Sony recently announced its new compact mirrorless camera aimed for vlogging with features especially curated keeping a specific audience’s needs at heart. The camera includes a compact form factor with larger 20MP sensor and three directional microphones. There’s a hot shoe mount for accessories and tilt adjustable touchscreen display furthermore to fast and responsive autofocus mechanism. Moreover, the camera also includes several other features such as for example 4K video recording, slow-motion recording and more.
The Sony ZV-1 will set you back Rs 77,990, like the shooting grip and for the purchase price, many can argue about its utility and practicality in real-world. After that, the camera must also prove itself in regular day-to-day photography aswell as being a regular point-to-shoot camera.
The specification list is pretty considerable and impressive simultaneously for the camera of its size. Sony did an excellent job at least in on-part specifications.
Sony ZV-1 camera: Design and construction
Sony ZV-1 is a concise and lightweight camera with dimensions measuring 105.5 x 60.0 x 43.5 mm and weighs 294g. Design-wise, the camera appears like an effective interchangeable lens camera and feels as though one too despite being truly a fixed lens camera. However, the compact and rather smaller grip on the proper side will not offer that confidence to be in a position to shoot using one hand or while recording when the camera is facing yourself. Although the button position is good and one-hand functions certainly are a lot easier than we first thought. One may easily reach the recording button or zoom ring without much effort regardless of how you possess the camera.
The camera includes a fixed 1-inch 20MP Exmor CMOS sensor with a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens which makes it much less versatile as interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras. Still, concurrently, this makes more sense for bloggers, especially those looking for an upgrade from their cell phones.
The three directional microphones are put near the top of the camera alongside the energy, mode, shutter and zoom controls. Towards the trunk, there’s a 3-inch vari-angle display along with multipurpose dial, delete, menu and preview buttons.
Bottom side of the camera includes a tripod mount and battery compartment. The camera includes a solid build and will not feel cheap at all.
Sony in addition has announced a shooting grip for the ZV-1 camera that transforms into a tiny tripod and in addition offers some controls such as for example zoom and record. The shooting grip, according to us, is a good addition to the ZV-1 kit taking into consideration the convenience it offers.
Sony ZV-1 camera: Features
If one place where Sony ZV-1 cameras absolutely shines is in the image and video quality. We will speak about a little later in this review, but before that, let’s look into the features it includes.
Despite featuring a tiny 1-inch sensor, Sony ZV-1 does not have any shortage of features. The camera offers easy switching between video and photography mode. It also includes a memory recall feature to help expand simplify things for users. Moreover, in addition, it allows users to play with several areas of the image and video quality such as for example contrast, exposure, several photographs and video quality and more.
It also has a fast-hybrid AF system for faster autofocus while shooting videos and stills with a couple of focus modes such as for example Single-shot AF, Automatic AF, Continuous AF, DMF and Manual Focus. Yes, the camera offers a manual AF system aswell. Then there’s object tracking, Eye AF, several shooting modes, scene selection, built-in ND filter, super slo-mo, panorama, timelapse and more.
All of this is impressive, but there are few limitations aswell. To begin with, the camera will not have a viewfinder which means the user would depend after the 3-inch display, which is bright enough to give a fair amount of visibility outdoors. One more thing is the insufficient dedicated sound jack, which means you can’t hear in real-time everything you are recording.
Things even get uglier when you begin using the camera. There’s a touchscreen at the trunk, but that may only be used to create focus tracking points rather than for navigating through menus. This is simply not new for Sony, their cameras with touch screens usually do not offer this functionality. However, in cases like this, it is much problematic for a vlogger to attain to the trunk of the camera to adapt some settings.
Another significant issue may be the inclusion of an excellent old micro-USB port. We were surprised to see that in the camera when we removed the plastic flap covering it. Although the camera could be charged using the micro USB port, a Type-C port could have been an improved substitute for go with here.
