Sony puts the focus on creators with ZV-E1 full-frame vlogging camera

Sony says that the ZV-E1 has been designed to give creators the ultimate video and content creation tool.  Sony  View gallery – 6 images

“The ZV-E1 has been designed to deliver a premium content creation tool for video creators who want to elevate their content,” said Sony’s VP of Imaging Solutions, Yang Cheng. “We are constantly listening to feedback from our customers, pushing to innovate to meet their demands. We have taken all the information into mind with our development of this new camera – with more sophisticated video features, a streamlined user experience and an extremely compact design, the ZV-E1 offers a whole new way for today’s creators to create top level video content.”

Where the ZV-E10 interchangeable lens camera rolled with a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, the latest member to join Sony’s vlog-focused compact camera range is built around a 12.1-MP full-frame (35.6 x 23.8-mm) back-illuminated CMOS Exmor R sensor matched with the latest Bionz XR image processing engine.

This enables 10-bit 4:2:2 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) video recording at 60 frames per second without pixel binning – with such content stored internally when using Long GOP or All Intra compression – and 120 fps with a 10% crop will be available in June via an update.

The ZV-E1 measures 121 x 71.9 x 54.3 mm, minus the lens, and weighs in at around 400 g.  Sony

A wide aspect of 2.35:1, 24 fps shooting and a S-Cinetone color profile based on Sony’s Cinema Line tech are available for a feature-movie feel, with the company noting that “by choosing an appropriate Look, Mood and AF transition speed, anyone can create cinematic footage that ideally matches the scene and creative intent.”

Low-light shoots are made possible via a standard ISO range that goes down to 80 and up to 102,400 for video and stills, and can expand down to ISO40 and up to ISO409,600 when snapping photos. There’s fast hybrid autofocus with 759 phase-detection points for stills and 627 for movies. And a dedicated AI processing unit helps “crew of one creators” to automatically frame shots, stabilize content using the camera’s 5-axis IBIS system, zero in on multiple human subjects (as well as being able to lock on and track animals, birds, insects, cars, trains and aircraft) and direct audio pickup.

A couple of extra stabilization options are available for improved anti-shake chops so long as the creator doesn’t mind some of the frame being lost to cropping, and there’s a nifty one-touch background defocus function plus a feature that switches focus between a host and a product presented in front of the lens, and back again when the product is removed from frame.

The ZV-E1 includes a 3-capsule mic with windshield, vari-angle touch display, can record 10-bit 4K video internally and is compatible with more than 70 E-mount lenses.  Sony

An in-camera time-lapse feature allows users to set the exposure interval range from a second to a minute, though intervals of more than 60 seconds are available to capture individual still images as well. Image stabilization and camera rotation metadata allows for post-editing tweaking as necessary via the free Catalyst Browse desktop app. The ZV-E1 also comes with a 3-capsule microphone with a faux fur hat (made from recycled PET bottles) that can work with face recognition smarts in addition to focusing on front, all or rear directions.

The ZV-E1 comes with five stops of in-body image stabilization included.  Sony

The dust- and moisture-resistant camera lacks a viewfinder, but the 3-inch 1.07-million-dot vari-angle touch-enabled LCD display panel caters for real-time monitoring and control. Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi is cooked in for remote operation and wireless data transfer, and the ZV-E1 can also function as a USB webcam.

The ZV-E1 is due to go on sale from May for a body-only price of US$2,199.99, or with a compact full-frame 28-60mm F4.5-5.6 zoom lens for $2,499.99.

Product page: Sony ZV-E1

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