Sony has worked hard on its videos in the last five years. The high-end full-frame Alpha Series is a preferred company in the video industry, while smaller cameras such as the A6600 have sought to offer similar capabilities in a more compact form.
With features such as fast autofocus, real-time face tracking, and advanced eye tracking, you would think that’s where it ends. It does not seem so. There is a specific breed of video makers Sony wants under its wing: video bloggers.
Enter Sony ZV-1. This powerful, highly compact and functional camera provides all the equipment you need – whether you’re just starting with vlogging, or an experienced professional who needs some additional tools.
Sony says that it designed the Zlogger from the Z-1 for Zloggers. This means that the Look is completely different from the RX series, as the latter is primarily designed for still photography. So the size of the ZV-1 may be similar to the size of the RX100, but it is certainly not the same.
The design is quite simple, made of cleverly textured black plastic. Unlike the RX100, the ZV-1 has a rubber grip that protrudes from the left side. It is very narrow, but there is enough spacing between it and the lens, so that you can have a place to hold your thumb when shooting in front.
Although the grip is not large enough to allow a proper grip when shooting from the other side, it helps to add a little “stickiness” when moving the camera. We felt less likely to lose or lose control.
This is not the only element in the camera’s design that makes the ZV-1 more tuned to vlogger’s needs. Sony has put a proper flip-up touchscreen on this video-centric camera, and it’s far better than those that flip over the camera (on the RX100 series).
Flipping the screen on the side of the camera means that it is at the same level as the lens – and most importantly – it means that it can never be blocked by any of the accessories that you can hold on top of the camera, a senses On or the other side you want to connect to the port.
The screen also acts as a type of power button. Turning the screen on automatically turns the camera on, ready to shoot. This is really useful, especially when you just want to unlock the screen and take a snapshot, without having to look at the small on / off button on the top edge. This is a good thing, since the dead cat involved is killed in the air, the on / off button is covered in the dead cat fluff.
The top itself is mostly flat. There are no protruding buttons or dials, but it is still capable of pressing five functional buttons: the on / off button, the mode button, the big movie button (with a bright red ring around it), the normal shutter button (controlling the lens With the zoom dial to do), as well as a dedicated button to turn on background defocus.
The inclusion of background defocusing is another feature that targets Vulgar. Those who want to create a bokeh effect – it’s a good background blur that gets its proper name – can do so with the push of a button while talking to the camera.
The battery and SD card are used by opening the door under the camera. This is not a great place for those who like to mount a camera on a tripod. We often get blocked access in these cases, so we have to unmount the camera to access the memory card. However, this camera is designed primarily for handheld use.
For the professional user who wants to be able to capture sound from a dedicated microphone, Sony has included a micro-USB port and a 3.5mm port on the top right of the mini HDMI, each covered with a plastic door. has gone.
Finally – as if any further evidence it needs a vlogger camera – no viewfinder. Just get to the screen. The space normally occupied by the pop-up viewfinder on the RX100 has been replaced by a three-capsule microphone system and shoe mount – concealed by a large mesh grille.
Sony makes the camera so attractive that the show is driven by brains. The ZV-1 features a Sony BIONZ X image signal processor. This is what you’ll find inside the high-end A9, which means that all Sony-series cameras have ultra-fast autofocus, super autofocus and tracking at a higher level.
The joy of the sensor is that you stick the camera in intelligent automatic (iA) mode or automatic movie mode, and camera brains will usually know what’s going on in the scene and adjust the settings to match. If you are recording an on-camera vlog, it will automatically focus on your eye and then create full frame exposure to ensure your face is well lit and natural looking.
Tested in a few different lighting conditions, both indoors and outdoors, with bright backlighting and even with our face shadowed with a hanging tree, the results were surprisingly good. It takes adjusting and lighting once or twice, but even when we’re standing in the shadow that covers our face, it still manages to erase the details and make our faces clearly visible. Likewise, with the light shining on our face, it has been adjusted to lighten. You can see before / after in the image above.
If you want, you can also enable skin smoothing mode and adjust the amount of smoothing you want. If you want your skin to look completely natural, with all the pores and wrinkles in it, you can have it. Likewise, if you want to mask it to get the soft airbrush look, you can do the same.