— Digital Cameras
Samsung outs new EX2F compact with fast, bright F1.4 lens
Samsung is retiring its EX1/TL500 compact camera and replacing it with the EX2F, which has built-in Wi-Fi, improved sensor and a fast F1.4 wide-angle lens
Samsung has announced the successor to its EX1/TL500 compact launched in 2010. The new EX2F model features built-in wireless connectivity, which makes it the latest addition to the company's so-called SMART range that includes some of its mirrorless NX cameras. While the F1.8 lens on the predecessor was pretty quick, Samsung has significantly improved on that for the new release with a (very) fast F1.4 wide-angle lens. As you might expect, the megapixel count has also increased (but not as much as you may think), and the video recording capabilities have been upped to 1080/30p.
At first glance, the rather modest sensor increase from 10 megapixels to 12.4 might not appear to be much of a gain, but the CCD of old has been replaced by a 1/1.7-inch BSI CMOS sensor. The standard ISO range of 80 to 3200 can now be extended up to ISO12800, dual optical and digital image stabilization should help keep camera shake under control and the inclusion of a Neutral Density filter gives users more control over exposure times in a variety of shooting conditions.
There's RAW image format support and Samsung has thrown in the ability to simultaneously record video and full resolution still images. Full HD video is joined by stereo audio recording, and an included HDMI 1.4 output caters for direct viewing on a big screen TV.
The EX2F benefits from a faster F1.4, 24mm, 3.3x Schneider KREUZNACH lens consisting of eleven elements in nine groups with four aspherical lenses and two high refractive lenses. That heady combination is claimed to increase the amount of light hitting the sensor by 20 percent, in addition to boosting image quality and zoom ratio, while also offering users a very shallow depth of field for that appealing blurred background in portraits.
Built-in Wi-Fi capabilities offer wire-free online backup and storage opportunities, in addition to the sharing of content on social networking sites or sending photos to friends and family via email. Users can also use a smartphone as a remote viewfinder.
Like the EX1/TL500 before it, the EX2F features a bright 3-inch AMOLED vari-angle display panel and is topped by two control dials and a wheel at the front for quick settings selection and parameter switching.
The Samsung EX2F compact will be available from August for US$549.
About the Author
While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.
All articles by Paul Ridden
I do not know what it is with these new compact cameras. They force you to wait for a better one. A month ago it was Sony Cyber-shot RX100 with beautiful specs except for the lame lens (and price). Now comes Samsung EX2F with perfect lens but lame sensor.
I wait to see the replacement for Olympus XZ-1 which might make it perfect.
Why can't anyone come out with a proper high end compact camera?
I sympathize with the views of the above contributor - one sees so many new models arriving on the shelves these days that it's difficult to keep up.
The main issue, one begins to believe, is that the larger camera companies are deliberately developing "Staged" model releases, where a new shape is announced to the world one month, then - six months or less later, a "refined" or "updated" version of that same model - with faster lens, larger sensor, etc - is announced to the global press.
Call me cynical, but we know that these "advances" are all discussed and designed at the beginning, so why not cut the b/s and give (loyal), customers as near a perfect camera as can be built, from the beginning...? Or would that reduce sales, further along...?
And whilst on that subject (indirectly), and having just invested a significant sum in a new Olympus TG-1 Tough camera, let's address the accessories issue - especially with Olympus. The TG-1 is good - no arguments there - but it has been fatally flawed by lack of thought in the Olympian boardroom. Yes, it's nice to have on-board battery charging, but to have one of the two 0-ring sealed, latched & locked external panels open for two to three hours while the battery is charged kinda defeats all that expensive environmental sealing, don't you think?
So when we track down a dedicated external battery charger for the new Li-90B battery (unique to the TG-1), so we can do a swift battery swap, minimise external contaminant ingress and charge the flat battery at a convenient time & place, we have to do so on eBay...! That's correct, not only do Olympus Not include a proper, external battery charger in the box with your new TG-1, but you also have to pay over USD $80 (plus shipping), for an Olympus UC-90 charger from fleaBay. And can you buy a new, genuine, Olympus Li-90B battery anywhere...? No.
Copies and/or "equivalents", yes. But not the real thing.
Yet the camera itself is on (limited), sale - and will be popular. Despite the lack of a well thought-out charging system that should have been included in the TG-1 box.
Then there's that lovely F2 lens - on a point & shoot, waterproof camera...Lovely.
But - and there is Always a big 'But' with Olympus - there is a major problem with the lens also. We all know that any camera is only as good as its glass, so we do what we can to keep oily thumbprints, dust, seawater and jungle dirt off our precious lenses. We do this with the integral lens-shield that many, much cheaper P&S snappers have - or we resort to a good old-fashioned Lens Cap. Yet the TG-1 has no integral protection, nor can you fit an external lens cap... Unless...
Unless you pay - again - for an additional CLA-TO1 Converter/Adaptor...! This replaces the lens surround bezel and is intended to attach (yet more optional extras), Fisheye or external Tele lenses. It is also the only way that a TG-1 owner can fit a simple lenscap - or a decent UV filter plus a Lens Cap over that, for optimum lens protection.
Again, why wasn't this "Converter / Adaptor" in the box with my TG-1...???
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