Sony’s ZV-E10 is an affordable and versatile camera aimed squarely at content creators and meant to produce quality photos and videos in an efficient and easy manner. This excellent video review takes a look at the camera and how it performs in real-world usage.
Coming to you from Leigh The Snap Chick, this great video review takes a look at the new Sony ZV-E10 mirrorless camera. Despite its affordable price of $698, the ZV-E10 still comes with a range of useful features, including:
Rear 3-inch, 921,600-dot touchscreen LCD with side flip-out design for easy vlogging
24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor
Native ISO range of 100-32,000
11 fps continuous burst rate
425-point hybrid autofocus system
84% autofocus frame coverage
Real-time Eye AF and tracking leveraging AI-based algorithm
4K video at up to 30 fps
1080p at up to 120 fps
Directional three-capsule microphone for forward-directional recording
Front recording indicator
Live streaming capabilities
Product Showcase mode for product review and demonstration videos
Background Defocus for instantly switching to the lens’ maximum aperture
Face-Priority AE for maintaining accurate exposure on the face even when moving through different lighting
Refined color science for optimized skin tones
Soft Skin effect
Battery rated for up to 440 shots or 125 minutes of recording
I received a Sony ZV-E10 for review. It’s an interchangeable lens camera for content creators, featuring a nice APS-C sensor. Instead of looking just at the specs and the pros and cons of this camera, perhaps it’s better to look at it from another perspective.
The Sony ZV-E10 didn’t come unnoticed. It is the big brother of the Sony ZV-1, which houses a one-inch sensor and has a fixed lens. These are also the two main differences between these cameras. The APS-C size sensor promises less noise at high-ISO levels and a cleaner image. The ability to change lenses allows the owner to choose from a wide range of fixed focus and zoom lenses in the E-mount range.
The Sony ZV-E10 is a small camera that is easy to take with you. It works best with the special Bluetooth grip that can be used as a small tripod also. The camera can be operated from the grip, at least for the most important part. If you have a motorized zoom lens, the grip can also be used to zoom in or out.
The hot-shoe of the ZV-E10 allows you to slide a dead cat over the built-in microphone. The built-in microphone works reasonably well, but if you need better quality sound, a range of Sony microphones can be connected through the hot-shoe. This prevents the use of cables.
The Sony ZV-E10 From Above
The Sony ZV-E10 offers a few nice options. The camera has well-known face and eye-AF. The AF tracking works well. With a button, the autofocus can be changed to the so-called product mode. This way, it switches over from eye-AF to an object close by. Another option is the defocus button. The camera will open the aperture as wide as possible for a nice blurred background.
There are also some downsides to this camera. It has the old menu structure, which is strange since Sony introduced a drastically improved menu before its release. The ZV-E10 has a digital stabilization option that doesn’t work that well. The active mode is much more efficient but introduces a huge crop. The product mode can only be activated when the camera is turned off. And the touchscreen is very limited: you can only tap onto the screen to set an AF point or to scroll or magnify when viewing the footage on the LCD screen.
The 1080p footage looks rather soft. Switching over to 2160p shows a significant improvement in sharpness, but it also introduces a very noticeable rolling shutter effect. You have to switch over to 1080p again to get rid of it. Although the Sony ZV-E10 allows you to record in S-log2, it is only 8-bit.
Don’t Judge It as if It’s a Professional Film Camera. It’s Not.
While testing the Sony ZV-E10, I was disappointed in a lot of ways. Most of the things I mentioned became noticeable when diving into the options and trying out different things. In a way, I was looking at this camera from the wrong perspective. This is not a camera for the best possible film quality. Sure, it has its downsides, but mainly from a professional point of view. It becomes much different when viewed from a content creator’s point of view. That user has only one thing in mind: making content in a fast and easy way. That’s what this camera is all about.
When looking carefully at the Sony ZV-E10, I see a small camera with a nice LCD screen that is fully articulating, perfect for filming yourself. When you press the record button, a thick red rectangle appears around the screen. The mode button allows you to change the exposure settings from fully automated to one of the other three: manual, aperture priority, and shutter priority. Switching from one setting to another brings out a nice photo in the background of the LCD screen, showing the effect you can reach with that setting.
The defocus button is another strange one when you view the camera from a professional point of view. Someone who knows a bit about apertures and depth of field can get the same result just by using the correct setting. That same person will probably prefer manual settings for filming and a shutter time that corresponds to the used frame rate over the automatic settings.
Everything about this camera is pointing towards the user that isn’t interested in perfect results. It’s about easy use, I think. Still, the camera has the ability to use all the settings that a professional user would like to have, but at that point, some of the downsides of this small camera become apparent.
