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Review Sony ZV-1 – Not Just for Vloggers…


and here with the digital digest and today I wanted to share my full review the digitally digested segment for the Sony zv1 now this has already started shipping and I’m about to ship mine back this is a review unit from Sony it retails for seven hundred and fifty US dollars but on June 28th it will go up to $7.99 and while that may sound like a lot of money for a point-and-shoot camera I can assure you this is a relative bargain when you take into account the performance that they’ve packed into the zv1 so let’s start off with that what makes it special first and foremost it’s Sony’s first camera and I mean literally first camera ever to incorporate a flip around display and while that may not seem like anything groundbreaking for Sony this is a pretty big move but that’s not what makes the zv1 unique what makes the zv1 unique is that we have the same lens that you’d find in the rx100 Mark 5a which is a very sharp 24 to 70 millimeter F one point eight piece of Zeiss glass with an ND filter ideal for video but still completely competent for still imaging because you’ve got that same exact one inch 20 megapixel sensor inside it that you’d find in the rx100 mark 5 a same autofocus system same 315 points of phase detection 425 of contrast but what makes this unique is that this is a brand new category and part of what sony did to make it

appealing specifically to youtubers vloggers influencers which i argue you do not need to want to pick up this camera is that they’ve simplified controls they’ve given you a physical video record button they’ve given you active steady shot when you capture 4k video which is a must-have that right now only exists in the rx100 mark 7 so even though we have the internals in terms of lens and sensor pairing from the mark 5 a we have all of the other software algorithms colorscience from the rx100 mark 7 which is a much more expensive camera at roughly 1300 US dollars and even though that’s about to be replaced sooner than later with the mark 8 this is still a very good offering at its price to be giving you all those features even with what it emits so what does it emit well it doesn’t have the exact same you know phase number of phase detection points as the rx100 mark 7 but the color science the algorithm the real-time tracking in the autofocus system the eye autofocus precision that all lives here the ability to film in a vertical orientation rather than horizontal only also lives here those are all things you’d find in the rx100 mark 7 what’s it missing obviously it doesn’t have

the same flip around display that comes up over the top and that I think is more versatile for still images in terms of getting low angle and it just has more flexibility than the flip around display but what you are getting instead of in LED EVF is a hot shoe and you may or may not even need that instead of a flash you’re getting a try capsule microphone array that gives as far as I’m concerned some of the best internal audio you’ll find on a point-and-shoot camera I mentioned simplification and that’s part of the goal the video record button being moved to the top and actually being nearly as large if not exactly the same size very close to the same size as the shutter button is a welcomed addition we have the D focus button right above it also still able to see one which is going to give you on the fly the ability to of course make your subject the point of focus and anything behind your subject whether it’s a person or anything else D focused so this is

something that Sony knows people are after that look the blurred background the D focus background is a desirable effect most smartphones these days give you the ability to do that using software Sony is giving you the ability to do that using a real camera in terms of other things you should know and I’ve mentioned this in my other videos we have a real tally light for video recording so you know when the cameras recording like you would with a camcorder or video camera and that I think is another great addition and that all makes it sound like this is really more of a video camera first and it is Sony doesn’t define this as a DSC but rather a DC model which is a digital camera and that’s because it’s a new space again focused on vloggers focused on youtubers focused on influencers but I really think this should appeal to anyone looking to get better photos and video than what their smartphone has to offer but with the same ease of use the same level of basically zero learning curve that smartphones offer now is there room for improvement could Sony have done more absolutely I say that because we’re still working with the same menu system you notice when I open the display up it powers on the menu system hasn’t changed we have a touch screen but we don’t have a touch screen that we can actually touch I can’t take you through settings with that I can only use that for a point of focus you know and that’s a very limited way of using it but just taking you quickly through the menus so that you get an idea remember this has active steady shot I will continue to reinforce that because if you want to shoot 4k video handheld active steady shot is critical it’s not going to give you the same ability that you get with action cameras but even though it crops a little bit this is outside of the rx100 mark seven one of the few cameras that sony has out there that has active steady shot and that is a game-changer

for something you can throw in your pocket and want to be able to shoot 4k video that inherently is better in every way shape and form then an action camera even something like the insta 360 1r which has a one inch sensor and a fixed like a piece of glass but still even though it’s you know water-resistant dust resistant has an IP rating that’s about all it has in its favor and that’s why I would even compare them even though the insta 360 is 550 and this is 750 unless you absolutely have to have an action camera this is the camera to buy so product showcase you can see right there now something you need to know about that that’s a new feature that Sony’s integrated if you turn it on there is no active steady shot at all it presumes you that you’ve put this on a tripod so be aware of that and what that permits you to do I’ll turn it on right now and also get something in frame for you is that right now you can see part of well now you can see part of my oh le D that’s in front of me is in focus okay but if I wanted to quickly draw focus to this you saw that it immediately pretty much drew that focus right to the item and if it’s me on camera because I can do that for you right I’ll I’ll flip around the display and bring myself into focus you can see me now I’m on camera hello hello so let’s say I wanted to use this feature right now remember no steady shot but I bring that grip the grips in focus Almond focus the grips in focus and that is while it seems like a really simple thing still an important thing that you don’t have to be trying to sell something

you don’t have to be trying to review something it’s just a matter of how nimble this autofocus system truly can be and hopefully that was captured on the camera that I’m filming all of this with I hope it was because it works really well and that’s why I have been considering adding this to my own personal camera setup in terms of for the channel whether it’s for b-roll or anything else it just seems like you know a logical addition Beauty shots things of that nature it has versatility and I like that so hopefully this isn’t too blown out for you to see that because it is a relevant improvement in every way but is it critical to average everyday users no is it good to have it yes more is more when it comes to future proofing just like the hotshoe you may never use this but what if one day you want to throw a video light on there or a flash you have the ability to do so because remember the flash is gone let’s say you want to use any sort of microphone you have that ability with a mic Jack no headphone jack from monitoring audio but that’s not that big of a deal now remember this camera when recording video will overheat but you can lift that threshold and that’s a good thing so bear that in mind I’m not saying it’s going to damage the camera I’ve said this over and over again sony has done this in many cameras before this one where they’ve lifted the over heat threshold that shuts the camera down automatically and you can do that here and that will allow you to shoot

more video but that’s where you reminded this isn’t really a video camera but more of the internals of an rx100 thrown into a plastic body reimagined for a more video centric client and I think that’s a good thing in fact I’m still considering picking one up and I may very well do it because it is that compelling the June 28th date makes me feel like something else is on the way and I have a feeling the rx100 Mark 8 is going to be a monster of a camera considering how much Sony’s packed into this even though they’re using older and newer tech and combining it to create something that hits I think strikes the right price point I just think there’s more in the tank now it does still have the high frame rate recordings frequency recordings so that you can do slow-motion so if you want to do that it’s there I’m not a huge fan of it but Sony has stayed true to that it’s been in the RX 100’s for a long time and it lives here I’m not surprised I don’t use it a lot but some of you swear by it you’re not going to ever really want to go over 240 frames per second because it’s just going to get incredibly pixelated so keep that in mind you can see the record-setting fidelity options right there in terms of frame rate and bitrate the pup of course would start now wouldn’t hang but overall you know HFR is there and it’s not surprising because again it’s a staple in Sony’s lineup now in terms of everything else the menu reads the way it would on any other cyber-shot or rx100 and that’s not a bad thing but the zv2 if there is one I imagine I hope Sony reimagines this menu system and just builds on the ease of use and the running gun you know set it and forget it style that this eveyone makes me think about it it’s compelling in that this is going to appeal to people that do not want to dive into settings they do not want to do anything manually and that’s not a bad thing that’s not you know people don’t need to be you know made to feel lesser because they don’t want to fiddle with things you know that there are other cameras for that and I really feel the zv1 hits the right chord the right

