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Sony Focuses on Content Creators With Its New ZV-1 Compact Camera

A photo of the Sony ZV-1 camera.

Sony has announced the highly anticipated ZV-1 compact camera, a well-priced and straightforward device optimized for vlogging. It has the same CMOS sensor, 4K HDR capabilities, and fancy autofocus features as the popular RX100 VII camera, but costs just $800 and sports some unique design changes for people who need to shoot high-quality video of themselves.

Using the ZV-1 should feel natural to content creators, thanks to its adjustable digital viewfinder, front-facing recording light, and large buttons. It also has a beefy grip to help keep selfie-style footage stable, a mount for typical tripods or the Sony Shooting Grip, and a MI Hotshoe for small, passive microphones (which don’t need to be charged or externally powered). The ZV-1 also has a built-in 3-microphone array and a 3.5 mm jack for conventional mics.

But the ZV-1 isn’t just a super-comfortable selfie camera. Unlike other cameras at this price, it has a wide f/1.8 aperture to help you stand out from the background, and a built-in neutral density filter to make shooting in bright light easier. It also has a unique Background Defocus mode, which automatically blurs your surroundings for a professional bokeh effect, and a Product Showcase mode that tells the camera to focus on whatever’s closest to the lens, rather than focusing on your face.

Like Sony’s RX100 cameras, the ZV-1 is also great for filming across lighting environments. You can start shooting in a dim room and walk outside without experiencing any bloom or over-exposure effects. Even if you’re a professional with a bulky $3,000 camera rig, the ZV-1’s compact size and amazing auto-exposure capabilities are hard to ignore.

But the ZV-1 has a few quirks that you might not expect at this price. Manual focus is done from a dial on the back of the camera, not from the lens. Also, there’s no built-in flash (you can attach one), and the camera charges via Micro USB, not USB-C.

The ZV-1 usually sells for $800, but Sony is running a special $750 offer until June 28th. According to Sony, orders for the camera will start shipping on June 11th.

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »