Samsung TL500 (EX1)

Last Updated (04 April’11):
– Review by Cnet
– Winner of European Advanced Compact Camera 2010-2011 Award

Samsung TL500 (EX1) is a 10.00 Megapixels digital camera features 3x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 24-72mm) with maximum aperture at the wide end is f/1.8 and slows down to a still very impressive f/2.4 at the long end, ISO 80-3200, Manual Control, and 3″ swiveling AMOLED 614000 dots screen. The camera measures 114 x 30 x 65mm and weighs approx. 356g.

Samsung TL500 (EX1)
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Samsung TL500 (EX1) Reviews

CNET reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“I really wanted to like the Samsung TL500 more than I did, and if Samsung comes up with an updated version that at least offers better, more consistent image processing and some slight design tweaks it could potentially make a huge difference.”

Rating: ★★★½☆

T3 reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“Round the back there’s a tilting 3-inch AMOLED back screen with seriously sharp visibility and it has instant enthusiast appeal. In lower light it appears so bright and so vivid that your eyeballs begin to hurt trying to take it all in. The Samsung will also squeeze into a pocket, so won’t get left at home like a DSLR might..”
Rating: ★★★★★

DCR reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“The TL500 provides a very impressive range of sensitivity options, including auto and user-set options for ISO 100 to 3200. ISO 100 and ISO 200 images are essentially indistinguishable. Both settings show neutral colors, slightly hard native contrast and virtually no noise. ISO 400 images were also very good, but with a tiny bit less pop.”
Rating: N/A

MacWorld reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“The Samsung TL500 is an excellent camera, but it lags significantly behind rival models in video quality, macro mode, manual focus controls, and in-camera menus. Its F1.8 maximum aperture and OLED screen are unmatched by any other camera in this roundup, but the TL500’s usability issues make it less than ideal for both novices and expert users.”
Rating: ★★★½☆

DCHQ reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“So, if you’re looking for a well-built, well-specced, and feature-rich compact camera, the Samsung TL500 is certainly worth your close consideration, even more so if video is an afterthought for you and you can live without a viewfinder. And if you like a sharp-looking camera, the TL500 is as slick as they come. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

ComputerActive reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“The Samsung EX1 is fairly expensive, but it combines a rock-solid, good creative options and excellent sharp pictures with great-looking colours.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

TrustedReviews reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“The Samsung EX1 is an outstanding camera by any standard, offering superior performance, build quality and handling, a high level of creative control and a good range of useful features. Under most circumstances its image quality is also superb, comparing well to its more expensive rivals. For a top-shelf compact it is surprisingly good value for money..”
Rating: ★★★☆☆

PCMag reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“Samsung’s TL500 delivers beautiful images even in poor lighting, but for a pocket camera it has a big body and a big price tag—and it doesn’t do HD video.”
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Geek reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“The camera has very good performance but it doesn’t handle as well as I would like, or at least in the way that I would like. It’s a great overall package, especially for under $400, but personally I prefer the Panasonic LX3/LX5 and Canon’s S95.”
Rating: N/A

Steve’sDigicams reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“Samsung has created a powerful camera that is sure to please those who are looking for a somewhat compact unit that offers superior image quality and features when compared to other models of its size. The TL500/EX1 is a worthy competitor in this “compact prosumer’ category, with excellent shooting performance, pleasing image quality, and loads of other useful features.”
Rating: N/A

ThinkComputers reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“The Samsung EX1 is definitely a great little digital camera. Its design and construction helps ensure that it will last a long time. Not only does it feel well built, it also produces some pretty good results in various situations..”
Rating: ★★★★½

DCI reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“the noise level of the TL500 is significantly lower than most of our comparison cameras, although it is a close call at some ISO levels. However, the TL500 has lower noise than most of our comparison cameras at the critical higher ISO levels.”
Rating: ★★★★½ reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“In my opinion this is one of the best quality digital cameras around. Picture quality is top drawer and Samsung have packed in a great range of features. It is a camera that is likely to appeal to people that are serious about photography.”
Rating: ★★★★½

ThinkComputers reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“Overall using the Samsung EX1 was relatively easy and straight-forward. You can use the camera right out of the box (don’t forget to charge the battery though), in which means you really don’t need to read the instruction manual to start using it. A bonus for those who love just jumping in with a new electronic gadget.”
Rating: ★★★★½

