VLOG CAMERA ZV-1

Product Reviews

RRP

£700.00

(incl. VAT)
10

4.7 based on 10 customer reviews

8
1
1
0
0
Picture Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Good

10 Customer Reviews

0

Outstandingly versatile with a wealth of features

ZV-1 03/08/2020 by Ziva

Introduction The Sony ZV-1 is Sony’s entry model entering the ‘vlogging’ area while promising outstanding performance, versatility, and image quality. In terms of quality, Sony is well known to deliver highly sophisticated products while also developing technologies that implemented standards for other technologies for a very long time (Trinitron TV Screens). Therefore, new products from Sony are always highly anticipated due to their superior brand-reputation. This review is taking an in-depth look at the Sony ZV-1 based on my own experiences. I will not compare this camera with other products from different manufacturers, but will solely concentrate on the basics, workings, and options that come with the ZV-1. Most importantly, though, I will keep this review as objective as I can, meaning I will promote not only the good points of the camera but also my dislikes. However, I must stress that those interested in buying this camera need to get down to the basics of photography while learning a little about changing or setting the aperture, focus, shutter speed, and focus. This routine ensures that the potential user is getting the most out of this camera, even in tricky situations. Options The Sony ZV-1 comes with a magnitude of options. One of the strongest points must be the automatic point-and-shoot setting which will deliver instantly excellent images in most situations without demanding significant user input. It is merely a matter of selecting the Intelligent-Auto-setting and taking pictures. Furthermore, the camera is featuring a new technology that enhances natural skin tones and keeps faces bright subjected to changing light sources or different environments. Another outstanding feature is the Automatic Focus technology (AF) which gives the ZV-01 the edge in its field. The AF is working lightning fast and features Sony’s new Eye-Tracking technology, which proves to be invaluable when taking recordings of moving people. Definitely noteworthy is the camera’s display which gives the user total control in every situation and can be folded face-down into the camera housing, meaning it is safe from being scratched or damaged. Other features take care of shutter and aperture settings as well as focal length, ensuring that the camera can be used in tricky situations where Intelligent-Auto can not cope any longer. Furthermore, a wealth of video options is offered, ranging from Intelligent-Auto over Movie to High-Frame-Rate settings with the latter delivering stunningly super-slow-motion footage. Another useful option is the ‘Function’ setting which lets you change the Audio-Record-level, Steady-Shot, Focus-mode, Skin-effects, Focus-Area, Creative-Styles, and many more. Last but not least there is the ‘Menu’ option which lets you change date and time, format an SD card, change slow-motion settings, and many other camera and image functions. Again, the user is well advised to learn the basics at the very least. Also, I find the supplied windshield for the microphone to be of immense value. Taking video recordings with the windshield in harsh windy or otherwise noisy conditions will drastically improve the quality of the audio. However, here comes my first niggle. The windshield for the microphone is too close to the Power-button and also takes it out of view. Maybe it is just my personal opinion, but it still does annoy me because I have large hands and find it hard to operate that button. Quality As already mentioned, Sony is well known for the outstanding quality of their products. Anybody choosing to buy this camera will not be disappointed while appreciating the craftsmanship and effort that has gone into this product. Hence, I would like to refer to my 17-years old Sony camcorder, which is still operating as good as on its first day. Speed The speed of the camera, especially in the Intelligent-Auto setting, is well balanced and sophisticated. Taking the camera and pressing the release button almost always guarantees excellent results under most conditions. Indeed, it will sufficiently compensate while the level of light or the focus is drastically changing, e.g. taking a picture through an open window, and abruptly turning back to take an image through a doorframe inside the house.   Focus Anybody who knows a bit about cameras is aware that the Automatic-Focus will not always yield great results. However, Sony engineers have certainly delivered with the ZV-1 as most of the time, pictures or recordings are taken with AF come out crisp and clear. It lets you move about freely or starting to do things at random, near or far while the AF seems to work at the speed of light. Not once did the camera disappoint, making it one of the strongest points so far (view attached recording). The same applies to the Macro feature in the IA-setting, which is returning brilliant close-ups of insects and flowers without having to fiddle with additional settings. Slow Motion The Slow-Mo function certainly has become my favourite due to the stunning image quality and the breath-taking action it delivers with a healthy punch (please view the attached recording). It comes with a range of settings that lets you select the image quality, and the speed of the motion ranging from 10x, 20x or 40x times of the original speed of the moving object, depending on the frame rate you are going to select (250, 500 and 1000 frames per second). The length of the recording is pre-programmed and depends on the frame rate, e.g. higher frame rates yield shorter recordings. Therefore, learning the basics of this function will guarantee continued success when using this option. Connectivity Living in a world of instant access demands a certain level of connectivity for everything we use. The Sony ZV-1 is no exception. That is why it is good to know that you can connect your camera to your smartphone, TV, or computer over a wireless connection. In contrast, you can remotely control your camera with a computer or smartphone. The same applies to Bluetooth-connectivity, which lets you connect to your smartphone or the Sony shooting-grip. The latter serves as a remote control for your camera while vlogging (watch the attached video). Operating the Sony ZV-1 One vital module needed to operate the camera is an SD Memory Card. While there is a magnitude of different cards available, my preferred option has always been SanDisk. Because of the camera’s performance, and the high data volume needed when taking video or Slow-Motion recordings, I found it essential to choose an SD-card able to cope with the speed and high demand of the camera. Hence, a SanDisk Extreme Pro is more than suitable to cope very well with the volume of images and recordings. Likewise, operating and setting up the camera itself is very easy and straight forward. First, charge the battery and select an appropriate SD Memory Card. Then switch on the camera and follow the steps on the initial screen, which invites you to choose your language, date, and time. The next step is to simply point and shoot. Nevertheless, here comes my second niggle. The battery life could be better, especially for those of you who will use the camera for vlogging or while on holidays. Therefore, investing in a spare set of batteries and a separate charger is a very wise option to avoid disappointment. Lastly, transferring your taken images or recordings to your computer or smartphone does not require a high technical understanding as it is straight forward. Final thoughts The Sony ZV-1 is one of the most sophisticated cameras on the market. Its range of options, high quality, ease of operation and the high image quality make this camera a worthy contender. Indeed, I have to admit that I am more in favour of the ZV-1 then using my trusted Sony alpha 300, which is now 11-years old. So, what is good about this camera? Well, pretty much everything, which makes this gadget so likeable. It performs well, it feels good, it delivers stunning images and recordings, and it is easy to handle. Generally speaking, the magnitude of good points eclipses some negatives, which is the missing focus-ring, short battery life, and restricted accessibility of the power-button because of the windshield (if installed to the camera). Also, the camera heats up considerably when used for long video recordings on a hot summer’s day. However, overall, it is fun to use, affordable, and a worthy companion for the serious vlogger or for taking a magnitude of images and recordings under almost any condition.

