Sony's ZV-1 was released in May 2020 and we still think it's the best vlogging camera of its kind. But now, Sony has made their decision a bit more complicated by releasing a more affordable version with a slightly mixed feature set.

The Sony ZV-1F is in some ways a step up from the original Sony ZV-1 (which will remain for sale) and in others a regression. Its fundamentals are the same; it's a 20 MP, 1-inch compact camera that can shoot 4K/30p video with the kind of natural bokeh effect or background blur that smartphones still struggle to produce.

The two main differences between the ZV-1F and the ZV-1 are its lens and its user interface. One of our few complaints about its predecessor is that its 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens can be a bit of a squeeze at times if you're using a handheld rather than a tripod. The ZV-1F tries to solve this problem by offering a wider 20mm f/2 lens instead.

Es una pena que la lente no sea tan brillante como la de la ZV-1, y los fotógrafos extrañarán la flexibilidad de tener una lente con zoom. Pero en teoría, el ZV1-F aún debería ofrecer la poca profundidad de campo que los teléfonos inteligentes como el iPhone 14 Pro y Google Pixel 7 intentan (y a menudo fallan) simular con sus modos «cinematográficos».

Sony also says the ZV-1F includes new smartphone-style touchscreen tricks. Unlike the ZV-1, which only lets you tap the screen to focus, Sony's new vlogging camera lets you swipe up on the screen to use frequently used settings, or tap the screen control icons to change. things like opening.

But the ZV-1F also has some weird limitations. Most puzzling is that its autofocus system, which is probably the ZV-1's most notable feature, uses an older contrast-detection system, rather than a hybrid setup that includes contrast- and phase-detection technology for a reliable tracking.

Sony told us this shouldn't make much of a difference in most vlogging situations, and the new model has a higher focus point count than the ZV-1 (425, vs. 315). But it's something we'll have to test and it brings the ZV-1F more in line with older rivals like the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III, which also only uses contrast-only autofocus.

Other physical differences from the ZV-1 are that the ZV-1F now includes USB-C charging, instead of microUSB, but also replaces the ZV-1's accessory shoe (which charges accessories like a micro rifle while you use them) with a simpler charger. cold shoe

Por lo demás, el ZV-1F es prácticamente igual que el ZV-1, con un micrófono de 3 cápsulas (con accesorio para parabrisas incluido), estabilización electrónica y el práctico modo «Exhibición de productos» que hace que la configuración sea el enfoque automático ideal para YouTubers haciendo reseñas de productos. El otro cambio final es el precio: el Sony ZV-1F estará disponible para comprar a partir de mediados de octubre por € 499 / € 549 / AUS € 849.

Analysis: Flying too close to smartphones?

Una mano que sostiene la cámara Sony ZV1-F en un mini trípode

(Photo credit: Sony)

In the two years since the release of the original Sony ZV-1, smartphones have generally made aggressive strides in video recording performance, especially in modes like Apple's "Cinema Mode" (recently imitated by the Google series). Pixel 7), which can apply background blur simulation to your videos in an attempt to replicate a bright prime lens.

In fact, Sony itself has apparently created a ZV-1 killer in the form of the Sony Xperia Pro-I, which also has a 1-inch sensor and a 'Video Pro' interface that looks a lot like the top of the line Sony mirrorless. . cameras So does it make any real sense to use cameras like the new ZV-1F?

Los márgenes definitivamente están mejorando y mucho depende de su tipo de teléfono inteligente preferido. Una cámara compacta como la ZV-1F, por ejemplo, ofrece captura de video de alta calidad en un formato de bolsillo para aquellos con teléfonos inteligentes de gama media o que no quieren un teléfono Xperia. El Xperia Pro-1 también usa solo parte de su sensor de 1 pulgada, por lo que un ZV-1F todavía tiene (en el papel) mayores poderes de captación de luz.

But the ZV-1F also shows that Sony doesn't bet as much on the entry-level segment of its camcorders as it does with professional models like the Sony A7S III. The Sony ZV series, which also includes the Sony ZV-E10, is assembled from parts left over from some of the company's older cameras. The ZV-1 and ZV-1F, for example, come from the same genetic pool as Sony's RX100-series compacts.

It's a shame the ZV-1F's autofocus has apparently regressed with its contrast-only system and we'd like to see even more smartphone-style user interfaces. But the ZV-1F, on paper, could still make it into our guide to the best vlogging cameras thanks to its new prime lens and relatively affordable price.

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