Sony zv-1 camera evaluation: a vlog camera

With the release of Sony zv-1 video camera, it can be seen that Sony thinks it is necessary to design a special camera for video photographers to take video.

of course, you can still take photos with this camera, but its specialty is video. Every feature is designed for the creator.

zv-1 is the first video camera in Sony’s rx100 series. It’s lighter, so it’s easy to carry around; the flip screen is very helpful for self portrait vlog; the built-in microphone has good recording quality; and of course, Sony’s far leading auto focus function is indispensable. All this makes it very suitable for short video or vlog creation.

However, the zv-1 also has some shortcomings. The 24-70mm lens is very sharp, and when using the electronic stabilizer, the image cutting rate can be increased by 25%. Its touch screen doesn’t really realize touch function, and it doesn’t have headphone interface. So it’s aimed at people who want to shoot better than their mobile phones, but don’t want to be too complicated.

zv-1 is actually a compact rx100 V, and some new technologies are added. It has a relatively small 1-inch sensor with 20 million pixels and a fixed 24-70mm f / 1.8-2.8mm equivalent lens. So it’s not as versatile as a video camera, but it’s much better than the video capabilities of a mobile phone.

zv-1 also has some functions that advanced non reflective cameras don’t have. The first is the high-quality built-in microphone, which has noise reduction function and can effectively improve the radio quality. If the radio quality is still unsatisfactory, you can connect an external microphone, or directly use Sony’s hot boot microphone, and the continuity will be saved. Unfortunately, this camera doesn’t have a headphone port, so it can’t monitor the audio effect in real time.

zv-1 is not equipped with an electronic viewfinder, so you can only use the display screen to view the scene. Fortunately, this is a display that can be completely flipped to the side. It will not block the external microphone or tripod. It is very friendly to vlog creators.

the brightness of the display is very good and can be used in the sun, but there is a strange problem: in the sun, people wearing polarized sunglasses can hardly see the screen content. Probably because the outer layer of the screen itself is polarized for better visibility.

like other Sony cameras, you can set the focus with the touch screen, but you can’t control the main menu or operate the quick menu. It’s very inconvenient. It’s also an old problem with Sony cameras. When shooting a video, you can only change the settings through complicated operations. Other brands of cameras can rely on touch to control the menu. I wonder why Sony insists on not changing.

Sony rx100 series uses metal material, but zv-1 uses plastic body. And it’s not waterproof, which means it won’t be an excellent sports camera. Fortunately, there won’t be many people recording vlog videos in the rain.

zv-1 is equipped with a uhs-i SD card slot. Due to the compactness of the body, it is obvious that it can not accommodate two cards, which is understandable. And uhs-i is fast enough to record 4K 30fps video. It should be noted that the speed of uhs-i can not meet the needs of continuous shooting very well. Those who need continuous shooting performance should pay attention to rx100 v.

another drawback of zv-1 is that its Mini USB interface does not use the popular usb-c interface. Although the battery capacity is very small, charging the camera directly is still a little slow. When you shoot video at 4K resolution, it only lasts about an hour, so you need to bring not only multiple batteries, but also a charger when you go out to shoot.

take a look at the video experience of zv-1. The 24-70mm f / 2.8-4 is enough for most shooting scenes. However, due to the problem of stability, 24mm focal length can not be used to shoot video. Because when you walk or move, optical anti shake cannot stabilize the picture. Although active electronic anti shake can stabilize the picture, it will cut 25% of the picture.

the difference between zv-1 and other Sony cameras is that it stores gyroscope data, so even if you have turned off the anti shake function, you can also use Sony’s camera App for anti shake processing in the later stage. It is much better than using premiere alone for anti shake treatment.

the best thing about this camera is Sony’s autofocus. Its focus performance is similar to Sony’s latest rx100 VII and reflexes. Even if you turn around or walk out of the focus box, it can always track the subject. If you want to track a moving object, just touch and lock it on the screen with your hand, and the camera will follow steadily.

face and eye detection is essential for video capture, and flaky phenomena may occur on other cameras. But on the Sony zv-1, it’s almost perfect. The only pity is that when the camera suddenly changes from a dark environment to a bright environment or two faces appear in the lens, it is better to lower the focus tracking by one gear. The Sony zv-1’s eye focus really allows it to be used to take pets or actions, but I think it’s only suitable for taking pictures, not videos.

now there are many video creators who often shoot mobile phone products or cosmetics. Sony’s zv-1 has a new “product showcase” feature. When you are recording your own video, put any object in front of the camera lens and it will immediately focus on the object instead of locking it to the face. In this way, you don’t have to click on the screen to switch the focus. You can save a lot of trouble and you won’t miss useful shots. This feature must be used with a tripod, as SteadyShot stabilization and auto focus of face / eyes are turned off.

another excellent autofocus feature is background rendering. In this way, the subject can be highlighted in a soft background. And you don’t need complicated operations, just press a button.

zv-1 has built-in ND filter, which can darken the image by three levels, so there is no need to increase the shutter speed to a high level. So it can be competent for outdoor shooting under strong light.

but the tradition of Sony cameras has come again. The ND filter will not be set automatically in any video mode, and it must be turned on or off manually.

how can vlog be less beautiful! Sony zv-1 can obviously eliminate skin defects by using AI function. Although it looks a bit fake when the beauty range is large, but natural when the beauty setting is low, how many people will choose the low setting?

the auto exposure mode is not preferred for people who take vlog videos, because the exposure settings of most cameras cause the picture to flicker. However, zv-1 has the function of face priority exposure, which can keep the face exposure stable even if the ambient light changes.

even better, zv-1 can smoothly increase the exposure when the ambient light changes. In this way, you can shoot in shutter priority or aperture priority mode. It is very suitable for novices who don’t use manual mode. Of course, zv-1 also supports shooting in manual mode.

like Sony’s rx100 series cameras, the zv-1 has a small sensor, but its video quality is excellent. The video uses 4K supersampling, so it is very clear, without jagged or ripple.

zv-1 supports shooting with Sony’s s s-log3 or HLG settings. Since there is no 10 bit shooting mode, it is not a professional camera, but no one would expect such a small camera to support 10 bit shooting. In fact, when shooting 4K video, the camera has become very hot. If the processing burden of the camera is greater, the fuselage may be too hot.

zv-1 supports ISO 3200 or ISO 6400, which is enough for small sensor cameras. Since there is not much adjustable space in the later stage, the correct exposure should be ensured when shooting materials, and the final video effect is excellent.

in terms of photographing, although this zv-1 is not a camera for photos because it does not have a viewfinder, its imaging is actually close to that of the rx100 VI. The main advantages of photographing are shutter speed and autofocus speed. With autofocus and auto exposure enabled, it can shoot continuously at 24 fps. Combining Sony’s powerful facial and eye tracking capabilities, it’s easy to take clear pictures.

no camera is perfect. Sony zv-1 has wide-angle lens and active stabilization. It would be perfect to add a headphone connector and a touch screen that works well.

these requirements may be too harsh. Sony has added powerful autofocus, flip screen and high-quality microphone to the small video camera. It should be a particularly good upgrade device for people who are still using mobile phones to shoot vlog.

However, the single machine price of 5199 yuan is not cheap. In fact, Sony’s reflex less camera A6100 and Canon M50 are cheaper than it. But, after all, zv-1 integrates new technologies, making it easier to use and in some ways more powerful. If you’re a novice and just want to simply record video, zv-1 is quite suitable.

Author: zmhuaxia