Picture Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

This reviewer received the product free of charge, or was a product loan programme participant

1

0

0

Excellent vlog/travel camera

ZV-1 25/07/2020 by Rich

Just as expected from Sony. I own another Sony camera (RX100 M5) and am delighted they have kept the same menu layout and over functionality, whilst making some improvements. I prefer the new style of mode select of on a button and a menu, rather than the dial. The picture quality is spot on, it can compare easily to a DSLR, you wouldn’t tell the difference. The manual functionality allows you to fully control the aperture, shutter speed and ISO which is a blessing on a compact camera. Built in ND filter is also a bonus! Video quality is superb, good features too with the high frame rate to get that slow motion footage. The vlog grip is very user friendly, and doubles as a tripod. The flip screen has a crystal clear display. Overall, I’m very impressed with the camera, it’s very user friendly with the capabilities far superior to other compact cameras.

Picture Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

This reviewer received the product free of charge, or was a product loan programme participant

0

0

0

A lot of camera in a compact body.

ZV-1 25/07/2020 by Garye301261

This is the best camera I have every purchased. The Sony ZV-1 is being promoted as a Vlogging camera, but it is a fantastic stills camera too. The auto focus is suburb and very quick. It comes with a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 ZIESS lens, with a 2.7x optical zoom, and up to 44x digital zoom with varying quality from 20M to VGA quality. The screen is a 7.5 cm 4:3, 921,600 dots Xtra Fine TFT LCD, which can rotate to be viewable from the front. It also folds onto the back of the camera with the screen facing in. That means you can keep it protected while it's in your pocket or bag. There are a lot of different modes on the stills camera to choose from. Ranging from the standard fully automatic to aperture and shutter priority. In the scene selection mode, you have multiple options to choose, to take the perfect pictures in different conditions, from close-ups with macro mode, to taking pictures of your food or taking snaps of your pet. If your wanting that professional portrait look with a defocused background, there is a dedicated button on the top of the camera to instantly turn this on without having to delve into the menu. But it's the video capability of the ZV-1 which stands out. The dedicated video record button sits on top of the camera, just behind the shutter button, again no need to delve into the menus to turn on video mode. We’ve all seen the YouTube clips where the camera refuses to focus on the object being reviewed. This is not a problem with the ZV-1 with the “Product Showcase” feature turned on. Any object that is put in front of the lens come instantly into focus, and it works very well. Pressing the mode button brings up the video modes, from intelligent auto, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual exposure. The HFR (High Frame Rate) mode shoots at 250fps, 500fps or 1000fps which gives slow motion speeds of x5, x10 or x20 selectable in the settings menu. ZV-1 can shoot 4K at a maximum 30p with 'Active' stabilization, which works very well and is very impressive. The ZV-1 is packed with features that will satisfy both the professional and amateur photographer and Vlogger. Highly recommended, and Married with Sony’s Bluetooth grip, it is the perfect bit of kit.

Picture Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

This reviewer received the product free of charge, or was a product loan programme participant

0

0

0

The ZV-1 It’s much more than meets the eye!

