For £399, you get most of the manual features that can be found on a competent digital SLR camera, although the EX1's lens is fixed and it doesn't have a built-in optical viewfinder. It's a 10-megapixel camera with a 24-72mm, 3x zoom lens. It's very simple to use but its image quality can sometimes leave you frustrated.

Samsung EX1

The sensor in the EX1 isn't a big one; it's a 1/1.7in CCD sensor, which, for example, is about eight times smaller than the APS-C sized sensor that can be found in Samsung's interchangeable lens camera, the NX10. Understandably, it doesn't perform too well in low-light situations, if you bump up the ISO speed — even to ISO 200 — noise and softness can become annoyingly visible. But it does depend on how large you view the images: if you view them at their full size, the noise and softness will be more evident than it will be in an image scaled to fit a screen.

Samsung EX1

At ISO 100, the images look quite crisp, but still have some grain. Images start to lose their definition above ISO 400, especially when viewed at their full size.

You don't always have to use a high ISO speed in low-light situations though, as the EX1's lens has a big aperture size of f/1.8. This aperture can be used when you aren't zoomed in, and it closes to f/2.4 when the lens is fully zoomed in. The big aperture, combined and the good built-in image stabilisation technology, which allows you to take relatively blur-free photos at slow shutter speeds, lets you get away with using ISO 100 for most low-light situations.