Sony ZV-1 Review | NDTV Gadgets 360

Earlier this yr, Sony launched a brand new collection in its compact digicam lineup with the debut of the ZV-1. Marketed as a ‘vlog digicam,’ the Sony ZV-1 has options specifically designed to make vlogging a lot simpler for novice customers. Its spotlight options embrace a compact physique, a totally articulating LCD, and devoted buttons for issues akin to background defocus.

Priced at Rs. 67,990 (MRP), is the brand new Sony ZV-1 price shopping for? I’ve been utilizing it for a couple of weeks and here is what I feel.

Sony ZV-1 design: Highly pocketable

While many vloggers would like utilizing mirrorless and even DSLR cameras, Sony goals to supply many of the superior options present in such cameras, however in a extra compact kind issue. The dimensions of the Sony ZV-1 are similar to these of Sony’s RX100 VII digital digicam. The ZV-1 weighs about 294g with the battery and reminiscence card, which remains to be fairly gentle. It’s additionally sufficiently small to simply slip into your again pocket if wanted.

The Sony ZV-1 is compact and straightforward to hold round


There’s a small rubber insert within the entrance, which acts as a mini handgrip, and one other on the again on your thumb. The outer physique is constructed largely of plastic, nevertheless it feels sturdy and the textured floor gives respectable grip. The prime of the Sony ZV-1 incorporates a hot-shoe connector, a three-capsule microphone, and a collection of buttons. The again of the digicam additionally has some extra buttons, that are smaller than those on the highest, and are usually not the simplest to make use of. The round jog dial on the again additionally doubles up as a directional pad however suggestions is a bit comfortable and never very tactile.

In order to make the ZV-1 vlog-friendly, Sony has moved the film report button from its typical place on the again, to the highest. It’s rather a lot bigger too, which makes it simpler to make use of. You additionally get a big, subtle purple LED indicator subsequent to the lens within the entrance to let you recognize when video is being recorded.

A 3.5mm microphone enter, Micro-USB port, and Micro-HDMI port are positioned on the correct of the Sony ZV-1. The ports are coated with plastic flaps, nevertheless these are usually not climate sealed. There’s no digital viewfinder on the ZV-1, solely a 3-inch LCD touchscreen. Unlike most different compact Sony cameras although, this one is absolutely articulating so it may flip out sideways and rotate 180 levels.

sony zv 1 review ports sony

The Sony ZV-1 has a wide selection of ports


The battery/SD card compartment is on the underside, together with the tripod mount. The hinge for the battery tray really extends over the tripod mount, which suggests if it is advisable swap batteries or SD playing cards throughout a shoot, you need to dismount the digicam from the tripod first which could be fairly irritating.

The Sony ZV-1 incorporates a mounted lens with Zeiss optics. It has a focal vary of 24-70mm (35mm equal), 2.7x optical zoom, and an aperture vary of f/1.8 – f/2.8. There’s a built-in impartial density (ND) filter for chopping the publicity by a couple of stops, which is beneficial in harshly lit environments.

The Sony ZV-1 could be bought as a vlogging equipment, which incorporates an additional battery, a 64GB SD card, and the GP-VPT2BT Bluetooth handgrip. Sony despatched me this equipment for overview, and we’ll speak concerning the handgrip a bit later.

Sony ZV-1 specs and options: Impressive for the value

The Sony ZV-1 incorporates a 1-inch sensor with a 20.1-megapixel decision. There’s optical (SteadyShot) stabilisation for stills, hybrid stabilisation for video, 315 section detection autofocus factors (PDAF), 425 distinction detection autofocus factors, and a most burst seize of about 24 frames per second when utilizing the ‘Hi’ setting. The ZV-1 additionally has eye autofocus (Eye AF) for people and animals when taking pictures stills, and solely people when taking pictures video. The native ISO vary is 100-12,800 and solely the decrease finish is expandable. This digicam additionally helps RAW picture seize in Sony’s ARW format.

sony zv 1 review rear ss

The Sony ZV-1 borrows loads of options from the RX100 collection


When it involves video, the Sony ZV-1 is able to taking pictures as much as 4K at 30fps, or as much as 1080p at 120fps. There’s a devoted excessive framerate (HFR) taking pictures mode which captures ready-to-use slow-motion movies at as much as 1,000fps however in very quick bursts. Given the digicam’s value, it is good to see that Sony hasn’t eliminated the skilled video modes. The ZV-1 helps superior profiles akin to HLG, S-Log2, and S-Log3, amongst others for HDR workflows.

