Why I think Sony's new vlog camera gives vertical video to the masses

Sony ZV-1F
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has just launched its new vlogging camera geared toward content creators – the Sony ZV-1F is an ideal camera for beginners, YouTubers, and content creators, and is more affordable than the Sony ZV-1.  

One feature that wasn't really covered too much in the launch – other than a quick glimpse within the official Sony advert (see below) – is the fact that this is the first vlogging camera to offer Vertical capture right out of the box, perfect for all of those that love producing Reels, or Shorts on Instagram and YouTube respectively.

So why am I, a massive cinema camera nerd actually quite impressed with this little vlogging camera from Sony, and more specifically its ability for Vertical video? well, the quick answer is Sony has made seemly integration, simply shoot in vertical, upload it vertically to your phone, and guess what, post vertical too.

But to really get to grips with why I am actually quite thrilled this is coming to the market, let's take a step back a second. Most cameras that have a video function shoot in a 16:9 ratio for horizontal viewing, that is how we all watch TV, the web, and Youtube, well most of us... We used to say to make sure to turn your phone horizontally before shooting video so you get a better experience, otherwise, you would get wired black bars around your footage and the viewing experience wasn't pleasant.

But now social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and even YouTube are adapting to the way of vertical video, this time that fills the entire frame, and in turn, fills the whole screen of your phone while viewing it, making it a more immersive experience. 

Now it is all hail vertical video, but until now capturing vertical video has been a bit of a logistical nightmare for filmmakers, if you were shooting a commercial, clients wanted the traditional 16:9 aspect, but also other material to make into a vertical video for sharing across their socials – this is a nightmare and requires a lot of video editing and reframing to get the desired look and feel you want, and frankly this is still the case. - a long drawn-out process.

Sony ZV-1F

(Image credit: Sony)

That method was also the case for new content creators wanting to take advantage of this new feature from social media platforms, and while just turning your camera on its side will get what you want, editing is still required. Well, at least it was until Sony launched the ZV-1F, the ZV-1F now allows the user to shoot true vertical videos that require no editing, which you are now able to instantly transfer from the camera to your smartphone and share with the world. - this is pretty special, even for this die-hard cinema camera user.

Another cool feature is the ZV-F1 will automatically tag vertical video so you know which clips to share right away, compared to having to trawl through all your footage, and thanks to another feature called Shot Mark you can pick the best 15, 30, or 60 seconds on a clip while still recording, or while watching it play back.

This camera is a game changer for multi-media creatives who are looking for a compact solution to say a more traditional camera while offering added benefits such as vertical recording straight out of the box without the need to spend countless hours reframing and transforming 16:9 video into a Short, or Reel. I never thought the day would come when I would praise a vlogging camera, but congratulations Sony, you've done a great job here.

If you've enjoyed reading this article you might be interested in getting the full low-down on the Sony ZV-1F or taking a look at our best vlogging cameras guide, and while you are at it the best camera for YouTube could be beneficial too.

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Sebastian Oakley
Ecommerce Editor

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specializing in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound, and many more for various advertising campaigns, books, and pre/post-event highlights.

He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science, and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is a member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected into BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 

He is familiar with and shows great interest in street, medium, and large format photography with products by Leica, Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa, and Sinar. Sebastian has also used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI, and everything in between. He now spends his spare time using his trusted Leica M-E shooting Street photography or general life as he sees it, usually in Black and White.