As the owner of a Sony RX100 VI, an excellent little pocket camera, I was intrigued by the new Vlog Camera ZV-1 which looks very much like the successful RX100 range. It appears to be based on the RX100V, with its 24-70mm-equivalent zoom, but the new name tells us we should take this seriously for cooking up our YouTube dishes. And, at £700 it looks like good value for money.
I sometimes wish I were into vlogging, perhaps running a Macfilos channel with sage advice on photography, but I’m not. So the ZV-1 is pretty academic for me. Not that I wouldn’t buy one in a trice if I wanted to do some serious vlogging. As with the RX100 cameras, the size is just right and I suspect it will do as good a job as many a big vlogger out there.
If you dabble in the world of vlogging, however, this could be the camera for you, so it’s worth a mention on Macfilos. It’s almost enough to make me put my vlog hat on.
Here’s what Sony has to say
Quickly Switch Between two modes of Background Bokeh
The ZV-1 offers a simple solution to easily switch between two levels of background blur (bokeh) while recording. Using the new Bokeh Switch function, rapidly adjust the optical aperture between more and less background defocusing blur without losing focus on the subject. Located on top of the camera, this Bokeh button is easily accessible and makes self-shooting a breeze.
Focus on the Subject You Want
The ZV-1 makes it easier than ever to shoot product reviews and similar video content. Gone are the days of placing a hand behind an object to prompt the camera to bring it into focus thanks to a new Product Showcase Setting, which allows for quick and smooth focus transitions between the subject’s face and the object placed in front of the lens.
Building on the leading-edge technology developed for α™ (Alpha™) and RX series cameras, this new compact camera includes advanced autofocus (AF) allowing it to lock on and track subjects with high accuracy and speed while recording. For maintaining focus on the intended subject or subjects in busy environments, Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking for video allows the ZV-1 to stay locked on the subject’s eye/face or seamlessly switch focus between multiple subjects while controlling the AF speed and tracking sensitivity when needed.
Prioritise Your Face
Extreme changes in lighting, like walking outside on a sunny day and suddenly moving from a bright location into shade, are no problem for the ZV-1 thanks to the new Face Priority autoexposure (AE) function. It detects and prioritises the subject’s face and adjusts the exposure to ensure the face is depicted at an ideal brightness in any environment. This AE technology also suppresses an abrupt change in exposure if the subject quickly turns away from the frame to eliminate unexpected blown-out or extremely dark shots.
The ZV-1 features advanced colour science re-engineered to optimise skin tones. To enhance emphasis on the subject’s face – especially when shooting in selfie mode – the ZV-1 creates a smooth and natural complexion, while also maintaining sharp images of the mouth and eyes in both videos and stills.
Crystal Clear Audio
High-quality content requires clear, excellent audio quality, and the ZV-1 is well-equipped to produce just that with reliable and versatile audio options. The ZV-1’s onboard mic features Sony’s latest Directional 3-capsule Mic which was designed for forward-directional audio capture, allowing for clear capture of the subject’s voice while minimising background noise, especially when operating in selfie mode. For added flexibility, the ZV-1 also features a standard 35mm mic jack (3.5mm) and Multi-Interface Shoe™ (MI shoe) making it easy to connect a wide range of external microphones. The ZV-1 is also supplied with a wind screen accessory that fits on the MI shoe to minimise wind interference.
Design and Functionality Optimised for Vlogging
The ZV-1 was designed with content creators and vloggers in mind. This compact, lightweight (approx. 294g / 105.5mm x 60.0mm x 43.5mm) camera is the first Sony compact camera with a side-opening Vari-angle LCD Screen, allowing creators to simplify their setup by utilising the MI shoe for optional external mics without the need of an additional mounting bracket.
Comfortably operate the ZV-1 with one hand thanks to the easy-to-hold comfortable grip and a large movie REC button located on the top of the camera for quick access to video recording, as well as a recording lamp on the front of the camera that indicates if the camera is actively recording.
The ZV-1 also includes major advances in image stabilisation, ensuring steady video even when shooting hand-held while walking. When recording in HD (Active mode), optical and electronic stabilisation methods are combined to reduce shaking up to 11 times that of standard SteadyShot™. When shooting 4K video using Optical SteadyShot (Active mode), there is improvement in stabilisation effect of up to 8 times that of standard SteadyShot. The ZV-1 is also compatible with the GP-VPT2BT Shooting Grip with Wireless Remote Commander, offering additional stability and comfort combined with cable-free connectivity.
Class-Leading AV Features
Despite the small form factor there are a multitude of pro-level movie making capabilities, including:
- 4K movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in high bit-rate XAVC S™ codec.
- Industry-standard 3.5mm microphone input
- Hybrid Log-Gamma (HDR) / S-Gamut3.Cine / S-Log3, S-Gamut3 / S-Log3
- Interval Shooting for stunning time-lapse videos
- Super Slow-Motion recording at up to 1000fps
- Compatibility with ‘Movie Edit add-on’ from the “Imaging Edge™” mobile application for image stabilisation while editing Highlight ability to edit aspect ratios for IG etc.
Live Streaming with the ZV-1
Transform the ZV-1 into a webcam by connecting it to a PCxv via USB, which allows content creators to interact with their followers in real-time while also utilising the advanced imaging technology and unique features of the ZV-1. This new Sony’s PC software will be available in July 2020.
Pricing and Availability
The Vlog Camera ZV-1 will be available in Europe in June 2020, priced at approximately £700 and €800.