Samsung EX1 review

A compact camera geared up for low light shooting

Samsung EX1
The high quality Schneider lens copes excellently in low light, and the tiliting LCD display is a great help

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Samsung ex1 review

Its comparatively low price and large range of features make the Samsung EX1 an interesting prospect for anyone looking for a low-light capable compact camera with manual controls. And used with care, it can deliver excellent results, especially when it comes to dynamic range at low ISO sensitivities.

Unfortunately the 10MP CCD sensor on the Samsung EX1 doesn't deliver the same kind of quality at high sensitivities that some of the latest backlit CMOS sensors do, with noise in shadow areas becoming an issue from ISO 800 onwards.

However, low light performance is still pretty good, thanks to the bright f/1.8 lens.

We liked

Good build quality, an excellent 3-inch screen, raw image recording, manual exposure control and excellent dynamic range at lower sensitivities are among the strongest features of the Samsung EX1.

Given its competitive price, if these features appeal to you, then it could be an excellent value purchase.

We disliked

Noise performance at high sensitivities isn't up to the level set by the latest backlit CMOS technology, so the Samsung EX1 may not be as suitable as other compact cameras for handheld shooting in low light.

The camera's fiddly rear control dial and slow continuous shooting speed may also be offputting for some.

Final verdict

If you're after a well-built camera with decent enough low light performance, with manual control, raw image recording, an excellent rotating screen and a wide angle zoom lens, then at £260, the Samsung EX1 may represent an excellent value choice.

With its main area of strength being the dynamic range it delivers at low ISO sensitivities, this could possibly be one of the best value pocket cameras for those who shoot landscapes regularly in good light, or at low ISO settings with a camera support.