For its size and category, the X-T30 delivers stellar shooting performance. You can shoot at 8 fps with the mechanical shutter enabled, and 20 fps using the (silent) electronic shutter. If you're okay with a 1.25 times crop, you can hit an incredible 30 fps in electronic shutter mode. The buffer is pretty small, so you'll be able to fire off about 17 RAW frames before continuous shooting stalls. With a fast card in JPEG-only mode, I was able to shoot for a good 13 seconds (around 104 shots) before saturating the buffer. That let me capture some great sequences, like a child riding a bike through a shallow pond.
With 425 phase-detect AF tracking points covering 99 percent of the sensor, and 117 hybrid phase and contrast detect areas, the autofocus system can keep up with those speeds. Single-shot AF is deadly, nailing focus nearly 100 percent of the time. I also got an excellent hit-rate on regular center- or flexible-point continuous autofocus if I kept the tracking square on the subject.
Surprisingly, the X-T30 had more advanced AI-powered face and eye-tracking than the X-T3 at launch, though the latter has now caught up with a firmware update. Specifically, the X-T30 now lets you switch between subjects by selecting them on the touchscreen and can detect faces and eyes from farther away than its more expensive sibling.
I found that it worked very well but didn't stick to faces as tenaciously as the A6400. Rather, it tended to jump around with multiple people in a shot. Nevertheless, in most shooting situations, I got a very high percentage of in-focus shots both in regular and eye-tracking modes. This makes it great for street, casual and portrait shooting, and crucially, it has a truly silent shutter speed, to boot (take that, EOS RP).
The biggest drawback of the X-T30 is it lacks in-body stabilization, unlike Panasonic's similarly priced G95. However, the G95 has a smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor with less shallow depth of field, and the X-T30's main APS-C rival, the A6400, also lacks that feature. If you need it for video or low-light photography, you'll have to get a stabilized (OIS) lens. Luckily, Fujifilm has plenty to choose from.
I had hoped that the X-T30 would pack at least decent video features, but Fujifilm far exceeded my expectations. Rather than cropping or line-skipping, it uses the entire 6K sensor and supersamples it to 4K at up to 4,096 x 2,160 DCI resolution. As a result, I was able to shoot sharp, artifact-free 4K video on par with the X-T3. It's limited to 30p, rather than 60p 4K video like the X-T3, but that's not surprising for a mid-range camera. You can, however, shoot 1080p at 60p with no crop (and autofocus enabled) and 120 fps with a 1.29 times crop.
Those specs are nearly identical to Sony's A6400 (and the $1,200 A6500, too, for that matter), except that the X-T30 can handle higher-resolution DCI and shoot at double the A6400's 100 Mbps data rate. That makes for less MPEG blockiness, particularly in detailed scenes with lots of camera movement.
There are some compromises, of course. Video records internally at 8-bit, rather than 10-bit, giving you fewer color-correction options when editing. The X-T3 also has a 400 Mbps data rate available with frame by frame (all-intra), rather than MPEG interframe encoding. Cutting through the jargon, that makes it a lot easier, and faster, to edit video.
To my great surprise, the X-T30 supports 10-bit 4K output from the micro-HDMI port to an external video recorder. That let me capture professional Apple ProRes video with more color detail to my $495 Blackmagic Video Assist. The reward was more choices in the edit studio, especially with poorly exposed footage.