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Sony ZV-1 Review

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Earlier this 12 months, Sony launched a brand new sequence 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 totally articulating LCD, and devoted buttons for issues akin to background defocus.

Priced at Rs. 67,990 (MRP), is the brand new Sony ZV-1 price shopping for? I’ve been utilizing it for a couple of weeks and this is what I feel.

Sony ZV-1 design: Highly pocketable

While many vloggers would like utilizing mirrorless and even DSLR cameras, Sony goals to supply a lot of the superior options present in such cameras, however in a extra compact kind issue. The dimensions 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’s additionally sufficiently small to simply slip into your again pocket if wanted.

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


There’s a small rubber insert within the entrance, which acts as a mini handgrip, and one other on the again on your thumb. The outer physique is constructed largely of plastic, nevertheless it feels sturdy and the textured floor provides respectable grip. The prime of the Sony ZV-1 includes a hot-shoe connector, a three-capsule microphone, and a sequence of buttons. The again of the digicam additionally has some extra buttons, that are smaller than those on the highest, and aren’t the best to make use of. The round jog dial on the again additionally doubles up as a directional pad however suggestions is a bit gentle and never very tactile.

In order to make the ZV-1 vlog-friendly, Sony has moved the film report button from its typical place on the again, to the highest. It’s lots bigger too, which makes it simpler to make use of. You additionally get a big, subtle crimson LED indicator subsequent to the lens within the entrance to let you already know when video is being recorded.

A 3.5mm microphone enter, Micro-USB port, and Micro-HDMI port are positioned on the appropriate of the Sony ZV-1. The ports are coated with plastic flaps, nevertheless these aren’t climate sealed. There’s no digital viewfinder on the ZV-1, solely a 3-inch LCD touchscreen. Unlike most different compact Sony cameras although, this one is totally articulating so it could flip out sideways and rotate 180 levels.

sony zv 1 review ports sony

The Sony ZV-1 has a wide variety 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 suggests if you should swap batteries or SD playing cards throughout a shoot, it’s important to dismount the digicam from the tripod first which may be fairly irritating.

The Sony ZV-1 includes 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’s a built-in impartial density (ND) filter for reducing the publicity by a couple of stops, which is beneficial in harshly lit environments.

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

Sony ZV-1 specs and options: Impressive for the worth

The Sony ZV-1 includes a 1-inch sensor with a 20.1-megapixel decision. There’s optical (SteadyShot) stabilisation for stills, hybrid stabilisation for video, 315 part detection autofocus factors (PDAF), 425 distinction detection autofocus factors, and a most burst seize of about 24 frames per second when utilizing the ‘Hi’ setting. The ZV-1 additionally has eye autofocus (Eye AF) for people and animals when capturing stills, and solely people when capturing 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.

sony zv 1 review rear ss

The Sony ZV-1 borrows numerous options from the RX100 sequence


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

Finally, the ZV-1 may be linked to your smartphone to make the most of Sony’s Imaging Edge Mobile app. The app permits you to remotely management the digicam through the use of your telephone because the viewfinder. It additionally permits you to switch pictures and video to your smartphone, wirelessly. The digicam has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi n, however no NFC.

sony zv 1 review top sony

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


Some of the brand new vlogging-specific options included into the Sony ZV-1 embody Product Showcase. This function is tremendous helpful for anybody seeking to current or exhibit a product on digicam, like what we do right here at Gadgets 360 for instance. When enabled, it primarily disables face and eye monitoring so the main focus shifts rapidly to no matter is being introduced to the lens. This function 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 Soft Skin Effect toggle within the Quick Settings panel, if you should use a beautification filter on your items to digicam.

