Sony ZV-1 Comparison Review
The Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1 is a fixed lens compact camera that was revealed to the public in May 2020 and is equipped with an one-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 20 megapixel.
Is the Sony ZV-1 a good camera? The ZV-1 has a Camera Elo of 2578. This rating puts the ZV-1 among the top 10 percent of all travel zoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (one inch cameras), the ZV-1 ranks among the top 20 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 5-star performance rating.
|Fixed lens compact camera|
|20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|ISO 125 - 12 800 (80 - 25 600)|
|no viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0 LCD, 922k dots|
|24 shutter flaps per second|
|260 shots per battery charge|
|105 x 60 x 44 mm, 294 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Sony ZV-1 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony ZV-1 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Sony ZV-1||105 mm||60 mm||44 mm||294 g||260||n||May 2020||799|
|2.||Canon G5 X Mark II||111 mm||61 mm||46 mm||340 g||230||n||Jul 2019||899|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||105 mm||61 mm||41 mm||304 g||235||n||Jul 2019||749|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|5.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|6.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|7.||Sony RX100 VII||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||302 g||260||n||Jul 2019||1,199|
|8.||Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|9.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|10.||Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799|
|11.||Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony ZV-1 was launched in the US market at a price of $799. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Sony ZV-1 features an one-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony ZV-1 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|2.||Canon G5 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|7.||Sony RX100 VII||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||21.8||12.4||418||63|
|8.||Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|9.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|10.||Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|11.||Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The ZV-1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the ZV-1 can use is 4K/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Sony ZV-1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Sony ZV-1||none||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||Y||1/2000s||24.0||n||Y|
|2.||Canon G5 X Mark II||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|7.||Sony RX100 VII||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||Y||1/2000s||90.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0 / 1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|10.||Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
The LCD screen on the Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1 is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD is hinged on the side and can be flipped out for odd-angle shots in both portrait and landscape orientation. Also, this fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment is often appreciated by videographers for its flexibility. Moreover, v-loggers like the design because the screen can be turned to be front-facing.
It is worthwhile pointing out that the ZV-1 has a touchscreen. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, when trying to adjust the focus point.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Sony ZV-1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|2.||Canon G5 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Sony RX100 VII||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|8.||Sony RX100 V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Sony RX100 III||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the ZV-1 has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
The ZV-1 has a zoom lens built in (8.8-25.7mm f/1.8-2.8), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 70mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the ZV-1. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Sony ZV-1||4/5||..||4.5/5||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||May 2020||799|
|2.||Canon G5 X Mark II||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||..||4/5||Jul 2019||899|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||..||+ +||4/5||81/100||4/5||..||Jul 2019||749|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|5.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|6.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|7.||Sony RX100 VII||4.5/5||..||4/5||..||4/5||5/5||Jul 2019||1,199|
|8.||Sony RX100 V||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|9.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|10.||Sony RX100 III||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|11.||Sony RX100 II||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Sony ZV-1 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the ZV-1.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the ZV-1 based on?
The camera features a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Sony equipped the ZV-1 with the BIONZ X image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the ZV-1?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600.
Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?
Yes, the LCD-screen of the ZV-1 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.
Is completely silent shooting possible with the Sony ZV-1?
The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.
Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?
No, the Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.
Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony ZV-1?
The ZV-1 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.
Does the Sony ZV-1 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
Does the Sony ZV-1 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?
Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).
Which battery does the ZV-1 use?
Where can I find the best deals for the ZV-1?
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1Ds Mark III vs Sony ZV-1
- Canon 700D vs Sony ZV-1
- Fujifilm GFX 100S vs Sony ZV-1
- Fujifilm X-H1 vs Sony ZV-1
- Fujifilm XF10 vs Sony ZV-1
- Nikon D40 vs Sony ZV-1
- Panasonic FZ1000 vs Sony ZV-1
- Panasonic G7 vs Sony ZV-1
- Panasonic TZ95 vs Sony ZV-1
- Sony A6300 vs Sony ZV-1
- Sony RX10 IV vs Sony ZV-1
- Sony RX100 II vs Sony ZV-1
|Camera Model||Sony ZV-1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8|
|Launch Date||May 2020|
|Launch Price||USD 799|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||116 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5 472 x 3 648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 12 800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 25 600 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen|
|V-logging Friendliness||Front-flip possible|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||24 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||Intervalometer Built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in|
|Battery Type||NP-BX1 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||260 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
105 x 60 x 44 mm
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||294 g (10.4 oz)|
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