Sony launches ZV-1F, the cheapest vlogging camera, dedicated to early-stage content creators

Sony is expanding its lineup of vlogging cameras with the new ZV-1F, a cheaper version of the ZV-1, launching in 2020. While both cameras are small in size and similar to each other in design, the new ZV-1F appears to be an entry-level model that forgoes some advanced capabilities that beginning vloggers probably wouldn’t need or pay extra for.

The Sony ZV-1F is a less-capable version of the 2020 ZV-1

In terms of construction, Sony says it now uses less plastic and more metal, making the ZV-1F a more “environmentally friendly” camera. Being a compact camera, we don’t expect big upgrades in the sensor department, and there really isn’t a case for improvements. We have the same 20.1-megapixel 1″ EXMOR RS sensor we’ve seen on Sony cameras in the past, and for the first time it’s attached to a fixed lens, not a zoom lens.

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The Sony ZV-1F has a 20mm equivalent focal length lens on the full-frame, f/2.0 aperture. This makes the perspective suitable for vlogging, giving you a wide enough aperture to shoot yourself at close range, and even the angle is wider than on the top model, the ZV-1. What the 1F doesn’t have, however, is optical stabilisation or on-sensor stabilisation (IBIS), so you’ll have to give up a bit of lens aperture for up to 24mm crop for electronic stabilisation. This will be necessary when you want to shoot on the move or on the move. For moments when the camera is fixed on the tripod, you can use full perspective without crop for stabilisation.

Most of the advantages of the top model are retained

The camera’s limitations, however, arise in hardware and software. For example, the ZV-1F camera can shoot a maximum of 4K at 30 frames per second and Full HD at 120 frames. Even though it has S-Log2 and S-Log3 as color profiles, they’re recorded in 8-bit 4:2:0, so you’ll have less room to change colors in editing. Then, the focus is only “contrast detection”, it doesn’t have phase detection, which might give slightly poorer results. Fortunately, the button that creates a “blurred” background by opening the aperture to the maximum and the “product showcase” button, good for quickly moving the focus on a pre-product you’re showing, still exist on the ZV-1F.

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On the connections front, the ZV-1F benefits from a 3.5mm jack for attaching an external mic, but the 3-capsule mic and wind shield on the camera should also be OK in certain scenarios. The camera can output video via micro-HDMI and can be charged via USB-C.

The price for the Sony ZV-1F is 3,200 lei in Romania, slightly lower than the “standard” ZV-1, which comes with a zoom lens, better shooting capabilities. The new camera arrives in stores in October.

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