Samsung EX1 review

A compact camera geared up for low light shooting

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  • 3-inch rotating AMOLED screen
  • Manual exposure control
  • Raw image recording
  • Bright f/1.8 lens
  • Good build quality


  • Red channel noise in shadow areas above ISO 800
  • Slow continuous shooting speed
  • Fiddly rear control dial

Whereas it used to be the number of pixels by which digital cameras were judged, the emphasis has shifted to how well cameras cope in low light conditions. The Samsung EX1 - known as the TL500 in the US - costs around £300 or US $430 and includes a bright f/1.8-2.4 Schneider lens that covers a 3x zoom range equivalent to 24-72mm on a 35mm camera. It also has a larger than normal 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor.

Having a bright maximum aperture makes more light available to the sensor for imaging, which in turn should reduce the ISO sensitivity required for a certain scene.

The maximum resolution of 10MP is quite modest by today's standards, coming in much lower than the 16MP on Samsung's own MV800, the 14MP on the Nikon Coolpix S3100 and even the 12MP on the Fuji FinePix X10. But the larger surface area per pixel should help the Samsung EX1 to maintain decent image quality at high sensitivities.

Samsung ex1 review

Other stand-out features on this compact camera include the 3-inch rotating AMOLED screen with a resolution of 921,000 dots, and 720p high definition video recording with HDMI connectivity.

Enthusiasts will be glad to hear that raw image recording is supported, along with full manual exposure control.

Samsung ex1 review

Casual photographers, meanwhile, are catered for with a comprehensive range of scene modes and Smart Auto 2.0, which aims to automatically choose the correct scene program for the conditions.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Effective Camera Resolution10 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyEX
HD Movie ModeNo
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
Optical Zoom3x
Digital Zoom3x
Brand NameSamsung
FeaturesFace Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Manual White Balance, Aperture Priority
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)356 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Image Sensor Size1/1.7" (7.60 mm x 5.70 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution3648 x 2736
Display Screen TypeOLED
Height64.6 mm
Width114.4 mm
Depth30 mm
Product SeriesEX
Focal Length5.20 mm to 15.60 mm
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
Product ModelEX1
Product NameEX1 Compact Camera
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberEC-EX1ZZZBPBGB
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The Samsung EX1 will certainly turn heads with its ultra-wide 24mm F1.8 Schneider KREUZNACH lens with 3x zoom. You will also be impressed by the photos you take, guaranteeing you'll get the most out of every moment - especially the light. With the EX1's high-performance 1 / 1.7" CCD sensor, you'll be taking the best possible photos in even the darkest conditions. It's time to get snap happy.

Package Contents
  • EX1 Compact Camera
  • AC Adapter
  • USB Cable
  • Software CD-ROM
  • Quick Start Manual
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Strap
  • Lens Cap
  • Lens Cap Strap
Limited Warranty1 Year