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Sony ZV-E1 Review

The a7S III is Sony’s only current full-frame camera with a modest pixel count, however that’s all about to change with the release of the Sony ZV-E1. The ZV-E1 is the latest interchangeable lens vlogging camera to join the Alpha mirrorless range and it arrives packed with new and upgraded technology. Sony has combined the best features from their mirrorless and Pro video line of cameras to make content creation for YouTube and streaming easier than ever before.

Sony ZV-E1 Review and Specs Comparison

Our Sony ZV-E1 review includes a specs comparison with the award winning crop-sensor ZV-E10 and professional A7S III. Specifications highlight the key differences between these three video-centric cameras in order for you to discover everything you need to know and decide whether the new full-frame cinematic vlogging body is right for you.

How much is the Sony ZV-E1?

One of the first things you need to know is the Sony ZV-E1 price. The RRP is £2,350.00, which compares favourably to the flagship video-centric A7S III, which costs £1,200 more. The ZV-E1 is considerably more expensive than the ZV-E10, which is just £669.00 and shows where the professional vlog camera sits in the range.

Sample image from the ZV-E1

Sample image from the ZV-E1

Key Sony ZV-E1 specs

This is Sony’s first full-frame vlog-centric camera body, and is based on the compact A7C form factor. It arrives with some of the most advanced video capabilities for creators, which is packed into the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera (with stabilisation), including:

  • Full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor with 12.1 megapixels
  • BIONZ XR image processor
  • Dedicated AI processing unit with human poses and subject deep learning
  • 4K/60p 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording without pixel binning
  • Live streaming 4K/30p and Full HD 60p UVC/UAC via USB
  • Active and Dynamic Active image stabilisation + 5 Axis in-body stabiliser
  • 3-Capsule Mic
  • Clear Image Zoom
  • Tally Lamp, REC button, S&Q switch, Vari-angle LCD and REC display with red border

Sample daffodils photo taken with ZV-E1 and Sony FE 20-70mm F/4 G Lens (no EXIF data available)

Sample daffodils photo taken with ZV-E1 and Sony FE 20-70mm F/4 G Lens (no EXIF data available)

These impressive core features are designed to help creators make the most appealing video content for their audience, but it doesn’t stop there. Sony has promised a firmware update coming June 2023, which will add 4K/120p (with 10% crop) and Full HD/240p in S&Q to the ZV-E1. This puts the internal recording capabilities at the top-end of what’s possible with a prosumer camera body. Using the full-resolution of the sensor can look equally as impressive as the 8K video which the Sony A7R V offers.

Sample food image

Sample photo from ZV-E1

Content creation just got easier

Creating content takes a combination of skills and the ZV-E1 makes the process easier with a series of new and upgraded features, many of which are based around the AI deep learning focus processor. This was first seen in the A7R V and paves the way for Sony to develop features such as:

  1. Improved AI powered framing stabiliser and auto framing
  2. User customisable focusing
  3. Deep learning subject detection and Real Time tracking of human poses / human estimation
  4. New subject detection and tracking of birds, cars and trains, planes and insects
  5. Dynamic Active and Optical Active stabilisation as well as IBIS, rated at 5-stops
  6. Multiple face recognition with auto depth of field
  7. Dual recording over HDMI with / without active cropping

These enhancements confirm that the ZV-E1 is built to capture smoother, sharper and more engaging video with accurate focusing and better framing, leaving you free to be more creative.

Sample portrait image

Sample portrait image

Other easy-to-use content features include:

  • Product Showcase Set
  • Background Defocus
  • Soft Skin Effect
  • Creative Look
  • Custom function
  • Picture Profile
  • Time-lapse
  • Cinematic Vlog Setting
  • Auto Framing
  • Framing Stabiliser
  • My Image Style

100 percent crop from sample photo

100% crop from sample photo above.

Sony ZV-E1 specs comparison with ZV-E10 and A7S III

The specs comparison table shows how the ZV-E1 fits neatly between the vlog-styled ZV-E10 and video-centric A7S III. Any Sony vlogging camera comparison, which includes the flagship A7S III demonstrates just how capable the new full-frame vlogging body is.


Sony ZV-E10

Sony ZV-E1

Sony A7S III

Image sensor

24.2MP APS-C type (23.5 x 15.6 mm), Exmor CMOS sensor

12.1 MP Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm) Exmor R BSI-CMOS

12.1 MP Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm) Exmor R BSI-CMOS


Bionz X

Bionz XR

Bionz XR

Maximum Frame Rate Movie

4K 30p / FHD 120p

4K 60p / FHD 120p (4K 120p / FHD 240p coming June 2023 )

4K 120p / FHD 240p

Maximum Bit Rate

8-Bit 4:2:0

10-Bit 4:2:2

10-Bit 4:2:2

Raw Via HDMI



16-Bit RAW

ISO Range

ISO 100-32,000

ISO 80-102,400

ISO 80-409,600

Image Stabilisation

Active image stabilisation

Active and Dynamic Active image stabilisation + 5 Axis IBIS

5 Axis In Body Image Stabilisation




9.4 Million Dots

LCD Screen

0.92 Million Dots

1.03 Million Dots

1.44 Million Dots

S-Log3 / S-Cinetone




Tally Lamp








Eye AF

Yes + Tracking

YES + Dedicated AI focus processor

Yes + Tracking

Microphone Input

Built In Stereo Mic + Digital Audio Interface

Built In 3-Capsule Mic + 35mm Jack + Digital Audio Interface

Built In + 35mm Jack + Digital Audio Interface





Dimensions W x H x D

115.2 x 64.2 x 44.8mm

121.0 x 71.9 x 54.3 mm

128.9 x 96.9 x 80.8mm


Sony NP-FW50

Sony NP-FZ100

Sony NP-FZ100

Card Slots

1 x SD (UHS-I compliant)

1 x SD

2 x CF Express Type A / SD

Even a quick glance confirms that the newest body to join the range offers a fantastic combination of technologies for content creation. Yes, the A7S III remains a high-end professional model for videography, however the ZV-E1 combines newer features for vlog-type solo creators, as well as decent stills capabilities for any photo requirements.

