A year ago, Sony introduced the ZV-1: a digital camera with video-focused features and a streamlined interface for aspiring YouTube stars to easily churn out professional-looking videos. Today the company announced a follow-up, the Alpha ZV-E10, which still makes shooting video easy, but allows more experienced streamers to choose exactly the lens they want.
Long gone are the days when the tiny webcam built into the lid of a laptop was sufficient enough to stream yourself across the internet. With millions of streamers vying for viewers’ limited attention spans on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch, aspiring stars need to look better than their best—they need to look like they know what they’re doing, and that’s where Sony’s vlogging cameras come in.
The Alpha ZV-E10 features a bump in resolution from the ZV-1's 20.1-megapixel sensor to a 24.2-megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor that should produce cleaner images with less noise, especially when shooting in low-light conditions. But the biggest upgrade is swapping the ZV-1's permanently mounted 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens with an interchangeable mount that allows any of Sony’s E-mount lenses to be used. The change offers even more customizability depending on the look a streamer is going for, as well as more flexibility through the use of longer zoom lenses or even a macro lens for vloggers doing detailed gadget teardowns.
Like the older ZV-1, the new ZV-E10 also shoots video at 4K with the option to capture slow motion footage at HD resolution at 120 frames per second. Sony promises its rechargeable battery can capture up to 125 minutes of video on a full charge, although mileage will vary depending on how much auto-processing (like autofocus and autoexposure) the camera is handling.
What Sony hasn’t changed with the ZV-E10 is the ease of use introduced with the ZV-1. It still has dedicated buttons for recording video, activating the “Background Defocus” mode that will smoothly switch between a softly blurred or sharp background, and temporarily turning on the “Product Showcase Setting” that will automatically shift the camera’s autofocus from tracking the subject’s face to an object they’re holding up to the camera. It also still boasts a Face Priority autoexposure mode that ensures that no matter the changing lighting conditions, the subject’s face always remains properly exposed.
The new camera also carries over the ZV-1's Vari-angle LCD screen that be swiveled to face front or back, and the lack of a dedicated viewfinder frees up room for the built-in directional three-capsule microphone, which includes a windscreen. But the ZV-E10 also features a dedicated mic jack and a digital audio interface for connecting external audio sources.
When available closer to the end of August, the Sony Alpha ZV-E10 will sell for $700, which is $100 cheaper than the ZV-1, but keep in mind that’s just for the camera body. A nice lens will add quite a bit to the price of the camera, but Sony will also be offering the ZV-E10 in a new kit that includes a E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS power zoom lens. Given that lens usually costs around $300 on its own, and the kit is $800—just $100 than the camera body alone—it’s not a bad deal and certainly a big step up over last year’s ZV-1.