Sony’s new ZV-1 compact camera for vloggers
Today, Sony introduces the Sony ZV-1 compact camera, which looks rather like a modified RX-100 series style camera. However, aside from the sensor and processor, which is, in fact, borrowed from the Cyber-shot RX-100 Mark VII advance compact camera, Sony says much of the new ZV-1 has been re-designed for content creators shooting video for social media sites, particularly YouTube. It’s why Sony is considering it the first of a totally new product line, and not just a new camera.
According to those at Sony, the new easy-to-use video-focused compact camera attempts to fill a gap in the imaging industry for this type of video creator, since the current video tools in the marketplace are not meeting many of the needs of this type of content creator, particularly vloggers who are producing lots of video on a daily basis.
Here are some of the important specs on the new Sony camera:
- Like recent RX-100 series cameras, the ZV-1 features a 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor and a 24-70mm F1.8-2.8 ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T large-aperture lens.
- The ZV-1 also includes the latest-generation BIONZ X image processor with front-end LSI delivering high resolution as well as low noise for superior image quality.
- Another standout feature is that the ZV-1 is Sony’s first compact camera with a side-opening Vari-angle, or swiveling touchscreen LCD screen, making it easier to compose your shots in selfie mode while connecting external audio accessories.
- And Sony says that in order to meet any video need, the ZV-1 contains advanced video features including 4K movie recording and in-body image stabilization.
Part of the reason Sony said it needed to come out with such an advanced compact camera is that many of those using other compact cameras for social media have found they often miss the focus, produce dim or dull colors, have issue with image stabilization, capture poor-quality audio and have confusing and difficult settings. So, for much of the recent press briefing, Sony attempted to demonstrate how the ZV-1 could meet the needs of YouTube-type content creators. Some of the action points included the ability to simplify focus and improve color, offer high quality audio and produce a camera design that was optimized for video creators. Plus, Sony said they needed to include “class-leading video features.
The Sony ZV-1 will have a number of additional advanced video features, including advanced autofocusing features. Sony says it’s a fast hybrid AF system, which uses both phase- and contrast-detection technology to autofocus accurately. Other features include Real-Time AF tracking and Real-Time Eye AF in movie mode.
Another impressive feature is that the ZV-1 has a product showcase setting. When using this feature, the camera will move from focusing on a subject’s face to focusing on an object, which is a very useful feature for YouTube.
Sony has also made some conspicuous changes to various buttons and controls. For example, the video record button is now quite large. Also, in addition to the flipout LCD, there is also a front-facing record light, to let you know you’re recording, and an easy to hold grip. And because this model is focused on video, Sony has removed some features on the RX100 Mk VII that are more still-photography-centric: The new ZV-1 lacks a popup viewfinder, popup flash and a control ring.
Last but not least, Sony says this model will offer much better audio quality than you’ll often find in compact cameras with its new onboard mic, which features Sony’s latest Directional 3-capsule Mic that was designed for forward-directional audio capture, “allowing for clear capture of the subject’s voice while minimizing background noise, especially when operating in selfie mode.” And for added flexibility, the ZV-1 also features an industry standard mic jack (3.5mm) and Multi Interface Shoe (MI shoe), making it easy to connect a wide range of external microphones. You also get a wind-screen accessory that fits on the MI shoe to minimize wind interference.
Pricing and Availability
The new ZV-1, which you can begin ordering today, will be available in stores June 11 for $799. And from now until June 28, the camera will be $50 off and sell for $749. Sony will also be selling a special ACCVC1 Vlogger Kit for $149, but will be available in June 2020 with a special introductory offer of $50 off when purchased together with ZV-1 (at participating retailers) through June 28, 2020 in U.S.
For more information, see the press release below.
[[ press release ]]
Sony Electronics Introduces the Digital Camera ZV-1, A Newly Designed Camera for Video Content Creators
New Video-Forward Design and Compact Body Packed with Advanced Imaging Technology and Easy-to-Use Functionality
SAN DIEGO – May 26, 2020 –Sony Electronics Inc. today has announced the new pocket-sized digital camera ZV-1 (hereafter referred as “ZV-1”) – a lightweight, compact “all-in-one” style solution. Designed from the ground up for content creators and vloggers, the ZV-1 combines easy-to-use features with uncompromising imaging technology, making this the perfect tool for any content creator at all skill levels.
