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on 26 June 2011
I bought this camera for my snorkelling holiday in the Med as it claimed to be waterproof to 5m.
To try to be fair to this camera, I'm listing what I thing the strengths & weaknesses of the camera are:-

Strengths:-
1. Brand name
Fujifilm - I've owned their cameras before & always liked them
2. Shooting Modes
Good range of settings for the pictures (see comments later)
3. Large LCD screen
Nice & big for the size of camera
4. Separate video & still photography buttons.
What a brilliant idea! Why doesn't everybody do this?!?
5. Panorama setting.
Allows you to take a panoramic picture. Very slick! Very easy to use. Liked this a lot.
6. Picture & video quality
Picture & video quality were very good.

Weaknesses:-
1. Waterproof.
Ha ha ha ha ha. Maybe someone else's one is, but mine filled up with water at less than 100mm depth. I tried this over a number of days & decided with a little effort I could get it to stay moderately watertight to a depth of about 2 metres for about 30 minutes. The good news is that I managed to dry the unit out each day & reuse it.
Long term, this will be a problem with the innards corroding, especially if used in the sea.
(I suppose the good news is that the water hasn't yet penetrated the optics... does that constitute good news..?? )
2. Battery.
This can go into the camera the wrong way.... yet you can't put it into the charger the wrong way around. Fortunately, no damage seems to have occurred but really that's a bit of a fundamental design flaw. I haven't had that problem with a camera for many years.
3. Lens position.
For most people operating a camera of this type, putting the lens in the top left or top right is asking for trouble. Lots of pictures of fingers. This is a camera design 101 type flaw. Yes, you can learn to move the fingers out of the way, but good design thinks about this & finds a way around it before you go into production.
Oh yes, there is no cover for the lens so expect to get smudges & fingerprints on your pictures. It's a minor gripe but worth mentioning.
4. Memory card / battery compartment/ USB doors.
There are 2 of these. Why? It makes life difficult & as far as I can tell, this is where all the water gets in. The latching mechanism is similar to the one used on my old Minolta & was sooooo prone to breaking & cost me a fortune to get fixed. Sorry guys, a quite unnecessary piece of bad design.
5. LCD screen.
Not bright enough, particularly underwater. You struggle to see what you're filming/ photographing. The screen has a problem when viewed above & below the centreline of the screen. It means that it's difficult to know what your picture is like. I didn't have this with my previous Fujifilm or Samsung cameras, so why now?
6. Feature selection.
Some of these 'stop' when you do things like switch off the sound (beep) - some menus become no longer available. Once again, this doesn't happen in other cameras so why on this one? Bad design.
7. Picture settings (Shooting mode).
There's 21! Too many. There are 3 for underwater use alone! This needs simplifying. Just because you can make 21 different settings doesn't mean you should. In any case, most of them seemed to be the same
8. Data file errors
I got lots of file errors using mine. Probably 1 in 7 pictures ended up with a 'Read file error' message. I tried different SD cards that I knew worked ok in other cameras but got the same results. To be fair, this could be the dried remains of the Med still in my camera causing this....but this shouldn't happen, full stop.

There are other niggles that I could mention but I won't.

In summary, if you want a camera for everyday photography, then it's very good but you'll probably get lots of fingers in shot. Samsung & Canon probably will do better designed units for a similar price tag.
If you want it for underwater (snorkelling) depth then there are better things out there & judging by some of the other reviews, you'll have trouble with this camera. (I also bought the Kodak mini video camera for £26 & was very impressed with it for the money). If you want an underwater camera, buy a good camera & then get a waterproof housing for it (I've seen these for about £75+)
It's a shame because the features & the concept of the Fujifilm camera are very good, just poorly executed.

