Sony introduced a new camera focused on content creators: the Sony ZV-E1. It is a full frame with interchangeable lenses and the smallest and lightest body in the world in its category.
The ZV-E1 is positioned as the new top of the range for Sony’s vlogging line, and no wonder. It combines a powerful sensor, enhanced capabilities thanks to artificial intelligence, and the fact that it is designed “first for video”, with the needs of content creators in mind.
One of the main features that separates the ZV-E1 from its peers in the ZV line, and even from other models popular with vloggers (like the Sony a7C), is the ability to record in 4K at up to 60 FPS (frames per second). upon release, and up to 120fps in the near future thanks to a free firmware update via the Creators’ Cloud platform.
The Sony ZV-E1 has a back-illuminated Full Frame Exmor R CMOS sensor with more than 15 stops of latitude and about 12.1 effective megapixels. This component promises high sensitivity, low noise level and a greater bokeh effect (blurred background) so sought after by many creators.
As for lenses, this new camera uses the Sony E mount system, which makes it compatible with more than 70 brand lenses (and many others from third parties). This makes it very versatile, being able to record with ultra wide angles of 12mm up to super telephoto lenses of 1,200mm.
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Artificial intelligence is also present in the new Sony ZV-E1
At a time when artificial intelligence seems to be everywhere, image and video processing through these technologies could not be missing from the Sony ZV-E1.
Real-time AF (autofocus) recognition is supported by an AI processing unit that uses the subject’s shape data to accurately recognize movement: it recognizes not only the eyes, but also the position of the body and the head with great precision, making it possible to lock on and track the subject even when they are not looking at the camera or their face is covered.
The AI processing unit can even differentiate between multiple subjects with different postures and recognize faces individually. In addition to humans and animals, it is now also able to recognize birds, insects, cars, trains, and planes as subjects.
The Sony ZV-E1 features AI-based real-time tracking that can be activated by choosing a subject and half-pressing the shutter button. The camera will automatically follow, leaving the user free to focus on framing and composition.
On the other hand, the movement of the camera is detected and corrected effectively in 5 axes. In addition, in-body image stabilization can provide efficient stabilization with a wide variety of lenses, including E-mount lenses that do not have this built-in system.
Another notable feature is AI-based auto framing for video, which automatically crops the image to keep your subject in a prominent position when shooting video. Even leaving the camera stationary on a tripod, the frame constantly adjusts to follow the subject fluidly, which is a big help when one person is operating the equipment and the subject on the screen is moving.
The camera also has a multi-face recognition function that automatically adjusts the bokeh. This is ideal for those cases where there is only one person speaking to the camera, and then a second person joins behind, preventing only the faces in front from being in focus while those in the back remain out of focus.
Cinematic style with a single button
A common denominator in many video content creators is the desire to achieve cinematic image quality, but without having all the technical knowledge to achieve it. Not to blame them: many of them are cooks, painters, musicians, even carpenters! Videography is something that came into their lives much later.
The Sony ZV-E1 has a feature that comes to the rescue: Cinematic Vlog settings. It is a very intuitive way to create scenes with the visual aesthetics of feature films thanks to different predesigned Looks (aspects) and Moods (ambiences).
Among the different Looks we find natural medium tones, as well as soft colors and intense shine. We also have ‘Moods’ that enhance a specific color and the ability to control the autofocus transition speed.
The overall cinematic feel is enhanced with a 24 fps frame rate and Cinemascope aspect ratio (2.35:1) – in widescreen and with black bands at the top and bottom of the image. The latter is fixed in Cinematic Vlog mode, although it would be interesting if it could be adjusted as well.
And outside of these default functions, the camera allows you to record in S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3 and S-Gamut3/S-Log3 color profiles, as well as install LUTs for detailed color management.