Let’s also speak about the camera menu, a one-stop source for all your settings and features. It’s such as a maze, you open the menu, start digging this feature and your investment way in between. To put it simply, this is a mess.
Sony ZV-1 camera: Performance
There are cameras that may shoot high-quality videos and photos, then there’s Sony ZV-1 camera which was created explicitly for vloggers and it stands to the claims somewhat. The sensor is fast and will capture the right looking stills and video with great degree of stability. But once more there’s a catch here. The 24mm lens isn’t wide enough for vlogging.
The built-in optical image stabilisation offers adequate stabilisation. Still, it isn’t very effective while doing sporty activities or walking and we are glad that Sony has added an electric SteadyShot stabilisation feature to counter such shakes. But that chops the frame by 25% by further narrowing the already narrow field-of-view. When you are prepared to compromise on that part, the image stabilisation is beautiful upon this camera. We recorded a few video handheld and we even didn’t realise that shot was taken without the tripod. Also, the camera gives users the choice to manually apply the stabilisation using the Catalyst Browser app, that is a welcome relief for vloggers.
Let’s speak about another crucial feature that’s very important to vlogging. Sony has blessed the camera with hybrid AF system, that is a combo of phase-detection AF and contrast-detection AF. Then there are 315 points (phase-detection AF), 425 points (contrast-detection AF). As mentioned previously, you will find loads of focus modes and focus types that help the camera give attention to just about anything and everything depending after the settings. Overall the autofocus system on ZV-1 is nearly perfect rather than even in error the camera misses the give attention to targeted subject or object.
To help expand enhance focusing, Sony has added eye and motion tracking features that may track the eyes and movement such as a pro. It could follow the eyes of animals aswell.
Vloggers sometimes endorse something and it could be anything like a device or cosmetic and for that Sony has added something Showcase feature. The feature prioritises the merchandise rather than the facial skin. Suppose you are recording a vlog and suddenly you bring any product or object the camera automatically shifts the focus of the thing by blurring the facial skin a little in the backdrop within a blink of your eyes. We tested this with several products such as for example smartphones, masala box, pen and more and each and every time it worked. No lag, no delay at all. The camera does this by disabling the facial skin priority setting to give attention to the subject for a restricted time. Discussing face priority settings, it keeps the facial skin always in focus and in addition keeps the exposure in balance despite having changing surrounding lighting conditions.
We also tested the backdrop blur feature where in fact the camera blurs the backdrop with a soft bokeh effect while keeping the topic in focus. The cutout around the edges is good and suppose as good as an all natural blur which we enter DSLR cameras. Also, turning on the feature is really as easy as hitting an individual button.
Arriving at the video quality of the camera, the ZV-1 can record up to 4K videos. The very first thing we noticed is that the sensor has good dynamic range and captures far more details that people expected from such a tiny sensor. The video is detailed and sharp. Sony in addition has done an excellent job in balancing the color processing to provide more natural colour tones. Sony ZV-1 can be with the capacity of shooting S-Log3 and HLG settings that further increase the video quality.
Display quality from the camera is acceptable and it serves its purpose. Images taken using the camera also give a fair amount of details, vivid colours and sharpness.
Sony ZV-1 camera: Battery life
The camera includes a little battery power that is rated to provide 260 photographs and 45 minutes of video recording. However they are simply claims and real-world usages are near that. Still, we’d recommend buying a handful of extra batteries.
Sony ZV-1 camera: Verdict
Sony has added a whole lot of features to the ZV-1 camera. The complete autofocus and its own feature pack stick out, the image and video quality will probably be worth the praise and the look and capability of the shooting grip can not be ignored. The amount of customisation and overall flexibility of the camera can be a thing that matters for vloggers. With that said, there are some things that Sony shouldn’t have ignored like a slightly bigger battery, a wider lens setup, a type-C port and slightly more functionality to touchscreen could have made this the very best camera out there for vloggers.