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Samsung EX1 review

Tim Smalley
12 Aug 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
350
inc VAT

Samsung's EX1 is a very good camera that enthusiasts will love. It's got an excellent lens and the articulated screen is useful, but it doesn't quite do enough to beat the cheaper LX3.

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Specifications

1/1.70in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (24-72mm equivalent), 356g

While compact interchangeable lens cameras are becoming more and more common, they're still not small enough for some people. Canon's PowerShot G series has long been considered the enthusiasts' choice when it comes to compact cameras, but that changed in 2008 when Panasonic introduced the Lumix DMC-LX3.

Samsung's EX1 follows a similar recipe to the LX3 with a fast, wide optical zoom lens in a relatively compact metal body and a 10-megapixel sensor. The EX1 beats the LX3 on paper with a faster maximum aperture (f/1.8-2.4 compared to f/2.0-2.8) and a longer reach (24-72mm compared to 24-60mm), but its sensor is slightly smaller at 1/1.7in. However, that's still about 50 per cent larger than the 1/2.33in sensors in most compacts.

Unlike the LX3 however, the EX1 doesn't retain the same angle of view when you change aspect ratios between the default 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 modes. The LX3 retains the same angle of view at the same zoom setting – regardless of aspect ratio – making it much easier to get to grips with how the lens behaves at certain zoom settings.

Samsung EX1 back

One of the EX1's highlights is the fully-articulated 3in AMOLED screen, which offers excellent colour reproduction and contrast and is still viewable in bright sunlight. Its 614,000 dot resolution means pictures look sharp when you're reviewing them, too. The fact the screen is articulated has its benefits, but it does also add some bulk to the back of the camera which left us with slightly mixed feelings.

With two dials – one at the top of the hand grip on the front and one that doubles as the four-way controller on the back – the EX1's controls are designed to appeal to enthusiasts and DSLR users alike. The former controls shutter speed in Manual and Shutter priority modes and, when clicked, controls exposure compensation in all modes. The latter sets the aperture in Manual and Aperture priority modes. On the top, there are another two dials which control the shooting mode and drive mode respectively, further confirming the EX1's enthusiast credentials.