Samsung EX2F review
Performance, Image Quality and Verdict
Samsung EX2F review - Performance and Image Quality
There isn't too much to complain about when it comes to the performance of the EX2F, and in general it's a pleasing camera to use. That being said, there are a few minor niggles which are worth addressing. While the camera handles well in general, there's certainly room for improvement - as mentioned, the control wheel on the front of the camera could do with being stiffer for extra resistance, while the lens ring could also benefit from extra functionality. There's also an issue with the lens cap - if you switch the camera on when the lens cap is attached, the camera effectively ‘crashes', meaning that you have to remove the lens cap, switch the camera off and then back on again, all of which takes time.
While the EX2F's start-up time is generally respectable, shooting speeds are somewhat of a different matter. If you stick to shooting just JPEGs, there is little noticeable delay between shots. However, If you decide to shoot either Raw or Raw and JPEG, you'll often find yourself waiting for the camera's buffer to clear until your ready to shoot again. Not only that, but the camera also effectively freezes whilst the buffer is clearing, meaning that you can't access functionality such as the camera's zoom.
Although the EX2F might not be the fastest camera when it comes to shot-to-shot speed, the model's focus system is generally good, offering both prompt and accurate focus performance. A full variety of manual shooting functionality is on offer, although those wanting to do more with their images in-camera can utilise on-board creative filters.
The Samsung EX2F features a 12.4MP, 1/1.7in backside illuminate CMOS sensor - larger than average compacts and with the promise of superior image quality. The good news is that on the whole image quality is impressive.
The sensor manages to capture a wide dynamic range, with highlights managing to be captured at the same time as a good level of shadow detail. Exposures also have a pleasingly even tonal range as a result, and appear natural straight out of the camera. As well as the even tonal range, the Samsung captures a natural colour palette which is just on the preferred side of neutral.
The EX2F is capable of shooting Raw and JPEG, and the difference between the two formats is noticeable. JPEG files are sharper out of the camera - although that's not unexpected - while they are also feature a stronger contrast. Raw files noticeably preserve more fine detail through this lack of sharpening, but tend to display starker evidence of fringing at all stages of the zoom. Again, this isn't completely unexpected, and is something that is readily attended in Raw processing.
Despite the hike in resolution on its predecessor, the EX2F still offers good performance at higher ISO settings. The model produces eminently usable results right up to ISO 3200 - even at ISO 800 there's very little noise to be seen in JPEG files, and although there is some visible in Raw files once again it's readily dealt with in post production.
Samsung EX2F review - Verdict
There's a lot to like about the EX2F, and it certainly represents a positive step forward in the advanced compact market. It features a specification that truly impresses, with a high-specification lens, impressive LCD screen and full Wi-Fi functionality, while also offering Raw and HD video capture, as well as great image quality. The camera is only really let down by a few niggles with performance and design - it's more sluggish when shooting Raw then it needs to be, while there are several questionable button designs and placements which cause issues when handling. One the whole however, the EX2F is a great advanced compact and certainly up there with the traditional heavyweights in this market.