward to snorkelling trip at a beautiful area with much coral etc with no pics after water somehow got in and wrecked the camera. *not* my 'carelessness' or anything, I am very careful with things like this - it may have been the on-off-shutter switch area, as one of the buttons seemed unnaturally 'soft' aterwards, but I can't get a straight answer about anything here in Thailand, so it remains a mystery. My lack of pictures from a dead XP10 is a fact, however. Just a word of warning. It takes quite good pictures - until it dies.

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