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Sony ZV-E10 Review

Sony ZV-E10 review

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Our Verdict

Along with a few quite advanced features, the Sony ZV-E10 has an attractive specification for novice vloggers, including some clever options such as Background Defocus, Product Showcase and FacePriority exposure, not to forget Sony’s superb autofocusing system. However, there are one or two disappointments such as the limited use of touch control.


  • Designed specifically for vloggers but also a capable stills camera
  • Great AF system
  • Good audio options


  • Limited use of touch control
  • Rolling shutter visible
  • Heavy crop in Active SteadyShot mode

What is the Sony ZV-E10?

Like the Sony A7-series of full-frame cameras and the Sony A6000-series of APS-C format cameras, the Sony ZV-E10 is a mirrorless camera. However, it doesn’t fit into either of those lines and instead is part of a new series of cameras that is aimed at vloggers. It’s a bit like an interchangeable lens version of Sony ZV-1 but with a larger sensor.

With the ZV-E10, Sony is trying to entice vloggers who use a compact camera like the ZV-1 or a smartphone to upgrade to a dedicated camera that gives access to a wide range of lenses and accessories.


  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: 27th July 2021
  • Sensor: 24.2Mp APS-C format (23.5mm x 15.6mm) Exmor CMOS
  • Sensitivity range: Stills: ISO 100-32,000 expandable to ISO 50-51,200, Video: ISO 100-32,000
  • Autofocus: 425 phase-detection AF points, 425 contrast-detection AF points, Eye AF: Humans or Animal (stills and video)
  • Burst Mode: Hi+: 11fps, Hi: 8fps, Mid: 6fps, Low: 3fps
  • Video: 4K 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 8bit, NTSC) 30p (100Mbps / 60Mbps), 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 8bit, NTSC) 24p (100Mbps / 60Mbps), 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 8bit, PAL) 25p (100Mbps / 60Mbps)
  • Viewfinder: No
  • Screen: Vari-angle 3-inch 921,600-dot touchscreen
  • Stabilisation: Electronic for video – SteadyShot Standard or SteadyShot Active
  • Hotshoe: Multi-interface
  • Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 115.2 x 64.2 x 44.8 mm / 4 5/8 x 2 5/8 x 1 13/16 inches from grip to monitor
  • Weight: 343g / 12.1oz with battery and SD card
Sony ZV-E10 review


Sony has given the ZV-E10 a 24.2MP APS-C format (23.5 x 15.6mm) Exmor CMOS sensor, which seems likely to be the same as the one in some of the A6000-series including the flagship APS-C format Sony A6600.

The headline video specification of the ZV-E10 is that it can shoot (approximately 6K) oversampled 4K video at 24, 25 or 30p with full-pixel readout. This means that it gathers around 2.4x the data as is required for 4K for more detailed, higher-quality footage. It’s worth noting that in NTSC, switching from 24p to 30p imparts a 1.23x crop.

In Full HD mode, the ZV-E10 can shoot at frame rates up to 120p for slow motion playback. There’s also Sony S&Q (slow and quick) mode available to create slow or fast motion footage in-camera.

Sony’s Picture Profiles are on hand, complete with the option to shoot in S-Log 2 or S-Log 3 for greater scope for post-capture grading, which should appeal to more experienced users or give room for growth. There are also a host of features such as 7 different Creative Styles, Face Priority autoexposure in Multi Metering mode and Background Defocus, that are designed to help less experienced vloggers to get the results they want in-camera.

It may come as a surprise to discover that the ZV-E10 doesn’t have sensor-shifting in-body image stabilisation. Instead it relies on lens-based stabilisation for stills and electronic stabilisation for video. The latter can be set to Standard or Active, or it can be turned off.

Acknowledging that audio is a critical part of vlogging, the ZV-E10 has three means of recording sound. Firstly, there’s the on-board directional 3-capsule mic that’s optimised to pick-up voices in front of the camera. Like the ZV-1’s mic, this can be covered with a tiny dead kitten that slips into the multi-interface shoe.

Sony ZV-E10 review

Mentioning the multi-interface shoe gives a clue to the second microphone option. It’s compatible with a selection of Sony mics for camera-mounted recording. Lastly, there’s a 3.5mm port available for connection an external mic, be that a lavalier, a wireless mic such as the Rode Wireless Go II or a shotgun mic.

Sony has also included a 3.5mm headphone jack for clear audio monitoring.

Sony ZV-E10 review

As we’d expect from a vlogging camera introduced in 2021, the ZV-E10 is capable of streaming live when its connected via USB-C to a device connected to the internet.

In a key distinguishing feature that separates the ZV-E10 from the Sony A6000 series, the ZV-E10 doesn’t have a viewfinder. Instead, vloggers (and photographers) must rely on the 3-inch 921,600-dot screen which is mounted on a vari-angle hinge.

Sony ZV-E10 review

Build and handling

Although their control arrangement isn’t identical, the Sony ZV-E10 looks like a larger version of the ZV-1. But when I say larger, I mean by just a little bit, it’s still a very compact camera for its sensor size.

With the compact Sony PZ 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens mounted, the ZV-E10 looks like a compact camera and its reasonably chunky, rubberised grip gives an assured hold. However, this is not a camera on which you’ll want to mount large, heavy lenses.

The button and dial arrangement of the ZV-E10 is pretty straightforward so it doesn’t take long to get to grips with it. However, there are a couple of frustrations. For example, there’s a button on the top-plate for toggling from stills, to video to S&Q mode, that seems simple enough but there’s a slight delay after pressing the button before the icon on the screen changes, so it’s easy to make a second press thinking that the camera hasn’t responded. A switch would be much better.

