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Is the Sony ZV-1 all you need for Youtube

Today we’re talking about the new Sony ZV-1 and how it might be the only thing you need to start a YouTube channel. Whether you want to start a vlog or any other kind, the ZV-1 might just have everything you need.

*Live Streaming Firmware Update*

This camera just got better as on the 9th February 2021 Sony announced a new free firmware update for the ZV-1 camera that enables users to easily utilise video and audio for live streaming by connecting the camera directly to their PC or Mac. The firmware capitalises on the high quality video and audio for which the ZV-1 is known, perfect for the rise in social media live streaming or video conferencing. Read our blog post here for tips on how to use your camera for live streaming.

Users with a Sony smartphone can also use their phones to provide a secondary display to keep up to date with comments and live feedback during a broadcast.

Download the latest Sony ZV-1 firmware here.


There’s three main things that you’ll need to start filming yourself. A camera, some kind of microphone and some lighting. You might have looked at other YouTubers and thought that it seemed like a lot of stuff to get. For example, on our own YouTube videos, I’m using a camera, a separate audio recorder with a boom mic, a key light, a fill light and lights behind me to spice up the set; but you don’t need all of that, you can absolutely get started right away.

Sony ZV-1


So let’s cover the first thing, the camera. Obviously the ZV-1 fills this requirement and even better, it shoots 4K video so you get nice, crisp, clear footage. Better yet, it’s got the Sony real-time eye autofocus which tracks your eye in the frame and keeps it in focus. This takes all the hassle out of focusing and means you never have to worry about whether you’re in focus or not.

It also has a nice vari-angle screen so you can see yourself while filming yourself. This makes it so much easier to frame up your shot and monitor what’s going on.


Now, let’s talk about audio. It’s not necessarily the most exciting part of making a video but, it has a huge role in the perceived quality. You can forgive missing focus for a second or a bit of camera shake but bad audio is a quick way to make a bad video. Normally, you’d need to have an external microphone, maybe a shotgun mic on top of the camera or a lav mic attached to you but the ZV-1 has a much improved built in microphone, and it even comes with a windsock.

Using the built in microphone is not something I would ever normally consider but in this case, the audio that you can get from it is easily good enough to use and takes away the hassle of having to use an external mic. Now, it’s still true that you’ll realistically get better quality from an external microphone, after all, it would be a dedicated audio solution; but Sony knows this and they’ve helpfully included a mic jack on the camera so that when you do want to upgrade, you can.


Okay so, to be fair, the ZV-1 doesn’t have any built in lighting but that doesn’t mean that you need to buy continuous lighting with softboxes to get started. There are two very easy ways to light yourself for your video completely for free. The first is by filming outside. You want to position yourself in some shade so that you’re avoiding the harsh sunlight but this can be a great way to get some nice, natural light that’s going to be very flattering. The ZV-1 has a built in ND filter so even on a super bright day, you can get the footage you want without sacrificing depth of field or shutter speed.

The other alternative, if you want to shoot indoors, is to use a window as your light. As long as you don’t have direct sunlight coming through, windows make for a great video light. They essentially work like a big softbox letting in soft, diffused light and if you position yourself with the window slightly off to the side, you can still achieve that slightly more interesting lighting rather than a flat look.

That’s everything you need to start making YouTube videos and all you needed was the one camera. Over time, you can still upgrade various parts of your setup but it gives you a great way to just get started.

You can see the Sony ZV-1 on our website and to see the ZV-1 in action, why not check out our video all about this below.

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By Park Cameras on 26/05/2020

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