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Samsung EX2F point-and-shoot touts performance and Wi-Fi edge

Theano Nikitas | March 27, 2013
The Samsung EX2F fits neatly into the advanced compact camera category but offers more than just a balance of manual and automatic controls. It's outfitted with a superfast f/1.4, 3.3X (24-80mm) wide-angle zoom lens and built-in Wi-Fi. Samsung seems to have an edge over other manufacturers when it comes to integrating Wi-Fi into its cameras, and the EX2F is no exception.

A slightly recessed wheel on the front of the camera controls exposure compensation (EV) in shooting mode and lets you scroll through menus. The front wheel is easy to reach with your forefinger, and works well for menu scrolling. You can press the wheel in toward the camera body to change or lock EV adjustments. Beware, though: The wheel is very sensitive, and a little hard to control when you're making adjustments.

Rear controls include a tiny red movie button that's a little too easy to press accidentally with your thumb when you're tightly gripping the camera. Among other controls are AEL, Menu, Playback, and Delete buttons, along with a four-way controller that handles the display, Wi-Fi (which you can customize to access a specific Wi-Fi function), focus (macro, autofocus, manual focus), and flash.

Shooting modes and features

As you might expect from an advanced compact camera, the EX2F offers manual, semi-manual, and auto/smart exposure modes. Additional features include assorted useful options such as bracketing (exposure or white balance) and a built-in Neutral Density filter. For easy shooting, the camera has a moderate list of typical scene modes such as portrait, landscape, night, beach, and snow, as well as Beauty Shot and 3D options. As is typical for Samsung cameras, the EX2F is equipped with a number of creative modes too, including split shot (which combines two or three shots in one frame), panorama, picture-in-picture, a selection of decorative (and sometimes silly) frames, and Smart Filters with various effects (Old Film, Miniature, Cartoon, and more). The Creative Movie Maker mode is an easy-to-use feature that lets you create movies with both stills and video clips.

As with the Samsung NX20, the EX2F's Wi-Fi features are generally easy to set up and use. It helps to have some Wi-Fi knowledge, and you'll need to keep your smartphone or tablet next to you when using Samsung's Mobile Link app (iOS or Android) to transfer images to your device. Once you set up a connection, though, it's smooth sailing. Sending images via email or sharing online is a no-brainer, but you need an Android device to use the Remote Viewfinder app. One of the most difficult Wi-Fi tasks is typing in passwords via the virtual keyboard, which would be easier if the camera had a touchscreen.

Performance

Overall performance is pretty good, with fast startup and little shutter lag. Shot-to-shot time is respectable, even when you're firing the flash. The EX2F's autofocus works best in bright light, sometimes struggling in low light and in low-contrast scenes. You can select focus points manually, but the points don't extend too far from the center of the frame.

 

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