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Hands-On with the Fujifilm X-T30 in Rome

Paul Edmondson, company director and James Pinder, creative assistant and in-house videographer, were recently invited to Rome to try out the Fujifilm X-T30. Find out what they got up and some initial thoughts on the new mirrorless camera from Fujifilm as  Paul tells you his thoughts on the camera whilst taking you through their visit to Italy’s capital.

 

Our journey starts after a day at work where we rush out of the office (rushing was soon to become a recurring theme on this trip!) and onto the express train down to London Euston, before getting the tube over to Heathrow. We ended up standing because it was busy and I had a rather embarrassing moment when an act of kindness was slightly misplaced – a young man stood from the priority seat he’d occupied and offered it to me. I declined, red faced. For those that don’t know me, I’m really not that old and I’d like to believe I’ve not changed dramatically from my younger days as an athlete! James was and still is chuckling about this and delighted in telling everyone back at the office when we returned.

 

 

At 5.30am the following morning we met up with Fujifilm and the other people on the trip; a couple of other retailers, but mainly journalists. We each received an X-T30 with XF 18-55mm lens, memory cards and batteries and then it was time to board the plane to Rome. Or at least it would have been if James hadn’t been stopped by security and the entire contents of his backpack laid out and checked! Fortunately, they decided he wasn’t a security risk and we made it on board. 2 hours later we touched down at Fiumicino airport pleasantly surprised by the 18 degree temperatures!

 

 

We were met by Jessie, our tour-guide for the duration of our stay in Rome and we quickly dumped our bags at the hotel eager to get out with the X-T30 as we enjoyed lunch by some ancient ruins.

The first thing that impressed me about the camera was its size; lovely and small, not too heavy, perfect for that city break. I automatically used the viewfinder rather than using the screen and I’m glad I did – it’s brilliant! The clarity of this viewfinder comes really close to the real thing. The addition of a joystick which you can use to select AF points and various functions is a great and one you can use whilst you’ve got your eye up to the viewfinder.

 

 

After lunch, we followed Jessie to our activity for the afternoon. If you ever find yourself in Rome, I’d strongly recommend making this a before lunch activity.

We were put into groups of three then handed a hair net and a crash helmet! Yes, we were off on a Tuk-Tuk tour around Rome. Now, the Romans were magnificent when it came to their architecture, however their mostly cobbled roads don’t go hand-in-hand with a 3-wheeled Tuk-Tuk!

We tried our very best to take pictures whilst on the go, however it was a little bumpy, to say the least. “Image stabilisation,” I hear you say.

While the X-T30 doesn’t have in-body IS, we did use Fujifilm’s image stabilized XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4,0 R LM OIS Lens which was a great combination and with it, I managed to get some sharp pictures. It’s more that taking pictures on a fast-moving Tuk-Tuk hurtling over a cobbled street, trying to concentrate on getting the shot and seeing either through the viewfinder or on the screen… is almost impossible!

 

 

Our wonderful drivers did stop off on a few occasions to allow us to take some of the most spectacular views Rome had to offer and Jessie did a sterling job of the history.

The first stop was a park, located on a hill side overlooking Piazza del Popolo and the views of the city were spectacular. The Fujifilm XF 18-55mm performed well here; I’ve used this lens on many occasions and its optical performance is excellent. It’s compact and lightweight, whilst have the feeling of a premium lens.

 

 

After snapping away for 10 minutes or so it was back on the Tuk-Tuk and off to the second location, which was the Gianicolo fountain on the opposite side of the city. From here you could see the mountains in the very distance and the sheer size of the city.

By this time the light had started to fail, but the X-T30 continued to perform well.

 

 

Our final stop of the day, the Colosseum, it was spectacular, even if we didn’t have the time to go inside. My imagination ran wild with what the noise must have been like when it was filled with the thousands of people chanting and cheering. The sun just managed to make an appearance as it was setting which gave a wonderful glow to the Colosseum. The exposure compensation dial came in useful here, perfectly positioned on the top right-hand side of the camera.

 

 

Back to the hotel, whilst enjoying a cool bottle of beer it gave me chance to set up the Auto ISO HDR function on the camera before we headed out to dinner. This setting would hopefully allow me to produce some great night shots of the city. We had a short walk to the restaurant; however, it took ages to get there as the offering of photographic opportunities kept on coming! Now in darkness, I couldn’t believe what we saw. Rome looked completely different by night. The beautifully lit architecture ensured that every corner we turned there was just shot after shot. Even more photographic opportunities presented at the restaurant, which had rooftop views over the city of Rome.

The X-T30 performed brilliantly throughout; every image I took handheld was perfectly exposed and the OIS worked a treat! I didn’t take this technology for granted either, I remember the film days when getting shots like these took a huge amount of work and was very hit and miss.

 

 

Our second (and final!) day in Rome saw us heading to the Supreme Court of Cassation. Here we had around three hours of free time so it was time to shoot some video. We found a great location down by the river where – take a look for yourself.

Just a short walk took us to The Vatican. What an amazing sight, the sheer size of this building and the detail in the architecture is incredible. This was a fantastic end to our trip to Rome before we rushed off to the airport for our flight home.

 

 

Remember at the beginning of this story when we said the theme of this trip would be rushing? We rushed to London, rushed around Rome and then our plane landed 45 minutes late, leaving us with just over an hour to do a journey taking… just over an hour! We all but threw our X-T30 back to Fujifilm, then sprinted to the Underground station at Heathrow, bags and backpacks flailing around us.

The timing was perfect, we got straight on the Underground at Heathrow, before another sprint between platforms onto the line for Euston. The tube was definitely in our favour. Then one final sprint through Euston and down to the platform. Puffing and panting, bags everywhere people were laughing as us as we ran past! But, it was totally worth it as we ran down the ramp and saw our train on the platform… leaving. The last train back to Preston was leaving without us! What an end to an otherwise brilliant, although fast-paced, trip to Rome!

 

 

We both really enjoyed using the Fujifilm X-T30 and I’d genuinely buy this camera as a travel camera. It’s small, light, easy to use, but also full of features and the lens is great quality and versatile. View the video we shot in Rome on YouTube  and find out more about the X-T30.

(In case you’re wondering, we did make it back to Preston. The Virgin staff were brilliant and made sure we got onto a train to Manchester so we could at least get a little nearer to home!)

 

 

 

Interested in the Fujifilm X-T30? You can order it now on our website!

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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