mark on giving you a balance between both but of course if you want to get into manual modes you’re going to have to do some digging that’s really the difference I love that this is compatible with the Bluetooth grip this is a match made in heaven and if you missed my coverage of it Wireless you know it just syncs up over bluetooth you have control of taking stills video of course your zoom you have a c1 button that you can customize in this case it would be the D focus and it just works and it’s also a tripod and if I didn’t mention it through the course of this I think I did at the top of the video this is a loaner it is going back to Sony so I’m still working on whether or not I think I’m gonna add it and purchase it I know I said that already and it’s a tough decision for me because it is compelling even though I already have cameras that have most of this technology I don’t have one that has it in a single package and Sony knew exactly what they were doing with this you can of course link this up with your smart phone control it from there and you know Sony has their own imaging software as well in terms of other things that you should know s log hlg you’ve got so you do have legitimate video profiles with this and you should it’s a video camera really first still camera second and with all other rx100 switch this is not I would traditionally say those are you know hybrids but still still cameras first I mean anything that’s got an EVF that pops up and you know has more manual control inherently to me is more of a still camera first video camera second and the fact that they’ve always had the clip limitations overheating issues with video says it all now we’re not getting 4k at 60 frames per

second but again having the active steady shot having the real-time tracking all of those things it really amounts to one of the most complete cameras and yes I’m saying this that Sony’s ever made for the point-shoot market at this price point in fact there’s really been nothing and I do wonder how much this is going to cannibalize you know elements of the rx100 lineup even though it doesn’t have the build quality doesn’t have the EVF doesn’t have the manual controls I can keep beating that horse until it’s beyond dead but rather you know steak meat for connoisseurs in France the point is and that’s not a knock against the French people but you know it’s popular there in case you didn’t know that the reality is is that this has everything the rx100 mark 7 has without the form factor and the things that I’ve mentioned and without the additional phase detection points that makes it a steal interval shooting function you want time-lapse it’s there I mean so I can’t tell you that it does not have you know still really everything that you want subject detection you have the human and animal these are all things that you know have been added to really higher end cameras you could not get this feature set in a device at this price point so again 750 $800 seems like a lot of money and it is but if you know this is going to do it for you if you are more video centric but you then want to have still capability this is the if you know you need the extra reach you want the 200 millimeter lens you don’t care that much about the ND filter wait for the rx100 mark 8 I don’t know what they’re gonna come up with with that camera but I wasn’t expecting this not exactly this I mean Sony’s been

pitching the rx100 lineup is a vlog or package for I don’t know if it’s two years but at least one year they’ve been selling vlogger packages and I’ve always kind of scratched my head I didn’t get who they were after but now with something like this you know you can see what they’re after and the battery is going dead on me and that’s another thing I’m going to point to right now the battery life as you see that tally light and see me one more time is it gonna catch catch my face on camera I think because we’re in the product showcase it’s not going to either way this is really overall again so similar to the rx100 that battery life at least in my experience has been essentially the same I do wish now we get to the things besides the menu system getting a revamp I wish that we had better accessory support and maybe Sony’s got more accessories because as of right now the key accessory I’ve already mentioned is this grip and that’s the reason Sony sends it with the camera to reviewers like myself is because if you buy this you definitely should buy the grip and the grip works with other Sony cameras of course it isn’t inexpensive but for the price invaluable now I mentioned in my update for those of you that didn’t watch it I wish it supported Sony’s pure digital shotgun mic that they launched alongside the a7 r4 and maybe they can do something in firmware to make that happen but the good news is is that you know this microphone this built-in mic is really that good that I don’t know that you need a shotgun you certainly don’t need a shotgun like the one that I showed in a previous video the update like something like the rode videomicro don’t worry about it you don’t need it now if you want to attach a lav like the road wireless go that I’m using now or the a comic a system which is very similar this will

work and of course it does just clip right into the hot shoe and that’s just awesome I mean you want to do an interview you want to you know do anything for YouTube again influencers vloggers and you need audio that’s going to be better than what I feel is giving you nearly shotgun performance on camera which again is impressive you’ve got it just wire it up to the the mic jack and you’re good to go of course you need to attach the lab to your subject but that makes it even more complete if I can get this off of here I do also wish I mentioned this in the update but again for those of you who may have missed it Sony’s geriatric yet still completely competent modular LED EVF that they originally designed for the rx1 line and then eventually of course the RX one in the second gen got a pop-out EVF as well I wish this thing was supported that would be great maybe it can be done with firmware Sony may not even want to address this because it’s such an old piece of kit that they figure who even has it anymore well I do Sony and you know who’s gonna go out and spend the money this still cost two by three to four hundred u.s.

