Samsung TL500/EX1 Review

Review posted 10/20/2010

Quick Take
  • Excellent build quality
  • Intuitive control layout
  • High quality 3x optical zoom with a fast f/1.8 max. aperture
  • Captures beautiful 10-megapixel still photos
  • Robust shooting performance
  • Awesome 3.0-inch, rotating AMOLED display
  • Excellent High ISO performance up to ISO 1600
  • Good battery life
  • Plenty of exposure mode options for both beginners and advanced users
  • Loads of optional accessories
  • No HD video capture option
  • Weak built-in flash
  • Auto WB setting wasn't always accurate
  • No A/V cable included
  • Battery charges in the camera, which means you can't charge a secondary pack while using the camera
Bottom Line
Samsung has put together a worthy competitor in the "compact prosumer" category. It offers image quality and High ISO performance that is matched by few cameras of the same size, however you pay a hefty price for these performance results and features. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
Samsung's latest TL-series powerhouse, the TL500 (aka the EX1 in Europe) is an advanced camera aimed towards photo enthusiasts that demand high-end features and control in their digital cameras. Offering a very professional fit and feel, the TL500 is packed with an impressive list of specifications, including a 1/1.7" 10-megapixel CCD image sensor, ultra bright f/1.8 3x optical zoom lens with wide viewing angle of 24mm, 3.0-inch rotating AMOLED display, RAW and JPEG image capture options, Dual image stabilization, DRIMe III image processor, VGA video recording, Smart Auto and various other advanced exposure control options.

The TL500 boasts the tools needed to help you be creative with your photography, all the while being enclosed in a rugged compact frame that features a mostly metal construction.

Samsung TL500/EX1 key features:
  • 10-megapixel, 1/1.7-inch high sensitivity CCD image sensor
  • DRIMe III processing unit
  • 3x optical zoom lens covers 24-72mm equivalent zoom range
  • Fast f/1.8 maximum aperture
  • Dual IS system (Optical + Digital)
  • 3.0-inch rotating AMOLED display
  • TTL Autofocus system: Center, Multi, Selection, Tracking, Face Detection, and Smart Face Recognition AF modes
  • Broad shutter speed range: 16 - 1/1500 sec in Manual mode
  • Sensitivity settings from ISO 80 - 3200 at full resolution
  • 18 exposure modes including Smart Auto
  • JPEG and RAW image capture options
  • 10 Photo Style modes
  • Image adjustments for Sharpness, Contrast and Saturation
  • Smart filters: Normal, Miniature, Vignetting, Fish-eye
  • Various in-camera editing features
  • Voice recording (up to 10 hours)
  • MPEG-4 (AVC) video at 640x480 resolution (max. 20 minutes clip length)
  • Uses SD or SDHC memory cards up to 8GB
  • HDMI output
  • Powered by a 1130mAh Li-ion battery
The Samsung TL500 is available in now with a MSRP of $419.99 US

What's in the box?:
  • TL500 body
  • Li-ion rechargeable battery pack
  • USB cable
  • USB/AC converter
  • User manual
  • Software CD-ROM

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.