Look at the Camera From the Right Perspective
It’s very tempting to look at the Sony ZV-E10 as if it has to compete with a professional camera. That’s when we become disappointed about not having a proper IBIS system, a fully functional touchscreen, a slow sensor readout, or the 8-bit when recording in S-log2. But that is different when we look at it from that other perspective.
If you need a camera that addresses the downsides of this camera, the Sony ZV-E10 isn’t the one for you. In that case, you need a more professionally orientated camera. And yes, you will pay more for those options. Don’t forget about the price of the Sony ZV-E10. It costs about $600, and although this can be a lot of money for a lot of people, it is not much compared to the cameras that address a lot of the issues of the ZV-E10.
Yes, you have a few downsides on the Sony ZV-E10. But to be honest, if you use the camera the way it is meant for, it will be a great one to have.
Would I Buy a Sony ZV-E10?
I used the Sony ZV-E10 almost exclusively in the automatic mode. Changing settings was too much of a hassle, and most of the time, it was good enough for the footage I shot. I just had to take it out of the bag, turn it on, and start filming. If you like to look at the video I made with this camera, you are welcome to do so. Just know it is spoken in my native Dutch language.
Nevertheless, I wouldn’t buy this camera myself. I don’t like the interface, the lack of touchscreen functionality, and the outdated menu structure. I prefer better 1080p footage, and the image stabilization isn’t up to par. I would prefer to invest in a camera that comes closer to my demands.
What do you think about this camera? Would you consider buying this camera if you’re into content creation, or would you rather spend some more on a camera that addresses the issues I mentioned in my article?
Sony recently released the ZV-E10, an entry-level interchangeable lens APS-C camera that supposedly expands the capabilities for beginning photographers, videographers, and vloggers. What can it do, and who was this camera made for?
The Sony ZV-E10, in my opinion, came at a rather beneficial time. For one, many Sony users are awaiting the arrival of the next a7 series camera, while at the same time, casual vlogging and content creation are getting more and more popular. Over the pandemic, there has been a huge growth in the number of people trying out vlogging, starting YouTube channels, doing live streams and podcasts, and posting videos on TikTok. Given all of the implications of that in terms of camera tech, let’s see what the ZV-E10 offers to these different users.
Build, Design, and Implications
The ZV-E10 comes in the familiar form of Sony’s entry-level APS-C bodies but with some significant variations in the layout. Instead of a mode dial on the top panel, there is a mode-switching button that may have some implications on usage. Instead of selecting the specific mode on a dial, this button switches from photo, to video, to S&Q in a sequential manner. To select the specific modes, such as manual, shutter priority, aperture priority, program, etc., you would have to set it in the function menu. This is different from what most photographers are used to; however, it may be beneficial especially to those who shoot both video and stills and use only one specific mode for each.
Alongside the mode button, power switch, and the EV dial are two interesting buttons that we’ve seen on more recent Sony cameras. First is a dedicated video record button that has been well received by Sony a7C and ZV-1 users, and the automatic background defocuses (or fondly called the auto-bokeh) button, which prioritizes the widest aperture regardless of what mode is being used. Of course, it comes with a three-capsule directional microphone that seems to perform better than most built-in mics, and a hot shoe as well.
On the rear panel is a 3.0-inch vari-angle flip-out screen, a screen format that has been becoming a standard for any camera designed to shoot videos and vlogs. It is accompanied by a familiar thumb wheel, playback button, customizable delete button, a function button, and a menu button. On the side, panels are separate audio input and output ports for microphones and headphones respectively, a USB-C port that serves both as a charging and data interface, and a micro HDMI port for output.
Photo and Video Capabilities
The ZV-E10 packs a 24.2-megapixel Exmor APS-C sensor capable of shooting JPEG and raw stills at a maximum of 11 frames per second. Image quality and performance are very much like what you would be used to in other Sony APS-C cameras in terms of detail and dynamic range.
It can shoot 8-bit 4:2:0 up to 4K UHD video at 30p or full HD at 120p including S&Q mode for slow motion at Full HD 120p. Through external recording, it can record up to 8-bit 4:2:2 at 4K 30p as well. There is virtually no limit of recording time at 4K 30p; however, of course, battery and memory capacity should be factored in. As these sensor specifications aren’t entirely new to Sony cameras, it seems that the highlights of the product are more compatibility, ergonomics, and modularity.
