Sony today announced the ZV-E1 vlogging camera. This new model sits at the top of the company’s ZV line and is the first to feature a full-frame sensor.
The ZV-E1 has the same 12MP full-frame sensor found on the A7S III and the FX3, which is a very high quality sensor with remarkable low light capabilities and 15+ stops dynamic range. It couples this with the same BIONZ XR image processor from those two other cameras, which should ensure nearly identical image quality.
The ZV-E1 makes some concessions compared to the A7S III and FX3. It currently maxes out at 4K 60fps with 4:2:2 and 10-bit, with 4K 120fps being promised as part of a future update. It also lacks the comprehensive heat management of the other two cameras. It has a single SD card slot and the HDMI port is of the mini sort.
Being a beginner and vlogging centric camera, the ZV-E1 does have a few advantages. It is smaller and lighter, it has dedicated zoom ring around the shutter, and it has controls to easily adjust the depth of field and focus. There is also a new Cinemascope aspect ratio, which puts black bars around the 16:9 frame to create a 21:9 image without requiring any editing.
The ZV-E1 also features Sony’s latest software features, with AI human recognition, which enables features like Multiple Face Recognition that adjusts aperture to let two people be in focus, auto framing where the camera crops the image to keep the subject in the frame as it moves around, Framing Stabilizer, and Auto Microphone directivity for detecting talking subjects as they move around.
Improved Real-time Recognition AF from the A7R V can detect things like humans, animals, birds, insects, cars/trains, and airplanes. Breathing Compensation maintains the field of view while racking focus on lenses with heavy breathing.
The ZV-E1 also includes Sony’s new Dynamic Active Mode stabilization, which is 30% more effective than the standard Active Mode at reducing camera shake in footage.
At $2199 body-only or $2499 with 28-60 mm F4.5-5.6 zoom lens, the ZV-E1 is significantly cheaper than the A7S III or the FX3 while offering nearly the same level of performance and functionality, while also adding a few new features of its own, making it a much better alternative for new creators.