Finally, the ZV-1 could be related to your smartphone to make the most of Sony’s Imaging Edge Mobile app. The app permits you to remotely management the digicam by utilizing your cellphone because the viewfinder. It additionally permits you to switch photographs and video to your smartphone, wirelessly. The digicam has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi n, however no NFC.

sony zv 1 review top sony

The Sony ZV-1 has a devoted button (C1) for the vlog-centric Background Defocus function


Some of the brand new vlogging-specific options included into the Sony ZV-1 embrace Product Showcase. This function is tremendous helpful for anybody trying to current or exhibit a product on digicam, like what we do right here at Gadgets 360 for instance. When enabled, it primarily disables face and eye monitoring so the main focus shifts rapidly to no matter is being introduced to the lens. This function is mapped to the C2 button by default.

Background Defocus is mapped to the C1 button by default and this allows you to get a shallower depth of subject between your topic/your self and the background. The ZV-1 additionally has a Soft Skin Effect toggle within the Quick Settings panel, if it is advisable use a beautification filter on your items to digicam.

Sony ZV-1 efficiency and battery life: Not too shabby

The Sony ZV-1 is a enjoyable little digicam and does not take lengthy to grasp. Due to house constraints, there is a ‘Mode’ button as an alternative of a dial, which helps you to cycle via the assorted taking pictures modes. Most of those modes needs to be very acquainted. They embrace Sweep Panorama, which takes a number of images in fast succession and stitches them collectively; Scene Selection if you would like the digicam to regulate its parameters mechanically; and the standard perture, Shutter, Program and Manual modes. The ZV-1 does not provide the most effective grip when you have massive fingers however I discovered it manageable. The rear buttons may have had higher tactile response however the shutter and video recording buttons fare significantly better on this respect.

sony zv 1 review battery sony

The Sony ZV-1 has an awkwardly designed battery door hinge, which extends over the tripod mount


As a vlogging digicam, I used to be fairly pleased with the Sony ZV-1. It’s straightforward to handle with one hand because of its low weight and compact dimension. When taking pictures handheld, I largely used it with the Bluetooth handgrip that Sony despatched alongside. This accent connects to the digicam through Bluetooth and gives shortcut buttons for zoom, shutter launch, video recording, and the C1 shortcut. There’s a lock change that turns the handgrip off to forestall unintentional presses. The base of the handgrip could be tilted forwards and backwards, or rotated 360 levels. It additionally doubles up as a tripod, which is helpful.

The touchscreen was responsive, however I want we may do extra with it than merely change the main focus level. For occasion, with the digicam pointed at your self when vlogging, it will have been good to have the ability to rapidly change settings, relatively than needing to show the digicam round and fiddle with the buttons.

In phrases of picture high quality, I discovered the Sony ZV-1 to be very succesful below good gentle. We start with our ISO check, to see how effectively the digicam performs throughout the ISO vary. It’s additionally an excellent indication of the form of images you possibly can count on in low gentle.

sony zv 1 ISO test sony

Sony ZV-1 ISO check


The Sony ZV-1 was in a position to protect particulars very effectively until about ISO 1,600, after which the picture started to lose its sharpness a bit. This was very obvious at ISO 3,200. Going up a full cease, we observed slight grain within the picture and the perimeters of the pencils began to get fuzzy. At the utmost ISO worth of 12,800, particulars had been weaker, textual content wasn’t as sharp anymore, and there was loads of seen grain. However, I used to be joyful to notice that there is not loads of chroma noise and the picture on the highest ISO degree was nonetheless considerably usable.

