Sony unveils ZV-1 vlogging camera

Sony launches a compact camera aimed directly at vloggers

Sony ZV-1 video blogging camera in hand
Beyond selfies: Sony’s ZV-1 features S-Log, a 3-capsule mike, and ND filters

Sony has announced the ZV-1, a Cybershot-style compact camera aimed directly at the vlogging and YouTuber market.

Although the ZV-1 is promoted for vlogging, it is also a conventional stills camera.

The camera is based around a 4K, 1-inch Exmor sensor, and a Zeiss lens with the equivalent of a standard, 24-70mm zoom. The lens aperture ramps from f1.8 to f2.8.

The sensor, which is 3:2 format, has a 20.1 megapixel resolution, giving 20mp stills in 3:2 mode and 13mp in 1:1, 18mp in 4:3 and 17mp in widescreen. This allows the camera to cover most popular social media formats.

For video, resolutions range from PAL and NTSC HD video – including 50i and 100p – up to UHD at 25p. High frame rate reporting runs up to 1000fps, though the image is cropped down to 912×308 pixels. The camera also supports a vertical video mode, for vloggers who prefer to shoot for mobile devices.

The ZV-1 has a fully rotatable screen, and a three-capsule mic which Sony says gives clear sound from in front of the camera. A windshield is included, but the ZV-1 also has a3.5mm input jack, and Sony’s MI shoe, for connecting accessories.

The camera works with a number of Sony’s shooting grips, including the Bluetooth GP-VPT2BT. These make it easier to operate the camera “selfie style”, but the grip doubles as a mini tripod.

User friendly features

Sony has added a range of other vlogger-friendly features, including a touch screen, fast AF system with automatic face detection, face-optimised auto exposure, image stabilisation, and automatic background bokeh control. The new camera also integrates with both smartphones and a desktop app.

Despite the influencer and vlogger marketing, though, the ZV-1 also boasts some heavy-duty professional features.

The camera supports both S-Log3 and S-Log-2 gamma curves, zebras, proxy recording, timecode, full pixel readout in 4K and a clean HDMI out. The camera even comes with a built-in ND filter, a rarity for cameras in this format.

These features should help the ZV-1 appeal to journalists and communications professionals looking for a compact and relatively low-cost alternative to a smartphone, or as a backup or second camera.

The ZV-1 is not, of course, Sony’s first foray into the video blog market. In 2010 it launched its range of consumer-friendly Bloggie cameras; the ZV-1, though, is an altogether more capable device.

The ZV-1 has a recommended price of £700 including VAT.