Samsung has announced the successor to its EX1/TL500 compact launched in 2010. The new EX2F model features built-in wireless connectivity, which makes it the latest addition to the company's so-called SMART range that includes some of its mirrorless NX cameras. While the F1.8 lens on the predecessor was pretty quick, Samsung has significantly improved on that for the new release with a (very) fast F1.4 wide-angle lens. As you might expect, the megapixel count has also increased (but not as much as you may think), and the video recording capabilities have been upped to 1080/30p.
At first glance, the rather modest sensor increase from 10 megapixels to 12.4 might not appear to be much of a gain, but the CCD of old has been replaced by a 1/1.7-inch BSI CMOS sensor. The standard ISO range of 80 to 3200 can now be extended up to ISO12800, dual optical and digital image stabilization should help keep camera shake under control and the inclusion of a Neutral Density filter gives users more control over exposure times in a variety of shooting conditions.
There's RAW image format support and Samsung has thrown in the ability to simultaneously record video and full resolution still images. Full HD video is joined by stereo audio recording, and an included HDMI 1.4 output caters for direct viewing on a big screen TV.
The EX2F benefits from a faster F1.4, 24mm, 3.3x Schneider KREUZNACH lens consisting of eleven elements in nine groups with four aspherical lenses and two high refractive lenses. That heady combination is claimed to increase the amount of light hitting the sensor by 20 percent, in addition to boosting image quality and zoom ratio, while also offering users a very shallow depth of field for that appealing blurred background in portraits.
Built-in Wi-Fi capabilities offer wire-free online backup and storage opportunities, in addition to the sharing of content on social networking sites or sending photos to friends and family via email. Users can also use a smartphone as a remote viewfinder.
Like the EX1/TL500 before it, the EX2F features a bright 3-inch AMOLED vari-angle display panel and is topped by two control dials and a wheel at the front for quick settings selection and parameter switching.
The Samsung EX2F compact will be available from August for US$549.