Enthusiast Compact group test – Samsung EX2F

Samsung EX2F 2 | Reviews | What Digital Camera

Features

One of only two cameras to offer a side-articulating LCD (the other being the Nikon P7700), the EX2F also lists Wi-fi technology among its highlights. With this, the user can upload their images and videos to social networking sites or cloud services, or simply email them to others.

The camera's 24-80mm lens may have the shortest reach here but it stands out from the spec sheet on account of its wide f/1.4-2.7 aperture (no doubt helped by its more limited range). The lens also boasts an image-stabilisation system, while behind it sits a 12.4MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor which is capable of capturing full HD videos.

The screen on the back differs from all the others here by being based on OLED rather than LCD technology, and while it matches the others in providing a Raw shooting mode, it goes an extra step with basic Raw editing functions.


Design

The EX2F has been crafted from magnesium alloy, which gives it a reassuring weight and feel. The grip may not be as comfortably rubbered as Nikon's P7700, or as intuitively designed as Olympus's XZ-2, but it is defined and does ensure better purchase than grip-less models. It'd be nice, however, to see the front command dial standing out from the grip; as it is, its comfortable operation requires the user to reposition their hand slightly from the holding position.

The menu pad dial on the rear turns easily, although the lack of space between this dial and the side of the LCD makes it easy for the thumb to rub up against the latter when the screen is flush against the camera. The menu system, however, scores points for its clarity, with well-described options and a pleasing black/blue palette used throughout.


Image Quality

Although the camera resolves very good detail at its lowest few sensitivities, at ISO 800 and onwards it falls down hard, to the extent that at higher sensitivities the graph below no longer shows how much detail is actually being resolved. Colours captured in studio conditions show decent saturation, although in real-world conditions images appear somewhat dull and in need of processing to make them shine.

The metering system is also prone to underexposure, although details are maintained well in corners and edges when compared with more central areas, and it's pleasing to see chromatic aberrations confined only to peripheral areas.

 


 

 

Performance

The EX2F's screen has nicely saturated colours and a reasonable viewing angle too, although it lacks contrast and can sometimes take on a green cast. The focusing system performs well in good light, with just a touch of a slow-down against darker low-contrast subjects, while the bright green boxes clearly indicate areas brought into focus.

Although write times are slow when compared with the rest of the group, the camera does at least allow images to be taken as previous captures are being processed. The menu also impresses, however, with clear descriptions and the fluidly-moving menu pad dial making its navigation easy.