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Sony Alpha ZV-E1 Review Header - Foto Koch
Reading time: 10 minutes - March 29, 2023 - by Lennart Filthuth

Sony Alpha ZV-E1 Hands-On - The ultimate tool for content creators?

Today we are once again showing you a particularly exciting new product from Sony. With the sensor of the a7S III, the compact form factor of the a7c, the operating concept of the ZV-E10 and the processing power of the a7r V, the new ZV-E1 could be the ultimate tool for many creators. In this video, you can find out why this innovation also represents a small milestone in camera technology and which features are of particular interest to various content creators - enjoy!

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LIVE Tech Talk: Sony Alpha ZV-E1

In the past, we have seen smartphone and camera technology converge time and time again. Until recently, however, the smartphone copied a lot from the camera and not the other way around. Following the AI autofocus of the a7r V, Sony is now breaking this trend once again, but this time for real, as Sony is using the same AI processor and algorithms to enable more effective content creation. To show you the new camera even better, we visited two creators from the technology and food scene. In addition to the input we give you in this video, we also talked to them again in detail in a live stream right at the launch of the ZV-E1.

Sony - ZV-E1 Livestream

Sony Alpha ZV-E1

Image stabilization

But now to the exciting features. Let's start with image stabilization, because Sony has already proven with the introduction of Active IS in the Alpha 7S III what an IBIS can do in combination with digital image stabilization, but in the new ZV-E1 they were able to go one step further thanks to the AI processor. With the "dynamic active mode" we have a further improved stabilization, but it gets really exciting with the also new "frame stabilization", which simultaneously keeps the tracked subject in the center of the image. To demonstrate this feature to you directly, we visited Julian from the YouTube channel OwnGalaxy in his studio in M?nster and had him show us around. Everything was filmed here with the ZV-E1 with frame stabilization.

Sony Alpha ZV-E1 autoframing function - Foto Koch

The new autoframing function

However, image stabilization is not the only and not the most exciting function that makes use of the AI autofocus tracking. Much more interesting is the new auto-framing function, in which the camera directly captures and frames the tracked subject correctly. However, this is not for the image stabilizer, but for the general image composition. Of course, we can also set a few guidelines for the camera, i.e. we can set how much the camera should zoom into the image, whether it should track the subject automatically or only on command and whether it should automatically perform a dynamic zoom out and back in. Someone who would particularly benefit from this feature is Tim Armann from the channel Brot mit Ei. Tim normally shoots his videos with a whole team, but if he has to shoot alone or do a livestream for his patrons, he has no choice but to use his smartphone. We visited him in his kitchen in Berlin to find out whether the ZV-E1 meets his needs. Auto-framing can be particularly useful for Tim, as he is constantly jumping from left to right or turning to the fridge when cooking. It is also particularly important that the AI autofocus can continue to track Tim as a person and keep him in focus.

The perfect webcam for your streams!

As we've already talked about the autofocus system in detail on the Alpha 7r V, we'll link you to our live talk on the subject for more information. But now back to this auto-framing feature, because another use case is video podcasts and of course we tried that out too. Exactly, we could of course also want to stream the whole thing live, so Sony has also brought improvements in this regard, because the new ZV-E1 can for the first time stream a webcam signal directly to the computer via USB-C in 4K at up to 30fps. It is now even easier to start an interactive live stream with your community!

Perfect accessories for streaming

Sony Alpha ZV-E1 Streaming

New operating concept, new modes

With all these additional functions, however, the menu had to be changed and Sony has introduced a new touch operating concept, which allows the most important functions to be set quickly and easily directly on the display. The new Cine Vlog mode has also been added, allowing us to combine different styles with moods to create the desired image result directly in the camera. Vloggers will also be interested in the new automatic microphone orientation, where the camera automatically decides which of the three internal microphones is best to use depending on the subject and direction of the sound.

Sony Alpha ZV-E1 App control of the camera

Video mode

Apart from that, it has also inherited most of the features of the a7s III or FX3. The well-known 4:2:2 10bit, focus breathing, the same Color Science and the popular noise behavior thanks to Dual Gain ISO are included. Slow-motion shots are also possible with the camera without any problems. As a brief note, unfortunately only a maximum of 60p is possible in 4K on delivery, but Sony promises a firmware upgrade for a full 120fps, which will be delivered free of charge within three months of the camera becoming available. However, if you want RAW video, a full-size HDMI output, two card slots for redundant recording, an integrated fan and the audio interface with grip, you should take a look at the FX3. However, when we look at the price difference, we are truly amazed at the performance Sony has packed into the ZV-E1.

Sony Alpha ZV-E1 with Bluetooth handle
Sony Alpha ZV-E1 a look at the sensor

Conclusion

The ZV-E1 is the camera with the greatest potential to revolutionize the social media sector, with autoframing & the interchangeable lens option there are no limits to its flexibility. The light weight of this full-frame camera also makes it attractive for content creation in the wild. Pack up the camera, put it on a tripod and always get the perfect shot! No matter whether content is produced vertically or horizontally.

Even one person can produce videos that have nothing to hide and make the production of TikTok, Instagram reels and YouTube shorts easier than ever.

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