Samsung Digital Camera EX2F Review

Samsung Digital Camera EX2F

The enthusiast pocket camera Samsung EX2F is the successor to the TL500 (also known as the EX1 in some markets), offering a number of significant improvements -- as well as a higher price tag. The Samsung EX2F design is based on a 1/1.7"-type 12-megapixel BSI CMOS image sensor, rather than the 10-megapixel CCD used in the TL500. The new sensor lies behind a Schneider Kreuznach Varioplan-branded 3.3x optical zoom lens which starts at the same 24mm equivalent focal length at full wide-angle, but extends a bit more at the telephoto end, from 72mm to 80mm equivalent. Despite the increase in zoom ratio, maximum aperture has increased from an already fast f/1.8 to a very fast f/1.4, an improvement of two-thirds of a stop, making the Samsung EX2F's lens one of the brightest of any compact camera on the market. What's more, maximum aperture remains quite fast across the zoom range, only falling to f/2.7 at full telephoto. The EX2F also includes Samsung's Dual Image Stabilization technology, which couples both true optical image stabilization, and software-based anti blur techniques.
Samsung Digital Camera EX2F

The Samsung EX2F's relatively large (for a compact) image sensor in concert with its image processor combine to offer ISO sensitivities from 80 to 3,200 equivalents, with extensions to 6,400 and 12,800 (though the latter is at reduced resolution). As you'd expect of a camera aimed at enthusiasts, the EX2F sports not just aperture- and shutter-priority auto shooting, but also a fully manual mode that allows the photographer to control both variables. For those times when you just want a quick snapshot, the EX2F also offers Samsung's Smart Auto exposure mode, which works with both still image and video shooting.

Video capability has also improved dramatically, from VGA resolution with mono sound, to Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) with stereo sound, captured with H.264 compression at a frame rate of 30 fps. High speed video modes up to 480 fps at 192 x 144 pixels are also available. Support for SDXC cards has been added as well. Like its predecessor, the Samsung EX2F still offers RAW still capture support, for when the maximum versatility in post-capture processing is desired.

The EX2F is a handsome camera. It doesn't have the retro good looks of the Fujifilm X10 with its leather-textured body, but photographers tend to look through the lens rather than at the camera. The matte black surface of the magnesium alloy body discourages reflections (even if the small eyelets are chrome).

It isn't a light camera, but it isn't fatiguingly heavy either. It has the heft a photographer looks for in a compact camera. Just enough to resist camera movement when the shutter button is pressed. (To be exact, the Samsung EX2F weighs 11.2 ounces or 318g with battery and SD card.)

Measuring just 4.4 x 2.4 x 1.1 inches (112 x 62 x 29 mm), I was able to slip the EX2F in my front jeans pocket during a warm weather spell but most of the time I carried it in a jacket pocket. It's a bit heavy for a shirt pocket.

Hardware tour. From the front, it's all business. The large glass lens (compared to the contact lens-sized optics of most digicams) dominates the front panel. Its knurled ring is removable so you can screw on conversion lenses. And a telephoto conversion lens would be a smart idea while you're out shopping.

Unlike a lot of small cameras, though, the EX2F includes an actual grip. Not a bar, not a bump, but a real grip for your right hand. You won't need to get a third-party grip to make it easier to hold.

The grip has a secret, too. At the top end of the ridge there's a Command dial. I didn't even know it was there for a few days. But then I was on the other side of the camera. The Command dial is a real treat that often comes in handy and makes the camera a lot more usable than relying on the Scroll wheel to handle everything. What's more, it has an integrated button. Pressing it and then rotating the dial adjusts exposure compensation in shooting modes. It was a pleasant surprise to find it.

Finally on the front is the Autofocus assist/Timer lamp. You can turn it off in the menu system.

You'll notice (with some relief) that Samsung didn't try to squeeze a flash onto the front panel. On similar Samsung models, you'll find one between the grip and the lens. This lens is so big there just isn't enough room left.
Samsung Digital Camera EX2F

Instead, the flash pops up from the left side of the top panel. A small release sits right behind it. And you just push the flash back down to dispense with it.

The accessory shoe (shown with cover here) is right next to the flash with the usual five contacts plus two more in front, which is what makes it a bit more than just a hot shoe.

Continuing right along the top panel, two microphone holes sit on the front edge just in front of the Power button. That button can be hard to reach with a large strobe mounted. But it doesn't hurt to have it out of the way. It's flush to the surface of the panel but you can feel for it all the same. A blue LED surrounds it when the power is on. Behind that on the beveled back edge is a status lamp which comes in handy when the camera is busy writing RAW files.

At the top of the grip, the Shutter button protrudes slightly, as it should, with the Zoom lever ringing it. Behind that are the Drive mode dial and the Mode dial, whose back edges are accessible thanks to that beveled back edge of the top panel.