When taking pictures stills in daylight, the Sony ZV-1 managed superb particulars, colors appeared pure and punchy, and dynamic vary was pretty enough too. When utilizing the complete optical zoom vary in panorama photographs, particulars had been nonetheless pretty respectable, however finer objects and textures weren’t very sharp, which is extra of a limitation of the sensor dimension than the rest.

Sony ZV-1 digicam pattern: ISO 125, f/4, 1/250, 24mm (faucet to see bigger picture)

Sony ZV-1 digicam pattern: ISO 400, f/1.8, 1/30, 24mm (faucet to see bigger picture)


Close-ups appeared good, and the pure depth you may get with the massive aperture on the widest focal size was pleasing. When taking pictures in good gentle, I discovered the autofocus to be on level. The ZV-1 was fast to lock focus, with minimal to no searching, and I may monitor my topic just by tapping it within the viewfinder. Faces are tracked mechanically and Eye AF labored effectively.

In very dim lighting, the Sony ZV-1 struggled with focus because it does not have a spotlight illuminator. I discovered this to be a slight drawback, even with close-up topics. It additionally struggled to detect faces correctly, which could be a problem in case you plan on utilizing this digicam in low-light situations rather a lot. With respectable gentle sources round, the ZV-1 does a good job with autofocus for stills, though it nonetheless had delicate searching points when taking pictures video.

Sony ZV-1 digicam pattern: ISO 400, f/2.2, 1/10, 27mm (faucet to see bigger picture)

Sony ZV-1 digicam pattern: ISO 12,800, f/2.8, 1/13, 70mm (faucet to see bigger picture)


Videos shot with the Sony ZV-1 appeared nice. Colours had been punchy, pores and skin tones appeared pure, and the Background Defocus possibility did an excellent job of separating me from my background. Sony features a windbreaker within the field, which could be hooked up to the ZV-1’s hot-shoe to scale back wind noise. This made an enormous distinction in my expertise, nearly chopping out this disturbance solely, and I did not even must hassle with enabling the wind-noise discount setting within the digicam.

Videos shot at 4K and 1080p appeared superb, with wealthy particulars and saturated colors. There did not appear to be a recording restrict as such, however on a number of events, I observed the digicam stopped recording just below the 15-minute mark when taking pictures in 4K, with slight variations within the whole recording size. Video shot in low gentle appeared a bit grainy, however not too unhealthy total. I additionally had nice enjoyable taking pictures ultra-slow-motion video with the digicam’s HFR mode, though the standard was strictly common on the highest setting.

Battery life was a bit disappointing. The Sony ZV-1 is rated to ship about 260 photographs per cost, and whereas that is very attainable (I normally managed a bit extra), it isn’t nice. This is comprehensible, contemplating the digicam has a fairly tiny battery. What would have made this extra bearable is that if there had been a neater solution to swap batteries. Thankfully, you possibly can energy the ZV-1 with an influence financial institution and preserve going if wanted. With video, Sony claims the ZV-1 is able to taking pictures constantly ta 1080p for as much as 75 minutes on a single cost.

sony zv 1 review display ss

The Sony ZV-1 is a really succesful little digicam and is priced fairly aggressively



The Sony ZV-1 has turned out to be a unbelievable little digicam, even in case you do not care about vlogging. The proven fact that it packs in almost all of the options of a RX100 VII, at a lower cost is an effective sufficient motive to contemplate it. If you go for the standalone model of the digicam, it is accessible for roughly Rs. 60,000 on Amazon. The vlogging equipment will value you an extra Rs. 10,000, which is an honest deal contemplating you get an extra battery, a 64GB reminiscence card, and the Bluetooth handgrip.

If I needed to decide a couple of issues that would have been higher, I’d say a neater solution to swap out the battery and reminiscence card when the digicam is on a tripod or different accent can be primary. I discovered the rear buttons to be a bit too small and onerous to press at occasions, the touchscreen may have been extra useful, and maybe an AF illuminator would have helped with autofocus in low gentle.

Overall, in case you had been excited about shopping for a Sony RX100 collection digicam, I’d say check out the ZV-1 as an alternative, particularly in case you do not want a excessive degree of zoom.

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