Sony ZV-E1 review: pint-sized vlogging powerhouse

Very small and incredibly powerful, but can a vlogging camera justify such a high price?

Sony ZV-E1 digital camera held in hands
(Image: © Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The ZV-E1 is almost miraculously small, with dimensions so compact that you forget there is a large image-stabilized full-frame sensor sitting at the center. Primarily a vlogging camera, the 4K video output is excellent, although getting useful handheld footage does require a significant crop. Where the camera really shines is its subject recognition and tracking features, which are probably the best out there right now. Still images are also very good, but top out at 12MP, so have limited use. Where the ZV-E1 loses me is in its purpose, with so many similarly capable video cameras on the market (including from within Sony’s own range), you really have to value the compact size and specific use case for this camera.


  • +

    Full frame sensor

  • +

    Subject recognition and tracking are unbelievably good

  • +

    Built-in microphone

  • +

    Compatible with wide range of lenses

  • +

    Very compact and light


  • -

    Only 12MP stills

  • -

    Active image stabilization modes significantly cropped

  • -

    Hard to use handheld with larger lenses

  • -

    Relatively expensive

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The vlogging camera space is really heating up, with most of the major manufacturers increasingly targeting content creators with new specially designed products. Sony was one of the first companies to recognize this market as a significant new area and has been making cameras in its vlog-focused ZV line for the past couple of years. Sony’s initial entries like the Sony ZV-E10 or Sony ZV-1F have all focused on the entry-level vlogger, with 1-inch or APS-C sensors and affordable price points.

Sony now has something for the more serious vlogger – the ZV-E1 – a full frame vlogging camera, with image stabilization and a subject recognition and tracking system, pulled right out of its top-of-the-line professional camera.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.