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Sony launches ZV-1 'casual videography' compact camera with pro-level RX100 features

By Zachary Chan - on 13 Jun 2020, 10:27am

Sony ZV-1

Note: This article was first published on 26 May 2020.

Sony has just launched a brand new compact camera simply called Digital Camera ZV-1. Sony also classifies it for ‘casual video shooting’, clearly aiming the ZV-1 as a step-up camera for smartphone users. However, there’s nothing casual about its specifications at all. The ZV-1 is an RX100 in disguise, with multiple modifications and tweaks to make it a video-centric camera, which technically, makes it even more powerful than an RX100, not just for casual videography, but serious vloggers as well. 

The ZV-1 is powered with a 20.1-megapixel, 1-inch stacked Exmor R CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor just like the RX100s. It features a 24-70mm f1.8-f2.8 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* zoom lens and phase-detect autofocus with 315 AF points - like the RX100 VA (also known as the Mark 5A). It also boasts real-time eye AF tracking and a microphone jack - like the RX100 VII.

It inherits the video performance of the RX100s as well:

  • Improved 1080p Active Steady Shot and 4K Active SteadyShot (up to 11x and 8x better than standard SteadyShot respectively)
  • 4K video recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in XAVC S codec.
  • Hybrid Log-Gamma HDR / S-Gamut3.Cine / S-Log3, S-Gamut3 / S-Log3 support
  • 960fps Super Slow Motion recording

Now, here’s what Sony added to the ZV-1:

  • A built-in 3-capsule high-quality stereo mic
  • A Sony Multi Interface accessory shoe (in place of the EVF in the RX100)
  • A side-articulating LCD screen (touch focus only, like the RX100 VII, not full touchscreen)
  • Front hand-grip
  • A dedicated video record button on the top plate
  • A dedicated background bokeh button (works in real time while recording video)
  • A dedicated Product Showcase button for quicker foreground/background focus switching when vlogging
  • Face Priority Auto Exposure, improved Natural Skin Tone on video, and a Soft Skin Effect setting (basically a beauty mode, like in smartphones)

The ZV-1 is a tad larger than the RX100 VII (105.5 x 60 x 43.5mm vs 101.6 x 58.1 x 43mm), but surprisingly lighter (294g vs 302g).

Sony says the ZV-1 will be available at selected Sony Stores, Sony Centres, Sony’s flagship store on Lazada and selected authorised dealers from June 2020, but has not yet revealed its price. We will update this article when we know it.