Fujifilm X30 vs Nikon D4S
The Fujifilm X30 and the Nikon D4S are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2014 and February 2014. The X30 is a fixed lens compact, while the D4S is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 2/3 (X30) and a full frame (D4S) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 16.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X30 and the Nikon D4S? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X30 and the Nikon D4S. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X30 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D4S is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D4S is considerably larger (193 percent) than the Fujifilm X30. It is noteworthy in this context that the D4S is splash and dust-proof, while the X30 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X30 has a lens built in, whereas the D4S is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D4S and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the X30 gets 470 shots out of its NP-95 battery, while the D4S can take 3020 images on a single charge of its EN-EL18a power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D4S has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. The power pack in the X30 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|2.||Nikon D4S||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1350 g||3020||Y||Feb 2014||6,499|
|3.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Fujifilm XQ2||100 mm||59 mm||33 mm||206 g||240||n||Jan 2015||399|
|5.||Fujifilm X100T||127 mm||74 mm||52 mm||440 g||330||n||Sep 2014||1,299|
|6.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299|
|8.||Fujifilm XQ1||100 mm||59 mm||33 mm||206 g||240||n||Oct 2013||499|
|9.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|10.||Nikon D5||160 mm||159 mm||92 mm||1415 g||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499|
|11.||Nikon D750||141 mm||113 mm||78 mm||750 g||1230||Y||Sep 2014||2,299|
|12.||Nikon D810||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299|
|13.||Nikon Df||144 mm||110 mm||67 mm||760 g||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749|
|14.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|15.||Nikon D4||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1340 g||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1s||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||450||n||Apr 2015||699|
|17.||Olympus Stylus 1||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||410||n||Oct 2013||699|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The X30 was launched at a lower price than the D4S, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X30 features a 2/3 sensor and the Nikon D4S a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D4S is 1383 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 3.9 and 1.0. The sensor in the X30 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D4S offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 16.2MP, the D4S offers a higher resolution than the X30 (12MP), but the D4S nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 7.29μm versus 2.20μm for the X30) due to its larger sensor. However, the X30 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the D4S, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X30 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon D4S implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D4S for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.4 inches or 62.6 x 41.7 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Fujifilm X30 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The X30 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm X30 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D4S are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-409600.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|2.||Nikon D4S||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/60p||24.4||13.3||3074||89|
|10.||Nikon D5||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88|
|11.||Nikon D750||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/60p||24.8||14.5||2956||93|
|12.||Nikon D810||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97|
|13.||Nikon Df||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||none||24.6||13.1||3279||89|
|15.||Nikon D4||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1s||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|17.||Olympus Stylus 1||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.7||11.6||179||51|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X30 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the D4S has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the D4S has a higher magnification than the one of the X30 (0.70x vs 0.43x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X30 and Nikon D4S in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1s||1440||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Olympus Stylus 1||1440||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X30 has one, while the D4S does not. While the built-in flash of the X30 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The Nikon D4S has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The X30 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D4S uses Compact Flash or XQD cards. The D4S features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X30 only has one slot.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm X30 and Nikon D4S and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1s||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Olympus Stylus 1||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the X30 offers wifi support, while the D4S does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D4S (unlike the X30) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The X30 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Fujifilm. In contrast, the D4S has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D4S was succeeded by the Nikon D5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Nikon websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X30 and the Nikon D4S? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X30:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D4S requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (119x72mm vs 160x157mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D4S).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the D4S).
Advantages of the Nikon D4S:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (16.2 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 18%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.43x).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (3020 versus 470) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D4S is the clear winner of the contest (21 : 13 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X30 and the Nikon D4S place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X30 or the D4S perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|2.||Nikon D4S||5/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||6,499|
|3.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Fujifilm XQ2||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||399|
|5.||Fujifilm X100T||5/5||+||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,299|
|6.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X100S||5/5||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299|
|8.||Fujifilm XQ1||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||499|
|9.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|10.||Nikon D5||..||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499|
|11.||Nikon D750||5/5||+ +||90/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||2,299|
|12.||Nikon D810||5/5||..||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299|
|13.||Nikon Df||4/5||..||81/100||4/5||4/5||Nov 2013||2,749|
|14.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|15.||Nikon D4||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||5,999|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1s||..||..||..||..||..||Apr 2015||699|
|17.||Olympus Stylus 1||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Fujifilm X30 vs Nikon D4S
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm X30||Nikon D4S|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||28-112mm f/2.0-2.8||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2014||February 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 6,499|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X30||Nikon D4S|
|Sensor Format||Two Thirds Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||8.8 x 6.6 mm||36.0 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||58.08 mm2||860.4 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||11 mm||43.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||16.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4928 x 3280 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.20 μm||7.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||20.66 MP/cm2||1.88 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50 - 409,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor II||EXPEED 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||89|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||3074|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X30||Nikon D4S|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X30||Nikon D4S|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or XQD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X30||Nikon D4S|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X30||Nikon D4S|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||470 shots per charge||3020 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
119 x 72 x 60 mm
(4.7 x 2.8 x 2.4 in)
160 x 157 x 91 mm
(6.3 x 6.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||423 g (14.9 oz)||1350 g (47.6 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.