Sony announces ZV-E1, a full-frame interchangeable lens vlogging cam

Sony ZV-E1

Sony Electronics announced the ZV-E1, an interchangeable lens camera with a 35mm full-frame 12 MP image sensor, Sony’s latest BIONZ XR image processing engine, a dedicated AI processing unit, and compatibility with more than 70 Sony E-mount lenses. The company says the ZV-E1 is “the world’s most compact, lightweight full-frame interchangeable lens camera.”

The ZV-E1 will be available in May 2023 at  Sony authorized dealers, for an estimated retail price of $2,199.99 USD and $2,999.99 CAN. A kit variation including the compact full-frame 28-60 mm F4.5-5.6 zoom lens is also available for an estimated retail price of $2,499.99 USD and $3,399.99 CAN.

Sony ZV-E1

“The ZV-E1 has been designed to deliver a premium content creation tool for video creators who want to elevate their content,” says Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “We are constantly listening to feedback from our customers, pushing to innovate to meet their demands. ​ We have taken all the information into mind with our development of this new camera – with more sophisticated video features, a streamlined user experience, and an extremely compact design, the ZV-E1 offers a whole new way for today’s creators to create top-level video content.”

With up to eight times more processing power than previous Sony processors, the new BIONZ XR image processing engine markedly boosts high-sensitivity performance, gradation rendering, color reproduction, low-noise performance, and more. The high volume of data generated by the image sensor can be processed in real-time, even when shooting 4K (QFHD: 3840 x 2160) footage at 120p.

With 15+ stop latitude, it’s possible to capture natural-looking images in a wide variety of lighting to capture natural-looking images even in extraordinarily low light situations without losing highlight or shadow detail. The standard ISO range extends from 80 to 102400 for both stills and movies. The expanded range for stills is 40 to 409600, and the expanded range for movies is 80 to 409600.

Cinematic dreams

The ZV-E1 can create content with Cinematic Vlog Settings, a way to capture scenes with the cinematic look of feature movies. By choosing an appropriate Look, Mood, and AF transition speed, anyone can create cinematic footage that matches the scene and creative intent. The overall cinematic feel is further enhanced by a 24 fps frame rate and the widescreen Cinemascope aspect ratio (2.35:1).

For a truly cinematic look, the ZV-E1 features S-Cinetone, a unique Sony feature that can create a cinematic look straight out of the camera without post-processing. Based on Sony’s Cinema Line technology, S-Cinetone delivers natural mid-tones that are essential to healthy-looking skin color to deliver cinematic quality. ​

Ten Creative Looks are provided as presets that can be used as they are or customized with the touch of a button. Newly added My Image Style makes it possible to shoot in the Intelligent Auto or Scene Selection mode; icons on the touch-sensitive monitor make it easy to directly adjust background bokeh, brightness, and color tone, as well as select a Creative Look.

The ZV-E1 features a dedicated, powerful AI processing unit that leverages Sony’s technologies to uniquely overcome the challenges of self-taken footage faced by “crew of one” creators, the company said. ​ By using AI human recognition, newly developed features of Multiple Face Recognition, Auto Framing, Framing Stabilizer, and even Auto Microphone directivity have now become possible. Real-time Recognition AF incorporates an innovative AI processing unit that uses subject form data to accurately recognize movement – human pose estimation technology uses learned human forms and postures to recognize not just eyes, but body and head position with high precision, making it possible to lock onto and track a subject facing away from the camera. In addition to Human and Animal, the AI processing unit now makes it possible to recognize Bird, Insect, Car/Train and Airplane subjects, providing even greater flexibility and reliability when shooting both stills and video, the company said.

The camera features Multiple Face Recognition which automatically adjusts bokeh and focus on multiple recognized faces when shooting group selfies or group portraits – preventing problems like only the faces in the front being in focus while others further back are out of focus. The ZV-E1 features AI-based Real-time Tracking that can be activated by specifying the subject and half-pressing the shutter button. The camera will then automatically track the subject, leaving the user free to concentrate on framing and composition. The new camera has a fast Hybrid AF for fast acquisition and tenacious tracking as well detailed AF settings for ultimate precision and control.

A compact, 5-axis stabilization unit and gyro sensors with optimized algorithms achieve up to 5.0-step stabilization. The in-body image stabilization of the camera provides effective stabilization with a wide range of lenses, including E-mount lenses that do not include their own stabilization.

The camera also features a Bokeh Switch for one-touch background bokeh enhancement and of course, the ZV-E1 also includes the Product Showcase Setting in the rest of the Sony ZV line, designed for product review videos and allowing users to smoothly switch focus from the presenter’s face to a product and back.

The ZV-E1 features a 3-capsule microphone with variable directivity to optimize clear and crisp audio recordings. Front, all directions, and rear directivity settings are available to match a variety of environments, and for the first time, automatically switches to a direction in line with face recognition, so users can easily make optimal recordings. The new Auto setting allows [Front] or [All Directions] directivity to be automatically selected according to the current subject recognition and tracking status. ​ The camera also includes a Multi-Interface (MI) shoe with digital audio interface and mic and headphone jacks offer expanded audio capabilities. Supplied with the camera, is a windscreen that can significantly reduce noise when shooting in windy conditions.