The Mode dial has Smart Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, Modes (which includes Scenes and special effects), Movie and WiFi options.

The Drive mode dial includes Single shot; 2-second shutter delay; 10-second shutter delay; Bracket; three continuous release modes marked H, M and L for up to 10 frames-per-second or high speed video; and a Pre-release mode that captures shots before the shutter is pressed all the way down.

For my first shots with the camera, the Drive mode dial was set to the 10-second self-timer. I scratched my head a good long time looking for the timer control on the Scroll wheel before finding it on the dial. It's an unusual arrangement, but Samsung has enough drive modes on the camera to justify it. Still, if you're going to put another dial up there, how about ISO or EV? You're far more likely to change those from shot to shot than the drive mode. I found drive mode a surprising choice for that second dial.

The left side of the camera has just the one strap eyelet (if you don't count the display hinge) and the right side has the other plus a small cover for the HDMI port and the USB/AV port. You'll need a fingernail to open the cover.

On the bottom of the camera, the battery/card cover is hinged right next to the tripod mount (one of the few unphotographic features of the camera). The internal WiFi antenna is located under the lens on the bottom panel. Samsung recommends not contacting that part of the camera during transfers, so apparently you don't want to sit the camera down. I actually held the camera in my hands to watch the screen for my transfers, so it wasn't an issue.
Samsung Digital Camera EX2F

On the back, that big 3.0-inch, 640x480 AMOLED display with 614K dots takes up almost everything. AMOLED stands for active-matrix organic light-emitting diode, the technology behind the screen. It requires less battery power than an LCD because it doesn't use current to display black (there's no backlight). There is some color variation between LCD and AMOLED technology, and AMOLED screens, which can be brighter than LCDs, also age more rapidly than LCDs. Samsung has used AMOLED technology in its smartphones for some time now.

I was able to see the OLED display clearly in direct sun but, as is the case with LCDs, it wasn't a reliable guide to judge exposure.

You can face the screen toward the camera, protecting it when in storage or traveling and open it, rotate it and flip it back against the camera pointing out to use it like any other monitor. Plus you have all those angles in between to work with, so you can get a good view of the scene while holding the camera low or high or even pointing it to one side or the other.
Samsung Digital Camera EX2F\
There is a thumb pad on the top right corner of the back panel but it's a small one. On its right side are two buttons: the Movie record button and the AEL button to lock exposure.

The Movie record button requires a little explanation. It's the only way to start or stop movie recording, even though there is a Movie mode on the Mode dial. And you don't have to be in Movie mode to use the Movie button. Some other shooting modes allow you use the Movie button, too.

If you try to use the Shutter button with the Mode dial on Movie mode, you'll just capture a still. If you are recording a movie, you can indeed press the Shutter button to record a still.

Beneath the thumb pad there are two buttons: the Menu button to get into the camera's menu system and the Fn button to display and change recording settings all on one screen.

Below the Scroll wheel with four functions and its OK button, sit the Playback button (it isn't on the Mode dial even though WiFi is) and the Delete button.

Now about that Scroll wheel. Only two of the arrow positions are set to familiar controls. Left cycles through Flash modes and Down goes through the Focus modes. Up handles the Display modes (which isn't all that unusual but tends to reside on a separate button, leaving up free for ISO). And the Right arrow is reserved for what Samsung calls Smart Link, which launches a preset WiFi function.

We can understand why, with the Fn button accessing ISO, Samsung decided to use Up for Display. But we had no end of trouble with the Smart Link button.

The first problem is that the dial is right on the edge of the camera, so it is very easy to accidentally press the Right arrow when handling the camera. The second problem is the button brings up the WiFi dialog so I would often be interrupted by a message on the display asking me to pick a service to send my images. It took a while to realize the culprit was the Right arrow.

The most interesting thing about the EX2F is its fast Schneider-Kreuznach lens. On a digicam, the lens is the camera, you don't get to swap it out. And having an f/1.4 aperture available in addition to Samsung's optical image stabilization opens a world of imaging closed to many other cameras.

At wide angle, apertures range from f/1.4 to f/7.7. At telephoto, the range is from f/2.7 to f/8.5, controlled by the Scroll wheel in Aperture Priority and Manual modes.

The one catch here is that with the zoom lens, you have to use a focal length of 24mm (35mm equivalent) to tap into f/1.4. That's a pretty generous wide angle. And if you want to do any macro work with it, you'll be so close to your subject (and yet not seem close enough) that it will be hard to compose the image.

Focal lengths run from that 24mm through 80mm in 35mm equivalents, which is not much beyond normal, although just in the range suitable for portraiture. Without a telephoto conversion lens, it's hard to recommend the EX2F as a travel camera.