In application, the ZV-E10 is quite a capable camera for stills. The button layout is a pretty straightforward design that would be friendly for beginners, especially those who would only use it casually. 425 phase-detect and 425 contrast-detect focus points make it easier to use along with spot selection on the articulating touchscreen. The background de-focus mode also comes in handy especially for users who might not know how to achieve the effect manually.
Video and Vlogging
For beginner filmmakers and vloggers, the ZV-E10 is quite a good camera to start with. Shooting 4K 30p at 8-bit 4:2:0 is perhaps not even what a beginner would think about. The vari-angle flip screen does help a lot in terms of shooting from unusual angles, as well as when recording yourself whether handheld or on a tripod. It also features a virtual tally light on the screen as the frame is outlined by a red indicator when recording.
The ZV-E10 is only capable of digital image stabilization on video with a significant crop on the frame. Though it doesn’t give perfectly stabilized footage, it does smoothe the movement of the frame when walking while shooting. If used by vloggers or video creators who demonstrate or unbox various products in their videos, the product showcase mode is a handy feature. Through one press of the button, it increases the sensitivity of the continuous AF to track and focus any object that is placed between the main subject and the camera.
The directional microphone on the top panel is also interesting. It gives a fairly condensed sound with significant sensitivity and can isolate background noise when used in proximity to the source. Alternatively, the option of using external microphones either on the microphone input or through the digital hot shoe expands the capabilities for professional-sounding audio. Audio monitoring is also possible and can be quite beneficial to ensure optimal recording levels.
The ZV-E10 also features USB streaming, a function that was first introduced in the Sony ZV-1 through a firmware update. This feature allows for a plug-and-play audio and video streaming function with the use of any USB-C type cable, eliminating the need for an additional video capture interface for running live streams.
User Compatibility Range
Perhaps what is most remarkable with the Sony ZV-E10 is that it can cater to a wide range of users as a general camera. While the interface and button layout seems to be friendlier to beginners, this is the kind of camera that even advanced users can work with, for example, a photographer starting a YouTube channel or shooting behind-the-scenes footage or stills. While it is an entry-level camera out of the box, it can accommodate more specialized use. Being an interchangeable lens camera makes it usable for a wide range of applications, and its compatibility with external and even wireless microphones takes that even further. On top of all that, the $698 price tag is pretty much icing on the cake.
Content creators are spoiled for choice when it comes to affordable options, especially thanks to some recent additions from Sony. Which of these three cameras is the best option?
The recently released Sony ZV-E10 demonstrates how manufacturers are creating products aimed squarely at vloggers, although in this video, Jared Polin kicks off by making a very good point: however much either term might make you cringe, vloggers have been replaced by content creators. Sure, there are plenty of people out there vlogging their lives, but these tools from Canon and Sony actually have broader appeal than just filming yourself.
This comparison raises some interesting questions. Firstly, what is Canon planning for its M-mount? Polin seems confident that it’s about to be ditched, but its popularity in Japan seems to suggest otherwise. I wonder whether Canon will seek to push the entire line further from photography and more towards content creation, removing the EVF and introducing more features that compare with the Sony ZV cameras. The other question is when Sony is going to improve its in-body stabilization. I expected the ZV-1 to show some advances, especially due to its smaller sensor. I certainly didn’t expect the ZV-E10 to leave it out completely.
Which would be your choice? Let us know in the comments below.
After a series of leaks and delays, Sony has launched the ZV-E10, an interchangeable lens camera that’s specifically designed for vloggers. As such, it’s an E-mount model with an APS-C sensor that’s based on core technology from the Alpha 6100, but redesigned to be a simple, easy-to-use tool for those who wish to make videos for social media such as YouTube or Instagram.
Sony’s ZV-E10 takes many ideas from last year’s ZV-1, but has a larger 24MP APS-C sensor and accepts interchangeable lenses
As its name suggests, the ZV-E10 includes many of the same features as last year’s ZV-1 compact. It has a fully articulated rear screen that can be set to face forwards for self-recording, joined by a sophisticated three-capsule microphone on the top plate for recording high-quality audio.
It’s also capable of working as a webcam out of the box, including USB Video and Audio Class Device support, which should allow it to deliver both video and audio feeds via its USB-C port without the need to install specialist software on a computer.
The autofocus can be set to follow a specific subject by tapping it on the touchscreen.
Like its compact sibling, the Sony ZV-E10 employs a simplified control setup that’s designed to provide easy operation for novice users. For example, a Bokeh Control button on top (marked C1) toggles the aperture between wide open for maximum background blur, and stopped down to f/8-f/11 for extended depth-of-field.
Another button on top cycles between shooting stills, movies, and slow- and quick-motion video. There’s even a compact-camera-like zoom lever around the shutter button to control power zoom lenses.
