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.
- Rotatable flip-out screen
- 4K Video
- Improved auto-focus
- Lense not quite wide enough
- Active stability control results in significant cropping
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.
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.
|Sensor||20.1 megapixel – 1″ Exmor RS CMOS|
|Lens||Fixed ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* (24-70mm equivalent)|
F1.8 – 2.8
F=9.4 – 25.7mm
|Video Quality and Frame Rate||4K @ max 30 fps|
1080 @ max 120 fps (no cropping)
1080 @ max @960 fps (with cropping)
|Microphone||Built-in multi-direction with windshield|
3.5mm microphone jack
|Display||Vari-angle LCD screen, 3″ touchscreen|
|Battery Life||45 min video|
260 still images
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.