To throw it on a 750 dollar camera so that’s another question you know that remains to be answered but overall again I’m gonna reiterate it you are getting the lens and sensor of the rx100 Mark 5a with that ND filter Sam exact autofocus system but then you’re getting everything else the rx100 mark 7 has again other than the build quality other than the EVF other than of course flash other than the flip screen which i prefer i you still have an RX 100 over here just to show you again the articulation on you know five six and seventh gen rx100 just gives you more flexibility and I think even for filming yourself I do believe the overhead is better because your eyes don’t look like they’re looking away from the lens inherently here with the side flipping screen they do it’s like you can use that for framing and to make sure you’re in the shop but the more you look to the right well the more you look to the right and I do think they could have dropped you know Jax here on the side one person commented meeting a microphone jack one person commented and said what would get in way in the way of the screen it would definitely impede it slightly no question but there’s room on the physical body so you know it’s just a matter of refining things making them better and I have no doubt that Sony will do so I would love to see this camera come out with the same lens that’s on the rx100 mark seven meaning giving us additional reach that kind of for me would be the best of

both worlds that’s likely what the rx100 mark eight is going to be a lot like I would love to see this redesign I still want to mode dial though Sony I wouldn’t mind getting a hot shoe but if it’s in place of an EVF that’s gonna be a bit of a hard sell but again the keys to making this camera as unique as it is really amount to that real-time tracking in the autofocus system all these things that are reserved for the mark 7 and shortly will be in the mark 8 and that you can’t find in any other camera from Sony that’s a point and shoot so not just you know the act of steady shot which to me is the game changer for video for Sony it’s not going to make video look like it’s on a gimbal but if you’re careful you will be able to walk around and get stable enough video that it won’t make anyone ill whereas you know shooting video traditionally with any of the rx100 cameras you better not do a whole lot of moving you have to keep things still and even though battery life is pretty much the same between these and the overheating thresholds are very similar at the end of the day as I stated in my comparison of these two specific cameras the cv1 wins and that’s because again it has the brains of the rx100 mark 7 the competency of the rx100 mark 7 it just has the sensor and lens of the 5 a which so many people loved that sony said hey how can we make the 5 a better well this is how you can make the five a better drop it out of the RX line make a new segment and do some redesigning and

again you could put a video light on here it doesn’t have to be a microphone I personally wouldn’t throw a mic on here I can see using the ComicCon or wireless rode Wireless go but this to me is for you know a small form-factor video light that can also act as a flash I think that that’s really smart and that is only because the audio quality here is that good so overall the zv1 is a winner you know the fixed positions of this display it’s fine you know there’s nothing it’s not a whole lot to talk about obviously it’s nice that it flips this way to protect the screen but that’s kind of a given and you’ve already noticed it powers the camera on and off in the same way the rx100 line cameras are powered on and off by ejecting their EVF so you know what are the downsides to this I mean is it really at the end of the day the only downside in my opinion are the manual controls you’ve lost and that’s not the segment the target market that Sony’s after so is that really a downside I think it’s great that they put a D focus button here because again it’s building off of the popularity that smartphones have for becoming people’s primary cameras so that makes me think of the next generation of this camera and what they can potentially do and to me it’s very obvious new interface true touchscreen and just simplifying the camera even more they’ve got a very good start out of the gate here for what the camera is capable of the price point all of those things now it’s just a matter of refining the UI refining the touchscreen I think refining the Wireless integration I think that it behoove Sony to integrate Instagram you know as cheesy as this sounds and YouTube you know get write apps to actually allow the cameras to upload instant instantly you know take with a grain of salt but you know what I mean also in addition to that and you know this is

