Sony ZV-1F assessment: Digital Pictures Evaluation

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The Sony ZV-1F is a compact vlogging digicam with a Sort 1 (13.2×8.8mm) sensor and a hard and fast 20mm equal lens. This can be a digicam clearly aimed toward vloggers, and incorporates a three-capsule mic and absolutely articulating display screen for facing-the-camera video creation.

Key specs

  • 20MP Sort 1 (13.2×8.8mm) BSI CMOS sensor
  • 20mm equiv. 7.6mm F2.0 lens
  • Distinction detection autofocus
  • 8-bit 4:2:0 video
  • 4K as much as 30p
  • 1080 as much as 120p

The ZV-1F will probably be accessible from late October at a really useful worth of $499. That is $300 lower than the launch worth of the present ZV-1 mannequin.

What it’s?

The ZV-1F is the corporate’s second vlogging digicam to be constructed round a Sort 1 sensor however makes use of a wide-angle, 20mm equal, prime lens somewhat than the 24-70mm equiv zoom on the ZV-1. Regardless of the considerably lower cost, the ZV-1F can shoot 4K video at as much as 30p utilizing the complete width of its sensor.

A touchscreen interface provides you entry to key settings when you’re vlogging, together with product showcase AF mode (center proper)

This mixture of a large lens and full-width readout permits it to ship a usefully large angle-of-view, even with digital picture stabilization engaged (imposing a 1.23x crop and giving an roughly 25mm equal subject of view).

The 20mm equal lens features a 40.5mm diameter filter thread, making it potential to suit ND or variable ND filters, to permit the usage of video-friendly shutter speeds even in vivid mild.

A mixture of cropping and Sony’s ‘tremendous decision’ upsampling permits the digicam to supply a 2x ‘zoom’ regardless of the mounted lens. The digicam’s 5.5K sensor signifies that something past 1.4x zoom should be taken from an space smaller than 4K and upscaled, so that you’re restricted to ‘1.5x zoom’ in 4K mode.

The ZV-1F contains Sony’s ‘Product Showcase’ AF mode that makes use of face detection however provides precedence to issues held up near the digicam. Apparently, although, the ZV-1F doesn’t have on-sensor part detection, so has no inherent distance consciousness.

The chilly shoe can be utilized to connect a wind display screen over the digicam’s microphones. It provides the ZV-1F the rakish look of a pompadour in a stiff breeze.

Compact cameras have change into fairly uncommon, however we suspect there will be some photographers who’re intrigued by the thought of a small, ultra-wide prime digicam with a relatively giant sensor.

The very first thing value figuring out is that the ZV-1F can’t shoot Uncooked recordsdata: it is JPEG or film solely. There’s additionally no built-in flash and no hotshoe through which to mount one. The digicam does provide full PASM capturing modes, although, so you’ll be able to take management and shoot stills if you want.

The ZV-1F has a USB-C socket that can be utilized for charging, energy or to make use of the digicam as a webcam (as much as 1080/60p). There’s additionally a mic socket and a micro HDMI port.

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The way it compares

The one actual peer to the ZV-1F is the unique, zoom lens ZV-1 and, in fact, the higher-end smartphones which can be a preferred selection for vlogging.

Sony ZV-1F Sony ZV-1 iPhone 14 Professional Pixel 7 Professional
Sort Compact Digicam Compact digicam Cell phone Cell phone
MSRP $499 $699 $999 (128GB) $899
Sensor dimension Sort 1
Sort 1
Sort 1/3.6 (entrance) Sort 1/3.1 (4.6×3.5mm) (entrance)
Lens 20mm equiv 24-70mm equiv 23mm equiv 21mm equiv
Picture Stabilization? Digital Digital No No
Autofocus sort Distinction-detection AF Quick Hybrid AF (phase-detection AF / contrast-detection AF) Section detection and LIDAR AF Section detection and LIDAR AF
Video spec As much as 4K 30p As much as 4K 30p As much as 4K 60p (Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR) As much as 4K 60p (10-bit HDR)
Display 3.0″ 0.92M-dot 3.0″ 0.92M-dot 6.1″ (2556x1179px OLED) 6.7″ (1440x3120px OLED)
Media format SD (UHS-I)