I am now looking for the packaging so I can return this to Amazon for a refund.
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on 26 June 2011
Works well for me. Controls are clear and straightforward. Shutter release seems quick. I love not having to worry about rain on the camera and got I it thoroughly soaked on a canoeing trip in Scotland with no ill effects.
The GPS however, is so slow and uses so much battery as to be pretty pointless. Don't think I'll be using it again. The advertised GPS tracking feature seems to be incompatible with the latest version of Fuji's Mac software, so that's no use either.
In summary - DON'T buy it for the GPS. Otherwise pretty good.
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on 4 June 2011
I am not a professional photographer but have been a keen amateur for some 40 years and have some considerable depth of knowledge of photography. I currently have 2 very expensive DSLR cameras, two expensive video cameras and two other digital pocket cameras. In the past I had my own developing studio.

However I bought this camera, the Fuji Finepix XP30, especially to take on a Mediterranean cruise on the specifications it offered. I was not disappointed. Yes the battery life is limited and yes it did take some time for the GPS to lock but that happens with most GPS systems if you take them from distant place to distant place.

I did find the camera very easy to carry and very easy to use. The operating system is standard for all recent cameras (my wife has a Finepix 2960 and the functions and OS are exactly the same). There are a multitude of modes and switching from one to the other is very easy.

I took the precaution of purchasing a second battery and I recharged each battery every night. However, I only ever used one battery per day: there was then absolutely no problem and I didn't have to change batteries even during the extensive days when I had the GPS permanently on.

Pictures are pretty good but with a small lens necessary with a small pocket camera the resolution is never ever going to be the same as a top end DSLR. In low light with a high ASA/ISO settings the results were a bit grainy but see the previous sentence.

The camera is well built and feels very substantial for a relatively small item. I took photographs in the sea and they were just fine too.

As far as the lack of lens cover and "dust on the lens" referred to by other reviewers......well just keep the lens clean!! That's not difficult.

I think this a a great little camera. Perfect for holidays. Actually, from now, it will be with me all the time.
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on 10 August 2011
We bought this at Heathrow Dixons. They guaranteed to match Amazon prices. We were on our way to Kenya for a special family holiday and planned to snorkel on the reef, so the underwater aspect of the camera really attracted me. The GPS never worked. On the second day, we had a scuba tryout in the resort pool. I tried taking some photo's underwater of our ten year old daughter. After four photo's the camera stopped working. It was sealed properly, but when I opened the back, water was clearly visible over the battery and SD card. I left the camera open to dry. Despite trying it every day, it was three days later before it would let me take a photograph and the viewing screen was partially obscured by condensation, as was the lens. We went on safari the following day for three days in the Masai Mara, with a camera that didn't work very well. Fortunately, my ten year old daughter had her old Samsung ES15 and was able to take some photographs. I was very impressed with the ones that she took. Very good quality. The Fuji was disappointing in comparison, even when it had dried out. We then went scuba diving out on a reef. The camera had dried out and I wanted the opportunity to get some photographs of the sea life and our daughter's first real scuba dive. Three photographs later, it packed up. Water inside again!
When I first held the camera, I was impressed by the feel of it. It seemed to be of good quality and well made.
When we got back to the UK, I was worried about getting my money back as I couldn't get to Heathrow Dixons. I went into Curries in Southend and got my money back without a quible. So, well done and a big thumbs up to Currits/Dixons and a big thumbs down to Fuji. A memorable holiday, not so memorable due to a poor camera.
27th November 2011
An update on this review. I wrote to Fuji UK detailing my experience with the camera just after posting this review. They haven't had the courtesy to reply.
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on 9 September 2011
I bought this camera at the end of July as I had previously used the Z33WP and thought this was a new and improved version. It is not. At first everything seemed great and I was quite pleased with the choice and especially the price. However when I took it on holiday and in the hotel pool it leaked. I had already tested it in the sea several times and it was definitely closed correctly, but after taking photos - which it did take and save on the memory card - the camera stopped working, refused to turn on and the lens, flash and screen misted up with condensation.
The GPS is also slow and drains the battery very quickly, which makes using it frustrating and not using makes its provision pointless.
I am very disappointed with this camera, the previous Z33WP survived a 5 month surf expedition, 4 months snowboarding and not only worked but was still waterproof after being run over by a car - it does now have a cracked screen.
The XP30 managed 3 trips in the sea before packing in.
Thankfully Amazon are giving me a refund so I can save up for a better camera than this one.
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on 21 January 2012
Having purchased a previous version of the the camera which was unbelievably good - so much so that I hardly use my SLR and we've taken it in more pools and seas that I can care to mention.

