The all new Sony ZV-1F is a compact vlogging camera for beginning content creators. It has new functions, a new lens and some features found on smartphones. With this camera, Sony is focussing on cheaper cameras. But, to make the camera cheaper than its bigger brother, the ZV-1, they had to remove some features.
The current Sony ZV-1 is still one of the best vlog cameras out there and now has a little brother. The interface is easier to use and therefore focused on beginning photographers and video makers.
Same sensor, new lens
In comparison to the ZV-1 from 2020, the sensor didn’t undergo any upgrades. The ZV-1F uses an 1-inch sensor, with 20 megapixels capable of recording 4K 30fps footage. A big change is the lens. The ZV-1 is using a 24-70mm zoom lens, but the complaints about that lens were that the field of view wasn’t wide enough when filming yourself holding the camera in your hand. So, Sony changed the lens to a wider, fixed 20mm f/2. It loses some aperture, but still, you can get that nice shallow depth of field and bokeh effect. The downside of this new lens is that you cannot zoom in or out.
New camera with some limitations
Even though the ZV-1F is freshly out of 2022, it uses an older contrast detection AF-system instead of Sony’s well-known phase detection autofocus. The focus did get more focus points and went up from 315 to 425 points. According to Sony, the focus will perform perfectly in most circumstances. We still have to see how well the focus operates in comparison to competitor Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III, which also only has contrast detection autofocus.
The Sony ZV-1 is using a MicroUSB port for charging and transferring files (which is also possible by putting the SD-card in your computer), but now de Sony ZV-1F has a USB-C port. This will charge your camera faster and data will be transferred fast as well.
Of course, Sony made sure the microphones are up-to-date and deliver great sound. It is possible to change the microphone direction from front to back, depending on where you are in the shot. They did change the hotshoe for active-powered accessories to a coldshoe. Meaning, you won’t be able to charge your external microphone through the camera any more. It is a downgrade, but also helps to keep the prices low.
Made for vlogging
The Sony ZV-1F is a pure vlogging camera and of course, you find a fully rotating LCD-screen on the back. Sony borrowed some tricks from smartphones, and now it is possible to swipe up to reveal some of the most used settings. It is also possible to set the focus manually by swiping over the screen with your finger. When you buy the Sony ZV-1F, you will receive the mini tripod, with buttons to change settings and start/stop recording. This means you can start using the camera right out of the box.
Traditional cameras and smartphones find each other
This camera shows that traditional cameras and smartphones come closer together because the cameras start using tricks from smartphones. Phones are getting better and faster cameras, but still quite can’t produce the shallow depth of field and bokeh real photo cameras can produce.
Sony’s own Xperia Pro-I has a 1-inch sensor as well, and we wonder why the ZV-1F and Sony Xperia Pro-I phone are so close together. Do you really need this new camera, if you practically can do the same with a phone? Well, yes, we do need this camera. The ZV-1F uses the full sensor to receive light and make the image, while the Xperia Pro-I only uses a part of the sensor.
Sony ZV-1F price and availability
The Sony ZV-1F will be on sale from the end of October, starting at £549.00. Which is cheaper than the ZV-1 costing £667.