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Samsung Reveals EX1 Compact Camera


Samsung EX1 Compact Camera Revealed

The Panasonic LX3 has been an absolute revelation. Its combination of a relatively compact body, full manual controls, 24mm wide-angle and super fast f2.0 lens, and amazing image quality, made for a camera that blew our minds when it first arrived. However, were we to really nit pick then there are a few areas where we could see room for improvement and it seems like Samsung has been reading our minds...

The Korean giant has just announced the EX1, a high-end compact camera that takes the LX3 formula and turns it up to 11. The lens, while still starting at 24mm, has a slightly longer range, stretching to 72mm (3x) as opposed to 60mm (2.5x) on the LX3. It also trumps the LX3 for maximum aperture which ranges from f1.8 at 24mm to f2.4 at 72mm. Perhaps of most appeal, though, is the inclusion of a 3in flip-and-twist AMOLED screen making this an incredibly versatile shooting tool.

Other bits and bobs include a pop up flash, full manual controls with two dedicated adjustment dials, and a standard hot shoe for auxiliary flashes and other accessories. Like the LX3 it uses a 10-megapixel sensor, albeit a slightly smaller 1/1.7in one compared to the 1/1.63 of the LX3. There is one major fly in the ointment, though: video is not HD, only VGA. This won't be a deal breaker for everyone but it does seem like a major oversight.

Being out at Samsung's European Forum, we had a chance to actually play with the EX1 and we were very impressed. It's easier to handle than the LX3 thanks to a hefty textured grip and a more intuitive button and dial layout, though it is of course a fairly large camera compared to most compacts. The flip out screen also helps for keeping the camera steady when shooting video. Build quality didn't seem to be quite on the same level despite a full metal body, but the display model was pre-production.

Notice what the model number looks like upside down? A bit of light-hearted homage or something more sinister?

It was next to impossible to really access image quality given the limited subject matter and time we had with the camera. However, from our quick play it seemed as good as we would hope. Of course, we'll look to get a sample in as soon as possible and will give it the full once over then. And, being that it will be hitting the shops in April, we hope that will be sooner rather than later. You can expect to pay £399.99 when it does arrive.

Andy Vandervell

February 23, 2010, 7:14 pm

Society would frown on me for the thoughts I'm having right now.


February 23, 2010, 8:01 pm

no love for the optical viewfinder? i guess it really is dead these days - i can never hold a camera steady enough using just the lcd :(


February 23, 2010, 8:45 pm

That upside down model number is EVIL; good spot!

Not worth upgrading for, but were my LX3 to ever die it'd certainly be a contender if image quality is up to scratch. Not sure Samsung lenses can compete with Panasonic/Leica however.


February 23, 2010, 8:49 pm

Does that adjustment ring on the lens double up as a focus *and* zoom control?

The only think that scares me about not having a viewfinder is when manually focussing. Presumably these bridge cameras have a magnified 1:1 view when focussing to really see the subject up close?


February 26, 2010, 12:39 am

Shame about the smaller sensor. Seems like they've copied the LX3 rather than improving on it. Given that the LX3 is 18 months old, that's disappointing.

I love my LX3 but would like a bigger sensor and an even wider lens. I bought the 0.75x converter which widens the lens to an incredible 18mm, but makes it really big.

Gus Ghanem

March 14, 2010, 2:12 am

The lens is a Schneider-Kreuznach, "a manufacturer of industrial and photographic optics" which may very well equal Leica...


I think the most practical choice for a "bigger sensor compact" is the Panasonic GF1 (and maybe the Olympus offerings, E-PL1, EP2). Sigma, Ricoh, and Leica models have fixed lenses? So far I haven't seen any upcoming true compacts with larger sensors than the Panasonic LX3, Canon S90, Samsung EX1...

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