Sony ZV-1 vlogging camera launched
Renowned for its prowess with video and stills, the Sony RX-100 has been reincarnated with the ZV-1. Despite bearing a striking resemblance to the former, the Sony ZV-1 brings a complete suite of video-centric features.
Sony ZV-1 audio improvements
Upon first glance, the top plate of the Sony ZV-1 seems to be the biggest indicator of the changes made over the RX-100 series cameras.
Right smack in the centre is a grille that covers the improved microphones, while the pop-up flash has been replaced with a hot shoe that negates the bulk of an additional cold shoe adapter or cage for mounting accessories.
Though directional three-capsule microphone won’t isolate as well as a shotgun microphone, it will give plenty of voice clarity, some environmental noise and wire-free convenience. The Sony ZV-1 comes with a native dead cat for windy environments.
Also on the top plate is a huge dedicated record button, again cluing in on the ZV-1’s target audience. Physically, the camera is slightly thicker and wider, and has a shorter focal range of 24-70mm as compared to 24-200mm. It does, however, have a brighter max aperture of f1.8-2.8 as compared to the f2.8-4.5 of the RX100 VII.
While it is ideal as a run-and-gun camera for filmmakers, the ZV-1’s side fold-out display (a rarity on a Sony) will definitely appeal specifically to vloggers limited by the flip-up screen on the RX-100. This way, the ZV-1 can better accommodate accessory lights and microphones.
It also brings back the ND filter that the RX100 VII left out for the first time, though it remains an on/off option. It has the same 20-megapixel sensor, along with the same real-time AF, tracking and Eye AF – all great news.
For video resolution, it records 4K at 30 frames per second, and HD at up to 120 frames per second. It supports Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) and HDR to preserve the dynamic range, along with improved stabilisation.
Since it focuses on vloggers, the ZV-1 also packs skin tone adjustments for more natural on-screen. It also has a product showcase mode that quickly refocuses on products placed in the centre of the frame without having to struggle with hunting autofocus.
Most uniquely, it has a defocus mode, which essentially emulates the portrait modes seen on smartphones and lets you blur out the background with a tap of a button.
Should I get the Sony ZV-1?
At USD 800/EUR 800 (SGD 1,135), the Sony ZV-1 is the ideal video-centric camera for those eyeing a compact and dedicated blogging set-up. Ergonomic, audio, video and software improvements make the ZV-1 a value proposition against comparable stills-centric cameras like the RX100 series.
Local pricing and availability of the Sony ZV-1 in Singapore have yet to be announced. Conversions are based on rates at the time of publishing.