The new Sony ZV-E10 has been designed for video-oriented users looking for camera style and video blogging capabilities. The camera is equipped with a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor and has an interchangeable E-mount. The ZV-E10 specification does not differ in technological highlights from the A6xxx series models.
Like streaming gadgets, the ZV-E10 has a Background Blur option that can seamlessly switch between blurry and harsh backgrounds. There is also a “Product Display Setting” mode, which allows the camera to automatically switch focus from the subject’s face to the subject in front of the lens. There is, of course, a hinged screen. How far this raises the bar for video blogging, we will try to understand in the review of the Sony ZV-E10.
Sony ZV-E10 review
The internal stuffing of the Sony ZV-E10 camera is largely the same as the Sony A6100 camera . But outwardly, the novelty is much more friendly towards video bloggers. The redesigned top of the camera has a hot shoe next to the three-capsule microphone. It can be used to connect either a flash or an external microphone.
An important difference is the lack of a mode dial. It has been replaced with a button that switches between photo, normal and slow motion (S&Q) video modes with a tap of your finger. For quick video blogging, the shutter button is supplemented with a large video recording button. The zoom lever is also worth mentioning, as it was last seen on Sony ILC cameras back in 2014 on the A5100.
The Sony ZV-E10 camera has a rear display that can be rotated in all directions. It is three-inch (921 600 dots), touch-sensitive, slow and without access to menus and parameters. Mainly controls focusing when shooting and viewing. A red frame appears around the image on the display – it means that video is being filmed. Video capture is also indicated by the front lamp, which is also AF illuminator.
Sensor and autofocus
If something has not changed in Sony’s lineup of six-thousanders in recent years, it is the sensor. In this regard, the ZV-E10 camera promises impressive shots. The APS-C sensor has approximately three times the area of the 1 ” type sensor in the ZV1 , and ten times that of a typical smartphone image sensor. Larger area means, other things being equal, better image quality over a wider sensitivity range and shallower depth of field at the same aperture settings. The standard ISO range of ZV-E10 is 100… 32000 and can be extended to 50… 51200.
High definition video doesn’t make a lot of sense if it’s out of focus. The ZV E10 features the same high-tech autofocus system as the A6100 and A6600 . The Fast Hybrid AF system combines phase-detection and contrast-detection AF to cover about 84% of the total frame area. The ZV-E10 also includes Eye AF and Tracking AF, which can be controlled via the touchscreen in real time.
Video blogging capabilities
Now for the features that make the Sony E10 unique. It’s all about video blogging. When the camera is pointed at you, a number of functions are available. One is background defocusing, which opens the aperture to increase depth of field. This works, although in bright light, the required faster shutter speeds can result in choppy and awkward-looking video.
The product display is especially good. When activated, the camera focuses on any object that you point to in front of you. When you move the subject away, the camera immediately focuses on you again. Sony’s autofocus system is fast enough to make transitions almost instantaneous. Like many cameras, the Sony ZV-E10 has a soft skin feature that turns your face into wax to remove any blemishes.
Potential buyers should be aware of a few important points about shooting video with the ZV-E10. Firstly, the camera lacks internal image stabilization, and if it is not on the lens, then you will have to use the electronic version. And it has a hefty 1.44x crop, which with the APS-C crop turns your 24-75mm lens into the equivalent of 35-108mm. To compensate for this, you need a fairly long selfie stick (or an even wider lens).
When shooting 4K / 30p video, the crop is smaller: 1.2x. With electronic stabilizer off, the kit lens starts at a reasonable 28mm. If you lower the frame rate to 24p, then the cropping will disappear altogether. 4K video, by the way, looks great, although when panning the camera, there are problems with the rolling shutter. The E10 supports S-Log2 / 3 and HLG for easy color grading in post-production.
The seemingly flimsy doors hide the various camera ports. From top to bottom: there is a 3.5 mm microphone input, a USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C connector, a micro HDMI output and a headphone minijack. The USB port is fully functional. It can be used to charge the camera and stream the captured video. Wireless communication is provided by Bluetooth v4.1 and Wi-Fi adapters.
The ZV-E10 uses Sony’s familiar NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery, rated for 440 shots. This figure is likely to be much higher if Wi-Fi is not used. As mentioned earlier, the camera can be powered by a laptop charger or power bank, so there is the ability to shoot without interruption.
It’s nice that in contrast to many other budget gadgets, the ZV-E10 does not have a recording limit of 29 minutes 59 seconds. There is a memory card slot next to the battery. Both SD and Memory Stick Pro Duo are supported. UHS-II class media can also be inserted into the slot, only it will be recognized as a regular card.
The Sony ZV-E10 is one of two mirrorless cameras specially designed for vloggers. Captured 4K video is very detailed, although the crop is huge when shooting 4K / 30p or using electronic IS.
This requires a wider lens (or longer selfie stick). The rolling shutter effect is also very noticeable when panning. The ZV-E10 is a great camera for photography, but if you’re interested in it, the a6100 or a6400 might be your best bet. These models don’t have all the nifty vlogging tricks, but they do have an electronic viewfinder and built-in flash.