Not too long ago I wrote an article on why I think the Fujifilm X-T20 is still the camera I recommend in 2021. It had great response, but some people thought the X-T30 was clearly the superior camera. In this article we’ll look at the positive and negatives of each camera.
Both cameras are exceptional cameras, both cameras are more than capable of being your main camera and both cameras produce fantastic images. Both cameras are more or less the same size making them ideal for travel or carrying around all day and both cameras have very similar battery life. If you’re a Fujifilm fan, join our new community on Facebook now for much more!
Why the X-T20 is better than the X-T30
I’ve already written a whole article on this so we will just run through the features that make the X-T20 a better purchase choice.
• The X-T20 is much cheaper than the X-T30 and can be found second hand for extremely low prices in excellent condition.
• There are more physical buttons on the X-T20 making it a more tactile experience when customising the buttons.
• The X-T20 has been proven time and time again to have slightly better low light performance.
• The X-Trans III processor in the X-T20 gives what many believe are better looking jpegs straight from camera. It is noticeable and there is something very special from this processor.
Why the X-T30 is better than the X-T20
Although both cameras are very similar, there were some upgrades to the X-T30 that some users may find advantageous.
• The new X-Trans IV sensor is 26mp versus the X-Trans III’s 24mp. It’s not much of a difference, but it allows slightly more cropping.
• The auto-focus has been improved, especially in the eye/face detection. (see notes below on this)
• The X-T30 has focus stacking whereas the X-T20 doesn’t.
• The X-T30 has Pre-Shot whereas the X-T20 doesn’t.
• There’s a joystick allowing fast moving of focus points if needed
Is it really all about the auto-focus?
Many people when presented with the argument of which camera is best state that the difference in auto-focus alone is enough to buy the X-T30 over the X-T20. The reality though is that while there is an improvement, for general use there really isn’t much difference.
Over the 18 months I owned the X-T20 and used it shooting everything from landscapes and architecture to portraits and wildlife, the X-T20 rarely missed focus. I can compare that to my X-T3 which has an even more advanced auto-focus system than the X-T3 and can honestly say my hit rate is roughly the same as it was on the X-T20 in most situations, with maybe smaller birds in flight having a slightly higher hit rate and a tiny percentage extra of eyes in focus on portraits (the auto-focus finds faces and eyes quicker on the X-T30). When the X-T20’s AF is already great, and you know what you’re doing, it’s all down to the user.
Of course, depending on your skill level, this may differ, but don’t believe for one second that you won’t be able to manage autofocus with the X-T20
Is the difference between physical d-pad and no d-pad that important?
For the majority of users, through feedback on every single Facebook group and forum, the change to layout of buttons on the X-T30 was one of the biggest complaints. And rightly so. The advantage of the X-T20 having the physical d-pad for most users is a deal breaker. It means you never have to leave your viewfinder once your functions have been set-up. This is a difference between getting the shot and missing the shot.
Yes, the X-T30 can do swipe gestures, swiping up, down, left and right on the screen to set a function change. However, it’s no where near as tactile, and if you’re wearing gloves it’s impossible!
The choice is yours, so buy an X-T20!
If you’re new to the world of Fujifilm, or want a second body or you’re upgrading from an older Fujifilm camera the choice is simple. Save yourself a ton of money and buy yourself a used X-T20 for a fraction of the price of an X-T30. Use the savings for more lenses and enjoy going out and taking photographs with one of Fujifilm’s finest ever cameras.
If you want the latest, but not necessarily greatest, want a bit more resolution, a bit better autofocus in some circumstances and absolutely need focus stacking and Pre-Shot then get the X-T30.
Whatever you decide, you’re going to have an amazing camera which will allow you to take outstanding photographs. Just don’t give in to Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS) and buy what you need.
Note: As a huge professional Fujifilm photography fan, someone who organises and runs photography groups and does commissions and shoots, I have played with many cameras, not just Fujifilm. Above all else, I believe a great camera skills come from the person, not the camera and you should share your skill and knowledge if you’ve experienced it only.