"Best of the bunch"4.5 starson by ark_v2
Pros: - Awesome Schneider-Kreuznach lens
- Great AMOLED rotating display
- Superb construction
- Photo quality is outstanding
- A vatiery of accesories is available
- RAW format support
- Dinamic Range, 9 art filter bracketing, and accurate auto mode.
Cons: - Extremely poor video quality
- Short battery life
- Accesories are expensive
- Can't shoot RAW in constinuous mode
Summary: After trying the different high-end enthusiast "compacts" from the other companies, I settled for the Samsung TL500/EX1 and I'm sure it was the best desition. The body, contrary to what the reviewer said, is smartly designed, even to my huge hands. The f1.8 Schneider-Kreuznach lens are bright and along with the larger than average CCD sensor produces absolutely beautiful photos. Doesn't offer the same background separation as a DSLR, but it is still really good.
The rotating AMOLED display has the highest quality of the high-end compacts, both in size, construction quality, contrast, and color reproduction. The function dial is pretty convenient too, as well as other features not expected on a non-DSLR. Although there are not as many "fun" features usually found of ultracompacts, this shouldn't be an issue if you're in the market for a camera like this. The menus are zippy, easy to read, understand, and navigate.
The smart range function offers good results but works best when using a tripod. The camera offers on-camera editing after taking the shot and the gallery shows picstures in a timeline format. The shutter speed can be set up to 16 seconds so it is a good choice if you're interested in night photography. In my experience, the noise is in control up to ISO 800, then it starts to be pretty obvios, and ISO 1600 and 3200 are only usable for medium sized prints if taken RAW and compensated heavily with Lightroom.
Now with what's no so good: VGA video capture (really?) that is not even so good for VGA standards, short battery life, and average pop-up flash.
What really hurts is the lack of a OVF, but it can be purchased separately (for a high price) as well as the lens conversion kit.