ZV-1 23/07/2020 by PacoFK

When I first saw the camera, having in mind that is actively advertised as made for vloggers, I expected a fine device in terms of hardware: solid built, high quality lenses but, somehow, limited on its functions to serve the purpose of blogging. Although to prepare a blog can be complex I believed that the functions and design would be around portrait and macro shooting. I couldn’t more wrong. The body of the camera feels solid yet light and gives you that feeling of safety when operating it. I usually struggle with some cameras with small buttons but, generally speaking, I did not have that problem with ZV-1 out of the Function and Menu buttons which are allocated between thumb support and the control wheel. Since the Menu button will work as a customised key, it is fortunate that is the one on the border, otherwise, I simply would not use it. Speaking about buttons, I was pleased to see the video and photo shoot ones separated which is something I miss on other devises. Also, the Customised Key 1 (C1) for Background Defocus is very handy and it was one of the first features I tested. The microphone Wind Screen is a spot-on idea and it is easy to put on by uncovering the Multi Interface Shoe. The only downside is the fact that the little cover for the shoe can be lost easily. Maybe a retractile cover for a new model would be recommendable? Flipping screens are popular in the market nowadays and the ZV-1 follows the trend. In terms of ports, Sony fits more critical ones: microphone jack, a multipurpose USB type Micro-B and Micro HDMI-D. The storage works with a standard SD card. I would recommend a U3. The exchangeable battery got fully charged in about 90 minutes (first charge). It takes a while to explore the whole menu in the camera but the tutorials on the site are pretty helpful. I handpicked the ones I thought would be relevant for the novel photo/videographer and, of course, the vlogger.   1. Photo-shooting. If you are looking to have good quality pictures in a number of situations out of still objects. The ZV-1 offers you several aids and amongst them, two very useful tools which are the Automatic AF (AF-A) which allows the camera to automatically switch between a still target and one in motion. Automatic AF. Say that you are cat lover. but your furry companion is not keen to be pictured and and you always struggle to get it in the frame. With the ZV-1 the problem is solved. Used the AF-A and Face/Eye AF set. You can do it either by using the shooting button halfway to detect the eye of your pet or assigning a customising key. I did that with my own pet getting some candid shots. Tracking. Many sports fans like to take pictures on those critical moments of a game. Say you like American Football and want to catch that amazing touchdown. All you need to do is to select, once again the AF-A mode, specify the function ‘Tracking’ and just follow the Running back all the way to the end-zone! The great thing is that the Touch Operation allows me to react quickly if something changes in the composition and track the correct target. Of course, you can opt for Continuous AF as well. Yet, I preferred the AF-A which gave me more flexibility. ISO. Oh yes, not sure how many times I wished I could take those night landscapes or even a sweet romantic picture with my other half when travelling. Until now, my options were: use the flash and look like a couple of ghosts, trust my ‘surgeon pulse’ and make several shots until one of them was not blurry and give up after a dozen of tries or use the filter for night shooting that I can’t say it doesn't help but sacrifices sharpness and always look too yellow and grained. I made a series of pictures in a couple of situations by manipulating the ISO and I was fascinated with the results. On the first test, I closed the shutters at home and doors making the living-room the darkest possible (during the day). An ISO 4000 was enough to get some images fully coloured without sacrificing a bit of sharpness. On the second test, I took some night shots in the park nearby far from the lamp posts around 11 pm which is nearly the darkest point during the summer time in England. I’ve fantastic results in the range of 1000 and 6400. I still cannot find a situation where I would actually go all the way to 12800. Filters. Just like any other cameras in the market, the ZV-1 offers you a wide range of pre-set filters for different situations: landscape, portrait, macro, backlight, etc. Amongst all, the one that standout for me was the Day 1, which works very much as a polarize lens making the colours brighter but in an elegant way rather than having a paint made in pastel. And, of course, once you get familiar with all the parameters, you have slots for your own filters. 