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

The Sony ZV-1 is a enjoyable little digicam and would not take lengthy to grasp. Due to house constraints, there is a ‘Mode’ button as a substitute of a dial, which helps you to cycle by the assorted capturing modes. Most of those modes ought to be very acquainted. They embody Sweep Panorama, which takes a number of images in fast succession and stitches them collectively; Scene Selection if you need the digicam to regulate its parameters mechanically; and the standard perture, Shutter, Program and Manual modes. The ZV-1 would not provide the most effective grip when you have massive arms 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.

sony zv 1 review battery sony

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’s straightforward to handle with one hand because of its low weight and compact measurement. When capturing handheld, I largely used it with the Bluetooth handgrip that Sony despatched alongside. This accent connects to the digicam through Bluetooth and provides shortcut buttons for zoom, shutter launch, video recording, and the C1 shortcut. There’s a lock swap that turns the handgrip off to stop unintended presses. The base of the handgrip may be tilted forwards and backwards, or rotated 360 levels. It additionally doubles up as a tripod, which is helpful.

The touchscreen was responsive, however I want we might do extra with it than merely change the main focus level. For occasion, with the digicam pointed at your self when vlogging, it might have been good to have the ability to rapidly change settings, reasonably than needing to show the digicam round and fiddle with the buttons.

In phrases 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’s additionally a very good indication of the type of images you may count on in low mild.

sony zv 1 ISO test sony

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 seen slight grain within the picture and the sides of the pencils began to get fuzzy. At the utmost ISO worth of 12,800, particulars have been weaker, textual content wasn’t as sharp anymore, and there was numerous seen grain. However, I used to be pleased to notice that there is not numerous chroma noise and the picture on the highest ISO stage was nonetheless considerably usable.

When capturing stills in daylight, the Sony ZV-1 managed superb particulars, colors seemed pure and punchy, and dynamic vary was pretty enough too. When utilizing the total optical zoom vary in panorama pictures, 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)


Close-ups seemed good, and the pure depth you may get with the big aperture on the widest focal size was pleasing. When capturing in good mild, I discovered the autofocus to be on level. The ZV-1 was fast to lock focus, with minimal to no searching, 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 would 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 may be a problem should you 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 gentle searching points when capturing 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)


Videos shot with the Sony ZV-1 seemed nice. Colours have been punchy, pores and skin tones seemed pure, and the Background Defocus possibility did an amazing job of separating me from my background. Sony features a windbreaker within the field, which may be connected to the ZV-1’s hot-shoe to cut back wind noise. This made an enormous distinction in my expertise, nearly reducing out this disturbance solely, and I did not even must hassle with enabling the wind-noise discount setting within the digicam.

Videos shot at 4K and 1080p seemed superb, with wealthy particulars and saturated colors. There did not appear to be a recording restrict as such, however on a number of events, I seen the digicam stopped recording slightly below the 15-minute mark when capturing in 4K, with slight variations within the whole recording size. Video shot in low mild seemed a bit grainy, however not too unhealthy total. I additionally had nice enjoyable capturing 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 pictures per cost, and whereas that is very attainable (I normally managed a bit extra), it isn’t nice. This 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. Thankfully, you may energy the ZV-1 with an influence financial institution and preserve going if wanted. With video, Sony claims the ZV-1 is able to capturing repeatedly ta 1080p for as much as 75 minutes on a single cost.

sony zv 1 review display ss

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 should you do not care about vlogging. The indisputable fact that it packs in almost all of the options of a RX100 VII, at a cheaper price is an efficient sufficient cause to think about it. If you go for the standalone model of the digicam, it is obtainable for roughly Rs. 60,000 on Amazon. The vlogging package will value you a further Rs. 10,000, which is a good deal contemplating you get a further battery, a 64GB reminiscence card, and the Bluetooth handgrip.

If I needed to choose a couple of issues that might have been higher, I’d 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 exhausting to press at occasions, the touchscreen might have been extra useful, and maybe an AF illuminator would have helped with autofocus in low mild.

Overall, should you have been interested by shopping for a Sony RX100 sequence digicam, I’d say check out the ZV-1 as a substitute, particularly should you do not want a excessive stage of zoom.

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