“Sony’s new ZV-1 was purpose-built to meet the needs and demands of today’s video creators,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Product and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “We are always listening to our customers, and this camera is the result of direct feedback from our extended community. Featuring an innovative design plus many new technologies, settings and modes, it will allow creators to make content in ways they have never been able to before.”
The ZV-1 features a 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS® CMOS image sensor with DRAM chip and 24-70mm[i] F1.8-2.8 ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* large-aperture lens creating beautiful background bokeh (background blur), allowing the subject to stand out from the background. The camera locks on to and tracks subjects with high accuracy and speed using Sony’s leading-edge autofocus system. The ZV-1 also includes the latest-generation BIONZ X™ image processor with front-end LSI delivering high resolution as well as low noise for superior image quality. It also combines this exceptional imaging technology with high-quality and versatile audio options. The ZV-1 is Sony’s first compact camera with a side-opening Vari-angle LCD screen, making it easier to compose your shots in selfie mode while connecting external audio accessories. To meet any video need, the ZV-1 contains advanced video features including 4K movie recording[ii] and in-body image stabilization.
Meeting the Needs of Today’s Content Creators
Quickly Switch Between two modes of Background Bokeh
The ZV-1 offers a simple solution to easily switch between two levels of background bokeh while recording. Using the new Background Defocus function, users can rapidly adjust the optical aperture between more and less background defocusing blur without losing focus on the subject. Located on top of the camera, this Bokeh button is easily accessible and makes selfie shooting operation a breeze.
Focus on the Subject You Want
The ZV-1 makes it easier than ever to shoot product reviews and similar video content. Gone are the days of placing a hand behind an object to prompt the camera to bring it into focus thanks to a new Product Showcase Setting, which allows for quick and smooth focus transitions between the subject’s face and the object placed in front of the lens.
Building on the leading-edge technology developed for α™ (Alpha brand) and RX series cameras, this new compact camera includes advanced autofocus (AF) allowing it to lock on and track subjects with high accuracy and speed while recording. For maintaining focus on the intended subject or subjects in busy environments, Real-time Eye AF[iii] and Real-time Tracking AF for video allows the ZV-1 to seamlessly switch focus between multiple subjects while controlling the AF speed and tracking sensitivity.
Prioritize Your Face
Extreme changes in lighting, like walking outside on a sunny day and suddenly moving from a bright location into shade, are no problem for the ZV-1 thanks to the new Face Priority autoexposure (AE) function. It detects and prioritizes the subject’s face and adjusts the exposure to ensure the face is depicted at an ideal brightness in any environment. This AE technology also suppresses an abrupt change in exposure if the subject quickly turns away from the frame to eliminate unexpected blown-out or extremely dark shots. In addition, the camera features a new advanced color science that has been re-engineered to optimize skin tones for any subject in both still and video modes.
Crystal Clear Audio
High quality content requires clear, excellent audio quality, and the ZV-1 is well-equipped to produce just that with reliable and versatile audio options. The ZV-1’s onboard mic features Sony’s latest Directional 3-capsule Mic which was designed for forward-directional audio capture, allowing for clear capture of the subject’s voice while minimizing background noise, especially when operating in selfie mode. For added flexibility, the ZV-1 also features an industry standard mic jack (3.5mm) and Multi Interface Shoe™ (MI shoe) making it easy to connect a wide range of external microphones. The ZV-1 is also supplied with a wind screen[iv] accessory that fits on the MI shoe to minimize wind interference.
Design and Functionality Optimized for Vlogging
The ZV-1 was designed with content creators and vloggers in mind. This compact, lightweight (approx. 294g / 105.5mm x 60.0mm x 43.5mm) camera is the first Sony compact camera with a flip-out, tiltable LCD Screen, allowing creators to simplify their setup by utilizing the MI shoe for optional external mics without the need of an additional mounting bracket.