2. Video-shooting. The most of the features for video-shooting come from above and I won’t go any deeper on them but will focus my attention on 4 features only: Background Defocus, Soft Skin, Product Showcase and the microphone. Background Defocus. Probably the most appealing function I found. I think it has become quite popular on other scenarios, mainly on video conferences. I tried it whilst walking on the street. Honestly, I though it wasn’t working as I couldn’t see the difference on the small screen. I switched it on and off few times purposely but it wasn’t until I arrived home and transferred the videos that I could notice the effect. I did like it, firstly because the degree of defocus is delicate and feels completely natural, just like when you take a picture with a large aperture to discriminate several planes rather than those digital cuts that usually look cheap. Secondly, because the defocus is well balanced to direct the attention of the viewer and to do not distract him with excessive blurriness. Soft Skin. I reckon how pleased I was with this function. Pretty much, the ZV-1 will ‘read’ the light on the main subject and play with the mid-tones. Yeah, sounds easy but it takes a while to do it manually. I’ve been always sceptical about this type of functions since they require several adjustments that will vary from face to face. However, I can tell that the effect was masterly achieved. I checked the video on a 60” screen so I’m very much confident when praising the results. Product Showcase. Yeah! The plug-and-play for vloggers. Again, I like the idea of having customisable keys so I could take advantage of it if I think that I will be using this function often without browsing the menu each time. I felt like having a professional camera man with me! I liked that the camera was able to switch between my face and my cat effortlessly when moving the camera around as if my cat would be a product I would like to show. The response of the autofocus is fantastically smooth. I had to get used to the distance and the contrast but, ultimately, that’s pretty normal. For example, I tried to focus white helmet with a light yellow wall behind. It took a couple of seconds to the camera to discriminate the background. All in all, I found it a very attractive function. The microphone. I did like how sensitive the mic is. It picked even the tweets of some birds about 10 meters away and, although I do not like my own voice, I can tell that the fidelity of the audio was of a high standard. On the downside, the windscreen does not represent a big difference. I made a test seizing some windy spells in my garden, speaking in my usual volume. Certainly my voice was captured as if I would be using a unidirectional mic in front of me – which is great – but the wind was very much present. What I can definitely say is that, when the strongest gusts of wind blew, the noise did not covered my voice which I believe is a positive point. 3. The Wireless Shooting Grip. Spot-on, Sony! By all means a great idea and definitely created to help vloggers. Easy to pair with the camera, basic and intuitive controls. Solidly built. As a recommendation, I carry now an extra 3V battery with my equipment. 4. Software. Transfer & Tagging – the app is quite simple to use. Ultimately it is merely a software to export the files from the camera to a device. It’s easy to synchronise and it takes 5 minutes to get everything set. Both Movie Edit and Imaging Edge work fine and provides the usual basic tools for edition. Not much to add about them. Conclusion The ZV-1 is, from any viewpoint, a step forward aiming to cover a wider range of photo and video users from the amateur level up to professional. Those that will try a digital devise for first time will find themselves quite comfortable with the filters and basic functions and, thanks to some flexible features such as the AF-A, the Touch functions and well-designed body of the camera, its use is a pleasant experience. For the professionals, its size and portability will make them think twice before carrying larger and heavier equipment since the ZV-1 offers fully customizable functions like speed, focus, and aperture. On the downsides, I feel that the multi-purpose shoe would need a cover that is not fully separate from the camera and being more ambitious, to look for a waterproof second generation. It took me some time to familiarise with the menus and the sequence to set up everything. I think is a matter of practice although, maybe an even more intuitive map of options would help.

