Sony are no stranger to cameras of this kind, the RX100 series has often been a great option for vloggers and content creators but with this new camera, Sony have really doubled down on what helps vloggers and videographers create without worrying about settings and potential issues.
It’s certainly a big step up from users looking to upgrade from using their phone but it has enough features to satisfy even a veteran vlogger.
There’s several things that make this a great camera for vlogging. As you’d expect, it can record 4K video at up to 30 frames per second and for those of us who like a bit of slow motion, it can handle full HD at up to 120 frames per second. There are even high frame rate modes built in that go up to 960 frames per second if you want to capture some super fast action.
With a 24-70mm (35mm equivalent) lens with a nice bright f/1.8-2.8 aperture, it’s got a great all rounder focal range, allowing for wide shots while vlogging or shooting landscape and the ability to punch in for portraits and closer shots.
When shooting in video mode, there’s a built in ND option which allows you to keep your shutter speed at double your frame rate while avoiding super washed out footage. That’s a big plus and something that has been lacking on other cameras.
But there are two big things that make this so easy to use as a vlogging camera and something which is going to save potential users a lot of time and effort as they use the camera. Those two features are the excellent image stabilisation and the much improved built in microphone with windsock.
Our recent post outlines how to use a camera for live streaming which may be ideal for this camera and users too!
Let’s start by talking about the image stabilisation in the camera. To put it plainly, it just works, it smooths out footage, even walking and makes things like vlogging while walking or moving around an absolute breeze. You won’t need to do anything in post production to smooth it out, you’ll have a nice steady shot to play with.
The second feature, a much improved built in microphone with windsock is something that may not excite everyone; but believe me when I say it’s a huge part of what makes this camera so easy to use.
You may have heard the old adage that the worst thing that can happen to a video is bad audio - it’s something that is so immediately apparent and so off putting that it’s hard to overstate how important it is to avoid. Usually, if you’re looking to vlog, you’ll need an external mic attached to the top of the camera or a lavalier mic attached to you. That’s still the way to get the best possible audio and to that point, the ZV-1 does have a mic jack for you to connect an external mic if you want; but something the ZV-1 does differently is focus a bit more on the built in microphone.
It’s a significant improvement from what you would normally get (you can hear it in our video below) and it even comes with a windsock to remove unwanted noise from wind. That means that you can head out with just this camera, no external mic, and be confident that you can capture some decent vlogs. You don’t have to worry about the wind or your mic running out of batteries and that means you’re able to think entirely about the vlog itself.
As you would probably expect from a Sony at this point, it has real-time eye autofocus as well as real time tracking (face / subject) which makes focusing a total breeze. It means you never really have to think about it as the camera will keep you or your subject in focus allowing you to concentrate on other things. If you’re using an Auto exposure mode, it will prioritise your face for Auto Exposure in case of bright backgrounds or other issues. It’s clear that it’s been designed with keeping things as easy as possible.
The actual image quality from the camera is nice and sharp with some enhancements to colour and skin tones. Sony has made great strides with this and it’s clear to see while using the camera.
This is a small camera and it’s super lightweight, perfect for vlogging. It’s amazing how ergonomic it feels in the hands given its size and with a nice big 3-inch touch screen on the back, it's super easy to use. Naturally the screen rotates all the way round so you can see yourself while vlogging and it’s a nice, bright screen, great for sunny days.
Ultimately, this camera is great for anyone looking to get into vlogging, YouTube or just to upgrade from a smartphone. There’s enough features packed into the camera to make it easy to use while still versatile for what you want to achieve and you can tell it’s been made with creators in mind. The addition of an improved microphone is fantastic and something which makes vlogging a doddle.
You can check out the camera for yourself over on our website and watch our video review below.
*Live Streaming Firmware Update*
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. It looks like this compact vlogging camera just got even better!
Download the latest Sony ZV-1 firmware here.
The flagship A1 camera introduced in 2021 delivers 8k video, which provides professional users with the absolute pinnacle of current movie capabilities. Whilst these two models are aimed at entirely different markets they both capture outstanding video, testament to the ZV-1’s capabilities as a compact model.
By Park Cameras on 26/06/2020
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