• A Vlog focused camera with decked out video capabilities
  • The Same 20.1MP Exmor RS Sensor as the ZV-1
  • The ZV-1F Fixed 20mm lens does a good job as a Prime Vlog Camera
  • Wee bit longer Battery Life than the ZV-1
  • FHD and 4K recording capable with HLG or S-Log Function
  • Built-in Microphone with a DeadCat attachment Included
  • The VPT2BT Grip is a must buy
  • SteadyShot is good enough that you will forget about OIS
  • A Killer priced Vlogging Camera at RM 2,599


  • Hybrid AF instead of CAF would be a nice to have but at this price point, it's a no contest
  • The crop when SteadyShot happens, makes the video a little too packed

Sony’s ZV Series has been a great hit among many content creators for its versatility and ease of use. So, much so to a point, it is a fantastic weapon to have for someone who captures video and a few photos then and there. This time around Sony unveils a completely new camera in its lineup and while it does share some similarities with the ZV-1, it has a unique proposition in comparison to its brethren. Here’s the Sony ZV-1F Review – official from us.

Sony ZV-1F Review

Emphasis on the “F”

Unlike the Sony ZV-1, which is what consumers would immediately rush to compare it with – the ZV-1F emphasizes the “F” behind the “1”. And that F means Fixed Focus. Yes. Unlike the ZV-1, which houses a zoom lens with a range of 24-70mm – which is a good range, the ZV-1F comes with a fixed 20mm lens with an aperture of f/2.0 respectively.

It comes with a Vario Tessar Coating from Zeiss, which is a nice touch. Now, if you are wondering if the lens can do any sort of zoom, well it can – as Sony has incorporated a Digital 5x Zoom if you ever need one. When we did try it, we had that Sony Handycam feel of sorts – which felt nostalgic.

Although the fixed 20mm lens does not come with OIS – which in my opinion is a huge hit, Sony has incorporated their SteadyShot feature, which does add a certain level of crop and gives you a bit of a steady video-taking capability.

Unlike EIS on a smartphone, which is what many would rush to compare, the SteadyShot has been around for years and does a good job of stabilizing videos when you need it to. But fret not, as the camera can do 4K recording, HLG, S-Log2, S-Log3 and even Slow Motion but capped to 5x in FHD and Quick Motion at 60x in FHD as well.

Similarities with the Sony ZV-1

So, what are the similarities with the Sony ZV-1 – which at this point, you could call the flagship of the ZV series? For one, the sensor on both the cameras are identical: it’s a 1.0-type Exmor RS CMOS Sensor which has the potential to capture 20.1MP. The ISO range is the same as well, from 125-12800 with the expanded ISO 80-12800).

Sony has also brought over the 3” 921K dots Vari-angle display which is a lifesaver and the ZV-1F uses the newer menu system which I am loving a lot. On top of that, the display is a touch screen – so, in times when the display is flipped out, you don’t have to do those awkward poses to control with the physical button.

It comes baked with WiFi and Bluetooth – so when the need to connect via Imaging Edge is needed, you can do it, or use their new Grip which is completely wireless and be able to use some of their new features which we will talk about in a bit.

Finally, the battery is pretty much the same as the ZV-1: the Sony NP-BX1 but since there are many things altered with the ZV-1F, you do get an extra 15 minutes of battery life and the whole camera weighs about 256g. So, it’s extremely light to bring it anywhere and everywhere.

The Difference with the Sony ZV-1F

Besides the Fixed Lens, is there any big difference in how the ZV-1F works? Yes.

For one, the Focus system on the Sony ZV-1F is limited to Contrast AF – so, it has 425 contrast detection points and on top of that, it has Eye AF as well. The ZV-1 has a PDAF and CAF (Hybrid AF) system, making it faster paired with the real-time Eye AF.

Secondly, since the ZV-1F is a VLOG-first camera, Sony has eliminated the entire need for RAW photo capabilities – so, you will rely heavily on JPEG which is capped at Fine with 120 frames.

The mount on the top of the camera is a cold shoe mount – which means, every accessory you choose to use, mainly an external microphone, will have to be connected via the microphone jack on the side of the camera.

But is it concerning?

Honestly, from a consumer standpoint, where deciding based on the facts above on paper, more specifically – based on the differences, can make the Sony ZV-1F an “I-have-to-think-again-before-I-purchase” camera. But in a real-world situation, is it that concerning? Let us answer that below.

From a Video Centric Perspective

Starting with the Video side of things because this is a VLOG-first camera – so that’s where our focus is going to be as well. Right off the bat, I do like the whole setup we have going on here – with the wireless Camera Grip which no longer tethers via wire. But that aside, despite our short time with the Sony ZV-1F, we tested as much as we could – and we liked what we experienced.

Let’s start with the Contrast Auto Focus, short for CAF. Unlike a Hybrid AF System which we have seen from Sony, the CAF does take its sweet time to keep things in focus. While it is a focus system many devices still rely on, for most static shots, the focus is consistent and very well maintained. The moment when you do start moving and since we do still wear a mask, the camera does lose focus – as it doesn’t detect a face.

