With the introduction of the ZV-1, Sony decided that vlogging was big enough to design a custom camera for it. You can take photos with it, of course, but it’s not designed for that at all. Almost all features are made for people who usually shoot videos themselves.
It is relatively small and light so you can carry it for days. There’s a reversible screen, high-quality built-in microphone, stabilization, and terrifying autofocus from Sony that always keeps your face and eyes in focus.
The ZV-1 is the first camera in Sony’s RX100 series specifically designed for vlogging. This is easy to do thanks to a lightweight housing, high-quality internal microphone, folding screen, first-class autofocus, and excellent image quality. The 24-70mm lens is sharp but needs to be wider due to the 25 percent yield when using electronic stabilization. It also lacks a real touch screen and headphone jack. Putting that aside, it does an almost perfect job when you’re out of your smartphone or just want something simple.
Even so, $ 800 isn’t cheap and vlogging is challenging. Your camera can be counted on to smooth out startling steps, handle rough handling and changing lighting, and at the same time deliver razor-sharp 4K video. That’s the result.
The ZV-1 is based on the RX100 V which is compact and is a bizarre mix of technologies. On the one hand, it has a small 1-inch 20.1-megapixel sensor and a 24-70mm f / 1.8-2.8mm prime lens (equivalent). Even so, it’s not as versatile as a mirrorless camera, but it’s easier to use for vloggers in the smartphone world.
It also has features that you won’t find even on high-end mirrorless cameras. It starts with a high-quality built-in microphone with a built-in “dead cat” suppressor to reduce wind noise. If not, you can plug your own mic into the microphone port or use one of Sony’s hot shoe microphones if you don’t need cables at all. The downside is, due to the lack of a headphone jack, you won’t hear any audio issues during critical interviews or other recordings.
The ZV-1 doesn’t have an electronic viewfinder, so you’ll need to use the screen to take pictures. Luckily, it’s completely split on the side so you can vlog with the external microphone and tripod at the same time. It’s bright enough to use in sunlight, but has a strange problem: you can barely see it through the lenses of polarized sunglasses – a strange problem you may not notice if you shoot on a sunny day. That’s probably because the screen cover itself is polarized for better visibility during the day, but I contacted Sony to find out why.