Sample street photo

Sample photo ZV-E1

Sony ZV-E1 photo capabilities

The ZV-E1 does have hybrid capabilities despite being aimed at vlogging and video-first creators. If you want to capture photos you can do so with impressive low light performance, a wide ISO range and fast enough burst for most action. Ket stills features include:

  • 12.1 megapixels stills in a variety of formats including HEIF, 14-bit RAW and JPG
  • 759 phase-detection AF points
  • AF down to -3 EV
  • Native ISO 80 - 102400
  • Shutter speed range of 1/8000 to 30 s
  • Up to 10 fps burst in Hi+ mode with 1000+ RAW lossless compressed photos

Sony NP-FZ100 battery life is impressive too, with 570 shots from a single charge.

Sony ZV-E1 with zoom lens attached

Is the Sony ZV-E1 easy to use?

Alongside internal upgrades, Sony has updated the exterior camera body for better handling and improved ergonomics. These make it easier to use, with better positioning of the Tally Lamp, a large REC button and a Stills / Movie and S&Q toggle switch. The Zoom Lever is also nicely positioned, offering 1.5x digital zoom in 4K and 2x in Full HD, for greater latitude with your Sony lenses.

Naturally the LCD articulates for vlogging angles and offers touchscreen control, along with one-tap access to new Cinematic vlog settings. These predefined looks and moods capitalise on Sony’s wide dynamic range S-Cinetone profile, with instant changes between cinematic, clean, and fresh, amongst other styles.

On the subject of dynamic range, when using S-Log profiles the camera will record 15+ stops of DR, which is ample to pull up shadows and maintain highlights when post processing and colour grading your work. Assignable LUTs help pre visualise how final video will look, although S-Cinetone reduces the workload considerably with automated styles, and Sony leaves you free to choose your preferred workflow.

Is the ZV-E1 audio any good?

The Sony ZV-E1 boasts a built-in 3-capsule microphone, which bucks the trend by capturing excellent quality directional audio, without the need to attach an external camera microphone. It has been upgraded and users can direct the mic in the direction of the subject, through front, rear and all direction recording.

You can also add an external mic via the 3.5mm jack, as well as cable and battery-free options, such as the Sony ECM-G1 and Sony ECM-B10, which also offers three directional modes.

The best accessories for the Sony ZV-E1

Creators often rely on video accessories to create the most engaging movies possible and Sony has provided versatile connectivity to ensure you can add the right tools to get the job done. There’s a micro HDMI port for external monitors and recorders, a headphone jack for audio monitoring and the aforementioned 3.5mm jack for a microphone.

Aside from these, the powerful MI hot shoe (Multi Interface) allows you to add a cable and / or battery-free accessories including Sony fit flashguns, such as the Sony HVL-F60RM2 and professional Handheld Wireless Microphone Kit Sony UWP-D22/K33.

The camera offers live streaming via USB to a computer and you’ll find a USB-C port on the camera body, as well as compatibility with the Sony GP-VPT2BT Shooting Grip.

Buying into the established Sony mirrorless ecosystem opens up a wealth of creative possibilities through dozens of high quality mirrorless lenses, from both Sony and third party manufacturers. The benefit of sticking with a Sony lens is compatibility with stabilisation and AF and the impeccable quality which many Sony lenses deliver. If you’re new to the system consider the Sony ZV-E1 Camera with 28-60mm f/4-5.6 Zoom Lens Kit as a cost effective body and lens combination.

How to share content with the ZV-E1

As well as built-in live streaming over USB, you can transfer files and control camera functionality with your smartphone using Imaging Edge Mobile for Apple and Android. Sony also recently introduced the Creators' Cloud service, which harnesses cloud-based AI for production and collaborations.

Sony ZV-E1 Review | is THIS the BEST CAMERA for SOLO Videographers?

Watch our video review here.


The ZV-E1 combines some of the best technologies available from Sony in order to capture professional video and vlogging content for your audience. It achieves this through a tried-and-tested backside-illuminated full-frame sensor, paired with a high-speed processor, and the addition of a dedicated AF processor that employs deep learning AI for accurate subject detection and tracking.

You can record movies with predefined styles and moods, or capture beautiful 4K 60p using the full sensor manually with 15+ stops of dynamic range and colour grade your shots later. We already know that Sony will be adding 4K 120p and 240p in Full HD, which puts the ZV-E1 at the very top of any vlogging-type camera available today and on par with pro video cameras like Sony’s own FX3. All this tech is crammed into a body smaller than the compact A7C, making it highly portable and easy to work with, even when filming on the go.

Creating great video content for YouTube and other platforms also requires excellent sound quality, and the ZV-E1 delivers in a variety of ways through internal and optional external microphones.

Reserve your Sony ZV-E1 full frame mirrorless camera today and benefit from a slew of professional features to take your content up a notch or three.

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By Nick Dautlich on 29/03/2023

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