But when you are not wearing any mask, the Eye AF and the Face AE make sure that it keeps the focus intact, as much as it could. But in terms of taking quality sharp video, this camera is at its peak with good sharpness, nice depth even for a 20mm lens and a quality that’s going to be a little tough to rival or at least, in my opinion – better than a smartphone or any. The higher ISO range is crazy good, and it does its job well in dimly lit situations. It gives the range you need, despite the fact that you will notice grainy-ness, once it touches the higher 4 figures or 12800 ISO.

Although for the most part, many users are going to leave it at Intelligent Auto to do its thing.

Since it’s in IA mode: One of the things that I knew I was going to deal with is exposure, especially with my darker complexion. In an outdoor setting or a well-lit environment, there’s no issue for the camera to shine through with sharp video focus and well-balanced exposure.

But there are times when the exposure tends to crank up a little higher, which loses the details in certain objects in the background. The easy way to fix this from happening is to have a portable light pack that will brighten up the face while keeping other elements captured in the video to the right exposure.

While it may not feature an OIS system, the SteadyShot mode helps a lot with taking stabilized shots. The camera does apply a crop after you turn on SteadyShot. While you shoot, especially when there’s a lot of movement around, you can notice the jello effect. But for what it’s worth, if you happen to use a Static shot – stick with the SteadyShot off as it gives you a lot of room and when you are on the move, turn the SteadyShot On.

The ability to shoot in FHD and 4K is great and with the Vari-angle – the camera is versatile to shoot however you’d like to. There are some added features for video shoots that are brought forward from the ZV-1 such as Product Showcase, Soft Skin Effect and Bokeh Switch.

To add on to this, Sony has also added a Self Timer for Movies – a countdown that goes off before the video starts, and a Creative Look that gives a bunch of filters in different colours – similar to what the Sony a6000 series had.

There is another feature called the Shot Mark where you can crop out certain clips quickly and export them to your phone. This is a feature I love, especially when I want some quick content to be out on my socials. It’s truly made for the TikTok generation.

From a Photo-taking Perspective

Having the option to take pictures when you need to, is nice to have. I am glad Sony has not eliminated the feature. Moments when I do need to take some quick shots, the photos have turned out great. Since it is a fixed focus, it becomes a great camera to shoot street photography-like images or landscapes.

After all, it is a wide lens. To ask for RAW, honestly, it’s too much of an ask as many users who opt in for this camera would not need it and it has a more casual, easy-to-use with a click of one button kind of system.

Ports and Charging

The Sony ZV-1F uses a 1240mAh NP-BX1 battery which held up okay for a good hour plus. Anything beyond that, you will require a charger to have enough battery. Conveniently enough, you do not need any external special chargers as the camera charges via the same USB-C port which you can use to transfer data and connect to a PC to use both the Webcam and Microphone built right into it.

Other ports include a microphone jack since it uses a cold shoe mount and a Mini HDMI port for quick connection over a big screen.

The Sony GP-VPT2BT Grip…

The Sony GP-VPT2BT is a must-have in our opinion. While it may not be bundled with the camera, it will be available for PWP or sold separately. The newer grip gives a clutter-free setup as compared to the ones which connect via USB cable. As the model name suggests, it does connect via Bluetooth – making life a whole lot easier. It was easy to bring it around however we wanted to.

There are some thoughtful design choices with the grip. It doubles as a mini Tripod to place on a desk if you need to. Then you can adjust how you hold the camera. And finally, which happens to be my favourite: Sony has incorporated a mount which is easy to swivel the camera around with a click of a button.









So, when you need it facing towards you, click it and turn it around and when you no longer need it, click it again and turn it away.

Our Video and Mic Test with the ZV-1F

We did a simple sample shot video testing some of the essential elements of the Video-side of things with the Sony ZV-1F which we recommend you watch.

What could be better… (this is me nitpicking at this point)

To be honest, the limited photo-taking ability doesn’t even bother me a lot – as it’s pretty acceptable and gets things right for the most part. Even using the SteadyShot is great for video. But the one thing I wished this camera had is:

–         Hybrid AF system which would have definitely saved more time and having Phase Detection AF working alongside CAF, it’s just – too good.


Sony’s approach with the ZV-1F is simple. That is, to make a vlogging camera for many users who’ve dreamt of getting one. Despite the camera lacking a Hybrid AF which is something I want, for the most part – I can see myself using the ZV-1F to get some good videos with a simple setup. Better yet, it is a killer Vlogging camera because the Sony ZV-1F cost only RM 2,599 – making it the most decked-out affordable Entry level Vlog camera there is.

Sony ZV-1F

Although Vlogging isn’t my forte personally, I found this camera to be the right weapon for me to get things going on the move as a solo shooter. We do want to play with this camera to see how capable it is and as we are going to Singapore soon, we will put it to the test, maybe show it’s more than a Vlogging camera – that is if Sony let us do it.