Sony ZV-E10 review

Also, as there’s no exposure mode dial, you have to change this setting via either the main or function menu. Again this isn’t a major drama but it slows things down a bit.

It’s also disappointing that the degree of touch control afforded to the screen is very limited. You can’t use it to make menu selections for example, it’s just for things like setting the AF point or zooming into images. It would be especially handy to be able to change settings using the screen when you’re in front of the camera with the monitor facing forwards.

While there’s no front dial on the ZV-E10, there’s a wheel on the back of the camera plus a dial on the top-plate, so you can adjust the exposure settings quickly. By default, the down navigation key must be pressed to select to adjust the exposure compensation, but either of the dials can be set to adjust it directly via the Custom Operation section of the menu.

As the 3-inch 921,600 screen is on a vari-angle hinge, it can be flipped out and angled to give a clear view from a wide range of angles. It’s good to see that Sony has put the 3.5mm mic porter enough away from the screen that it doesn’t limit the monitor’s movement when an external mic is connected. The same cannot be said for the cover over the USB-C, HDMI and headphone port, if this is open, perhaps to connect a power bank, the tilt range is limited.

Sony ZV-E10 review


As usual, Sony’s autofocus system puts in a good performance so the ZV-E10 is capable of getting subjects sharp quickly and keeping them sharp. The Face/Eye detection AF system works very well and is perfect for anyone vlogging for the first time, but it’s also a massive help for more experienced users and people photographers.

At launch the Sony ZV-E10 was only capable of detecting and focusing on human eyes in video mode, but when shooting stills it can detect human or animals eyes. A firmware update introduced on 2nd December 2021, adds Animal eye AF in video mode.

Follow the link to download the free Sony ZV-E10 firmware upgrade.

While the Face/Eye detection AF is helpful for photographs or video of people when they’re looking towards you, the Tracking AF has a wide range of uses and is very reliable too. For example, when capturing some BTS (behinds the scenes) footage of a portrait shoot, I could tap on the screen and ensure that the subject I wanted to focus on, be that a lens or a person, was sharp as they or the camera moved.

Sony introduced the Product Showcase feature with the ZV-1 and again in the ZV-E10 it shows its worth, quickly shifting the focus away from the eye to a small product that shown to the camera. By default, it’s activated by pressing the Fn button when the camera is recording, and with care, it is possible to press that from in front of the camera, but it would be easier to tap an option on the screen.

The Sony ZV-E10’s SteadyShot stabilisation works well when you’re handholding the camera. In Standard mode, it takes out most of the shake and Active mode takes out the last element, but it isn’t effective enough to produce washable footage when you’re walking with the camera. Active SteadyShot also crops the frame heavily so you may need to take a step or two back or use a wider lens than you might otherwise select. It means that the framing at the 16mm end of the 16-50mm lens is tight if you’re holding the camera at arm’s length, but it’s manageable and one of Sony’s grips will help.

If you pan the camera slowly, you may notice that the image drifts a little after the camera comes to a halt. Move the camera more rapidly, however, and you’re likely to see the classic jello or rolling shutter effect.

With the wind-muff in position, the on-board microphone does a good job of recording natural-sounding audio. It picks up voices well and isn’t overly troubled by wind noise. As usual when you’re recording outside without anyone speaking, you become more aware of the background sounds that we often manage to ignore in normal life.

Sony ZV-E10 image quality

A 24Mp APS-C format sensor from Sony isn’t going to throw up many surprises. The ZV-E10 is capable of capturing a good level of detail at the lower sensitivity settings. This is maintained well up to around ISO 6,400 when the raw files have a fine texture of evenly-distributed luminance noise and the Jpegs look clean without been too smooth. The results at ISO 12,800 are also good with noise kept under control pretty well, but I would avoid going above this value because as well as a step up in the amount of noise (or the more noticeable impact of its removal), there can be some false colour in the shadow areas.

Sony ZV-E10 video quality

The ZV-E10’s features combine well to deliver good-quality 4K video. If you’re handholding the camera, you need to have the SteadyShot stabilisation set to Standard mode if not Active mode to get smooth footage.

As previously, mentioned, the autofocus system also does a great job of keeping the subject sharp. In some instances you can leave it to the camera to select the subject but it’s often best to tap the screen to select the subject yourself and set the Tracking mode going.

Sony ZV-E10 review

Sony ZV-E10 sample video

The video below was shot on the Sony ZV-E10 in XAVC S 4K (3840×2160) 25p 100M. The shutter speed and aperture were set manually but the sensitivity (ISO) and white balance were both set to Auto. The camera was handheld and the stabilisation (SteadyShot) was in Active mode. The audio was recorded using the onboard mic with the supplied clip-on wind muff in place although there was only a light breeze.

The next video was shot using largely the same settings as the previous one but there was more wind and there’s a comparison of the two SteadyShot modes towards the end.

Sony ZV-E10 sample images

Follow the link to browse and download full-resolution images from the Sony ZV-E10.

Sony ZV-E10 image gallery


While it is a capable stills camera, the Sony ZV-E10 is primarily a vlogging camera with novices in its sights. There’s a lot to like about it, but I can’t help feeling that Sony has sold it a bit short. A fully-functioning touchscreen and the revised menu of the Sony A7S III, A1 and the recent Sony A7 IV would make it a bit more user friendly. It could also use a faster readout speed to cut the rolling shutter effect.


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