Sony ZV-1 'content creator camera' focuses on making vlogging easy
Sony has announced the ZV-1, which it calls a content creator camera. It's built around a 1"-type 20MP stacked CMOS sensor and a 24-70mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 lens similar to the on in the RX100 III, IV, V and VA, but it uses a fully articulating touchscreen and reworked ergonomics to allow for selfie-style operation. In essence, the ZV-1 gives you the hardware of an RX100 VA redesigned to make vlogging and facing-the-camera shooting easier.
The ZV-1 includes a number of features and modes intended to make vlogging easier. These build on Sony's very dependable Eye AF capabilities, to give confidence that your footage will be in focus while you concentrate on talking to your audience. There's also a directional three-capsule mic setup built into the top of the camera to help isolate what's being said from ambient noise.
There's a 'background defocus' mode that automatically opens up the aperture to its maximum setting, accessed from a button on the top of the camera, and an AF mode that will prioritize nearby objects if that you hold up in front of the camera, rather than continuing to focus on your face. And there's also a front-mounted tally light, to indicate when the camera is recording.
The specs are broadly consistent with recent RX100-series models, including 4K UHD video at up to 30p, 1080 capture at up to 120p and high-speed upscaled video at up to 960p. There's no built-in viewfinder or headphone socket, but the ZV-1 does have a 'multi-accessory' hot shoe on which to mount an external mic.
The ZV-1 will be available from early June with a list price of $799 (CAD$999). In the US there will be a promotion that drops the price to $749 if you buy before June 28th. Sony is also discounting its VCT-SGR1 Bluetooth shooting grip if you buy it with the ZV-1, until June 28th in the US and June 25th in Canada. Pricing in the UK and Europe is set at £700 and €800.
Go hands-on with the Sony XV-1Press release
Sony Electronics Introduces the Digital Camera ZV-1, A Newly Designed Camera for Video Content Creators
New Video-Forward Design and Compact Body Packed with Advanced Imaging Technology and Easy-to-Use Functionality
SAN DIEGO – May 26, 2020 –Sony Electronics Inc. today has announced the new pocket-sized digital camera ZV-1 (hereafter referred as “ZV-1”) – a lightweight, compact “all-in-one” style solution. Designed from the ground up for content creators and vloggers, the ZV-1 combines easy-to-use features with uncompromising imaging technology, making this the perfect tool for any content creator at all skill levels.
“Sony’s new ZV-1 was purpose-built to meet the needs and demands of today’s video creators,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Product and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “We are always listening to our customers, and this camera is the result of direct feedback from our extended community. Featuring an innovative design plus many new technologies, settings and modes, it will allow creators to make content in ways they have never been able to before.”
The ZV-1 features a 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS® CMOS image sensor with DRAM chip and 24-70mm[i] F1.8-2.8 ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* large-aperture lens creating beautiful background bokeh (background blur), allowing the subject to stand out from the background. The camera locks on to and tracks subjects with high accuracy and speed using Sony’s leading-edge autofocus system. The ZV-1 also includes the latest-generation BIONZ X™ image processor with front-end LSI delivering high resolution as well as low noise for superior image quality. It also combines this exceptional imaging technology with high-quality and versatile audio options. The ZV-1 is Sony’s first compact camera with a side-opening Vari-angle LCD screen, making it easier to compose your shots in selfie mode while connecting external audio accessories. To meet any video need, the ZV-1 contains advanced video features including 4K movie recording[ii] and in-body image stabilization.
Meeting the Needs of Today’s Content Creators
Quickly Switch Between two modes of Background Bokeh
The ZV-1 offers a simple solution to easily switch between two levels of background bokeh while recording. Using the new Background Defocus function, users can rapidly adjust the optical aperture between more and less background defocusing blur without losing focus on the subject. Located on top of the camera, this Bokeh button is easily accessible and makes selfie shooting operation a breeze.
Focus on the Subject You Want
The ZV-1 makes it easier than ever to shoot product reviews and similar video content. Gone are the days of placing a hand behind an object to prompt the camera to bring it into focus thanks to a new Product Showcase Setting, which allows for quick and smooth focus transitions between the subject’s face and the object placed in front of the lens.
Building on the leading-edge technology developed for α™ (Alpha brand) and RX series cameras, this new compact camera includes advanced autofocus (AF) allowing it to lock on and track subjects with high accuracy and speed while recording. For maintaining focus on the intended subject or subjects in busy environments, Real-time Eye AF[iii] and Real-time Tracking AF for video allows the ZV-1 to seamlessly switch focus between multiple subjects while controlling the AF speed and tracking sensitivity.
Prioritize Your Face
Extreme changes in lighting, like walking outside on a sunny day and suddenly moving from a bright location into shade, are no problem for the ZV-1 thanks to the new Face Priority autoexposure (AE) function. It detects and prioritizes the subject’s face and adjusts the exposure to ensure the face is depicted at an ideal brightness in any environment. This AE technology also suppresses an abrupt change in exposure if the subject quickly turns away from the frame to eliminate unexpected blown-out or extremely dark shots. In addition, the camera features a new advanced color science that has been re-engineered to optimize skin tones for any subject in both still and video modes.
Crystal Clear Audio
High quality content requires clear, excellent audio quality, and the ZV-1 is well-equipped to produce just that with reliable and versatile audio options. The ZV-1’s onboard mic features Sony’s latest Directional 3-capsule Mic which was designed for forward-directional audio capture, allowing for clear capture of the subject’s voice while minimizing background noise, especially when operating in selfie mode. For added flexibility, the ZV-1 also features an industry standard mic jack (3.5mm) and Multi Interface Shoe™ (MI shoe) making it easy to connect a wide range of external microphones. The ZV-1 is also supplied with a wind screen[iv] accessory that fits on the MI shoe to minimize wind interference.