The top of the camera features an accessory shoe with a digital audio interface, alongside a three-capsule microphone
Sony has also included its Product Showcase mode, in which the camera will rapidly shift focus from the presenter’s face onto an item held out in front of the camera. This can now be used for hand-held recording, unlike on the ZV-1, which disables image stabilisation when Product Showcase in engaged.
Other vlogger-friendly features include a tally light on the front of the body that indicates when the camera is recording, backed up by a prominent red outline around the onscreen display. Face Auto Exposure promises to keep the presenter looking properly lit, even through large changes in ambient or background lighting.
A red tally light on the front indicates when the camera is recording, with the screen also being outlined in red
Portrait-format recording for Instagram and TikTok is supported, with the camera tagging the footage accordingly when it’s transferred to a computer or smartphone for uploading. On that note, it’s now possible to transfer 4K footage to a smartphone via the Imaging Edge Mobile app.
There’s no in-body stabilisation, with the camera instead relying on electronic stabilisation to keep footage steady, complemented by optical IS with lenses that provide it. Sony’s Active Mode IS, which proved very effective on the ZV-1, is again provided, but at the cost of a slight field of view crop.
On the side you’ll find microphone, headphone, HDMI and USB-C ports.
In principle the ZV-E10 promises a step up in video quality over the ZV-1, thanks to its larger sensor that employs 6K oversampling to deliver highly detailed 4K footage. It’s also now compatible with Sony microphones that can deliver high-res audio, via its multi-interface shoe on the top plate.
Conventional microphone and headphone sockets are built in too, with the former being placed so as not to block your view of the screen or impede its rotation. Meanwhile a wind-shield is supplied for the integrated mic for outdoor recording, that slips onto the accessory shoe.
The ZV-E10’s rear control layout resembles those of the ZV-1 and A6100.
As a stills camera, the Sony ZV-E10 offers similar specifications to the A6100, although at 113 x 64.2 x 44.7mm and 346g in weight, it’s rather smaller and lighter. Its 24.2MP sensor provides a sensitivity range of ISO 100-32,000, expandable to ISO 50-51,200, while supporting continuous shooting at up to 11 frames per second. Autofocus employs a fast hybrid system, courtesy of on-sensor phase detection pixels, and supports Sony’s Real-Time Eye AF and Real-Time Tracking.
Overall, the ZV-E10 looks like a well-judged design for its intended audience. But it probably isn’t a camera that will appeal strongly to photographers who are primarily interested in shooting still images. It’s due in the shops in August for either £680 body-only, or £770 with the compact, retractable E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens. However, Sony recommends using it with the E 10-18mm F4 OSS wideangle zoom, which costs £630.
Sony ZV-E10: Full Specifications
Price: £680 body-only, £770 with 16-50mm zoom
Sensor: 24.2MP CMOS, 23.5 x 15.6mm
Output size: 6000 x 4000
Focal length mag: 1.5x
Lens mount: Sony E
Shutter speeds: 30-1/4000sec
Sensitivity: ISO 100-32,000; ISO 50-51,200 expanded
Sony has announced the new Sony ZV-E10, a 24mp APS-C mirrorless camera designed for vloggers and video creators. The camera features 4K, 30,25,24p video recording from 6K oversampling, with full-pixel readout, and no pixel binning designed to give sharp detailed footage. There’s also a new Still/Movie/S&Q button so you can quickly switch between modes, and there’s a vari-angle touch-screen so you can face this forwards so you know you’re always in the shot.
Imaging Edge Mobile has been updated and lets you remotely shoot, as well as transfer 4K footage. You can also record FullHD video at up to 120fps with the camera. The ZV-E10 features Hybrid AF with real-time Eye AF, and touch-tracking. It also benefits from vertical video support, a Bokeh switch, and product showcase setting, like the Sony ZV-1.
The camera will be priced at €750 body only, or €850 with 16-50mm kit lens, and will be available in August. The camera does not include In-body Image Stabilisation (IBIS) – so a lens with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) is recommended, and you can use the Active mode (digital stabilisation) which uses crop to give a more stable image. The camera will also be available with the 10-18mm lens to give a wider view.
24.2mp APS-C CMOS sensor
FullHD up to 120fps
Vertical video support
Product showcase setting (like ZV-1)
Active video stabilisation
Microphone and headphone sockets
Unlimited recording time (with external power)
Supports livestreaming via smartphone or PC via USB
ISO100 to ISO32000 available in video
3 capsule mic + windshield, and digital audio MI shoe
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