So after almost wearing out the first one I thought more zoom and more pixels would be a good investment.

Whilst the camera is OK (its got more functions that you will ever need - GPS!!!) but I wouldn't take it near water. My previous camera need you to do two things at the same time to open the battery/memory card compartment and even I struggle to do that some times but its definitely waterproof! The XP30 has just one and instead of being on the bottom its on the side and in short it just keeps popping open.

The sad fact is its not fit for purpose and whilst it has some improvements - we keep using the older one! Product development gone mad and in doing so have lost a key element of what was attractive about these cameras, which is a real shame.
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on 5 April 2011
It's my fault I suppose. I rushed into this purchase. I'd read some reviews online, and they all seemed good. But after re-reading them, they all sound like press releases. Hmmm.

So, why the 1-star review? I recently took this camera on a trip to Istanbul, and I have been fairly disappointed by the results. Most of the images are good, but without a proper lens cover there are a fair few dust spots. These really showed up in low light situations. The video is very choppy, and the noise from the zoom can clearly be heard on playback.

The GPS took an age to get a lock, if it got a lock at all. For me this was the USP. I could not stand there for minutes waiting to get a lock. As anybody who has ever taken a picture knows, the moment can go in well...a moment. I can't wait minutes. Also, as mentioned by another reviewer, the battery life is poor. I understand that GPS will drain a battery, but on this camera, its just not worth the sacrifice.

The internal clock on my camera also lost about 45 minutes each day.

What was good about the camera? Well the pictures on the box were nice, and I liked the charger that goes straight into the wall - less clutter. My wife also liked the colour (blue)

I've returned this to where I bought it from. I don't think I'll ever buy a Fujifilm camera again.
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on 14 August 2011
We had the previous model for our 7 year old which was fantastic and was waterproof, snow proof etc. This was stolen so we decided to replace it with the newer version.
On opening we found the XP30 controls and menu were really user friendly and our son soon had it all figured out. It first outing was in the shallow end of the swimming pool on holiday in Spain. I am afraid that this was also it last outing as when we took it out of the swimming pool we discovered that water had leaked in to it and destroyed the camera.

Amazon were fantastic at providing a refund but I would suggets trying this camera in water before you take it holiday to save all the upset if it does leak.

Fujifilm FinePix XP30 Digital Camera - Blue (14MP, 5x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch LCD
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on 13 March 2012
i bought this camera to take to the maldives on holliday. it was recommended to me by my brother who is a photographer for beginner cameras underwater.

i hbave to say i actually really like this camera the footage i have from underwater is great. it does take a while to take another picture though a bit of a delay, but maybe that was just the settings i had it on.

then it happened - while in the water the battery compartment door popped open, and that was it, camera ruined. i was sooooo frustrated, ass this was on the 5th day of a 16 day trip.

when i got back from the maldives i contacted the seller, and apparently it was my fault and the camera wasnt faulty. although i did doubt their opinion i did buy this camera again, from a local shop, so if there were any problems with it i would be able to take it back.

i tookthe faulty camerainstore to see what they said, and they told me it looked like therewas a fault with the latch on the battery compartment door, as it wasnt clicking back into place when you closed it.

so i ended up losing out on £££ but im still happy with the camera. its just unfortunate i didnt take out the warrenty they offer you, even though this camera should have been changed under the statutory rights act as a faulty product. this is the reason for the 1 star review.

other thanthat i have had this new camera a since christmas and love it, no faults...
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on 17 August 2012
As a qualified PADI underwater photographer, I purchased this Finepix XP30 Camera in black for my holiday in Australia. I was a bit unsure when I purchased this camera, but can honestly say is a fantastic compact waterproof camera for snorkling and any water sports. The quality of picture was great underwater and the camera did not leak. I took this camera extreme whitewater rafting, and did not leak even when forced unerwater at depth as well as jumping off very high rocks Approx 20 meters into deep water whilst video recording. Sound quality was also good. Fantastic all round camera and well priced.
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