Hi T M Butler, and welcome to the Cameralabs forums.
Yes, it's true you can't use the optical zoom during filming with the F30, although you can use it before to frame the shot or sequence as desired.
I mentioned this in the review of the F30 here:
http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Fujif ... ge3c.shtml
While annoying, this is actually very normal for most compacts, and I've been told it's because the noise of the motorised optical zoom would be too obtrusive in the recording. The only cameras which seem to allow it are those superzooms which don't use motors to operate their zooms - such as the Panasonic FZ50 or Fujifilm S9600 / S9100. Some models may alternatively allow a digital zoom during video recording.
That said, I think they should still allow the optical zoom so long as they warn us about the sound. After all, some of us may just want to capture the video and intend to put different audio over it during editing - and besides, the audio on most digicam video modes is pretty ropey to start with. I hope this is something they manage to address on future models, as the video quality is certainly getting very good these days.
PS - I wonder how bad the sound of the optical zoom motors would actually be anyway? Then again you can heard the actual tape transport working on most camcorder recordings...!