Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Sony ZV-1 Field Tested

Photo by Ravi Palwe on Unsplash

I got to field test the Sony ZV-1 camera outside of just using it for streaming and let me tell you, this is a great camera for folks that want to get into video content.

A few weeks ago I was back at my first event covering MMA since COVID-19 hit when I went to cover Bellator 282 for After over 2 years of covering events remotely through ZOOM it was time to get back on the road. Not traveling left me with time to invest in equipment for covering events on the road.  Previously I used a Go PRO Hero 5 with a mic attachment, which worked well a while but had its limitations. Check out this interview with Valerie Loureda from 2019:

During the two years of being stuck at home, I focused on what I could from there and decided since I was saving so much money from not going anywhere, I'd invest in better equipment. So, I got a stronger laptop to handle video content, and I picked up the Sony ZV-1. It was initially just to get a better look for the podcast I produce and co-host (check it out here) but I didn't really see how good it was until I took on the road for Bellator 282.

The Sound

The technology in the camera allows it to track faces so that it autofocuses on the subject. Generally, when I cover fight week it's myself and a subject so I need something that shows them clearly and records what they're saying well.  There is a mic in the camera that does well if you're vlogging but I used Rode VideoMicro camera mic that was used with my Go Pro to get better sound and reduce any background sound which worked fantastically. The best example of that is when I spoke with the then No.1 ranked Bellator women's featherweight, Arlene Blencowe. Check it out, this is in the arena with a lot of noise going on and I still got her pretty clear:

The Quality

I've streamed more with the camera than I have recorded with it so, I was not sure how much of a difference it would make to someone like me that does the quick and dirty version of what I grab to get the content up in time. But as I reviewed the video in editing I was reminded that the camera does 4K HDR Video and was really impressed. This is where the camera shines and what prompted me to write this review. 

I really love how it's a point-and-shoot camera out of the box, but with a few adjustments, the quality is probably the best you can get for something like this. The fast auto-focus with face recognition works really well, even when other faces are in the shot. If you look at this interview with Raufeon Stots, you can see the image stabilization at its best as well as the auto-focus adjusting for his face:

The Bottom Line

Overall, if you're trying to get into making video content as a streamer or recording and editing I cannot recommend this camera enough. It's under $1000 dollars and it travels really well which is something else I needed since when I cover an event, it's usually solo. I like to keep it light and this one does so much more than the Go Pro I'm glad I picked up the Sony ZV-1. 

Nothing is perfect, so I'll say that the battery life can be a problem so you'll need to carry backup batteries like I did for Bellator 282. It's dust and moisture-resistant but not waterproof like a Go Pro so you'll want to be careful with how you store or travel with it. Other than that, this is a great camera.

This post has affiliate links for the items I wrote about so if you want to pick up any of them, using those links helps support my freelancing endeavors to create content like this.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Your field test of the Sony Zv-1 is extremely insightful! It's evident that this camera is well-suited for content creators. Thanks for sharing your experience. Keep up the good work!!