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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'll once again show you a particularly exciting innovation 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. But why this novelty also represents a small milestone in camera technology and which features are of particular interest to various content creators, you can find out in this video - enjoy!

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LIVE Tech Talk: Sony Alpha ZV-E1

In the past, we've seen smartphone and camera technology converge more and more. Until a while ago, however, the smartphone borrowed a lot from the camera and not the other way around. Sony is now breaking this trend again after the AI autofocus of the a7r V, and this time it's for real, because Sony is using the same AI processor and algorithms here to enable more effective content creation. To show you the new camera even better, we visited two creators from the tech and food scene. In addition to the input we give you in this video, however, we 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 the image stabilization, because Sony has already proven with the introduction of the Active IS in the Alpha 7S III what an IBIS in combination with a digital image stabilization can do, but they could go one better in the new ZV-E1 thanks to the AI processor. With the "dynamic active mode" we have an even better 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 Münster and let 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 also 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. Who would particularly benefit from this feature is Tim Armann from the Bread with Egg channel. Tim usually 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 fall back on his smartphone. We visited him in his kitchen in Berlin to find out if the ZV-E1 meets his needs. For Tim, auto-framing can be particularly useful because he naturally jumps from left to right all the time when cooking or turns to look at the refrigerator. 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!

Since we already talked about the autofocus system in detail with the Alpha 7r V, we'll link you to our Live Talk 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 as well. That's right, we might want to stream the whole thing live directly, of course, so Sony has also made improvements in that regard, because the new ZV-E1 can stream a webcam signal directly to the computer via USB-C in 4K at up to 30fps for the first time. So it's 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, a change to the menu was needed and here Sony has introduced a new Touch operating concept, where the most important functions can be set quickly and easily directly on the display. Also added is the new Cine-Vlog mode, in which we can combine different styles with moods to create the desired image result directly in the camera. For vloggers, the new automatic microphone orientation is also quite exciting, 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 Camera App Control

Video mode

Apart from that, it has 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 performance thanks to Dual Gain ISO are all there. Slow motion shooting is also possible with the camera without any problems. As a quick note, unfortunately only a maximum of 60p is possible in 4K when shipped, but Sony promises a firmware upgrade for a full 120fps, which will be added for free 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. But when we look at the price difference, we are really 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 most potential to revolutionize the social media space, with autoframing +amp;+amp; the interchangeable lens option the flexibility is limitless. The light weight also makes this full frame camera even more attractive it for content creation in the wild. Camera packed, set on the tripod and always perfectly in the picture! No matter if vertically or horizontally produced content.

So even one person can produce videos that do not have to hide and the production of TikTok, Instagram reels, Youtube shorts made easier than ever.

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