Sony has unveiled what it claims is the ultimate beginners’ vlogging camera.
Citing surveys that suggest kids now rank “YouTube star” as the “dream career choice”, the company says that it has constructed its new €799 ZV-1 compact vlogging camera to be “idiot proof” and a smartphone-killer for new entrants to the genre.
It is being aimed at makeup vloggers, video diarists and travel YouTubers rather than photography or tech specialists. A spokesman for Sony said it was “idiot proof”.
The camera is light (under 300g), fits in a pocket and has a full flip-out screen that can be used as a framing reference by users. Sony points out that this makes it far superior as a YouTuber recording device to iPhones and Android phones, which reserve their better cameras for the back of the handsets.
It shoots both 4K and ‘full HD’ videos with no time limit on recording, unlike many mirrorless cameras and DSLRs currently used for making YouTube videos.
It has a large ‘record’ button on the top of the camera and can autofocus quickly. It also has special settings for YouTubers, including a ‘bokeh’ button setting for creating blurry backgrounds and a ‘product showcase’ setting which instantly flips the camera’s focus onto whatever you hold up in your hand.
The ZV-1 has added new skin-smoothing effects, which separate features such as eyes and nose for sharpness while softening skin textures.
Sony claims that the ZV-1’s new stabilisation technology is 11 times better than “standard” stabilisation technology, allowing it to be used for filming handheld without much shake or judder. However, using this will create a very slight crop on the frame, the company added under questioning from Independent.ie.
Technically, the ZV-1 camera uses much of the technology from Sony’s compact RX100 series, including its 20-megapixel sensor. However, it is priced several hundred euro below the latest RX100 Mark 7 compact model.
It can shoot at up to 24 frames per second and also do slow-motion video at up to 1,000 frames per second (at a lower resolution).
It uses a similar f1.8-f2.8, 24-70mm lens to that found on the RX100 series, meaning it can shoot effectively in low light situations. It has 315 autofocus points.
It comes with its own three-channel microphone, although it also has a separate microphone port and a hotshoe, which allows for more experienced users to connect professional accessories.
Battery life is rated at 45 minutes per full charge, although it uses the same BX1 battery found in other cameras, which are fairly affordable to buy. Sony also says that you can use it while attached to a USB powerbank.
The ZV-1 is expected to hit Irish shops in June at a price of around €800.
Just before going to press, I got my hands on a flagship smartphone from a manufacturer that usually concentrates its efforts on making handsets for other companies, such as Alcatel, BlackBerry or a handful of own-brand models from mobile operators like Vodafone.