Review Date: September 5, 2012
Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur
The Samsung EX2F is targeted to beginner and serious amateur photographers and features 12.4MP resolution (on a 1/1.7-inch BSI CMOS image sensor), 3.3x ultra wide-angle optical zoom (24-80mm Equiv.135) lens with Optical Image Stabilization, and a maximum aperture of F1.4(W)-F2.7(T).
We find the overall image quality of the Samsung EX2F to be excellent at ISO 80 with low noise and good image detail. Image quality is very good up to ISO 400, and ISO 800 is very usable; at higher ISOs, images suffer from noise and loss of detail.
|3.3x Optical Zoom|
(24mm, 35mm equivalent)
(80mm, 35mm equivalent)
The Samsung EX2F has a 3.3x ultra wide-angle optical zoom lens. In the above pictures, we show the coverage for 24mm and 80mm. We love the 24mm ultra wide-angle coverage that allows us to capture real wide landscapes! Optical image stabilization helps reduce camera shake at the long end of the telephoto and when using slow shutter speeds.
Macro can be as close as 1 cm (0.4 in.) at wide-angle. AF is fast, works very well in good light and even in low-light, with the help of the AF-assist illuminator. We are pleasantly surprised how sharp and detailed the macro images are.
There are three metering modes: Spot, Multi-Pattern and Center-weighted.
|Auto White Balance Indoors|
As the above two pictures show, the Auto White Balance (AWB) is not accurate indoors under artificial lighting [I have two energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs on the ceiling]. The Samsung EX2F allows WB to be easily set manually and this brings out the real colors. AWB works very well in natural light.
|ISO 100||ISO 200|
|ISO 400||ISO 800|
|ISO 1600||ISO 3200|
|ISO 6400||ISO 12800|
The Samsung EX2F has 8 ISO settings going from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, and expandable to ISO 6400 and ISO 12800 [Camera Menu – ISO Expansion – ON]. The 100% crops above (area delimited by the white square) demonstrate the noise at the available ISO Speeds. At ISO 80 to 200, noise is under control. Noise starts to be slightly visible at ISO 400 but is still very acceptable up to ISO 800. Noise (with detail loss) is quite visible at higher ISOs. Overall, good noise handling.
CA is under control in everyday shots and is not much of a problem at all even in high contrast shots. The corner delimited by the red square at top middle, and reproduced at 100% crop at bottom left, shows no purple fringing.
Our Long Shutter Speed test is a torture test for digital cameras. Here we test whether (and how well) a camera can lock focus, provide accurate WB and obtain a correct exposure in extreme low light situations. The EX2F had no trouble focusing fast and precisely with the aid of the AF Illuminator, but getting a correct exposure in Manual mode takes lots of trial and error.
The Samsung EX2F allows the use of a long shutter speed of up to 30 sec., therefore allowing nice night photography. Generally, with image sensors, noise becomes more prominent at long shutter speeds. To test the EX2F’s noise reduction algorithm, we take a low-light indoors shot. I experiment a bit to obtain the optimum exposure, eventually settling on 30 sec. at F1.4. Even at this long shutter speed, the Samsung EX2F’s noise reduction seems to be working great, producing a nice smooth blurring effect of the background.
Image quality of the Samsung EX2F is excellent at ISO 80 with very good detail preserved. Though noise starts to be slightly visible at ISO 400, you can take acceptably low noise images up to ISO 800. In P mode, the camera seems to have been optimized to select good shutter speed/aperture/ISO combinations, upping the ISO only when the shutter speed reaches dangerously slow, in the camera-shake range. Overall, it is very easy (and frustration free) to take great images with the Samsung EX2F.
View the Samsung EX2F Photo Gallery [In the Photo Gallery, click on the picture of the camera to return here.]