Except I think it really does a nice job with digital zoom, extending the range 4x to about 320mm. Oddly enough the Exif header reports that digital zoom ratio as 4.6, exceeding the spec. And that wasn't Samsung's 1.33x Smart Zoom mode. Take a look at our Twin Peaks zoom series (further below) to see for yourself. Digital zoom was a very pleasant surprise to me.

Samsung notes the EX2F features Dual Image Stabilization, which is simply its optical image stabilization and digital image stabilization, tweaks exposure options to minimize blurring (increasing, for example, the ISO). You can turn off both (for tripod-mounted shots), enable just the optical or enable both with a Menu setting.

Shutter speeds are as fast as 1/4000 second at f/3.9 or smaller. At larger apertures, it's limited to 1/2000 second. In Smart Auto, the slowest speed is 1/8 second but Manual mode offers 30 second exposures.

Much as I appreciated the f/1.4 aperture and generous 24mm equivalent wide angle, I was frustrated with the limited reach of the 80mm equivalent telephoto end.

The EX2F has a few surprises on its Mode dial, too. PASM isn't four of them, but it certainly distinguishes the camera's appeal from most digicams. And both Smart Auto and Movie mode are indispensable these days. But instead of the usual Scene mode, there's a Mode screen with a number of intriguing options. And then there's that WiFi mode you won't find on many cameras. Let's look at each of them a bit more closely.

The EX2F analyzes the scene before it to optimize camera settings before exposure. An icon is displayed on the monitor to indicate what the camera is up to.

The list of things you no longer have to worry about it interesting in itself. It includes (in Samsung's terminology, for the most part) Landscapes, Scene with bright white backgrounds, Landscapes at night without flash, Portraits at night, Landscape with backlighting, Portraits with backlighting, Portraits, Close-up photos of objects, Close-up photos of text, Sunsets, Blue skies, Forested areas, Close-up photos of colorful subjects, Camera on tripod, Moving subjects, Fireworks on tripod, Dark interior, Partially lit, Close-up with spot lighting, and Portraits with spot lighting.

Program mode has the endearing quality of enabling most camera functions for you to fiddle with as the camera itself sets shutter speed and aperture.

To my surprise, however, this photographer-centric camera won't let you scroll through a set of equivalent shutter speed/aperture combinations in Program mode. (Commonly called program shift or flexible program.) The camera picks just one and that's it. I would have liked to scroll to a wider aperture option, especially with an f/1.4 lens, but no sale.


Using the Scroll wheel, you pick the aperture (which is more fun with the EX2F's f/1.4 lens than on most cameras) and the camera sets the shutter speed.

Using the Front wheel (on the grip), you pick the shutter speed and the camera sets the aperture.


Use the Scroll wheel to set the aperture and the Front wheel to set the shutter speed. Don't forget about ISO, either. It's the third leg of the exposure tripod.

When you switch to the Mode screen icon (a camera with a star in it), the monitor displays eight labeled icons:

  •     Scene is your doorway to the EX2F's Scene modes. They include Beauty Shot (to hide facial imperfections), Night, Landscape, Text, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Beach & Snow, and 3D Photo (you'll need a 3D TV to see the MPO file). Several of these are handled by Smart Auto, which would seem the more intelligent approach.
  •     Panorama sets the camera to do a very nice sweep panorama. I was impressed (yes, you could say pleasantly surprised) with how easy it was to use and how well it accommodated a short or slow sweep. It's really the best implementation I've tried.
  •     Magic Frame adds a cartoonish frame effect to your image.
  •     Split Shot composites several exposures into one layout.
  •     Picture in Picture composites a background capture with an inset exposure or movie.
  •     Artistic Brush converts a 5MP image into an Ink Painting, Cartoon or Sketch, showing the conversion as a movie right after capture. I think. I tried it several times and am still not sure what the point is. The converted image and the animation are both saved to the card.
  •     HDR captures two images at different exposures, overlaying the highlights of the underexposed photo on the shadows of the overexposed photo to extend the tonal range of the image beyond what you can capture in a single shot.
  •     Creative Movie Maker compiles a movie from stills or movie clips.

In Movie mode, a smart scene detection function can optimize settings for Landscape, Blue Sky, Natural Green, and Sunset.

The EX2F records in MP4 format (Video: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Audio: Stereo AAC) with a maximum clip time of 20 minutes at 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720, 640 x 480 and 320 x 240, all at 30 frames per second. Available frame rates include three high-speed options (480 fps at 192 x 144, 240 fps at 384 x 288, and 120 fps at 640 x 480). The high-speed options require the Dial mode be set to Movie mode so the Drive mode option for H (480 fps), M (240 fps), or L (120 fps) can be set.

