Samsung EX1 review

The best Samsung camera to date?

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High-performance compact at great price

Lets start with the good, for feature set, performance and price, we believe this Samsung’s most successfully realized digital camera to date – and that includes its forages into DSLRs and compact system cameras. A strong statement to make - but why?

The answer won’t be obvious from its headline spec. Ten megapixels from a 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor, 3x optical zoom and standard def 640x480 video sounds positively archaic. But add a tank-like metal construction, the ability to shoot up to ISO3200 at full resolution, a bright lens with an aperture of f/1.8 at a wide angle 24mm thats just to start with.

Round the back there’s a tilting 3-inch AMOLED back screen with seriously sharp visibility and it has instant enthusiast appeal. In lower light it appears so bright and so vivid that your eyeballs begin to hurt trying to take it all in. The Samsung will also squeeze into a pocket, so won’t get left at home like a DSLR might.

Samsung EX1: Build

Low light shooting requires a steady hand and some form of built-in anti shake. The EX1 provides both optical and digital stabilisation while a rubber coated grip and roughened surface to the lens surround provide belt ‘n’ braces.

The control layout is rather busy thanks to its two top plate dials and sundry buttons, but in reality these provide time saving shortcuts. Otherwise the on-screen menus are logical enough for a beginner to navigate. The EX1 features a pop-up flash sunk unobtrusively onto its top plate, adding a hotshoe for anyone wanting to use flashgun for more flattering light.The best of both worlds for those alternatively seeking extra illumination

Samsung EX1: Features

The camera still features the Smart Auto technology from its maker’s more humble point and shoot compacts that, with its scene and subject recognising capabilities, allows users to utilise it just like any other snapshot. Fire off a shot and a full resolution ‘Super Fine’ quality JPEG is committed to memory in a second, or move to one of the quartet of creative modes – program, shutter priority, aperture priority or manual shooting – and shoot in Raw with a barely noticeable slow down.

We were less enthusiastic about the clip-on lens cap provided that you have to remember to remove every time you power up the camera. And yet, priced not much higher than your average compact, pictures are on a different level. Colours look fantastically vivid and the lens is so sharp that we were getting great results from the EX1, shooting a choice of Raw or standard JPEG, with seemingly very little effort.

Ultimately, Samsung’s best digital camera to date also comes at a very competitive price.

Samsung EX1 release date: Out now, link Samsung

Samsung EX1 price: £300-£340 online

Samsung EX1 Specifications:

  • Sensor: 10-megapixel
  • Lens: 24-72mm in 35mm terms (3x optical)
  • Screen: 3-inch 460k dots
  • Viewfinder: No
  • Stabilisation: Optical and digital
  • Video: 640x480 pixels at 30fps
  • Storage SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Battery 250 shots
  • Connections: USB 2.0, HDMI, AV output
  • Dimensions/Weight: 160g (body only), 90.9x56x16.5mm