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Samsung EX1 review

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.


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.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
CCD effective megapixels 10.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/1.70in
Viewfinder N/A
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 614,000 pixels
Articulated screen Yes
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 3.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 24-72mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 3,648×2,736
Maximum movie resolution 640×480
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats RAW, JPEG, QuickTime (H.264)


Memory slot SDHC
Battery type 3.8V 1,130mAh Li-Ion
Battery Life (tested) 240 shots
Connectivity USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, mini-HDMI
HDMI output resolution 1080i
Body material Aluminium
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB, charger, Samsung RAW conversion software
Weight 356g
Size 65x114x30mm

Buying Information

Warranty 1 year parts and labour
Price £350

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual, dual IS, smart auto, scene
Aperture range f/1.8-6.7 (wide), f/2.4-7.2 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto (with face-detect), 6 presets, manual
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness, image style
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 5cm
Auto-focus modes centre, multi, selection, tracking, face detection, macro
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre
Flash on, off, slow sync, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer