Sony ZV-1 Review

Earlier this yr, Sony launched a brand new collection in its compact digicam lineup with the debut of the ZV-1. Marketed as a ‘vlog digicam,’ the Sony ZV-1 has options specifically designed to make vlogging a lot simpler for novice customers. Its spotlight options embody a compact physique, a completely articulating LCD, and devoted buttons for issues reminiscent of background defocus.

Priced at Rs. 67,990 (MRP), is the brand new Sony ZV-1 value shopping for? I have been utilizing it for a number of weeks and this is what I believe.

Sony ZV-1 design: Extremely pocketable

Whereas many vloggers would favor utilizing mirrorless and even DSLR cameras, Sony goals to supply many of the superior options present in such cameras, however in a extra compact type issue. The size of the Sony ZV-1 are similar to these of Sony’s RX100 VII digital digicam. The ZV-1 weighs about 294g with the battery and reminiscence card, which continues to be fairly mild. It is also sufficiently small to simply slip into your again pocket if wanted.

The Sony ZV-1 is compact and straightforward to hold round


There is a small rubber insert within the entrance, which acts as a mini handgrip, and one other on the again to your thumb. The outer physique is constructed principally of plastic, but it surely feels sturdy and the textured floor gives respectable grip. The highest of the Sony ZV-1 encompasses a hot-shoe connector, a three-capsule microphone, and a collection of buttons. The again of the digicam additionally has some extra buttons, that are smaller than those on the highest, and are usually not the simplest to make use of. The round jog dial on the again additionally doubles up as a directional pad however suggestions is a bit delicate and never very tactile.

With a view to make the ZV-1 vlog-friendly, Sony has moved the film document button from its typical place on the again, to the highest. It is lots bigger too, which makes it simpler to make use of. You additionally get a big, subtle pink LED indicator subsequent to the lens within the entrance to let you understand when video is being recorded.

A 3.5mm microphone enter, Micro-USB port, and Micro-HDMI port are positioned on the suitable of the Sony ZV-1. The ports are coated with plastic flaps, nonetheless these are usually not climate sealed. There isn’t any digital viewfinder on the ZV-1, solely a 3-inch LCD touchscreen. Not like most different compact Sony cameras although, this one is absolutely articulating so it could flip out sideways and rotate 180 levels.

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The Sony ZV-1 has a wide selection of ports


The battery/SD card compartment is on the underside, together with the tripod mount. The hinge for the battery tray really extends over the tripod mount, which implies if it is advisable to swap batteries or SD playing cards throughout a shoot, you must dismount the digicam from the tripod first which might be fairly irritating.

The Sony ZV-1 encompasses a mounted lens with Zeiss optics. It has a focal vary of 24-70mm (35mm equal), 2.7x optical zoom, and an aperture vary of f/1.8 – f/2.8. There is a built-in impartial density (ND) filter for slicing the publicity by a number of stops, which is beneficial in harshly lit environments.

The Sony ZV-1 might be bought as a vlogging equipment, which incorporates an additional battery, a 64GB SD card, and the GP-VPT2BT Bluetooth handgrip. Sony despatched me this equipment for overview, and we’ll discuss in regards to the handgrip a bit later.

Sony ZV-1 specs and options: Spectacular for the value

The Sony ZV-1 encompasses a 1-inch sensor with a 20.1-megapixel decision. There’s optical (SteadyShot) stabilisation for stills, hybrid stabilisation for video, 315 section detection autofocus factors (PDAF), 425 distinction detection autofocus factors, and a most burst seize of about 24 frames per second when utilizing the ‘Hello’ setting. The ZV-1 additionally has eye autofocus (Eye AF) for people and animals when taking pictures stills, and solely people when taking pictures video. The native ISO vary is 100-12,800 and solely the decrease finish is expandable. This digicam additionally helps RAW picture seize in Sony’s ARW format.

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The Sony ZV-1 borrows plenty of options from the RX100 collection


In the case of video, the Sony ZV-1 is able to taking pictures as much as 4K at 30fps, or as much as 1080p at 120fps. There is a devoted excessive framerate (HFR) taking pictures mode which captures ready-to-use slow-motion movies at as much as 1,000fps however in very quick bursts. Given the digicam’s value, it is good to see that Sony hasn’t eliminated the skilled video modes. The ZV-1 helps superior profiles reminiscent of HLG, S-Log2, and S-Log3, amongst others for HDR workflows.

Lastly, the ZV-1 might be linked to your smartphone to reap the benefits of Sony’s Imaging Edge Cell app. The app permits you to remotely management the digicam through the use of your cellphone because the viewfinder. It additionally permits you to switch photographs and video to your smartphone, wirelessly. The digicam has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi n, however no NFC.

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The Sony ZV-1 has a devoted button (C1) for the vlog-centric Background Defocus characteristic


A few of the new vlogging-specific options integrated into the Sony ZV-1 embody Product Showcase. This characteristic is tremendous useful for anybody seeking to current or exhibit a product on digicam, like what we do right here at Devices 360 for instance. When enabled, it basically disables face and eye monitoring so the main target shifts shortly to no matter is being offered to the lens. This characteristic is mapped to the C2 button by default.

Background Defocus is mapped to the C1 button by default and this allows you to get a shallower depth of discipline between your topic/your self and the background. The ZV-1 additionally has a Smooth Pores and skin Impact toggle within the Fast Settings panel, if it is advisable to use a beautification filter to your items to digicam.

Sony ZV-1 efficiency and battery life: Not too shabby

The Sony ZV-1 is a enjoyable little digicam and does not take lengthy to grasp. On account of house constraints, there is a ‘Mode’ button as an alternative of a dial, which helps you to cycle by way of the varied taking pictures modes. Most of those modes ought to be very acquainted. They embody Sweep Panorama, which takes a number of pictures in fast succession and stitches them collectively; Scene Choice in order for you the digicam to regulate its parameters mechanically; and the standard perture, Shutter, Program and Handbook modes. The ZV-1 does not supply the perfect grip in case you have giant fingers however I discovered it manageable. The rear buttons might have had higher tactile response however the shutter and video recording buttons fare a lot better on this respect.

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The Sony ZV-1 has an awkwardly designed battery door hinge, which extends over the tripod mount


As a vlogging digicam, I used to be fairly pleased with the Sony ZV-1. It is simple to handle with one hand because of its low weight and compact measurement. When taking pictures handheld, I principally used it with the Bluetooth handgrip that Sony despatched alongside. This accent connects to the digicam by way of Bluetooth and gives shortcut buttons for zoom, shutter launch, video recording, and the C1 shortcut. There is a lock change that turns the handgrip off to stop unintentional presses. The bottom of the handgrip might be tilted forwards and backwards, or rotated 360 levels. It additionally doubles up as a tripod, which is useful.

The touchscreen was responsive, however I want we might do extra with it than merely change the main target level. As an example, with the digicam pointed at your self when vlogging, it will have been good to have the ability to shortly change settings, somewhat than needing to show the digicam round and fiddle with the buttons.

By way of picture high quality, I discovered the Sony ZV-1 to be very succesful underneath good mild. We start with our ISO check, to see how properly the digicam performs throughout the ISO vary. It is also a great indication of the sort of pictures you’ll be able to anticipate in low mild.

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Sony ZV-1 ISO check


The Sony ZV-1 was in a position to protect particulars very properly until about ISO 1,600, after which the picture started to lose its sharpness a bit. This was very obvious at ISO 3,200. Going up a full cease, we observed slight grain within the picture and the sides of the pencils began to get fuzzy. On the most ISO worth of 12,800, particulars have been weaker, textual content wasn’t as sharp anymore, and there was plenty of seen grain. Nonetheless, I used to be glad to notice that there is not plenty of chroma noise and the picture on the highest ISO degree was nonetheless considerably usable.

When taking pictures stills in daylight, the Sony ZV-1 managed excellent particulars, colors appeared pure and punchy, and dynamic vary was pretty satisfactory too. When utilizing the complete optical zoom vary in panorama photographs, particulars have been nonetheless pretty respectable, however finer objects and textures weren’t very sharp, which is extra of a limitation of the sensor measurement than anything.

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Sony ZV-1 digicam pattern: ISO 125, f/4, 1/250, 24mm (faucet to see bigger picture)

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Sony ZV-1 digicam pattern: ISO 400, f/1.8, 1/30, 24mm (faucet to see bigger picture)


Shut-ups appeared good, and the pure depth you will get with the massive aperture on the widest focal size was pleasing. When taking pictures in good mild, I discovered the autofocus to be on level. The ZV-1 was fast to lock focus, with minimal to no looking, and I might monitor my topic just by tapping it within the viewfinder. Faces are tracked mechanically and Eye AF labored properly.

In very dim lighting, the Sony ZV-1 struggled with focus because it does not have a spotlight illuminator. I discovered this to be a slight drawback, even with close-up topics. It additionally struggled to detect faces correctly, which might be a difficulty if you happen to plan on utilizing this digicam in low-light circumstances lots. With respectable mild sources round, the ZV-1 does a good job with autofocus for stills, though it nonetheless had delicate looking points when taking pictures video.

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Sony ZV-1 digicam pattern: ISO 400, f/2.2, 1/10, 27mm (faucet to see bigger picture)

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Sony ZV-1 digicam pattern: ISO 12,800, f/2.8, 1/13, 70mm (faucet to see bigger picture)


Movies shot with the Sony ZV-1 appeared nice. Colors have been punchy, pores and skin tones appeared pure, and the Background Defocus choice did a terrific job of separating me from my background. Sony features a windbreaker within the field, which might be hooked up to the ZV-1’s hot-shoe to scale back wind noise. This made an enormous distinction in my expertise, virtually slicing out this disturbance totally, and I did not even need to trouble with enabling the wind-noise discount setting within the digicam.

Movies shot at 4K and 1080p appeared excellent, with wealthy particulars and saturated colors. There did not appear to be a recording restrict as such, however on a number of events, I observed the digicam stopped recording just below the 15-minute mark when taking pictures in 4K, with slight variations within the whole recording size. Video shot in low mild appeared a bit grainy, however not too unhealthy total. I additionally had nice enjoyable taking pictures ultra-slow-motion video with the digicam’s HFR mode, though the standard was strictly common on the highest setting.

Battery life was a bit disappointing. The Sony ZV-1 is rated to ship about 260 photographs per cost, and whereas that is very attainable (I normally managed a bit extra), it isn’t nice. That is comprehensible, contemplating the digicam has a reasonably tiny battery. What would have made this extra bearable is that if there had been a better option to swap batteries. Fortunately, you’ll be able to energy the ZV-1 with an influence financial institution and preserve going if wanted. With video, Sony claims the ZV-1 is able to taking pictures repeatedly ta 1080p for as much as 75 minutes on a single cost.

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The Sony ZV-1 is a really succesful little digicam and is priced fairly aggressively



The Sony ZV-1 has turned out to be a incredible little digicam, even if you happen to do not care about vlogging. The truth that it packs in practically all of the options of a RX100 VII, at a cheaper price is an efficient sufficient purpose to contemplate it. In case you go for the standalone model of the digicam, it is out there for roughly Rs. 60,000 on Amazon. The vlogging equipment will price you a further Rs. 10,000, which is an honest deal contemplating you get a further battery, a 64GB reminiscence card, and the Bluetooth handgrip.

If I needed to decide a number of issues that might have been higher, I would say a better option to swap out the battery and reminiscence card when the digicam is on a tripod or different accent could be primary. I discovered the rear buttons to be a bit too small and laborious to press at occasions, the touchscreen might have been extra useful, and maybe an AF illuminator would have helped with autofocus in low mild.

Total, if you happen to have been fascinated by shopping for a Sony RX100 collection digicam, I would say check out the ZV-1 as an alternative, particularly if you happen to do not want a excessive degree of zoom.

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