Samsung EX2F compact bridge camera first look
Samsung has announced the EX2F compact bridge camera that provides a host of manual controls in a camera small enough for your pocket.
What is the Samsung EX2F?
This compact bridge camera is the long awaited follow up to the EX1. It has a 1/1.7 BIS CMOS sensor offering 12.4Mp resolution, a 3.3x optical zoom, built-in wi-fi and can record full HD video at 1080p – all in a camera small enough to fit in a pocket.
The camera lens starts from a wide angle of 24mm which is wider than rivals like the Nikon P7100 and will help you to fit plenty into a landscape shot.
The articulated screen has been upgraded from the previous EX1 to a 3” AMOLED 614k dot resolution screen. This upgrade should make the screen brighter and easier to see in challenging lighting conditions.
It has a built-in pop-up flash and built-in ND (neutral density) filter – this provides more options to change shutter speed or the aperture to create a different effect with a shot.
The Samsung EX2F is due for launch in late July 2012, expected to be priced at around £429. We got an early look at the EX2F in June – get a closer look at the camera in our first look video review.
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The Samsung EX2F will be available from mid-August, priced at £429.
We’ve tested a number of competition models to the EX2F. You can find the best performing bridge cameras in our tests by visiting our bridge camera Best Buys page.
5 things we like about the Samsung EX2F
- Plenty of dials
I’m pleased to see Samsung has kept plenty of dials on the camera for program and shot selection as well as the scroll wheel on the front of the camera for adjusting settings like shutter speed and EV – depending on the mode or menu you’re in. This makes selecting settings quick and easy.
- Smart panel
The Smart panel view displays and allows you to adjust settings including aperture, shutter speed, ISO and EV in the same screen view. Although the text is quite small I found it easy enough to see – it’s great to be able to view and adjust so many setting without having to navigate in and out of different settings in the menu.
- Wide angle
Samsung has changed the lens on this model compared with the EX1 to let in more light. The aperture starts at F1.4 – a step up from competitors like the Canon G1 X with its F2.8 minimum and the Panasonic LX5 which starts at F2. We’ll be hoping to see some impressive results from this camera in our low light test when we get it to the lab.
- Built-in wi-fi
The ‘F’ in the EX2F model name stands for wi-fi. As with many Samsung compact cameras and compact system cameras launched this year, wi-fi is built in, so you can easily share shots with friends, upload them to social networking site, view them on any DLNA compatible internet TV and wirelessly back up your photos to the Cloud or your computer.
- Manual control in a compact model
With the EX2F you get full manual mode, aperture priority and shutter priority modes in an easy to transport camera.
Katie’s first impressions of the Samsung EX2F
Instantly, it looks similar to the EX1 and that’s by no means a bad thing. I’m pleased that Samsung has steered clear of going down the touchscreen route and kept the control dials on the camera.
A few settings have moved compared with the EX1 – ISO setting no longer has a dedicated button – it’s moved to make way for access to wi-fi options – but the introduction of the Smart Panel means you can use the function button to quickly access ISO settings.
The Smart Panel view is a valuable addition. We saw it previously on Samsung’s NX20 compact system camera and it works well. At the touch of one button you can view a host of settings on the screen. You don’t have to navigate in and out of menus so adjusting settings like ISO, aperture and metering in manual mode is quick and simple. Linger on an icon for a moment and a small amount of text pops up to tell you what the function is, so those upgrading from a compact camera shouldn’t have to spend long looking up settings in a manual.
It’s light and small enough to slip into a bag or pocket. The magnesium casing on the EX2F should also make it a little more durable than its predecessor, which I certainly view as a good thing after managing to put a dent in the back of an EX1 last year.
The Smart auto mode is great for those moments when you don’t want to think about settings – the camera will select the best settings for the scene you’re photographing. There are also a host of scene modes including Night scene, Panorama and 3D photo (which has to be viewed using red and blue tinted glasses).
There are also a number of filter effects, so you can make your shot look like a pencil drawing or painting, apply a miniature effect, or use the HDR (High Dynamic Range) setting to create dramatic shots, so you can have fun with your photos too.
It’s a shame there’s no built-in optical viewfinder which would come in handy for times when lighting can makes screens less easy to see and also for taking action shot.
Personally I’d have liked a little more zoom – the Nikon P7100 currently sets the bar for bridge cameras with its 7.1x optical zoom – but it is around the mark of many other compact bridge cameras like the Canon G1 X which offers 4x optical zoom.
But overall I like the look of the EX2F. I liked the EX1 and improvements should add to the performance and ease of use of this model. Of course, we’ll have to wait until we get it to our test lab before we can say how it truly measures up against the competition.
What makes a Best Buy bridge camera?
These are only our first impressions of the Samsung EX2F, but we will be putting it through its paces in our lab to see how it compares to the competition. Find out more about how we test bridge cameras or watch the video below to see what it takes to become a Best Buy.
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