This month we headed on over to the states for the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show! We saw a ton of impressive and super cool new tech that's hitting the film and TV market this year, in amongst it was the latest vlogging camera from SONY - The ZV-E1 is set to revolutionise the world of content creation with its AI integrated user interface!
We managed to have a look at the camera setup at Sony's massive booth at the NAB show in Las Vegas, as well as having a chat with Sony's senior manager, Mark Weir about how it's aimed at anyone looking to create high quality video content. "We see it as being for all content creators and any solo-shooter. That's really what we built this camera for" The aim of this new vlogging camera is to take away all the stress of relying on a "film crew" to help keep you centred and in focus when filming.
"It has some of the key devices from some of our very famous video cameras, because it's really all about capturing video. It can capture stills as well, but it uses the 12mp sensor with the incredibly high sensitivity and wide dynamic range that we first saw in the A7S III" So all of the best bits from previous Sony cameras have been packed into this little device, with some extras in there as well. The ZV-E1 is able to shoot up 4K 120p, and in Sony's S-Log 3 (which allows for better reproduction of colour gradients within the shadows and mid-tones) It also allows you to shoot in "S-Cinetone" which allows for a more cinematic vlog setting. One thing that stuck out to us about this camera was that it allows for user custom LUTs to be imported and used for filming. The ZV-E1 comes with three LUTS already installed and 16 memory slots for more LUTs of your choice! These can be used for monitoring, or can be dragged into the footage for super simple and quick colour grading in post.
But perhaps the most interesting and innovative part of this camera is the use of AI technology within it. "It's only our second camera to have the dedicated AI processor built in" Said Mark, in reference to their A7RV camera "It can of course do everything the A7RV can do in terms of subject recognition, human pose estimation, animals, birds, motor vehicles. But what we've done with this camera is used the AI for the camera to be able to recognise what's in the scene, especially when it comes to people"
Sony have used their brilliant "human pose estimation" tools in order for the camera to be able to very accurately focus and detect people to an extremely high degree. What's unique to this camera is that it can recognise when people are in the scene and can even change the aperture whilst recording to take advantage of the camera's shallow depth of field. It the camera only detects one person, it'll shoot with a wide iris in order to maximise the depth of field - If another person is in shot then it'll adjust the aperture whilst recording, to get the necessary depth of field in order to keep both subject in focus. If one of the subjects is to leave the frame then the camera would re-adjust back to a wide open aperture.
The ZV-E1 can also auto-frame on the subject to keep them prominent and centred in the frame, it can adjust the framing in realtime and panning in the recorded frame as the subject is moving. This is one of the many features that are geared towards "solo-shooters" or vloggers, if you're filming yourself with the ZV-E1at arms length or on a tripod then the camera will keep you centred in the shot, no matter where the camera is pointing around you. The amazing AI integration also extends to the ZV-E1's microphone! The camera has a 3-capsule microphone in the top of it which allows you to set the microphone's directivity to front, rear or omnidirectional - But what's even crazier is that the camera can detect when another subject walks into the shot and can (in realtime) shift its microphone's directivity from omnidirectional, to front in order to accommodate the new subjects in frame.
These are just SOME of the incredible new features on this amazing camera, to check out the whole presentation simply click on our video below! Were you at NAB? If so, what was your favourite part? Let us know in the comments below!