the type of feedback Sony does really listen to if that’s one of the reasons they are my favorite manufacturer it’s not just because they make great cameras but they listen and they don’t just listen because they love us they listen because it’s good for business too if you haven’t realized that it’s a win-win on both sides but besides integrating social media since they’re really trying to mold this into the social media monster camera they’re also giving us webcam capability now there aren’t a lot of details about that and I don’t know when that’s coming and I expect that once this camera gets it we’re gonna see it across all of the rx100 s and I don’t see why we wouldn’t see it on their mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras as well and that’s another killer feature so I think you’ve by this point put it together that the zv1 is a winner it isn’t perfect you know what I like it to have the rx100 build sure but I’ve got a grip here that I don’t have to adhesive X are one of the biggest pitfalls of the rx100 lineup the thumb grip is more robust than what you get on the rx100 line you don’t have this grip at all so this already makes me more confident nothing to add or glue on and that was always kind of janky right but acceptable because the rx100 was always and still is the king of the hill but this camera is legit to me by every measure it appears to be worth every single penny as I’ve mentioned over and over again the only way that I’m gonna you know probably say you should

hesitate on this is if that rx100 Mark eight comes out and just sets the bar at a new level and I think it’s going to I mean the fact that this camera is so good at such a low price I have a feeling the rx100 Mark eight is going to be amazing hopefully this also translates to the rx 10 five being amazing hopefully this translates to a new rx one Gen 3 being a I could go on and on and whatever Sony’s cooking up in the aps-c full-frame laboratory integrating even more of these features who knows this side screen may become a standard feature I don’t think it will but I think we’re gonna see a whole lot more of it than we do right now and give us you know a better battery I know we’re limited on space here there’s not a lot but I think it’s time I mean we’re seven generations deep on the rx100 lineup and I know there’s only so much space but if Sony can put together a new battery again throw that on my wish list and then last but not least video overheating you know I stated in my update this camera was overheating on me on my very first 5-minute indoor clip so while many reviewers have said oh it’s amazing the overheating is improved to me it’s just about a wash and considering this is so video centric I want to see it better if it can’t be achieved I completely understand it I mean I’ve given this camera a glowing review so far right so I’m not here to take any sort of dump on this thing I’ve done anything other than that I’m critical of things where one needs to be because I stick to the real deal there’s no you know lipstick on the pig here Sony did a really good job with this I think that a lot of youtubers you know were made very happy by it and I get why they all could see themselves adding this to their arsenal because for their purposes myself included it’s more functional as a video camera in your pocket than a regular rx100 is it a better camera no and by the way on the still side which I didn’t focus that much and I should have maybe mentioned more I mean it is totally competent it’s just as good as that rx100 mark 5a but better because it has the same buffer capacity meaning the number of successive shots that you can take as the rx100 mark seven another killer feature that didn’t have to be here and 24 frames per second I mean it’s not a sports photography

camera no point and shoot camera truly is even though the rx10 line flirts with it you know but ever since Sony integrated hybrid autofocus into point shoot cameras they’ve taken a new meaning a new world if you will so this is really a very complete product that at first when I saw it I said okay it looks like Sony came up with a perfect product for a pandemic and for everyone being stuck at home and they at the same time polished a vlogging concept segment that really no one’s done a great job at trying to solidify but now I have a newer respect for this camera because it really does do so much even though it’s not bringing new things to the table because again it’s just a marriage of the brains color science and algorithms of the rx100 mark 7 with the lens and sensor of the rx100 mark 5 a so again they didn’t reinvent anything they just made a pairing that happens to work very well and I think it’s going to be very much appreciated not just by vloggers not just by youtubers and not just by influencers and I think that’s the reason that it’s the back order log completely sold out for most vendors I mean Best Buy you can still scoop it I’m sure but everyone else this thing is pretty much sold out and for good reason it really accomplishes something that no other point-and-shoot camera from Sony ever has at such a low price which is paramount performance again giving up some features that may or may not be important I can’t tell you how many people comment on

rx 100 reviews that I do I never and they say I never use the EVF and I get that I use it sometimes I mean there are conditions but I wear glasses and you know not it’s not that easy to use on an EVF that doesn’t have an eye cup and you can you know make modifications a lot of people do but it’s a pain in the butt when it’s got to pop back in and then I don’t care so much about the flip out story as I do just about the autofocus competency I mean Sony used to get such a bad rap for autofocus and now look at them making a seven hundred and fifty dollar camera point shoot one inch sensor that when it comes to autofocus just destroys the competition and that’s because of the real-time tracking that’s because of the eye autofocus that even applies to animals not just us humans so you know I’ve gone over what there is to dislike and Sony’s done a great job with this thing what else can I say thirty almost two minutes in you know I do think there’s a pretty good probability that I’m going to want to give up my rx100 mark 5 to pick up one of these you know it’s just a fact of life and I do think that they are going they being Sony they are going to experience some cannibalization here because even though as I’ve stated through the course of this video that I expect the rx100 Mark 8 to be a superior camera I don’t know that I can say vastly you know I don’t know what they’re cooking up I don’t know what the measurable margin of superiority will be and if a lot of consumers don’t care about that 200 millimeter lens God knows they could stick a 400