Inner / Cloud storage

Inner / Cloud storage
  • 5G mobile web connection
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • 5G mobile web connection
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
Weight 256g 343 g 206g 212g

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Because the ZV-1F is designed as a vlogging digicam, we felt it made extra sense to current the majority of our assessment in vlog type. Take it away, Chris:

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What we like… What we do not…
  • Extraordinarily compact
  • Intuitive interface with the most recent Sony menus
  • ‘Product Showcase’ mode works properly
  • Good built-in microphones, with mic jack to increase your choices
  • Sharp, ultrawide prime lens
  • Filter thread for ND use or inventive filters
  • Gradual sensor readout results in ‘jello’ rolling shutter artifacts
  • Distinction detect autofocus can typically ‘flutter’ when recording video
  • No uncooked seize for images
  • Fiddly controls when utilizing extra handbook settings
  • No headphone jack
  • No optical stabilization

The ZV-1F must carry out a troublesome balancing act. As a lower-priced different to the ZV-1, some options must be sacrificed (ND filter, Uncooked images) or scaled again (focal vary, autofocus efficiency). The difficulty is, with each cost-cutting measure, the advantages of utilizing a devoted digicam over a contemporary smartphone additionally diminish.

Sure, the ZV-1F video high quality when vlogging will probably be superior to your smartphone’s selfie digicam, however additionally, you will lose options like 4K/60P, sooner sensor readout and optical stabilization that the majority smartphones provide.

Whether or not the ZV-1F is smart for you’ll largely rely upon how a lot you make the most of the articulating display screen for inventive digicam angles.

Whether or not the ZV-1F is smart for you’ll largely rely upon how a lot you make the most of the articulating display screen for inventive digicam angles, and the intelligent ‘Product Showcase’ mode. These options alone will probably be definitely worth the very cheap worth for a lot of. The inclusion of Sony’s skilled image profiles and log video recording additionally imply the ZV-1F might be an incredible second or overhead digicam that can color-match with a higher-end Sony digicam.

So, whereas we will positively see some conditions the place the ZV-1F might be a wise selection, for almost all of these getting considering vlogging and video manufacturing, we predict it could be value saving up a bit extra for the Z-V1 or ZV-E10, each of which supply way more benefits over a contemporary smartphone.

How about for stills?

By Richard Butler

As a stills digicam the ZV-1F is an fascinating proposition. It isn’t significantly supposed as a primarily photographic system, however that does not imply it might’t be used as one.

Autofocus is fairly fast, even with out part detection, and its mixture of a big sensor (by compact digicam or smartphone requirements) plus a comparatively vivid lens is an fascinating one.

Its picture high quality is sweet, however with out the automated mixture of a number of pictures utilized by high-end smartphones, it will not essentially provide a major improve in picture high quality over the likes of the most recent iPhone, Pixel or Galaxy. And, maybe to guard RX100 sequence gross sales, there is not any choice to shoot Uncooked to achieve processing flexibility. So, it actually comes right down to the query of whether or not the ZV-1F gives a suitably superior photo-taking expertise to justify the usage of a separate system.

We’re not wholly satisfied on this regard. With solely a single, fiddly management dial on the again of the digicam, the ZV-1F would not provide a lot past the touchscreen-based expertise you’d get from a cellphone. The zoom rocker on the entrance is not tremendously helpful, given the mounted lens, so you find yourself all fingers and thumbs with a tool that continuously reminds you that this is not what it was constructed for.

$500 for a pocketable, giant sensor, ultra-wide digicam would possibly sound fairly cool, however be very conscious you are not getting a cut-price 20mm equiv Ricoh GR.

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