Samsung EX1


A compact camera for experts

With its first compact to experts, Samsung attacks Canon offers with an alternative to G11. With a wide-angle of 24mm wide aperture (F1.8) and a rotating screen the new Samsung EX1, tested and reviewed today seems to be an interesting competitor.

After a successful entry into the world of compact digital cameras and the launch of its collaboration with Pentax SLRs, Samsung announced last year their first compact for experts, called EX1. Under a name which is similar to a very “secret Iranian missile,” the manufacturer has hidden a camera deliberately produced to be austere, with emphasis on manual settings and technical and visual qualities.

Interesting optics provided

samsung-ex1Covering an intentionally reduced optical range of 24-72 mm, a very wide angle and a stable zoom of 3x -, it warned photographers this compact has the distinction of sensor integration slightly larger than traditional compacts. This is a lighter sensor because the aperture is open wide, which is a very big plus: F1, 8 in wide angle 72 mm F2.4. The optical system is able to capture a lot of light and allows blurry backgrounds. It is very useful for beautiful portraits.

10-megapixel sensor

Generally speaking to an audience, Samsung has made the smart choice of limiting the amount of pixels, such as Canon has done with PowerShot G11. As the public begins to understand the battle is not for more megapixels, but on high sensitivity and image quality, Samsung EX1 team limited the sensor of the tested model to 10 megapixel but enhanced its sensitivity to a value of 3200 ISO. The Korean brand has made great efforts in the field of software processing of digital noise at the same time.

Options for professionals

Some features like PASM manual modes or RAW image format, with the ergonomics front wheel are made by Samsung to attract the pros clients and also to offer them on a silver platter the famous rotating screen; the PowerShot G disappeared, but the PowerShot G11 is back. A display with good resolution and more than comfortable (7.6 cm diagonal).

Without HD video…

In the world of photography, Samsung has made a point of honor to stand out from the competition, offering as much as possible the wide-angle and HD video features. If the first feature is included, the video capability is limited: the films captured by EX1 are limited to VGA or 640 x 480 pixels. This is far from HD 720p resolution with 1280 x 720 pixels. According to Samsung, the relatively large size of the sensor is affected. This is understandable, but we regret it dearly.

Available since April 2010, the new Samsung EX1 digital camera for experts is sold for 450 euros.

Positive points (pros)

* Very wide-angle optical zoom of 24mm;
* Optical Stabilization included in the package works well for the reviewed model;
* Rotary AMOLED display with 7.6 inch diagonal;
* RAW format of the pictures;

Negative points (cons)

* No HD video included (only VGA / 640 x 480 pixels resolution);
* Expensive comparing with other similar models;
* Modest zoom (24-72 mm equivalent 24 x 36 mm / 3x).

Technical specifications

Resolution of sensor: 10 Mpixels;
Maximum Optical Zoom: 3X;
Memory Card: SD Card, SDHC Card.