We’ve been generally unimpressed with the latest round of basic point-and-shoots, including those from Samsung’s mid-range Smart series, but we do tend to take heed whenever a manufacturer opts to focus on optics rather than bumping up the megapixel count to boost sticker appeal. Compared to sub-$200 shooters, there’s a fairly limited market for $549 pocketable models — a price point that often prompts would-be owners to dig beyond superficial specs in search of full manual control, solid high-ISO performance, fast focusing and a lens that enables both low-light shooting and shallow depth of field. Samsung’s EX2F appears to fit the bill, offering a 12.4-megapixel 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor, a top extended ISO setting of 12,800, a 3-inch VGA-res AMOLED display and — the crown jewel — an f/1.4-2.7, 24-79mm lens. That optic delivers an additional one 2/3 stop of sensitivity over the EX2F’s predecessor, the two-year-old TL500. Other advantages include a lighter magnesium alloy body, an NX power pin-enabled hot shoe for adding an external mic or flash, and a new micro-USB trigger cable.
Samsung’s been flaunting its WiFi-equipped Smart cameras throughout the last year, but with a generally significant tradeoff in image quality, we haven’t been terribly impressed. The EX2F, however, is a model we’re finally eager to get our hands on. This 12.4-megapixel CMOS shooter packs an f/1.4-2.7 lens — quite a feat for any point-and-shoot — along with a full-size hot shoe, dual image stabilization, a top ISO setting of 12,800 (extended), a 24-79mm 3.3x lens and a 3-inch swivel VGA-resolution AMOLED display. That’s in addition to the full manual shooting mode, RAW option, 1080/30p HD video capture and the standard plethora of WiFi options, including Remote Viewfinder and Auto Backup. Accessory add-ons include an optical viewfinder, external mic and a secondary flash (a smaller pop-up model is built-in, and retracts when not in use). There’s no hint of pricing or availability, but with that industry-leading f/1.4 lens, pro-level features and AMOLED display, we’re certain that the EX2F won’t come cheap. Full PR is after the break.
Update: It appears that the EX2F includes a 1/1.7-inch sensor, compared to the significantly larger 1-inch sensor on the Sony RX100. Samsung has also confirmed that the camera will be priced at $549, and is scheduled to hit stores in August.