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.
LCD, Viewfinder, Live View and Video
The Samsung EX1 does not feature an optical viewfinder, so we are left to rely entirely on the camera’s rear, 3in, AMOLED hinged display. Although I prefer a viewfinder in an SLR-style camera, not having one here didn’t really bother me.
The screen provided is good and is not difficult to see even in bright conditions.
The main point, however, is that with an aperture of f/1.8 it is somewhat more important than usual to be able to see exactly where the camera intends to focus – and no optical viewfinder in a compact camera can display such information.
The histogram display is too useful to ignore, as is information regarding apertures, compensation and shutter speed, and as optical viewfinders can’t show these I would have hardly used one had it been provided.
I can’t quite remember whether it was Samsung that was first to bring HD video to the compact camera world, but it is certainly difficult now to buy a Samsung camera that does not feature it. So it’s a little odd, then, that the EX1 has a relatively primitive video mode, offering a resolution of only 640×480 pixels. If you are not especially interested in video it hardly matters, and neither is it a feature to distinguish the EX1 from the G11 as they both run the same resolution.