Sony has been busy making camera gear for the vlogger crowd with previous releases like the Sony ZV-1 and the Sony ZV-E10, giving content creators a rig that makes shooting YouTube and social media videos a more convenient affair. They’re both fairly affordable, too, making them an enticing pick for amateurs and hobbyists who do social media content on the side. Their latest, Sony ZV-E1, takes on the same vlogger-friendly ethos, albeit with more advanced features that the professional crowd are likely to appreciate.
Billed as “the ultimate video and content creation tool,” the new vlogging camera combines the compact and lightweight size of the ZV line with advanced functionality that give it the kind of versatility YouTube vets and social media pros might be looking for in their primary rig. Yes, it’s probably overkill for novices looking to get a YouTube channel going, but it just might be the perfect camera for people looking to take the next leap in their content.
The Sony ZV-E1 takes on the compact proportions of other cameras in the ZV line, but combines it with a feature set straight out of the high-end A7S III. As such, it gets a 35mm full-frame sensor that, the outfit claims, can deliver high sensitivity, low noise, and gorgeous bokeh. It pairs that with a new BIONZ XR image processing engine that boasts eight times more processing power than previous versions, allowing to post remarkable improvements in high-sensitivity performance, gradation rendering, color reproduction, and more.
It can record 4K video at up to 120 fps, so you can get reasonably detailed 5X slow-motion footage even at full 4K resolution. The camera records it with full pixel readout at 10-bit 4:2:2, by the way, with no need for pixel binning, essentially making the expressive advantages of the full-frame format available for 4K video recording. Unlike previous ZV cameras, by the way, this comes with five-axis optical image stabilization, ensuring it captures smooth, jitter-free footage right off the bat.
The Sony ZV-E1 has an AI-based Auto Framing feature for video that uses subject recognition to automatically crop the frame and keep the subject in a prominent position at all times. You can even adjust how quickly and frequently the auto-reframing will follow a subject, allowing you to shoot solo videos that look like you have someone else operating the camera the entire time. Suffice to say, it will make erstwhile boring videos with one guy talking in the frame look a lot more dynamic.
It comes with S-Cinetone, a feature that creates a cinematic look straight out of the raw footage without any post-processing, giving your videos a natural mid-tone that elevates it to an entirely new level, as well as Cinematic Vlog Settings, which lets you choose a look, mood, and autofocus transition speed that the camera automatically uses to capture scenes with cinematic styling of feature movies. Other features include an ISO range of 80 to 102400 (expanded to 40 to 409600), 15 stops of latitude, one-touch bokeh enhancement via a dedicated switch, a three-capsule microphone, and a vari-angle 3-inch LCD screen.
The Sony ZV-E1 comes out in May, priced at $2,199.99.