Sony has just announced a new compact vlogging camera, the ZV-1F, which is meant to help content creators transition from smartphones to a proper camera. It features a fixed 20mm full-frame equivalent lens, 4K30p and FullHD120p video recording, a built-in 3-capsule mic, Bluetooth and Wi-fi connectivity, and several presets for entry-level users. It retails for less than $500.
The newly announced ZV-1F sits in the same family of products as the existing ZV-1 and ZV-E10 models. In case you missed it, make sure to check out my colleague Johnnie’s review of these cameras (ZV-1 / ZV-E10).
Compared to its two siblings, the ZV-1F lacks some of the most advanced features. However, it comes at a more affordable price tag, meaning it could be a great first camera for content creators who are just starting out. Let’s take a closer look!
Sony ZV-1F: point and shoot vlogging camera
The new Sony ZV-1F is a pocket-size camera that looks particularly suitable for mobile content creators looking to upgrade to their first real camera. Unlike the ZV-1, which features a built-in 24-70mm full-frame equivalent zoom lens, and the ZV-E10, which offers the benefits of Sony’s interchangeable E-mount lens system, the new ZV-1F comes with a fixed 20mm (full-frame equivalent) f/2 wide-angle lens.
This setup should still offer an ideal angle of view for selfie-style shooting. Moreover, keeping the subject in focus should be pretty straightforward using the Eye AF function, which works with both people and animals. Additionally, the camera provides electronic image stabilization to make your footage less shaky when shooting and walking.
The camera packs a 20MP 1” Exmor RS CMOS sensor (13.2×8.8mm) and can record videos in 4K UHD at up to 30fps or FullHD at up to 120fps. However, it still makes use of the old-fashioned XAVC S codec, whose bitrate is limited to 100Mbps. The ZV-1F takes SDXC/SDHC memory cards, which are usually quite affordable and shouldn’t weigh on the pockets of beginners.
The camera features a variable-angle LCD touchscreen, which can be flipped forward to facilitate operation when shooting selfies. Furthermore, the right side of the body hosts a 3.5mm audio jack input for external microphones, a micro HDMI connector, as well as a USB-C port. The latter can be used to connect the camera to a computer to turn the ZV-1F into a webcam.
Specific features for vlogging
The Sony ZV-1F comes with a set of easy-to-use functions to help content creators look their best in front of the camera. These include Face Priority AE, which ensures a proper level of brightness for your face, a Soft Skin Effect option, as well as a Background Bokeh setting to help you stand out from the background.
Other noteworthy features include a Product Showcase Setting that can be useful for product reviews to switch focus between faces and objects, the ability to mark clips during recording, and the presence of 10 pre-installed creative looks.
Design, connectivity, and audio
The new ZV-1F is extremely compact and lightweight, measuring 105.5x60x46.4mm in size and weighing only 256g, factoring in battery and media. According to Sony, recycled materials were used for both the body and accessories.
For immediate social media sharing of stills and videos, users can connect the ZV-1F to the Imaging Edge Mobile Plus smartphone app via Bluetooth or Wi-fi. Moreover, the camera can be controlled using the existing GP-VPT2BT tripod/shooting grip.
When it comes to recording sound, the ZV-1F integrates a directional 3-capsule mic that picks up signals coming from the front of the camera and comes with an included wind screen. Unlike the ZV-1, the ZV-1F does not support Sony’s multi-interface audio modules, as it only features a cold shoe interface.
Price and availability
The new Sony ZV-1F is now available to pre-order from B&H and CVP for $498/€526. This means it is cheaper than both the ZV-1 and ZV-E10, which currently retail for $698.
The ZV-1F is available in both black and white variants and should start shipping later this month. Finally, B&H offers a pre-bundled Vlogger Accessory Kit (black / white) for $646.
For more information, please visit Sony’s website here.
What do you think of the new Sony ZV-1F? Do you think it can be a good alternative to smartphones for content creators? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!