This is our Age of Content. We are familiar with the format of most YouTube videos and vlogs. Sony is starting to build cameras that can produce the exact style of video you want.
The Sony ZV-1 is a compact mirrorless full frame system camera designed for content creators. This is the flagship product of Sony’s ZV line of vlog-centric cameras. It uses a 12-megapixel backside-illuminated full frame sensor, similar to the FX3, and mixes in the V’sAI autofocus smarts to lower friction when creating high-quality video content.
Becca Farsace , my colleague, spent a week with this camera. She also tested many of the vlog-centric automated functions. You can read her review below. The ZV-E1’s price of $2,199.99 for the body and $2,499.99 for a kit with an 28-60mm f/4-5 zoom lens will still be a barrier to entry. It launches in May.The ZV-1E1 has a great physical mode switch and a built-in microphone, but no electronic viewfinder.
The new Sony ZV-E1 ultracompact camera is the Alpha line of cameras. It weighs in at just 483g and can be easily transported (as long as you don’t attach the largest, most heavy Sony FE lenses). The Sony A7IV is the jack of all trades and the Sony A7C is 509g.
For that slim stature, sacrifices must be made. The most noticeable is the lack of an electronic viewfinder and the limited number of SD card slots. This can be forgiven if your camera’s articulating screen faces you while filming, or if you prefer to shoot to an external recorder such as an Atomos Nija V. However, you will have to use a Micro HDMI port.
No 8K video, but does it really matter?
Apart from the standard 4K 4:2;2 10-bit filming modes, which can go up to 60fps at 60fps each, the ZV–E1 can also film in 1080p FHD at 120fps. A firmware update will allow for 4K/60 and 1080p/240 later. The camera does not have 8K recording. However, it feels like a logical choice, rather than making the camera bigger for thermals or melting its internals when it overheats. S-Log3 flat and S-Cinetone are supported by the ZV-E1. This feature is still available in the high-end Sony Venice world. S-Cinetone is a very popular profile for content creators looking to create cinematic looks without much fuss. The ZV-E1 offers shortcuts to dramatic and dynamic looks.Touch-friendly controls to the left. A plethora physical buttons and dials to the right.
The ZV-E1’s three-inch articulate touchscreen allows many controls to be dialed into with smartphone-like taps. Cinematic Vlog mode adds drama to the video by switching to a 2.35×1 aspect ratio and enabling S -Cinetone color. You can create emotionally powerful run-and-gun footage by combining this with Dynamic Active stabilization and five-axis in body image stabilization. Dynamic Active stabilizes cropping the image to correct for camera movement. The ZV-E1 also has a built in three-capsule microphone that dynamically adjusts to pick-up the main presenter and minimize atmospheric background noise. It supports UVC for livestreaming or webcam use up to 4K/30p via its USB C port.
Auto Framing sounds like Apple’s Center Stage.
ZV-E1’s AI subject recognition is able to make framing and composition decisions. It can also crop your image to one among multiple subjects that are visible, such as Apple’s Center Stage webcam feature. It is not a good idea to give your camera that much control over your videos. You don’t want it to make mistakes or look too generic.Left-side ports include headphone and mic Jacks, USB-C and HDMI. Unfortunately, the video-out port is a sloppy Micro HDMI and only one SD card slot.
Sony’s ZV-1E1 is designed to simplify the complex tasks of single-operation content creation. However, the camera also has a number of quality-of life features that advanced video creators will appreciate. These include a tally lamp, a zoom lever under the shutter button, 15 stops of dynamic range and ISO sensitivity settings of up to 409 600. The ZV-E1 is also equipped with the much more durable NP-FZ100 battery, which lasts a good deal longer than other ZV models. It’s also the first Sony camera to have a screen reader accessibility function.
This camera is not only for beginners with deep pockets who want to take advantage of automated features. The core of the camera makes it a kind of baby FX3 or A7S III camera for those video professionals who need a second or third. Even though you may feel like you purchased a superbike with clever training wheels, if you are a professional or experienced user of video, it is possible to buy one.