Fujifilm X30 vs Panasonic GH2
The Fujifilm X30 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2014 and September 2010. The X30 is a fixed lens compact, while the GH2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 2/3 (X30) and a Four Thirds (GH2) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.9 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2? 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 Panasonic GH2. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GH2 is notably larger (30 percent) than the Fujifilm X30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X30 nor the GH2 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X30 has a lens built in, whereas the GH2 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 GH2 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the X30 gets 470 shots out of its NP-95 battery, while the GH2 can take 330 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack. 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic GH2||124 mm||90 mm||76 mm||442 g||330||n||Sep 2010||899||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm XQ2||100 mm||59 mm||33 mm||206 g||240||n||Jan 2015||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X100T||127 mm||74 mm||52 mm||440 g||330||n||Sep 2014||1,299||ebay.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm XQ1||100 mm||59 mm||33 mm||206 g||240||n||Oct 2013||499||ebay.com|
|9.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599||ebay.com|
|10.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549||ebay.com|
|11.||Olympus Stylus 1s||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||450||n||Apr 2015||699||ebay.com|
|12.||Olympus Stylus 1||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||410||n||Oct 2013||699||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic GM5||99 mm||60 mm||36 mm||211 g||220||n||Sep 2014||749||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic GM1||99 mm||55 mm||30 mm||204 g||230||n||Oct 2013||749||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic GX7||123 mm||71 mm||55 mm||402 g||350||n||Aug 2013||999||ebay.com|
|16.||Panasonic GF1||119 mm||71 mm||36 mm||385 g||380||n||Sep 2009||749||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic GH1||124 mm||90 mm||45 mm||385 g||300||n||Mar 2009||899||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The X30 was launched at a lower price than the GH2, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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 size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X30 features a 2/3 sensor and the Panasonic GH2 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GH2 is 288 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 3.9 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
With 15.9MP, the GH2 offers a higher resolution than the X30 (12MP), but the GH2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 2.20μm for the X30) due to its larger sensor. However, the X30 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 11 months) than the GH2, and its sensor will 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 Panasonic GH2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GH2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 are ISO 160 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. The X30 uses Fujifilm's X-Trans layout of photosites, while the GH2 employs the more common Bayer array.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|2.||Panasonic GH2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60|
|11.||Olympus Stylus 1s||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.2||11.3||-111||47|
|12.||Olympus Stylus 1||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.7||11.6||179||51|
|13.||Panasonic GM5||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66|
|14.||Panasonic GM1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66|
|15.||Panasonic GX7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.6||12.2||718||70|
|16.||Panasonic GF1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||513||54|
|17.||Panasonic GH1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||21.6||11.6||772||64|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the X30 provides a higher frame rate than the GH2. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Panasonic is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the X30 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the GH2 (2360k vs 1534k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X30 and Panasonic GH2 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Fujifilm X30||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Panasonic GH2||1534||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm XQ2||none||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm X100T||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Fujifilm X20||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm X100S||2360||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Fujifilm XQ1||none||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Fujifilm X10||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Nikon P7800||921||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Olympus Stylus 1s||1440||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Olympus Stylus 1||1440||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Panasonic GM5||1166||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||Y||1/500s||5.8/s||n||n|
|14.||Panasonic GM1||none||n||3.0 / 1036||fixed||Y||1/500s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Panasonic GX7||2760||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/8000s||5.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Panasonic GF1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|17.||Panasonic GH1||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X30 and the GH2 write their files to SDXC cards. The X30 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the GH2 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Fujifilm X30||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Panasonic GH2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Fujifilm XQ2||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Fujifilm X100T||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X20||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Fujifilm X100S||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Fujifilm XQ1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Fujifilm X10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Nikon P7800||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Olympus Stylus 1s||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Olympus Stylus 1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic GM5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic GM1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic GX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Panasonic GF1||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic GH1||Y||stereo / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the X30 offers wifi support, while the GH2 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the X30 and the GH2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The GH2 was replaced by the Panasonic GH3, while the X30 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the features and operation of the X30 and GH2 can be found, respectively, in the Fujifilm X30 Manual (free pdf) or the online Panasonic GH2 Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Fujifilm X30 or the Panasonic GH2 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X30:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2360k vs 1534k dots).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the GH2 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (119x72mm vs 124x90mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the GH2).
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (470 versus 330) on a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 11 months of technical progress since the GH2 launch.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.71x vs 0.43x).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2010).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X30 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 8 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 Panasonic GH2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X30 and the GH2 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic GH2||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2010||899||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm XQ2||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X100T||5/5||+||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,299||ebay.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X100S||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm XQ1||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||499||ebay.com|
|9.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599||ebay.com|
|10.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549||ebay.com|
|11.||Olympus Stylus 1s||..||..||..||..||..||..||Apr 2015||699||ebay.com|
|12.||Olympus Stylus 1||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||699||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic GM5||3.5/5||+||..||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic GM1||3/5||+||..||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic GX7||4/5||+||..||79/100||5/5||5/5||Aug 2013||999||ebay.com|
|16.||Panasonic GF1||..||85/100||..||69/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||749||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic GH1||..||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||899||ebay.com|
|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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1D vs Fujifilm X30
- Canon 600D vs Panasonic GH2
- Canon 650D vs Panasonic GH2
- Fujifilm X-T2 vs Fujifilm X30
- Fujifilm X30 vs Leica D-LUX 5
- Fujifilm X30 vs Leica X2
- Fujifilm X30 vs Nikon D40
- Fujifilm X30 vs Ricoh GR III
- Nikon D2Xs vs Panasonic GH2
- Nikon Z6 vs Panasonic GH2
- Panasonic GH2 vs Panasonic GH3
- Panasonic GH2 vs Sony HX90V
Specifications: Fujifilm X30 vs Panasonic GH2
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||Panasonic GH2|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28-112mm f/2.0-2.8||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2014||September 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X30||Panasonic GH2|
|Sensor Format||Two Thirds Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||8.8 x 6.6 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||58.08 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||11 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.20 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||20.66 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||160 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor II||Venus FHD|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||60|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||655|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X30||Panasonic GH2|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots||1534k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X30||Panasonic GH2|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X30||Panasonic GH2|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X30||Panasonic GH2|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||470 shots per charge||330 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)
124 x 90 x 76 mm
(4.9 x 3.5 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||423 g (14.9 oz)||442 g (15.6 oz)|
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