Samsung EX2F - A Worthy Contender

Launch SRP: S$699

Image Quality and Performance

Image Quality and Performance

The EX2F’s main draw is its F1.4 lens, which offers better low light performance and also a much more shallow depth-of-field when compared to the normal lenses found on run-of-the-mill models.

The EX2F has generally good image performance, though we noticed that there’s a slight loss of vibrancy in color when shooting in JPEG. The dynamic range of the EX2F appears to be good when viewed on the AMOLED screen, though the slight loss of color vibrancy becomes apparent when viewing the same images on a computer. Due to the EX2F’s slightly larger sensor, there’s more detail captured in shots, with the EX2F scoring 2000LPH both horizontally and vertically in our resolution test.

Autofocus is quick most of the time so you won’t be frustrated by the slower speeds exhibited by lesser compacts. While it’s very tempting to shoot at f/1.4 all the time, do remember that the depth-of-field is extremely shallow and thus the area of focus will be very small. Don’t be surprised to find that the area of focus may be slightly off when reviewing the enlarged images on a computer.

Shooting in the day with f/1.4 may also result in overexposed images, especially when you intend to keep the shutter open for a longer exposure time. This is when the EX2F’s built-in ND filter comes in handy as it allows you to keep the shutter open for longer or use a larger aperture without resulting in overexposed shots. The macro function of the EX2F is also something noteworthy, as it allows you to focus as close as 1cm to the subject.

With the larger sensor size, the EX2F performs well in low light situations. Given a normal digital compact’s dismal low light performance, you will be pleased to know that the Samsung EX2F retains a good amount of detail and keeps noise to a minimum all the way until ISO800. In fact, if the images are for online use, even ISO1600 is useable. But as they say, the devil is in the details. So zooming in at 100% will reveal that details start to get lost at ISO800, with ISO1600 the absolute maximum you should shoot at in case of any “emergency” photographic opportunities. Details start to smudge at ISO800 and far too much detail is lost at ISO1600 if you intend to zoom in more than 60%.

Shot indoors, for web use ISO3200 is still acceptable.

100% crop at ISO800

100% crop at ISO1600 reveals that details have started to smudge

100% crop at ISO3200 reveals that far too much detail has been lost to be of much use if you intend to zoom into your images.

Shot at f/5.5, 1/6 sec, ISO400. The image stabilization coupled with the larger sensor does help in clearer handheld night shots. In fact, by opening the aperture to f/1.4, you can get away with lower ISO settings in some situations. Do remember that with a wider aperture, the depth-of-field is much more shallow.

The Good
Fast F1.4 lens
Swivel AMOLED display
Good low-light performance
Easy to use interface
Magnesium alloy body
DLNA, Wi-Fi and sharing functions
The Bad
A bit on the bulky side
Unable to customize Fn button
Battery can only be charged in-camera
Slightly subdued colors in JPEG images

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