With the widest maximum aperture on the compact camera market and a set of features to rival a DSLR, Samsung’s EX1 wants to be the best enthusiast compact around.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Samsung EX1

Product:

Samsung EX1 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£399.00

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Samsung EX1 at a glance:

  • Maximum aperture range of f/1.8-2.4
  • 3x 24-72mm Schneider Kreuznach zoom
  • 10-million-pixel, 1/1.7in, backlit image sensor
  • Raw and JPEG capture
  • Hotshoe
  • Flip-out 3in AMOLED screen

Samsung EX1 review – Introduction

The best-selling cameras in this country, and in much of the world, are models the names of which most AP readers will not have come across. They sell in their thousands through electrical chain stores, mail-order catalogues, online retailers and TV shopping channels, and cost between £50 and £100. They often come in different colours, sport impressive-sounding features and are bought by people who point them and press the button.

It is an attractive market if your business plan lets you sell pallets of goods at low margins, allows you to update your line-up every few months and if you are not bothered about prestige in your market area.

Samsung has done extremely well in this area for some time, and is constantly either at number one in the UK or in the top three, for volume of cameras sold. Now, though, the company has its eye on making a name for itself at the serious end of photography, and it needs a range of products that can build a new brand idea for enthusiasts to latch on to.

The company has been moving in this direction for a few years, but with limited success. The NV range of compacts that accompanied the GX series of DSLRs were nicely made and well designed, but ultimately fell down on image quality.

We’ve seen a change over the past year, though, with Samsung compact cameras taking a big step forward regarding noise control and colour rendition. The ST550 was the first in the line of dramatically improved models, and the shift has been creeping through the entire range. With the replacement of GX with the NX micro system camera range, Samsung still needs to earn itself a good name for image quality and to embed itself on the consciousness of more serious photographers.

Although the GX-10 and GX-20 cameras were really very good, the series ultimately failed to convince enthusiasts that Samsung is a brand that can supply them with what they need. The effective withdrawal of the GX series did little to counter this conviction.

This new compact camera has a lot riding on its shoulders, because with its super-fast aperture lens, extensive manual controls and hotshoe it hopes to make enough of an impression to lift the perception of the entire brand.

The Samsung EX1 is a prestige camera, well made and with impressive specification. Armed with these qualities, it is aimed directly at the heady sector of the market occupied so comfortably for so long by Canon’s PowerShot G-series cameras. The PowerShot G11 has had little competition, but perhaps now Samsung
will be able to upset the status quo.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and Handling
  4. 4. White Balance and Colour
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Resolution, Noise and Sensitivity
  8. 8. Dynamic range and gamut
  9. 9. LCD, Viewfinder, Live View and Video
  10. 10. Our verdict
  11. 11. The competition
Page 1 of 11 - Show Full List
  • Ingrid

    very nice and pleasant to use camera. Though a few small points: you can not enlarge the small aria where you set the sharpness, it enlarges the whole photograf. Nota quick check if the sharpness is there where you want it ( Canon has that). You can use the old objectives from the analog camera, but then you have to use the manual focus and that is not so easy without a special glass.

  • Luc

    The picture illustrating this article is showing a Canon!

  • Roy Thatcher

    It would be nice to have the right camera picture with this Pentax K-r review.