Picture Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Good

This reviewer received the product free of charge, or was a product loan programme participant

2

0

0

Great camera, perfect for both video & stills

ZV-1 20/07/2020 by Jothebulb

I have been using the camera a for a week now, and am really impressed by the both the build quality and the images the camera can produce in either video or photo mode. Although the camera features have been clearly designed around shooting video, still images have not been neglected either, with both rapid & accurate focus and rich, detailed images. Switching to video is really simple, through the separate dedicated button to choose that mode, and then the camera really shines - the product focus feature is very clever, allowing you to hold up an object and have the camera switch to that, rather than your face, and this will be a real star for vloggers & YouTubers. The separate hand controller is incredibly useful and definitely recommended - not only does it allow you to take selfies at a more natural distance from your face, by extending your reach - but the controls are simple & easy to use, allowing you to concentrate on the image quality & content. The only minor niggle is the software to download the images and videos taken to your smartphone or laptop, is slightly confusing, so I have tended to use the direct laptop link, rather that the wifi route. But now I am familiar with it, the editing features are really good to trim video content.

Picture Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Good

This reviewer received the product free of charge, or was a product loan programme participant

2

0

0

Superb camera that does it all.

ZV-1 17/07/2020 by Richie

I have had it for 1 week now and just wow. I have used it in multiple ways and it has never disappointed. Sound is so much better than any other camera or phone I have used.

Picture Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

This reviewer received the product free of charge, or was a product loan programme participant

4

0

0

Supper Vlogging kit

ZV-1 16/07/2020 by Sherro

Sony ZV-1 is a super vlogging camera and it a pleasure to play around with this super toy with loads of features to die for. Sony ZV-1 incorporate a mix of superb auto focus and brilliant design like the side flipping screen, a one touch background blurring as well as face and eye tracking. However to get the best of image stabilising, it better to use the very robust and easy to handle the Sony wireless bluetooth tripod GP-VPT2BT which makes a good partnership for vloggers and youtubers. The ZV-1 prioritises shooting selfies videos more than photography. The video record button is a large and prominently located as a photo shutter button (i can see exactly what i am shooting when i am using the camera). Another great feature is the wind shield as this help to maintain a clear voice recording. However the ZV-1 remains the best video all-rounder in its level taking into account its lightweight, fast auto tracking which incorporate with audio input and useful flip out screen, it a superb option for Vloggers.

Picture Quality

Good

Features

Excellent

Design

Average

Ease of Use

Good

This reviewer received the product free of charge, or was a product loan programme participant

