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.
If Samsung’s aim in producing this less-than-mass-market model is to boost the value of its brand within the ‘serious’ photographic sector, I’d say the company has taken a massive step in the direction of success.
The camera is really very good, and the features and controls it offers make it an ideal machine for the DSLR user on a day off, or the compact user who wants to move up a notch or two. The flip-out screen, low noise, real choice of exposure controls, excellent build, hotshoe and, of course, that extra-wide aperture make for a potent mix.
This is only a step towards success, though, because probably a more difficult job will be convincing the ‘serious’ photographic market that Samsung can make decent cameras. Whether this model is better than the Canon PowerShot G11 or not (and we have yet to compare the two), enthusiasts will head for the more established brand. It’s a narrow-minded view, but often in the camera market brand loyalty, like love, is blind.
I used a custom white balance, read from the man’s cuff, which has successfully rendered most colours well. Yellows in the dark tones are not perfect, though