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.
The multi-point and centreweighted exposure meter configurations in this camera are set for print-ready photographers and produce results that are perhaps 1/3EV too light for my own tastes. The easily accessible exposure-compensation button soon fixes that, though.
I also sometimes adopted the process of using spot metering from the brightest important area in the scene combined with +1.7EV compensation, which worked very well.
My concern really was to avoid overexposed highlights, so the most could be made of the camera’s dynamic range. Once I came to understand the need for compensation I was very pleased with the results the camera turned out from a wide range of different and difficult conditions. It seems able to identify when there are larger than usual bright and dark areas in a scene and ignore them.
Flash exposures are also good in the main. The built-in unit is not amazingly powerful, but the camera makes great use of external units in the hotshoe and produces well-lit and natural-looking pictures.
Making the most of spot metering and a wider than usual choice of apertures and shutter speeds in manual exposure mode, I tried some really high-key street images and found that even light tones are well controlled, full and capable of manipulation in software.
Image: Combining spot metering with the ‘Classic’ shooting preset and +1.7EV exposure compensation allowed me complete control over the way the scene was represented.