Samsung's New Compact Camera EX1
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Samsung's New Compact Camera EX1

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Samsung's New Compact Camera EX1 Samsung's New Compact Camera EX1 Document Transcript

  • ULR : http://asia.cnet.com/reviews/digitalcameras/0,39005881,45210946p,00.htm<br />Samsung EX1 Review<br />by Leonard Goh<br />The advanced compact category has been dominated by the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 since its debut two years ago. It has a few worthy challengers such as the Canon PowerShot S90 and G11, but attempts at overthrowing the LX3 have been futile so far. However, there's a new kid on the block and it encompasses the best of almost all the high-end point-and-shoots in one package. We're talking about the Samsung EX1.<br />Although we didn't manage to get hold of a prototype unit for an in-depth hands-on, we scrutinized its specifications and compared it with its rivals. The EX1 is, on paper, a very promising camera with few flaws to pick on.<br />The main selling point of the EX1 is its F1.8 aperture. By far, this is probably the largest lens opening we've seen in a compact camera. The LX3 and S90 have a F2.0 aperture, and the closest match to the Samsung is the Ricoh GRD III which has F1.9 optics. The F1.8 aperture on the EX1 means shutterbugs can use a higher shutter speed when shooting in low-light conditions. Also, it delivers a more shallow depth-of-field, which blurs the background for closeup or portrait shots. <br />Model/SpecificationsPanasonic Lumix DMC-LX3Samsung EX1Ricoh GRD IIISensor size/resolution 1/1.63 inch/10 megapixels 1/1.7 inch /10 megapixels 1/1.7 inch /10 megapixels Dimension/weight 108.7 x 59.5 x 27.1mm/229g 114.3 x 63.2 x 29.2mm/Weight TBC 108.6 x 59.8 x 25.5mm/188g LCD size 3-inch fixed 3-inch swiveling AMOLED 3-inch fixed Lens specifications 24-60mm F2.0-2.8 24-72mm F1.8-2.4 28mm fixed F1.9 Zoom range 2.5x 3x N.A. Max video resolution 1,280 x 720 pixels at 24fps 640 x 480 pixels at 30fps 640 x 480 pixels at 30fps Image stabilizer Optical (via lens) Optical (via lens) N.A. Hotshoe Yes Yes Yes Memory media SD/SDHC SD/SDHC SD/SDHC Related link Review   Crave <br />Model/SpecificationsCanon PowerShot S90Samsung EX1Canon PowerShot G11Sensor size/resolution 1/1.7 inch /10 megapixels 1/1.7 inch /10 megapixels 1/1.7 inch /10 megapixels Dimension/weight 100 x 58 x 31mm/175g 114.3 x 63.2 x 29.2mm/Weight TBC 112.1 x 76.2 x 48.3mm/355g LCD size 3-inch fixed 3-inch swiveling AMOLED 2.8-inch articulatedLens specifications 28-106mm F2.0-4.924-72mm F1.8-2.4 28-140mm F2.8-4.5Zoom range 3.8x 3x 5x Max video resolution 640 x 480 pixels at 30fps 640 x 480 pixels at 30fps 640 x 480 pixels at 30fps Image stabilizer Optical (via lens) Optical (via lens) Optical (via lens) Hotshoe No Yes Yes Memory media SD/SDHC SD/SDHC SD/SDHC Related link Review   Review <br />Another plus point of the EX1 is its 1/1.7-inch image sensor, which matches that of the GRD III, S90 and G11's. It is slightly larger than the LX3's which measures 1/1.63 inch. Though the difference seems insignificant, we think every millimeter matters for compact cameras since a larger surface area for the sensor typically means better image quality. However, we'll reserve our judgment of the EX1's picture quality when we review the camera. <br />The EX1 has a 3-inch swiveling AMOLED display which is bigger than the 2.7-inch LCD employed on the G11. According to Samsung's press release, the use of an AMOLED screen reduces power consumption and lets users eke more shots out of the camera. <br />As with most advanced compacts, the EX1 has a variety of exposure options ranging from manual to aperture/shutter priority, program and the company's Smart Auto function. The Samsung shooter also has RAW image capture capability.<br />Downside<br />The EX1 can record video at only VGA quality and this is similar to what the S90 and G11 offers. However, that is lower in resolution compared with the HD movie function the LX3 delivers. But if you consider that the target audience of the EX1 are enthusiasts and advanced users, they probably won't mind the lack of high-definition video capture. <br />Outlook<br />We've been waiting for a compact that can trump the LX3 and it seems Samsung has a very promising camera here. The EX1's specifications look impressive on paper and if it can deliver great shots, we think it'll be the next benchmark that other manufacturers will have to meet. <br />The EX1 will be available in the second quarter this year with pricing in Asia expected to be announced closer to launch.<br />