Samsung announced the EX2F advanced fixed-lens point-and-shoot camera today. This model's primary weapon against the competition is its uncannily bright f/1.4 aperture lens. It's also belongs to Samsung's family of "Smart" cameras, including the Samsung WB150F, which we just reviewed. The new Samsung EX2F will be challenging the newly announced Sony Cyber-shot RX100, Canon PowerShot S100, Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5, Olympus XZ-1, Fujifilm X10 and Nikon Coolpix P7100.

This year, sensors have been increasing in size along the point-and-shoot shores with models like the Canon PowerShot G1X, Sony Cyber-shot RX100 and Fujifilm X10, though the Samsung EX2F might be too little too late. It'll have a significantly smaller 1/1.7-inch 12-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, which was the size of choice for this ilk of camera about two years ago. We know that sensor size does not dictate the camera's performance, but history shows that the bigger the chip, the better the image quality. Because of this, I think the EX2F going to have a tough time in this market.

The Samsung EX2F is also one of Samsung's "Smart" cameras, and we saw what happened with that whole experience. I ended up preferring to manually upload pictures and videos with the WB150F via USB cable because the Wi-Fi interface was so daunting. I will say that the EX2F has a nice 3-inch flip-out vari-angle AMOLED LCD display. The camera will also offer a full Manual mode and have the ability to shoot in RAW and 1080p/30 Full HD.

Samsung claims the EX2F's f/1.4 lens is the "world's brightest compact lens," and I believe it will attract many photographers for that, despite the meager 3.3x optical zoom capability. I wish every point-and-shoot offered such a bright lens, and I think this is the Samsung EX2F's best feature. Unfortunately, I don't think the $549 price tag helps Samsung's sales pitch though, especially with the Sony RX100 and Fujifilm X10 in the same price point. We'll see how the Samsung EX2F performs in a full review later on in the summer.




Samsung combines super-bright photography with easy sharing in the new SMART CAMERA EX2F

The new model boasts the world's brightest compact camera lens with F1.4 aperture

SEOUL, Korea – July 12, 2012 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, has announced the launch of the EX2F, the latest model in its growing range of Wi-Fi-enabled SMART CAMERAs. Following the success of the EX1 with F1.8 lens, the new model is engineered to deliver super-bright photography thanks to its F1.4 lens, the brightest in any compact camera. The high image and video quality of the EX2F also comes with the advantage of being able to store and share images remotely using Wi-Fi functionality. Encompassing Full Manual Control in a strong but lightweight body, the EX2F is ideal for DSLR-owners looking for more portable equipment to capture images spontaneously and subtly, and for photographers looking for a step-up in quality from their point-and-shoot whilst retaining ease-of-use and portability.

The EX2F combines a number of features to deliver incredible picture quality in all conditions. With the segment-leading advanced F1.4 24mm Lens, the wide range of aperture steps delivers clear images and video even in very low light conditions. These are easily controlled using the professional front wheel key and Dual Dials, which enable switching between parameters and modes quickly for greater manual control. The low-light capabilities of the EX2F are also added to by the 1/1.7″ 12 Megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, which delivers clear, blur-free images – even when shooting objects in low-light situations.

Fusing quality with creativity, 1080/30p Full HD Movie Recording with stereo sound allows users to capture video in high enough quality to enjoy on a Full HD TV. The EX2F also allows still 12 Megapixel photos and video to be captured simultaneously using the Dual Capture feature, so that any scene can be shot as both photo and video.

The world's brightest compact camera lens The EX2F's F1.4 24mm wide-angle lens is approximately four times as bright as a F2.8 camera lens. A further development is that the lens unit now consists of eleven elements in nine groups, with four aspherical lenses and two high refractive lenses. Combined, these provide a 20% increase in the amount of light on the sensor, a 20% increase in image quality and a 10% increase in zoom ratio.

The lens on the EX2F also incorporates a Neutral Density (ND) filter, giving the user greater control over exposure time in different conditions and making photos appear more neutral in situations of over-exposure. It also allows for shooting at a very shallow depth of field, so users can isolate their subjects from backgrounds to create stunning portraits. To make bright images clearer, the EX2F also includes Dual IS (OIS and DIS) to minimize the effect of shaking – particularly useful in low-light situations.

Complete control Housed in a sleek yet durable high-intensity magnesium body, more commonly found on DSLR models, the EX2F combines high-end image quality with convenience and speed. For those accustomed to the level of creative control on DSLRs, the EX2F allows for shooting in RAW mode for professional standard pictures.

The EX2F also encompasses Full Manual Control as well as Aperture and Shutter Priority modes. The Dual Dial and front wheel keys also allow users to quickly and easily adjust exposure for effortless pro-style control. This is all combined into a body that is compact and light, making it possible to carry the camera anywhere for spontaneous shots without the complication and intrusiveness of a weighty DSLR.

Bright and intuitive display The 3.0″ Swivel AMOLED display is perfect for lining up great shots and viewing them under any light conditions – and does so whilst consuming little battery power. The screen responds swiftly and displays images in high contrast, while the swivel display allows picture-taking from low and high angles – even self-portraits. The screen also incorporates Samsung's Smart Panel user interface, which integrates all parameters into one display for easy control over the end result.

Shooting and sharing from anywhere
The EX2F is the latest in Samsung's SMART CAMERA range of Wi-Fi-enabled cameras, which take the combination of high-quality imaging paired with connectivity to a new level. Wi-Fi connectivity enables the secure storage of images through Auto Backup to a PC or saving to the Cloud. In addition, sharing to social networking sites such as Facebook or Picasa is easy – or pictures can be sent via email. The EX2F's Mobile Link opens doors for connectivity with smartphones, without even having to resize images or video. Users can also access the Remote Viewfinder to use their smartphone's screen to frame shots from a variety of angles. Through the SMART LINK button, all these functions can be accessed with one touch for simplified sharing and storage.

"We created the EX2F to show that taking great pictures doesn't have to involve carrying a heavy and bulky DSLR wherever you go. Because the best shots often arise when you least expect them, the EX2F delivers manual control and stunningly bright image quality in a body that is small and light enough to carry around every day. It's the perfect compact on-the-road companion for the DLSR user who expects the best image quality with full creative control." said Mr. Myoung Sup Han, Senior Vice President and Head of the Digital Imaging Business, Samsung Electronics. "The inclusion of Samsung's pioneering Wi-Fi technology also means that you can share those images straight from the camera, giving you the freedom to shoot and share wherever the journey takes you."