Vlogging is a huge growth area and the Sony ZV-1 compact camera is specifically designed with vloggers in mind. Sony is hoping that it will tempt new vloggers away from their mobile phones and enable them to deliver better quality results.
Inside the Sony ZV-1 is a 1-inch type 20.1Mp stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor which has 315 phase detection AF sensors and is capable of outputting 4K video (as well as stills).
Around the front, there’s a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 9.4-25.7mm f/1.8-2.8 lens that’s equivalent to a 24-70mm lens on a full-frame camera. That’s a nice everyday focal length range with the width that’s required for arm’s-length vlogging.
With that use in mind, Sony has changed the shape of grip in comparison to its RX100 cameras and made it more comfortable to hold in the selfie-shooting position. In addition, the 3-inch touchscreen is mounted on a vari-angle hinge so it can be viewed from in front of the camera.
On top of the Sony ZV-1, there’s a 3-capsule microphone that employs technology from Sony’s advanced video camera systems. There’s also a handy Clear Voice function that’s designed to reduce background noise and make human voices clearer.
Sony provides a small dead cat style windscreen for ZV-1 that can be slipped over the built-in mic as required.
In addition, the ZV-1 has a 3.5mm input jack for connecting an external mic and it’s even possible to connect an XLR mic via an adapter in the multi-interface hotshoe.
Sharp and soft
Sony has given the ZV-1 Real-time Eye AF which locks onto and tracks eyes in the frame. It makes use of AI-based subject recognition and locates eyes in the scene in real-time, even when shooting 4K movies, it should be a huge bonus for vloggers.
While the focusing is designed to make subjects sharp, the Soft Skin Effect function is designed reduce skin wrinkles and marks while retaining skin-tones and eye and mouth sharpness.
Skin tones are a priority for the ZV-1 and they are said to be optimised in both movies and stills shooting. In addition, a Face Priority autoexposure algorithm detects and prioritises a face in the frame to help keep its exposure constant when vlogging in changing lighting conditions.
With a maximum aperture of f/1.8 at the widest point and a 1-inch type sensor, the Sony ZV-1 has scope for blurring backgrounds. And for novice vloggers, the button C1 is set by default to ‘Bokeh Switch’ to swap between a wide and a narrow aperture.
Meanwhile, the default setting for button C2 is ‘Product Showcase’. This enables vloggers to quickly deactivate the Eye AF and shift the focus to a product being held up to the camera. That’s handy for product reviews!
Sony ZV-1 Specifications
- Camera type: Compact
- Announced: 26th May 2020
- Sensor: 20.1Mp 1-inch type (13.2mm x 8.8mm) Exmor RS CMOS
- Lens: Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 9.4-25.7mmm (24-70mm equivalent) f/1.8-2.8
- Autofocus: 315 focal-plane phase-detection AF points
- Video: 4K in-body movie recording with full pixel readout and no binning, Log & Gamma options, slow-mo at up to 1000fps
- Viewfinder: No
- Screen: Vari-angle 3-inch touchscreen
- Hotshoe: Multi-interface (can connect an XLR mic via an adapter)
- Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC
- Weight: 294g
Sony ZV-1 Price and Release Date
The Sony ZV-1 is set to have a price tag of £700 / approximately $850. It is scheduled to go on sale in early June.