Comfortably operate the ZV-1 with one hand thanks to the easy-to-hold comfortable grip and a large movie REC button located on the top of the camera for quick access to video recording, as well as a recording lamp on the front of the camera that indicates if the camera is actively recording.
The ZV-1 also includes advances in image stabilization, ensuring steady video even when shooting hand-held while walking. When recording in HD (Active mode), optical and electronic stabilization methods are combined to reduce shaking up to 11 times[v] that of standard SteadyShot™ image stabilization. When shooting 4K video using Optical SteadyShot (Active mode), there is improvement in stabilization effect of up to 8 times[vi] that of standard SteadyShot. The ZV-1 is also compatible with the GP-VPT2BT Shooting Grip with Wireless Remote Commander, offering additional stability and comfort combined with cable-free Bluetooth® connectivity.
Class-Leading AV Features
Despite the small form factor there are a multitude of pro-level movie making capabilities, including:
- 4K movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in high bit rate XAVC S™ codec. [vii]
- Industry standard 3.5mm microphone input
- Hybrid Log-Gamma (HDR) [viii] / S-Gamut3.Cine / S-Log3, S-Gamut3 / S-Log3
- Interval Shooting[ix] for stunning time-lapse videos[x]
- Super Slow Motion[xi] recording at up to 960fps[xii]
- Compatibility with ‘Movie Edit add-on[xiii]’ from the “Imaging Edge™” mobile application for image stabilization while editing[xiv] Highlight ability to edit aspect ratios for IG etc.
Live Streaming with the ZV-1
Transform the ZV-1 into a webcam by connecting it to a PC[xv] via USB, which allows content creators to interact with their followers in real-time while also utilizing the advanced imaging technology and unique features of the ZV-1. Sony’s new PC software will be available in July 2020.
New Vlogger Accessories Kit
Sony will also be introducing a Vlogger Kit (ACCVC1), which includes a GP-VPT2BT Shooting Grip with Wireless Remote Commander and 64GB Ultra High Speed Media Card. The grip is compatible with a variety of Sony cameras[xvi].
Pair this kit with an external microphone (sold separately), such as Sony’s Stereo Microphone (ECM-XYST1M), for a convenient and simple vlogging setup.
Pricing and Availability
The Digital Camera ZV-1 will be available in June 2020 for a special introductory price of approximately $749 USD through June 28, 2020. After that, the price will increase to approximately $799 USD. The ACCVC1 Vlogger Kit will be available in June 2020 with a special introductory offer of $50 off when purchased together with ZV-1 (at participating retailers) through June 28, 2020 in U.S. and June 25, 2020 in Canada, and can be purchased separately for approximately $149 USD .
Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new camera and Sony’s other imaging products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, a site created to educate and inspire all fans and customers of Sony’s α – Alpha brand.
For full product details, please visit:
[i] Angle of view (35mm format equivalent)
[ii] 4K (QFHD: 3840×2160) Extended continuous video recording is available when setting Auto Power OFF Temp. function to High
[iii] Real-time Eye AF for animals is not available movie shooting
[iv] Audio input itself is via the camera’s internal mic but attaching the wind screen to the mic suppresses wind noise
[v] Image stabilization angle at the wide-angle end of the zoom range. When active mode is on. Relative to angle of view with optical image stabilization on standard mode.
[vi] Image stabilization angle at the wide-angle end of the zoom range. When active mode is on. Relative to angle of view with optical image stabilization on standard mode.
[vii] A Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card is required to record movies in the XAVC S format. UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC card is required for 100Mbps
[viii] Connect this product to an HDR (HLG) compatible Sony TV via a USB cable to display HDR (HLG) movies
[ix] Wi-Fi is not operational during interval shooting
[x] Time-lapse movie creation is possible on a PC
[xi] Audio recording is not available. A Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card is required
[xii] In NTSC mode. Menu allows switching between NTSC and PAL modes
[xiii] Please use the latest version
[xv] Windows® 10
[xvi] Compatible with RX100 VII, Alpha 6100, Alpha 6400, Alpha 6600, Alpha 7 III, Alpha 7R III, Alpha 7R IV, Alpha 9, Alpha 9 II. Firmware must be updated on camera to ensure compatibility.