Sony ZV-E1 officially presented
Sony ZV-E1 officially presented
Sony ZV-E1 officially presented

Sony unveils ZV-E1 AI Mirrorless Full-frame Camera

As promised earlier, Sony introduced the Sony ZV-E1 mirrorless full-frame camera . And, as usually happens in such cases, thanks to leaks and rumors, we already knew almost everything about her in advance, so there were no surprises. First of all, this is the recording of footage on internal SDHC / SDXC media in 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit format, which was especially expected by the content creators. Moreover, 4K120p and HD240p will be available with the new firmware. And the price was not a surprise – $2198 per case.

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Sony ZV-E1 mirrorless camera

The release of this camera for many experts was not a particularly logical decision by Sony. For professional use, the company has high-end FX6 / FX9 and VENICE 2 cameras, for advanced enthusiasts – the FX3 and FX30 video camera lines and Sony a7 IV hybrids and the more advanced a7S III, and for the entry-level – the ZV-1, ZV-1F line and my favorite ZV-E10. The company decided to combine the properties of different lines into one camera and released the Sony ZV-E1, somewhat confusing the cards. Personally, as an active user of the ZV-E10, this news is extremely interesting to me, since I use the camera every day and thoroughly studied all its pluses and minuses.

Outwardly, the ZV-E1 resembles both the ZV-E10 and the a7C at the same time. With a width of 121mm, a height of 72mm, a thickness of 54mm and a weight of 483g, the ZV-E1 is small and light. The grip is small, and the little finger will definitely not fit in it. As in the ZV-E10, the novelty does not have a viewfinder, the screen is swivel and touch. The rear panel is also reminiscent of the ZV-E10, with a zoom button that allows you to digitally zoom in on footage without loss of quality – in 4K you can zoom in 1.5x, working with Full HD 2x.

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Top panel of ZV-E1 camera

The “Photo/Video/S&Q” mode switching lever, of course, is much more convenient than a button, this is a definite plus, and the menu button on the top edge looks more logical than the ZV-E10. And the on/off button has been moved to the area of ​​the shutter button. Class! It is felt that heated disputes between marketers and engineers took place here, and as a result, the novelty was implemented in the most convenient way. The C1 “bokeh switch” button has not gone away either, in my opinion it is generally superfluous, although, probably, many bloggers use this opportunity. There is also a “product demo” button for those who hold an object in front of the camera – the camera will focus on it, and not on the blogger’s face. The video recording button would be a little lower, or rather, closer to the back of the camera, because just in its place will be the upper edge of the rig,

The Sony ZV-E1 hot shoe is called the Sony MI Hot Shoe Mount and is compatible with the company’s digital microphones. There is also an updated microphone with 3 capsules, which allows you to select the orientation in the menu.

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Sony ZV-E1 camera interfaces

The camera has one slot for SDHC / SDXC memory cards, UHS-II format, which is logical and dictated by the ability to record video with a high bitrate. The interfaces are all there too – 3.5mm microphone input, headphone jack, USB-C port that supports power delivery, micro HDMI output port. The micro HDMI port does not support RAW output. Interestingly, all interfaces and the memory card slot are in one place. Class! No need to remove the camera from the tripod to remove the memory card. And … is a battery grip possible for a camera?

Wireless technologies in place – WiFi 2.4 and 5 GHz, for streaming you can use the USB-C port with data transfer 4K30p and FHD60p. Let me remind you that the ZV-E10 has a live broadcast only in 720p.

The battery has also been pumped – now the camera uses a Sony NP-FZ100, the same as in the cameras of the Alpha series, and this is very, very pleasing. I always carry three batteries with me for my ZV-E10, they run out just instantly. The ZV-E1 uses the NP-FZ100 with a claimed battery life of 95 minutes. Class!

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The heart of the Sony ZV-E1 camera is a full-frame sensor from a7S III

Matrix – full frame. Here, all sorts of comparisons with APS-C are inappropriate. A full frame is a full frame, and this is the moment that mixes the ZV and A lines. And it’s not just a new sensor, but the a7S III’s 12-megapixel camera sensor, and if someone had a dream to own an a7S III, now the dream is closer – ISO from 80 to 409600 and 12 stops of dynamic range are at your disposal.

The camera has a BIONZ XR processor and AI features that are carried over from the a7R IV. And, what many operators have been looking forward to, built-in 5-axis image stabilization (IBIS). Of course, you can combine IBIS and electronic image stabilization, the company promises a stable picture in scenes with fast walking and even running, without using a steadicam.

The Sony ZV-E1 can record 4K60p 10-bit 4:2:2 All-Intra recording to a memory card using the entire 4K full-frame image sensor without pixel binning. RAW output via the micro-HDMI port is not possible.

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The back of the camera

There are classic S-Log 3/S-Cinetone and four Clean/Chic/Fresh/Mono presets. So-called “mood” presets are available, and when combined with profiles, 17 different preset combinations can be obtained.

Autofocus can be said in one line – it is the same as in a7R V, a7 IV, a1 and a7S III. There is focus peaking, focus breathing compensation, object shift sensitivity and autofocus transition speed settings, as well as recognition of animals, birds, insects, car / train / plane objects. To capture people, the camera is capable of recognizing, according to the company, “ the human posture based on artificial intelligence and deep learning technology .” Simply put, you can turn your back to the lens, if necessary, of course.

The camera is positioned for bloggers, it provides functions based on artificial intelligence. For example, the Auto Framing feature allows you to keep the main subject in the center of the frame, and this feature is configurable. This can be used to record interviews by recording the full uncropped image on an external recorder, and the ZV-E1 will record enlarged parts automatically on the internal media. In theory, this can be done independently on editing without any automation, however, using this function can save processing time. But for writing a blog in dynamics, this function may come in handy – the presentation shows an example of use when the camera confidently holds a person in the frame, while remaining motionless on a tripod.

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Swivel touch screen

What about the prices?

The Sony ZV-E1 is expected in April 2023 for $2198. A Sony FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 lens kit will also be available for $2498.

According to the materials studied on paper, I got the feeling that the Sony ZV-E1 is exactly a pumped version of the ZV-E10, in other words, it has everything that users of the younger model dreamed of. And a full frame, and a supermatrix, and a capacious battery, and pumped video modes, and IBIS, and touch control, and high-resolution broadcasting, and automatic modes. In addition to a small case, I can not name a single minus that upset me, as it often happens when a particular new product is released. The camera really collected everything you need for comfortable and productive work. And the small case fits into a convenient rig, which, I have no doubt, SmallRig and Tilta will present today or tomorrow, and using the camera will become even more comfortable.

Bravo Sony!