Design and Functionality Optimized for Vlogging
The ZV-1 was designed with content creators and vloggers in mind. This compact, lightweight (approx. 294g / 105.5mm x 60.0mm x 43.5mm) camera is the first Sony compact camera with a flip-out, tiltable LCD Screen, allowing creators to simplify their setup by utilizing the MI shoe for optional external mics without the need of an additional mounting bracket.
Comfortably operate the ZV-1 with one hand thanks to the easy-to-hold comfortable grip and a large movie REC button located on the top of the camera for quick access to video recording, as well as a recording lamp on the front of the camera that indicates if the camera is actively recording.
The ZV-1 also includes advances in image stabilization, ensuring steady video even when shooting hand-held while walking. When recording in HD (Active mode), optical and electronic stabilization methods are combined to reduce shaking up to 11 times[v] that of standard SteadyShot™ image stabilization. When shooting 4K video using Optical SteadyShot (Active mode), there is improvement in stabilization effect of up to 8 times[vi] that of standard SteadyShot. The ZV-1 is also compatible with the GP-VPT2BT Shooting Grip with Wireless Remote Commander, offering additional stability and comfort combined with cable-free Bluetooth® connectivity.
Class-Leading AV Features
Despite the small form factor there are a multitude of pro-level movie making capabilities, including:
4K movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in high bit rate XAVC S™ codec. [vii]
- Industry standard 3.5mm microphone input
- Hybrid Log-Gamma (HDR) [viii] / S-Gamut3.Cine / S-Log3, S-Gamut3 / S-Log3
- Interval Shooting[ix] for stunning time-lapse videos[x]
- Super Slow Motion[xi] recording at up to 960fps[xii]
- Compatibility with ‘Movie Edit add-on[xiii]’ from the “Imaging Edge™” mobile application for image stabilization while editing[xiv] Highlight ability to edit aspect ratios for IG etc.
Live Streaming with the ZV-1
Transform the ZV-1 into a webcam by connecting it to a PC[xv] via USB, which allows content creators to interact with their followers in real-time while also utilizing the advanced imaging technology and unique features of the ZV-1. Sony’s new PC software will be available in July 2020.
New Vlogger Accessories Kit
Sony will also be introducing a Vlogger Kit (ACCVC1), which includes a GP-VPT2BT Shooting Grip with Wireless Remote Commander and 64GB Ultra High Speed Media Card. The grip is compatible with a variety of Sony cameras[xvi].
Pair this kit with an external microphone (sold separately), such as Sony’s Stereo Microphone (ECM-XYST1M), for a convenient and simple vlogging setup.
Pricing and Availability
The Digital Camera ZV-1 will be available in June 2020 for a special introductory price of approximately $749 USD through June 28, 2020. After that, the price will increase to approximately $799 USD. The ZV-1 will be available in Canada for approximately $999 CAD.
The ACCVC1 Vlogger Kit will be available in June 2020 with a special introductory offer of $50 off when purchased together with ZV-1 (at participating retailers) through June 28, 2020 in U.S. and June 25, 2020 in Canada, and can be purchased separately for approximately $149 USD and $199 CAD.
[i]Angle of view (35mm format equivalent)
[ii] 4K (QFHD: 3840×2160) Extended continuous video recording is available when setting Auto Power OFF Temp. function to High
[iii] Real-time Eye AF for animals is not available movie shooting
[iv] Audio input itself is via the camera’s internal mic but attaching the wind screen to the mic suppresses wind noise
[v] Image stabilization angle at the wide-angle end of the zoom range. When active mode is on. Relative to angle of view with optical image stabilization on standard mode.
[vi] Image stabilization angle at the wide-angle end of the zoom range. When active mode is on. Relative to angle of view with optical image stabilization on standard mode.
[vii] A Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card is required to record movies in the XAVC S format. UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC card is required for 100Mbps
[viii] Connect this product to an HDR (HLG) compatible Sony TV via a USB cable to display HDR (HLG) movies
[ix] Wi-Fi is not operational during interval shooting
[x] Time-lapse movie creation is possible on a PC
[xi] Audio recording is not available. A Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card is required
[xii] In NTSC mode. Menu allows switching between NTSC and PAL modes
[xiii] Please use the latest version
[xv] Windows® 10
[xvi] Compatible with RX100 VII, Alpha 6100, Alpha 6400, Alpha 6600, Alpha 7 III, Alpha 7R III, Alpha 7R IV, Alpha 9, Alpha 9 II. Firmware must be updated on camera to ensure compatibility.
Sony ZV-1 specifications
|Max resolution||5472 x 3648|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||20 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||21 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)|
|Color space||sRGB, AdobeRGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||80|
|Boosted ISO (maximum)||25600|
|White balance presets||9|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|JPEG quality levels||Extra fine, fine, standard|
|Optics & Focus|
|Focal length (equiv.)||24–70 mm|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Digital zoom||Yes (3.8x)|
|Normal focus range||5 cm (1.97″)|
|Macro focus range||5 cm (1.97″)|
|Number of focus points||315|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Articulated LCD||Fully articulated|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Minimum shutter speed||30 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/2000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/32000 sec|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe)|
|Flash modes||Auto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Rear Sync, Flash Off|
|Continuous drive||24.0 fps|
|Exposure compensation||±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps)|
|Format||MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S|
|Storage types||SD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Wireless notes||802.11ac + Bluetooth|
|Remote control||Yes (wired or smartphone)|
|Battery description||NP-BX1 lithium-ion battery & USB charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||260|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||294 g (0.65 lb / 10.37 oz)|
|Dimensions||105 x 60 x 44 mm (4.13 x 2.36 x 1.73″)|
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