Review: Sony’s ZV-1 Camera – A Vloggers Delight?

8 Total Score
Excellent Vlogging Camera - Almost

The Sony ZV-1 is a handy little camera with some nice features targeted at Vloggers and YouTube content creators. Its ease of use, light weight and compact size definatately make it a contentder for one the best vlogging cameras out there. Its Bokeh effect and product featuring effects are a nice touch but some may find the 24-70mm lens too tight when the camera is used at arms length.

8.3Expert Score
Video Quality
8.5
Still Image Quality
8
Portability, Size and Weight
9.5
Battery Life
7
7.7User's score
Video Quality
8
Still Image Quality
7
Portability
9
Size and Weight
7
PROS
  • Rotatable flip-out screen
  • 4K Video
  • Improved auto-focus
CONS
  • Lense not quite wide enough
  • Active stability control results in significant cropping
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Introduction

Sony ZV-1 – YouTuber’s Delight

As more and more people turn to video platforms like YouTube for their daily entertainment we are seeing an influx of vloggers and content creators looking to produce high quality video content. This has resulted in increased demand for cameras that are easy to use and affordable.

Brands such as Sony have finally started to take notice and this has led to the release of the Sony ZV-1 – a camera targeted to vloggers and video content producers. With features such as bokeh effects, muti-directional built-in microphone and a handy product showcase mode, the ZV-1 has proven itself to be worthy of consideration when buying a new camera for taking video.

01. ZV-1 Specs

ZV-1 Specs

The Sony ZV-1 comes with a 1″ CMOS sensor capable of taking 20.1 megapixel still images. While this may not be a high number, by having a a relatively low pixel count, the camera is able to produce higher quality video footage while still being able to produce great stills.

This camera offers 4K video at 30 frames per second. At 1080 it can film at 120 fps without suffering any cropping and can even go as high as 960 fps but there will be some cropping at this rate.

Vloggers and video podcasters will appreciate the display that can be flipped around so that you can look into the camera and while viewing the display. Some users may find the lack of touch controls on the display fustrating though.

As a camera that focuses on video, there is not vidreo recording time limit imposed as can be found on most DSLRs, however the battery is quite small so, without connecting the USB charger the battery life will limit to about 45 minutes of video footage.

FeatureDetails
Sensor20.1 megapixel – 1″ Exmor RS CMOS
LensFixed ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* (24-70mm equivalent)
F1.8 – 2.8
F=9.4 – 25.7mm
Optical Zoom2.7x
Video Quality and Frame Rate4K @ max 30 fps
1080 @ max 120 fps (no cropping)
1080 @ max @960 fps (with cropping)
MicrophoneBuilt-in multi-direction with windshield
3.5mm microphone jack
DisplayVari-angle LCD screen, 3″ touchscreen
ConnectivityWi-Fi/bluetooth enabled
Battery Life45 min video
260 still images
Full specs can be seen at: Sony ZV 1 Specs and Features
Sony ZV-1
The big red button saituated on the ZV-1 top plate gives easy access to the video record button. The C1 button activates the bokeh (background defocus effect) but can be programmed to activate other functions if needed.

ZV-1 Feature: Bokeh Effect

When shooting video with the ZV-1, a quick press of the ‘C1’ button which is conveniently located on the right-hand side of the top-plate, activates the bokeh effect. This function effectively adjusts the optical aperture to blur the background while maintaining the focus on the subject. The setting has two levels and can be turned on and off while filming.

ZV-1 Feature: Product Showcase

This feature is likely to prove popular with YouTuber’s creating product unboxing and review videos. When shooting video, most cameras default to focusing on the subjects face. When you want to show a particular product to the camera, the autofocus tends to keep focus on the face and the product will appear blurry. The smaller the item, the harder it is for the camara to change focus.

You will often see YouTubers placing their hand behind the product and hiding their face so the camera is forced to change focus. Thanks to this latest feature, product reviewers can show the item to the camera and it weill automatically focus on the product while blurring the subject. This feature can be activated by pressing the ‘C2’ button, located at the rear of the camera. I for one felt that this was a nice touch and just shows how much attention Sony is paying to this new and growing market of content creators.

ZV-1 Feature: Rotating Display

Anybody who regularly creates and presents and visitors knows just how important it is to be able to see yourself talking to the camera. To this end, Sony have added a fully rotatable LED display that flips out to the side and can rotate 360 degrees. I’ll be honest here however and put it out there that Sony have really fallen short of what is needed here. While the screen is touchscreen, the only feature you can control here is the selection of your subject for focus tracking. While this is a great feature, and one likely to get a lot of use, you can not use the touchscreen to change mode, any of the settings or to navigate the menus. Should you wish to change any settings then you will need to use the dials and buttons at the rear of the camera. If you are facing the camera, you will either need to move behind the camera or turn the camera round. This, we feel, really lets this camera down.

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Vloggers and influencers rejoice, the Sony ZV-1 is a purpose-built compact camera blending the proven imaging capabilities of the RX100-series …
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Vloggers and influencers rejoice, the Sony ZV-1 is a purpose-built compact camera blending the proven imaging capabilities of the RX100-series …
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1 Comment
  1. 3.85
    Video Quality
    80
    Still Image Quality
    70
    Portability
    90
    Size and Weight
    70

    Great Camera

    + PROS: Great Video
    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

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