PhotographyBay reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“if functionality and image quality are paramount in your compact camera requirements, then it would be a disservice not to take a hard look at Samsung’s TL500.”
Rating: ★★★★½ reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
” Flash performance was generally very good and the flash was capable of illuminating an average-sized room at ISO settings of 400 and above. We found no evidence of red eyes in flash shots.”
Rating: ★★★★½

DigitalVersus reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
” It’s a nice camera to use, with decent performances to match. It does have a few small teething problems, most of which could probably be corrected by a simple firmware update. It also doesn’t handle noise quite as well as its main rival, the Canon G11.”
Rating: ★★★★½

BuynShoot reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“Images are pin sharp, depth of field is impressive and indeed the wide angle lens allows for expansive scene capture.”
Rating: ★★★★½

PhotoRadar reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“Shooting at mid ISOs proved to be a strong point for the EX1 as well, with images up to ISO 400 resulting in little noise. Noise is evident at ISO 800 and above… The image quality really delivers, and for those looking for good value will surely be lured in by Samsung’s offering…”
Rating: N/A

ePhotozine reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“I like the Samsung EX1. The camera body has a lovely tactile feel, it is rich in features including a fast aperture zoom lens and turns in fine quality pictures…For the money, the EX1 is up against cameras like the Canon G11 and in my view, the Samsung offers better value.”
Rating: ★★★★½

PhotographyBlog reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“Until then the EX1 is a premium compact that delivers a premium user experience and photos, out-performing the admittedly 2-year old LX3 in most regards and joining the likes of the Canon Powershot G11 and S90, Ricoh GR Digital III and of course the LX3 as a great pocket camera for serious photographers.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Samsung TL500 (EX1) Video Review by DigitalRev; reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“The hinged, 3in AMOLED is very bright and crisp. It also gives you a live preview of what your image looks like according to the exposure settings you selected. You also get a built-in, pop-up flash and a hot-shoe, but there is no built-in optical viewfinder. All up though, the Samsung EX1 is a lot of fun to use and it will capture very good photos more often than not. “
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“The good: Super-fast F1.8 lens; solid build and design; hi-res swivel display; good picture quality. The bad: Inaccurate color reproduction on AMOLED display; sluggish performance. The bottom line: The EX1 is a very good compact that professional users will appreciate, but has flaws which interested shutterbugs should be aware of. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

LuminousLandscape reviews the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“I was more than pleased with the image quality from the EX-1. Out of camera JPGs were a notch above those from many competitive cameras, which are typically oversaturated and almost always oversharpened…Fast lens, great lens, solid build, decent IQ, smooth handling – what more can one want from a pocket camera in this price range. Highly recommended. “
Rating: N/A

PhotographyBay has a preview of the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“Overall, the TL500 provided a solid first impression in terms of controls, handling and shooting. The images viewed on the rear of the AMOLED appeared about as good as you could expected from viewing images on a 3-inch screen. “

Rating: n/a

Digitalcamerainfo has a preview of the Samsung TL500 (EX1) and writes;
“It also has what looks to be a great lens; f/1.8 lenses on point & shoot cameras are few and far between, and this should mean better low light images and more control over the depth of field in images.”
Rating: N/A

User Opinions

Samsung TL500 (EX1) User Reviews

Incredible camera, flawed software/support | Rating: ★★★☆☆
“I purchased this camera for its quality sensor, f/1.8-2.4 lens, and beautiful AMOLED display. On these grounds, the TL500 does not disappoint. Images are relatively sharp and clear, with minimal defects and noise (below ISO 800). Color reproduction looks good, but I haven’t given it a solid run-through yet.” – By B. Hiestand

More User Opinions | Write your opinion


Samsung TL500 (EX1) Sample Photos

Samsung TL500 (EX1) Sample Photos @ DCI
Samsung TL500 (EX1) Sample Photos @ DCI
Samsung TL500 (EX1) Sample Photos @
Samsung TL500 (EX1) Sample Photos @ PhotoRadar
Samsung TL500 (EX1) Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
Samsung TL500 (EX1) Sample Photos @
Samsung TL500 (EX1) Sample Photos @


Samsung TL500 (EX1) User Manual (PDF)

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– Download Samsung TL500 (EX1) User Manual (PDF – 9.1MB)


Samsung TL500 (EX1) Features


LONDON, UK – February 20, 2010 – Samsung, a market leader and award-winning innovator in digital imaging, proudly introduces the 10 mega-pixel EX1, a high-end compact digital camera designed specifically for today’s advanced and enthusiast photographers. The new flagship of the company’s compact digital camera family, the EX1 incorporates a range of advanced features, including a high-performance imaging sensor and one of the most impressive lenses ever found on a compact camera – a 24mm ultra-wide angle Schneider KREUZNACH, f/1.8.