Filters, which are not available for high speed video, include Palette Effect 1, Palette Effect 2, Palette Effect 3, Palette Effect 4, Miniature, Vignetting, Half Tone Dot, Sketch, Fish Eye, Classic, and Retro.

Optical zoom and optical image stabilization are available during recording.

In addition, you can tap the OK button to pause during recording and playback, capture still images during recording by pressing the Shutter button, and trim clips. Remember, though, to use the Movie record button and not the Shutter button to start and stop movie recording.

The EX2F user manual doesn't state minimum card speed, just to use cards with faster write speeds when recording HD or high-speed movies. From the bitrates we've seen in the EX2F's Full HD movies, Class 6 should be plenty fast, though Class 10 wouldn't hurt either.

There are seven WiFi options, one of which surprisingly operates when the camera is in record mode:

  •     MobileLink sends your captures to a smartphone (Android or iOS app).
  •     Remote Viewfinder uses a smartphone as a remote shutter release with a preview on the phone of what the camera sees (Android or iOS app).
  •     Social Sharing transmits photos or videos to a file sharing website, such as Facebook, Picasa, YouTube and Photobucket.
  •     Email sends a capture to an email address.
  •     Cloud uploads to a cloud service. Currently only Microsoft's SkyDrive is supported.
  •     Auto Backup sends stored captures to a Windows computer running Samsung's Auto Backup software. (Macs not supported.)
  •     TV Link enables display of EX2F images and movies on a TV Link-enabled TV from the camera.

Menu System
Samsung uses two menu systems on the EX2F, like many other manufacturers. In this scheme, the Menu button provides access to all the functions grouped under tabs by type while a second button brings up a one-screen menu of the most common shooting options.

The Menu system includes Still, Movie and Setup tabs in Record mode. In Playback mode, the tabs are WiFi, Edit functions, Slide Show, Card management, and Setup.

The Fn button brings up the one-screen shooting menu in Record mode but does nothing in Playback mode. With Program mode active, the screen shows windows for the EV and ISO settings above three rows and four columns of icons for other functions: Photo Size, Quality, Metering, WB, Face Detection, Focus, Focus Area, Smart Filter, ND Filter, OIS, and Flash. As you scroll through them with the Scroll Wheel, they are identified by text at the top of the screen which also shows the current setting. Pausing on the icon for a bit also brings up a help balloon to explain what the function does.

It's a pleasant arrangement to view but I found it difficult to navigate. I always confused the navigation control for moving around the screen with controls for changing the settings. In the end, I would have preferred a more direct way to set ISO at least.

In addition to Wi-Fi, connectivity includes a Micro (Type D) HDMI 1.4 port for high-definition viewing with Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) support, and a Micro B USB port for combined standard-def AV/USB 2.0 connectivity. The battery is also charged via the USB port (when the host can provide 500mA at 5V).

Storage & Battery.
The EX2F supports Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity, Secure Digital eXtended Capacity, microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC memory cards. An adapter is required for microSD cards.

Samsung estimates about 277 12MP Super Fine images will fit on a 2GB card. That same card will hold 51 RAW+JPEG at the highest quality setting. And it will also store about 19 minutes of Full HD video at 30 fps.

File sizes are large. The JPEGs in the Gallery ranged from 1.5MB to 7.3MB but most were over 3MB. And the Raw files were significantly larger, ranging from 28.3MB to 32.8MB but most over 30MB.

Power is supplied by a 3.7 volt, 1,030 mAh, SLB-10A lithium-ion battery. The battery is charged in the camera with the included AC adapter and USB cable. A separate battery charger is available as an option.

Samsung does not report CIPA figures for battery life, preferring "Samsung standards" (detailed in the manual). Those standards look similar to CIPA, though, and indicate about 260 photos or 130 minutes of movie recording per charge. I found a charge to be more than ample for my typical expeditions. But I didn't to tap into the WiFi features much.

Source: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/samsung-ex2f/samsung-ex2fA.HTM

Title Post: Samsung Digital Camera EX2F Review
Rating: 100% based on 99998 ratings. 5 user reviews.
Author: hadhie s

Thanks for visiting the blog The Unique Things, If there are criticisms and suggestions please leave a comment

Other Article
Diberdayakan oleh Blogger.
All articles, images, videos, and news shown on this blog are the property of their respective owners. We do not hold the copyright. All of these articles have been collected from various public sources including different websites, considering the sources in the public domain. If you object to any picture and news published on this blog, because the associated intellectual property rights, property rights, contains elements of SARA, and other things that can harm you or someone else, then you can send email notification to us and the article / picture will removed immediately after the claim is verified.
Copyright © 2012-2099 JUDUL - Dami Tripel Template Level 2 by Ardi Bloggerstranger. All rights reserved.
Valid HTML5 by Ardi Bloggerstranger