Published: July 5, 2012 10:44 AM
By Franck Mée
Translated by: Catherine Barraclough
Samsung has discreetly presented a new flagship compact, the EX2F. As a replacement for the EX1, this new expert compact is packed with the firm's finest technology, including an even faster lens, opening to f/1.4 in wide-angle (... and f/2.7 in telephoto).

Samsung EX2F
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In its time, the Samsung EX1 was a very ambitious compact. It had the same sensor as the Canon G11, a flip-out swivel AMOLED screen, and while the lens made do with a 3x zoom, it was the fastest on the market (f/1.8-2.4).

The new Samsung EX2F follows a similar vein. It has been equipped with a new 12-Megapixel 1/1.7" (approx. 5.7 x 7.6 mm) BSI CMOS sensor. This isn't the same sensor as the Canon S100, however, which is a standard CMOS, not a backlit (BSI) version. We're therefore keen to see if Samsung will have made as much progress here as in its latest NX cameras.

The zoom has been upped to 24-80 mm. The lens isn't quite as fast at the maximum zoom setting (f/2.7, which is already pretty good), but aperture in wide-angle is now an impressive f/1.4! That's sure to be handy in low light.

The EX2F has also been treated to a Full HD video mode with stereo sound, which is an improvement on the mediocre VGA video mode in the EX1.

Design and handling are logically similar to the EX1, with a settings wheel on the front of the camera that falls nicely under your middle finger, as well as a settings wheel around the four-way controller. It has a swivel AMOLED screen, a built-in pop-up flash and a hot-shoe for attaching an external flash if necessary. Some users may be disappointed to see that there's no optical viewfinder, but this would have inevitably made the camera bigger (the EX2F is likely to be smaller than the EX1). Plus, optical viewfinders often end up being completely unusable anyway.

Like many of Samsung's latest cameras, the EX2F has onboard Wi-Fi with the same basic functions as the WB850F.

So far, 2012 is shaping up to be a great year for expert compacts. With large sensors (Canon G1 X), fast lenses (Samsung EX2F) and ultra-compact designs (Sony RX100), there's something for everyone.

> Digital Camera Reviews: Choose the Best Compact Camera
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