millimeter lens and then in the new rx 100 I wouldn’t see it coming that would be bonkers wouldn’t it it would also make a lot of people unhappy either way if it ends up being four or five hundred dollars more than this camera I’m not sure that so many people are going to move away from the CV one for whatever difference is sony’s going to be able to roll in I mean the game changers are already here in the CV one granted they’ve been out for a year already in cameras like the rx100 mark 7 but I mean who knows what’s coming in the market right are we going to get 4k 60 and even if we do is that and I doubt it’ll be the first Sony consumer camera to have it I believe that’s going to go to the a7 s3 if and when ever finally arrives but if they were to do that is that really gonna peel people away from this camera no the average consumer that’s looking to move to a higher quality level than their smartphone is gonna be more than pleased with what this delivers and they’re already going to have a tough time shelling out 750 to 800 US dollars to buy this especially when a lot of those consumers again aren’t just comparing this to their smartphone they’re comparing it to things like this action cameras which are great for certain use don’t get me wrong but they are far from being true cameras their action cameras they have the word action in them for a reason there they go anywhere get beat up you

know get crapped on thing that still survives this is not that this cannot get wet you don’t want to get this dusty you want to treat this not like a galaxy fold but you get my drift it’s a camera treat it like a camera it’s not an IP rated camera it’s not water or dust resistant so you’ve got to treat it like you would any other camera in the past and while action cameras are great they serve a simple purpose what I am really curious about because of all the improvements here is what the rx0 mark 3 will have to offer because that little wonder that little block that I reviewed in the second but not first generation that still doesn’t have continuous autofocus Oh does that thing have potential if they can integrate the things they’ve done here into that little cube then I might regret buying this if I do you see where I’m going because I would love an action camera that granted it wouldn’t it would have a fixed lens much like this but the quality that Sony has the quality that they’ve mastered with their one inch sensor lineup holy smokes I mean the rx0 line is already impressive enough but if we get continuous autofocus real-time tracking just to name a few that is going to be one of the most desirable cameras for me coming up because I want an action camera that could take it to the next level and by the way Sony if you can somehow somehow weather seal this but of course with an extending lens you’re not gonna be able to do that and that’s why I’m talking about the RX 0 that is the next step in making this even more consumer desirable for the audience that you targeted and I don’t again just mean vloggers youtubers and influencers I mean the general public that relies on smart phones that can get wet can shoot 4k video can shoot solid stills especially with cameras now on smartphones getting closer but look I wish Sony would just give us a smartphone with a one inch sensor or at least start selling one inch sensors for smartphone manufacturers to integrate they did it years ago

long long time ago and fell flat but I think now now is that time Sony’s latest Xperia does not have that granted it’s got so many of Sony’s di features it just it doesn’t have that one inch sensor if they did that then we may not even be talking about as ev1 so that gets more into you know marketing structure and profits and things I’m not going to get into it and really cannibalizing but that’s my dream device if anyone’s listening give me a smartphone that’s got a one inch sensor and all the niceties of 2020 tech Sony you can do it you can do it anyway that wraps it up long review but it’s an impressive piece of kit and by the way if you’re wondering if I’m going to get it I am giving it some very serious consideration I did mention you know if I can get the right price for my rx100 mark 5 I don’t see a reason why I wouldn’t want to put this in the stable because on the go for video this is really tough to beat as long as you’re not doing the long format it’s not going to replace what I’m filming right now because I tend to do long format but for just about everything in life other than long format this thing is a friggin gem and that’s where I leave you folks rx100 mark 7 brains rx100 mark 5 a lens and sensor plus a lot of extra features make this one of the best cameras at its price ever made any questions or comments please feel free post them hit that like button and as usual please feel free to subscribe and please stay safe later

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