Sony’s new vlogging camera makes me want to ditch my iPhone to record videos
While high-end smartphones offer impressive recording tools, content creators can find something like the Sony ZV-1F vlogging camera that can help enhance their videos. As someone who has strictly used an iPhone to produce social media video for many years, I’ve been surprised at how easily Sony’s new camera has made it possible to shoot high-quality content over the few days I spent testing it.
Now I say high quality as a relevant term. I know this $499 vlogging camera can’t compete with the performance of interchangeable lens cameras like the Sony A7C or Canon EOS R6, some of the best cameras around. Likewise, it’s not even meant to replace other Sony ZV vlogging cameras, such as the Sony ZV-1 and Sony ZV-E10, but meant to sit underneath those models. But while the Sony ZV-1F won’t compete with cameras that cost twice its price, it’s still designed to deliver much better quality video than your smartphone. Essentially, according to Sony, the ZV-1F will be your first true vlogging camera.
Although I am an expert in several technology categories, cameras are not one of them. That said, I’m the target audience for the Sony ZV-1F – a Gen Zer who has experience vlogging from a smartphone, but wants to take my videos to the next level.
So I decided to step out of my comfort zone of recording clips on the go with my iPhone 13 Pro Max to instead use the new Sony ZV-1F to shoot video for Tom’s Guide YouTube channel. I recently traveled solo with the camera for a tech conference and recorded what it was like to experience the LG OLED Flex hands-on (edited video coming soon, I promise.)
The Sony ZV-1F: your first true vlogging camera
The camera is equipped with several beginner-friendly features. On the one hand, the rotatable vari-angle flip screen helped me stay in frame while Sony’s legendary autofocus took the guesswork out of getting a sharp shot, which I record myself. or the product in front of me. For selfie clips, the face priority and eye autofocus setting ensured the same convenience. When I speak on camera, I don’t want to constantly check that – I just want to focus on what I’m saying.
Speaking of convenience, having it with me for a few days didn’t add much bulk to my bags. It even fits in my small purse that I used in the evening. I’ve been hesitant to upgrade to even the best cameras for vlogging, wanting to limit the amount of gear I lug around, but the Sony ZV-1F is pleasingly compact.
Although it’s still an extra thing to carry, compared to my all-in-one iPhone. That’s why I can imagine scenarios where I pick and choose what I want my recording device to be. If I want to do a quick rant on ICT Tacfilming funny moments around my friends or capturing spontaneous moments, my iPhone can’t be beat.
But for taking my tech stuff up a notch, I found there was a lot to like about the Sony ZV-1F. Even better, the camera connects to my iPhone using Sony’s smartphone app, allowing me to transfer content over Wi-Fi and quickly share those clips on social media. I consider this kind of connectivity a must for those who want a dedicated camera to complement the video they’re already shooting on their smartphone.
We would need to spend more time testing the Sony ZV-1F to see if it really is a great addition to the ZV lineup, which includes the Sony ZV-1 and Sony ZV-E10, in terms performance. But from first impressions, the ZV-1F seems to have what budding content creators are looking for at the right price.