Sony has officially announced the ZV-1, a compact camera designed specifically for video recording. Even more specifically, it is designed for vlogging. Are essentially based on the same core as the popular RX100 point and shoot camera line, but optimized for video with some of the features that will be of interest to people who regularly need to shoot scenes for themselves.
The Sony ZV-1 will retail for $799.99 but will have an introductory price of $749.99 through June 28. It should begin shipping June 11.
Sony is debuting a pair of new modes of approach to the ZV-1, which are specifically designed for vloggers. One is a setting button for “Background Defocus”, which automatically adjusts the camera for maximum bokeh effect in the background. It is an environment that you could achieve on your own by using the aperture setting and other configuration options, but Sony is trying to make it easier.
The other option is called “Product Showcase.” As with Background Blur, is a shortcut to the camera settings that you could achieve on your own if you know how to navigate Sony’s arcane menu system. What that does is turn off the setting to keep the camera focused on the faces, above all, so that when you bring something in the frame in front of his face, the camera focuses on.
Therefore, if a youtube user wanted to show a beauty product or gadget you are reviewing for your channel, this option would be very simple to make sure that the camera focuses on the product when in the plot and in the vlogger when it is not.
If you’re familiar with the RX100 series, you will be immediately familiar with the ZV-1. It is constructed off exactly the same chassis, and has essentially the same internal capabilities as the latest RX100 VII, including shooting in 4K with all the Sony, the fantasy of the eyes-auto focus and image profiles. What Sony has essentially done here is the address of vloggers’ biggest gripes with the RX100 VII and removed some of the more expensive components.
If you are not familiar with the RX100 series, Sony premium point-and-shoot line of cameras. Are almost the same size as that of the digital cameras you used to own before their smartphone, but filled with optical capabilities, and at a price that far exceeds what you would expect in such a small body.
It makes more sense to compare the ZV-1 with the RX100 VII, as the two share the same sensor and processing power. The ZV-1 keeps the 4K capabilities, the built-in mic, and the broad set of options (all found in the hugely complex menu system). But Sony has improved the hardware for vloggers in a couple of ways:
- The change to a lens with less zoom capability, but a wide f/1.8 aperture. It is important that the vloggers that are usually shot up close and will want more background blur.
- Bring back the built-in neutral density filter, which makes shooting in bright sunlight easier. Both the ND filter and the 28-70mm-equivalent lens, are essentially the same as in the RX100 V.
- Replacement of the screen that is used for the inclination with which it is articulated to the side, which makes it easier to position it so you can see what the camera is doing.
- The addition of an improvement in the camera of a three-microphone array, and the grouping of wind from the guard.
- The addition of a front recording indicator and a larger video recording button.
- The addition of a larger grip.
- The addition of Sony’s multi-interface shoe with additional microphones or other accessories to the camera.
These are major improvements, but there are a couple of drawbacks:
- There is No pop-up electronic viewfinder.
- There is No flash.
- There is no focus ring around the lens for manual focus require the use of the small dial on the back of the camera.
- You do not have a magnesium body, so it feels a little less premium.
Finally, since it shares many parts with the RX100, it also shares some of its known problems, including the charging via Micro USB instead of the more modern USB-C.
We have been very impressed with the RX100 VII as a vlogging camera, mainly because Sony finally did the thing that everyone was asking for the addition of a microphone jack in it. With the ZV-1, Sony is addressing even more complaints — the company claims that it actually began development as recently as in October, and did so in direct response to the vloggers of the applications.
Although the ZV-1 looks very good on paper, some of the drawbacks that could give the pro and semi-pro users some pause. We don’t know if they are really lost until you give us the opportunity to review for ourselves.