5

0

0

Great vlogging and all-round compact camera

ZV-1 15/07/2020 by Fredrik

The Sony ZV-1 is a vlogging camera but that’s not all. Online reviews are full of praise for this compact video shooter that I have been lucky enough to test for a few days. It is a handy little device, slightly larger than the Sony RX-100VI if you are familiar with the RX series. A user of Sony cameras will find it a familiar experience, the menus are the same but there are some differences in hardware buttons compared with other compact models. There is for instance a ‘mode’ button to access shooting settings instead of the selector wheel on the top of the RX series. In its place is a large video trigger next to the shutter release and a C1 button for quick access to defocus the background, the latter which I found myself using a lot. The shortcut (C1) bokeh is not a software effect, it simply pushes the aperture to its max. The build quality is really good as always with Sony. The body is plastic but it does not feel inexpensive, instead it gives confidence that this compact shooter is built to withstand all kinds of tough handing to be able to capture all your amazing experiences. The screen can be flipped and closed with the screen facing the body of the camera, thus being protected from damage. If the screen is opened from this position it auto starts the camera, a feature that is useful for a quick launch to capture something instant. It is worth mentioning that I am not a professional photographer. I do mainly architectural photography for my work but photography is generally more of hobby. I have been testing the ZV-1 mounted on the new wireless shooting grip (Sony GP-VPT2BT) which I connected with the ZV-1. The set up was straight forward and easy. It can also be used with the smaller and wired shooting grip Sony VCT-SGR1. The connection for this is via the USB multi port on the right side of the camera. A benefit of not going with USB C is that older accessories (such as Sony VCT-SGR1) will fit. Other connections are a microphone input, a mini HDMI output and a multi-interface shoe on the top of the camera. At the bottom is the battery and SD card slot. When I first hit the movie recording button I was prompted that the inserted SD card had insufficient writing speed. The requirement being a SDXC Class 10 or UHS-I/UHS-II to get the optimum performance out of this camera. The ZV-1 does not have NFC so a connection for uploading to Imaging Edge Mobile app is done via QR code or direct input. What’s in the box. 1 Sony ZV-1 camera 1 Deadcat (microphone wind shield) attached via the multi interface shoe 1 Sony NP-BX1 1240mAh lithium ion battery 1 USB A to micro USB cable 1 instruction manual Features I found particularly useful are: The screen can be turned 180 degrees to be protected when not in use. Quick start by flipping out the screen (only when the screen is closed as above). The autofocus is superfast and follow a moving object with great accuracy. Bokeh mode (C1 button). At a press of a button the camera switches from sharp to a blurred background mode which is great for hobby photographers or inexperienced users, or for urgent moments when you do not have time to set the camera up. Grip. The camera has a right hand front grip and together with the non-metal matte finish body, the ZV-1 feels secure in your hand. 20.1MP Photography The camera produces sharp images with good colour accuracy and image depth. The auto focus performs really well and you can get really close for detailed macro shots. A great all-round compact camera that produces good skin tones and contrast. The camera has no built-in flash or electronic view finder. 4K Videography As this is camera is clearly aimed at a vlogging target group for showcasing products, evident by the quick access to the Product Showcase (C2) function, it must be said that it does that brilliantly. The Product Showcase function is triggered with a hardware button that shares its functionality with the delete button. It performs very well and changes focus in an instant from a face (eye tracking) to whatever is promoted closest to the lens. This function must be selected before recording commences and can not be switched while filming. Without the Product Showcase set to ON the camera will continue to focus on the face until both eyes are obscured or removed from view. The camera can be set for focus priority to a pre-registered face which is helpful where there are several people within the frame. Skin tone and smoothness are good and the microphone records voices well (indoors). The image stabilisation is on par with other products in this category. I found using a shooting grip helps stability and adds a bit of extra distance when recording self or promoting on the go.

Picture Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Good

This reviewer received the product free of charge, or was a product loan programme participant

5

0

0

Excellent!

ZV-1 13/07/2020 by Fordern Josh

Does everything great and very easy to use great quality.

Picture Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

5

0

0

Not suitable for live streaming

ZV-1 10/07/2020 by klklkl

I am thoroughly disappointed that a "vlog" camera can't live stream. If you only plan to use it to record off-line, it's fine. But if you thought it'd be a webcam — forget it. The HDMI output on ZV-1 maxes out at 1080@30Hz and has 150ms of latency. Just getting video out from the camera to any other device has a worse lag than an inter-continental video call. It looks very choppy. I'm not sure if it's even reaching th 30fps it's declaring. It look more like 24fps. It's that bad regardless of what video recording resolution or framerate is set. Video output over Wi-Fi is even lower quality and about 10fps.

Picture Quality

Excellent

Features

Fair

Design

Good

Ease of Use

Average

9

6