“With the EX1, Samsung further differentiates its lineup from the competition and achieves yet another milestone in the industry,” said Steve Mitchell, General Marketing Manager, Samsung Digital Imaging. “With ultra-wide angle capability and unparalleled speed, the EX1’s lens offers a new level of versatility allowing the user to be more creative and take better pictures.”

High-Quality Optics and Images
The Samsung EX1 is sure to turn heads thanks to its f/1.8 Schneider lens. The impressive f/1.8 lens offers photographers a wider range of aperture steps and shallow depth-of-field, giving them the ability to blur out the background of their images while maintaining focus on their subjects. The ultra-fast, f/1.8 lens also allows users to take better photos in low-light environments as more light is passed through to the new high-performance 1/1.7” CCD sensor. Larger than the sensors typically found in compact digital cameras, the EX1’s 1/1.7” CCD offers unrivaled sensitivity (max ISO 3200/full-resolution). Together with Samsung’s re‑engineered and fast, DRIMeIII imaging processor, the EX1 captures high-quality images, regardless of the lighting environment.

The high-end Schneider lens offers a 24mm, ultra-wide focal length and 3x optical zoom. Much wider than traditional compact cameras, the EX1’s 24mm ultra-wide angle lens allows photographers to capture more of a desired scene, such as beautiful landscapes and large groups of friends or family. For blur‑free images, the EX1’s lens is also paired with Samsung’s Dual Image Stabilisation technology.

Versatile Display Enhances the Viewing Experience
Composing and reviewing images on the EX1’s three-inch, swiveling AMOLED screen is a pleasure. The rotating AMOLED display will allow photographers to precisely frame their images the way they want and shoot from just about any angle, including overhead or low-to-the-ground shots. Compared to the traditional TFT-LCD found on most digital cameras, the EX1’s AMOLED provides users with a higher contrast ratio, deeper blacks and more accurate, vivid colors, even when viewed from an angle or in direct sunlight. The EX1’s AMOLED display is also more efficient when it comes to power consumption, allowing photographers to maximize battery life and shoot longer on a single charge.

Multiple Shooting Options
The EX1 supports RAW and gives enthusiasts full control over their images thanks to its shutter‑priority, aperture‑priority and full Manual shooting modes. When using these settings, shooters can experiment with features such as slower shutter speeds and depth-of-field; however, for those who prefer ease-of-use over manual controls, the EX1 also offers Samsung’s Smart Auto 2.0 (Still & Movie) scene recognition technology. Applicable for video recording (640×480 / 30fps / H.264) and taking digital stills, this intelligent feature analyzes the scene and then automatically selects the appropriate settings for the best results possible. Using this mode is effortless and users don’t have to sacrifice image quality for simple operation.

3 Responses to “Samsung TL500 (EX1)”

  1. Danno says:

    This is the one of the best built cameras in it’s class. Very good IQ even at ISO’s up to 800. Manual control. I feel this is the best camera along with the G11 and S90 and the older LX3.

  2. craig kaufman says:

    The hot shoe is pretty useless as it only works with Samsung flashes and will not fire a standard flash ie Vivitar/Sunpak etc.

    In manual mode the OLED image changes brightness with exposure changes making it useless to compose on for creative shooting. The manual focus mode is useless and there is no indication of focus distance or magnification to aid in focusing.

    This is a well built “almost good” camera which is really compromised by poor software. A good firmware update could fix most of these problems.

    I am kind of sorry I bought this one as the features that attracted me to it really don’t seem to work very well.

  3. K.Fernyg says:

    Worst thing on this camera is VIDEO. This camera is almost not able of sharp focus during video!! If focus at all, then only on the distance in the moment of movie start sequence. When you move camera in the different distance or use zoom all is out of focus. What a shame!!

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