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.
Any problems I had with focusing the EX1 came about through my use of wide apertures and reframing. With such a narrow depth of field, when the lens is used wide open it is easy to create a soft subject purely by changing the subject-to-camera distance as you rock backwards and forwards before pressing the shutter all the way down.
This is a problem we already know about when using DSLRs, but do not associate with compacts. I found keeping still helped, or switching to the excellent face-detection mode instead of trying my hand at spot AF.
In most cases, though, I found the focusing system works very well, whether in the multi-point mode, spot or face detection. The system operates quickly and decisively, and is able to cope with the type of low-light conditions in which a wide maximum aperture comes in useful.
The only shortcoming I found was in macro mode, where the camera repeatedly seemed reluctant to recognise what I wanted to photograph.