First Look: Sony ZV-1 Leave a comment

The newly-announced ZV-1 is Sony’s first point-and-shoot specifically made for, and aimed at, vloggers, building on their long-running and very well respected RX100 Series. Sony have adapted what was a camera aimed at photographers into a video-specific camera with the features vloggers need for their run-and-gun filming style.

To understand why people are so excited about the ZV1 we need to look back at its predecessor the RX100.

The RX100 series has always had a flip-up screen so you can frame yourself in the shot and a good onboard microphone, making it an all-in-one, small and compact vlogging setup. It did however lack expandability when it comes to microphones, not having a hot shoe mount or a mic input, and having a flip-up screen made having a shotgun mic mounted on the top rather impractical. These restrictions really limited the uses for the camera with the internal mic struggling in loud or windy situations.

The ZV-1 shifts the screen to the side, flipping and rotating as you’d expect. In addition, the ZV-1 adds a hot-shoe mount for external microphones to the top of the camera, with connectors for Sony’s own external mic, and a mic input jack for any other external mics you may want to use (e.g. the Rode VideoMic series). However good they have made the onboard microphone, it will suffer size constraints that an external mic can avoid. An inexpensive external mic like my personal favourite the Rode Video Micro at around £50 can massively improve the audio footage captured.

If you decide to use the internal mic, they include a dead cat to cover the internal mic and block out wind noise.

Sony have also announced an optional Bluetooth shooting grip accessory, that acts as a mini-tripod and a grip for holding the camera when shooting. It also has buttons for starting/stopping video, taking a photo and zoom in/out, thus allowing these actions to be easily controlled whilst shooting. I see the zoom being especially handy with this because you can hold it at arms length like you would while vlogging and decide your composition rather than having to bring the camera closer to change it.

This camera also has all the features we loved about the RX100 – 4K shooting, a flip out screen so you can see yourself, picture profiles for grading and great image quality for such a small camera.

This camera addresses a lot of the complaints people had when it comes to vlogging with the RX100, in particular the ability to use external mics makes this a far more versatile camera to shoot with. At £699 retail price, it is also a great entry camera for getting into professional video.

We can’t wait to get our hands on it here at Vlog Tech!

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