Summary: The TL500 / EX1 is a very capable and well-featured photographers' compact camera. Its excellent (and articulated) OLED screen helps distinguish it from the conceptually similar Panasonic LX3. Overall it's among the best compact cameras available if the super-bright lens is more important to your type of shooting than overall zoom reach.
Pros: Good image quality, particularly at lower ISO settings, Extremely bright F1.8-2.4 lens, Useful 24mm equiv. wide angle, High ISO performance good up to ISO 800 (and higher if processed from RAW), Accessible, quick-to-use manual controls, Superb bright, high-contrast, articulated OLED screen, Generally well optimized JPEGs with good color response, RAW capability with fully featured RAW conversion software, Well implemented manual AF point selection mode, Reliable focus...
Cons: Highlight clipping and channel clipping in bright, high-contrast conditions, Unpredictable metering requires regular use of exposure compensation, No control over noise reduction (which is excessive at high ISO settings), Video limited to VGA resolution, Rear dial difficult to move with precision (and has to be used for manually changing aperture), Flash underpowered, flash performance overall not that impressive, Manual focus preview too low resolution to be useful (...
Summary: Though we’re writing this before taking a look at its new NX100 model, the EX1 has got to be the most impressive digital camera Samsung has produced to date, whether true compact or DSLR-styled mirror-less hybrid model. OK, so it’s not set itself as high a previous benchmark as the likes of Nikon and Canon, but with the EX1 the Korean giant at least shows that it can compete with the big boys of photography when it wants to.
Pros: Vivid AMOLED back screen that also tilts and swivels, bright f/1.8 lens, tank-like strength via solid-feel metal construction, Raw capture, ISO3200 at full (10MP) resolution
Cons: Pricey compared to most digital compacts, modest (3x) optical zoom range, standard definition video capture only
Summary: Samsung digicams often provide better performance than their competition at the same price point and that's the case with the TL500. After carrying this nifty little digital camera with me just about everywhere I've gone for the last few weeks, the TL500 has replaced the Canon S95 as my benchmark (plus end of the grading curve) point-and-shoot.
Pros: Excellent Schneider zoom with a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture, Intuitive control layout, Very impressive noise mangement, Decent battery life, Easily usable by both beginners and advanced shooters
Cons: Expensive, No HD video capture, A couple of minor design missteps, Battery charges in the camera
Conclusion: On the whole, the EX1 is a good quality camera that will find its particular niche in the market given that it is unlikely to suit all tastes - and nor has it been designed with blanket appeal in mind. It’s not simply an automated point-and-shooter but instead a good couple of levels beyond that where some knowledge and technical ability will quickly pay off.
Summary: If Samsung’s aim in producing this less-than-mass-market model is to boost the value of its brand within the ‘serious’ photographic sector, I’d say the company has taken a massive step in the direction of success.
The camera is really very good, and the features and controls it offers make it an ideal machine for the DSLR user on a day off, or the compact user who wants to move up a notch or two.
An easy to use Samsung camera with manual features and an f/1.8 lens
Good Gear Guide.au
22 March 2011
Summary: The Samsung EX1 has a fast f/1.8 lens and manual controls that make it a good choice for an enthusiast or professional photographer who wants a fully manual but small camera for casual shoots. It supplied great depth of field during our tests, and it can take vibrant looking photos. However it does have some problems with noise, even at low ISO speeds. Despite this, its asking price and excellent ease of use definitely make it a manual camera to consider.
Pros: F/1.8 lens, easy to use menu system, great screen, great depth of field
Cons: Noisy images, some softness in bright areas, some lens distortion at wide angles, shutter speed not fast enough