Sony’s ZV-1F is its most affordable vlogging camera yet

Sony has introduced the ZV-1F, its third and most affordable vlogging camera designed for developers as a “step up” over smartphones. Priced at just $500, it’s under the $700 ZV-1 Compact and $750 ZV-E10 mirrorless (with kit lens) and features a Type 1 Exmor 20 .1 megapixel sensor, 4K video and features that help beginners get up and speed up quickly.

While using a similar Type 1 sensor to the ZV-1, it swaps the 24-70mm zoom model for a wide-angle 20mm prime lens. That extra field of view and fully articulated display might actually make it better for vlogging or selfies than the ZV-1 – allowing people to better blend into the frame.

Sony's ZV-1F is the cheapest vlogging camera to date

Sony

However, it also makes it less versatile for photographing products, other people, etc., although you can do a digital zoom of 2x in 1080p and around 1.5x in 4K. It doesn’t have built-in stabilization, instead relying on electronic stabilization that imposes a 1.23x crop, making the 20mm lens about 25mm.

You can record 4K at up to 30 fps, just like the ZV-1, and 1080p at up to an impressive 120 fps (with 8-bit video in all modes). This is done through the “slow and fast” setting, which also supports 60x hyperlapse recording in HD. However, unlike most other Sony models, the ZV-1F only has contrast-detect autofocus rather than phase-detection, which is generally faster and more accurate.

Sony's ZV-1F is the cheapest vlogging camera to date

Sony

Like the other vlogging models, the ZV-1F has a “product presentation” function that allows you to place a product in front of the camera and quickly focus on it. It also has the same bokeh switch, allowing you to defocus the background with the click of a button. A nod to TikTok or Snapchat creators, the Shot Mark feature lets you capture a 15, 30, or 60-second clip and send it to a smartphone via the Sony app.

On the audio side, it has a directional microphone that offers good sound quality, with forward bias that isolates your voice even outdoors. It also includes a removable “deadcat” to reduce wind noise.

Other features include a single UHS-1 slot, an ISO range of 125-12,800, vertical shooting, and a front-facing indicator light to show when you’re recording. According to Sony, it weighs just 256 grams, just a bit more than the 203-gram iPhone 14. It arrives October 24 for $500.

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Russell Falcon

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