I’ve been using the Samsung EX-1 since June and here’s a quick review, starting with the “bad” things and ending up with what I really like. Much of the review compares this camera with the Canon G-10, my previous advanced point-and-shoot.
No Stitch Assist
I do a lot of stitching in my photos, meaning that I take several shots and then combine them on my laptop. The Canon cameras have a function that lets me line up a series of two or more shots very easily, plus it automatically locks the exposure and focus. The Samsung doesn’t have this, and I really miss it for the grand vistas of Yellowstone National Park.
I can mostly replicate this by shooting in manual mode, but it’s a hassle. The Samsung has manual focus, but I don’t see how anyone could actually use it.
It’s not as consistent as the G-10, and sometimes flips around trying to decide what to do. But there is more to this, so continue reading.
This camera seems to take more time writing photos to the memory card than the G10. A bit of a pain, but I can deal with it.
It seems minor, but the Canon let me program how many self-timer shots to take, but the Samsung does not. It was a nice feature to have on the Canon.
So those were the faults of this little camera. Mainly, the programming side doesn’t seem as refined as the Canon. But don’t let that distract you.
The Intangible Part That Makes Up For The Above
I met someone once who said all art is self-expression. Samsung’s combination of lens and computer chip definitely connects with me, letting me come closer to what I want to express. I’m talking about capturing the mood of a place, or perhaps expressing my mood when I see the place.
It’s a 24 mm lens, compared to 28 mm with the Canons. The 24mm is significantly more usable for outdoor shots. I’m in Yellowstone with the mountain ranges and canyons and rivers, and that’s what you want.
More importantly, there is a mysterious, ethereal quality to the lens. I can’t put it into words, and I’m not sure if anyone else can notice it, but it captures detail and lighting in wonderful way.
White Balance (again)
The Samsung emphasizes subtle greens and purples. Combined with the lens, it lets you create beautiful early morning shots emphasizing forests and flowers. So while it’s not 100% “accurate”, the result is an expressive photograph.
Would I recommend it? Depends on what you want. The Canon G12 is the safe recommendation, and it’s more technically refined than Samsung. For family shots and capturing things like little kids running around, it’s probably superior. But if you tend toward the artistic side of photography, then yes, this is a gem of a camera.