What the vlogging game change could have been…
Released at the most opportune moment as every youtuber and their grandmother are stuck in their homes making videos on their smartphones, Sony ZV-1 is the perfect camera for vloggers and influencers. As many would say perfection can be subjective and always a pursuit. Bored out of my mind in isolation with a wasted Adobe CC subscription, I tried to see what features could make the ZV-1 a little more desirable as a product aimed at vloggers.
The glaring issue of the missing focus/aperture ring type control on the Sony ZV-1 is surprising. Any user of RX100s, or any enthusiast level compact camera for that matter, relies on the lens ring control for aperture. If customisable, shutter speed or ISO can be assigned to the ring for on-the-fly adjustments. Adding a nice knurled control ring from the RX100 series would help with adjustments without reaching back to the controls when the screen is already facing the user.
Adding a second control accessible from the front once again gives users a chance to adjust more parameters without reaching around and fumbling with the back controls while vlogging.
Another major addition to this camera that could have changed it to an immovable industry standard would’ve been the addition of a 3.5mm headphone jack. Any videographer or vlogger who has recorded a visually impressive video with lacklustre audio can agree with this suggestion. Checking audio levels during recording or during playback via headphones can quell the doubts about the track (some which arise due to the puny speaker on the base).
USB-C instead of Micro USB is just the way of 2020. Get with it Sony.
What group of manufacturers sat around and decided that incorporating the tripod mount with the battery and memory compartment is the place to save some money and weight? As with many other cameras that can benefit from this move. A better placed tripod mount that does not block the door can afford the user to leave the camera on a tripod as they change the battery and memory cards as they see fit.
The puny speaker that might possibly get blocked by the tripod could be moved next to the battery door if necessary.
Last but not least, note to manufacturers: whenever possible, improve battery life. Marginally even.
Even a ‘mix & match’ of a few suggestions listed could tip the Sony ZV-1 from a great buy to an indispensable camera for video.
In all honesty, I have never seen the camera in person, nor have I got any idea what this changes would cost in terms of Sony's manufacturing resources and compromises. But one can dream, can they not?