Sony has announced another new camera, dropping the ZV-1F on October 13. It is the third camera in Sony’s ZV line, joining the ZV-1 and ZV-E10, and at only $500, it rounds out the trio as the most affordable option. Aimed at beginners, the Face Priority AE, Product Showcase Setting, and other easy-to-use features make content creation simple and approachable. 

Key features:

  • Ultra-wide 20mm-equivalent f/2.0 prime lens
  • Compact and lightweight, weighing only 8.1 ounces
  • Face Priority auto exposure that automatically adjusts brightness based on the subject’s face, even in tricky lighting conditions
  • Directional 3-Capsule Mic with included windscreen for better voice recording even when it’s windy
  • Smooth footage thanks to Active Mode electronic image stabilization
  • Background Defocus Function quickly blurs the background for photos and videos
  • Product Showcase Setting automatically shifts focus between faces and products
  • Vari-Angle LCD touch screen to easily change settings and shoot selfie footage
  • 10 preset Creative Look options as well as Soft Skin Effect
  • Made from recycled materials and packaged with minimal plastic

Who’s it for?

This entry-level compact camera is ideal for new content creators and vloggers wanting a step up from a smartphone. The low price and compact size make it more approachable and easy to keep on hand. And it has many preset modes and tools to make vlogging and content creation easy yet high-quality.  

ZV-1F body and design

The ZV-1F features a flip-out 3.0-inch touchscreen. Sony

Sony built this camera around a 20.1MP 1″ Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Image Processor. Unlike the ZV-1’s 24-70mm zoom lens, the ZV-1F has a 20mm-equivalent prime lens. The wider focal length makes it easier to fit yourself or a group in the frame, which is ideal for vloggers. 

The prime lens does, however, mean you have to rely on digital zoom if you want a different field of view, which isn’t as ideal for product-specific content. It has step-controlled zoom, with the ability to select 1x, 1.5x, 2x, or 4x. For video, it is capable of 2x zoom in 1080p and about 1.5x in 4K.

It is a tiny, compact camera, which is ideal if the goal is to replace a smartphone. The camera weighs just 9 ounces with the battery and is only 4.2 x 2.4 x 1.8 inches. And it’s made of recycled materials, including Sony’s SORPLAS, a sustainable and flame-retardant plastic. 

Video capture

You can easily record vertical videos for social media on the ZV-1F. Sony

The ZV-1F is mainly intended for vlogging, and as a result, it features some excellent video specs to help produce quality footage. For starters, it can record UHD 4K at up to 30p or 1080p at up to 120fps. It also provides access to 5x slow motion and 60x hyperlapse modes with the press of the S & Q button.

Unfortunately, there is no built-in stabilization. The camera instead utilizes electronic stabilization via Active Mode, which will result in a 1.23x crop. It does produce smooth footage while walking or moving around, which is very beneficial and makes videos look much more polished.

Vertical video is the preferred format on social media platforms, and this camera caters to that. You can easily record vertically, or you can easily rotate videos to be vertical without any additional editing. Additionally, vertical videos are automatically tagged, making it faster to transfer them to your smartphone and get them out into the world.

The ZV-1F comes with a wind screen for better audio recordings. Sony

The camera comes equipped with a directional 3-capsule mic which records audio directly in front of the camera and helps cut out background noise. It also comes with a wind screen to help with clear audio when recording outdoors. It should produce clearer audio right out of the gate and cut down on time spent adjusting levels in post.

Content creation tools

Beyond the video specs, some key features make content creation faster and easier. For example, the Background Defocus Function allows you to blur the background in both video and still shots. This is partly thanks to the fast f/2.0 aperture and results in true optical bokeh instead of a result of AI artificially blurring the background.

In the same vein, the Product Showcase Setting allows you to shift focus between faces and products automatically. All you need to do is hold a product in the center of the frame. It makes showing off products much easier and more seamless. 

The camera features 10 built-in creative presets to make your content more professional without spending hours on complex editing and color-grading. It will also allow you to create a more consistent style with just a few taps. Additionally, there is an adjustable Soft Skin Effect for automatically smoothing out skin when shooting portraits.

Pricing & availability

The Sony ZV-1F is available in white or black. Sony

The ZV-1F will be available in late October for around $500. You can preorder it now in either white or black.