If you’re one of those sorts who loves speaking to the camera, a new model from Sony, the ZV-1, is being focused on you.
Whether you’re someone who has something important to say, a tip to show off, or some products to talk about, video blogging has likely become more than a passing fancy, and something you do regularly. There are, of course, plenty of ways to do it, and while your phone’s front-facing camera is great for those selfies, it could also be doing double duty and working as the perfect stand-up video camera built into the device you regularly rely on and keep with you at all times.
But it doesn’t have to be. While your phone’s selfie camera likely does a pretty solid job, if you’re looking for more control and better quality, it might be time to consider that old chestnut, the camera. You know, the actual one.
Sony has been experimenting with something in its compact camera range recently, with a model focused on content creation, be it selfie-style video logging (vlogging), or even standard video capture where you’re behind the camera for it.
The concept is coming in a new model of its compact cameras, the ZV-1, which comes with a unique feature your phone might remind you of: soft focus backgrounds.
Similar to the portrait mode seen on pretty much every smartphone made in the past three years, Sony’s ZV-1 includes a switch the company called the “Bokeh Switch”, which allows the camera to switch between defocusing the background and not doing that.
“Bokeh” is the technical term for background defocusing using in portrait-style imagery, a Japanese term that refers to the quality of the background when it goes soft, typically with regard to high quality lenses with low apertures that allow that to happen from a low depth of field.
Bokeh is essentially what’s being simulated on phones when portrait mode is engaged, but with a real camera, it doesn’t have to typically be handled by digital simulation, which is what Sony’s ZV-1 is being built to play with. Essentially, when you’re capturing those selfie videos, the Bokeh Switch at the top of the camera will let you see the background go blurry or not on the flip-around LCD screen, giving you a gauge to what looks best on your shot.
That flip-around LCD screen is one of the key features, too, giving vloggers an immediate view of how their video capture is going to look, and allowing you to look off screen at your image as you capture if you like, instead of focusing directly on the camera lens.
Inside, there’s one of Sony’s Exmor RS sensors similar to what Sony uses in other cameras, plus some advanced autofocus and eye-tracking from Sony’s cameras, too. Something new, however, is Face Priority auto exposure technology, a feature that will balance brightness for faces in any environment, ideal if the camera is being used indoors, or whether it gets taken out and about.
The ZV-1 can capture 4K video while keeping faces bright and lighter, and features colour engineering used to keep skin tones what Sony says is natural.
Sound is also very important for capturing these videos, and for that Sony is using a three-capsule microphone to deal with background noise, though the ZV-1 will also support accessories, too.
However you may want to save some money for Sony’s ZV-1 if it sounds like the camera for you, as it will sport a thousand dollar price tag, specifically hitting $1299 in Australia. Expect this one later this month, with other accessories optional extras, too.