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Sony zv e 10. Sony zv e 10

Sony’s ZV-E10 Vlogging Camera is Ready for its Closeup

The Sony ZV-E10 was put through its paces in the lab. We have the results.

Rangefinder is a member of the Technical Image Press Association, which has contracted with Image Engineering for detailed lab tests of cameras. Here, the Sony ZV-E10 is lab tested and we digest the results for you, good and bad.


How many vloggers are out there in the universe? After a few minutes (okay, seconds) of Googling, we’re still not sure, but it seems like a lot. What we do know is that there’s enough enthusiasm around the medium that when Sony announced the ZV-E10 camera, they hailed it as “built from the ground up” for vloggers specifically.

In practice, that means Sony funneled its considerable video technologies and design chops into a camera that should appeal to video creators and filmmakers, particularly those not fully comfortable with their video skills.

The camera features a 24-megapixel APS-C-sized image sensor with an ISO range of 100 to 32,000 (expandable to 50 to 51,200). It uses a Sony E-mount.

The ZV-E10 can record 4K video (3840 x 2160) at up to 30fps and Full HD video at 120 fps. There’s electronic stabilization for video with an Active Mode to compensate for handheld shooting. Its video-friendly features include a “Background Defocus” mode for video and a vary-angle LCD display for easily framing selfies while accommodating on-camera microphones, Fast Hybrid AF and Real-time Eye AF for video with Real-time Tracking. It supports live-streaming and can be used as a webcam. (A note about the display: it’s a touchscreen that supports touch focusing but you can’t actually navigate the on-screen menu via touch.)

For audio recording, the camera employs a three-way, on-camera mic and there’s a dead cat wind screen included in the package.

You can learn more about the ZV-E10’s features here.

The Sony ZV-E10: Resolution is Consistent as You Push ISO

At ISO 100, the Sony ZV-E10 can resolve 94 percent of its sensor’s theoretical maximum (tested using the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM lens). That’s decent, but it trails competitive APS-C models like Nikon’s new Z fc, which can resolve 99 percent of its sensor’s theoretical maximum at base ISO, or Fujifilm’s X-S10 (104 percent).

The ZV-E10’s resolving power stays consistent through ISO 1600, where it dips to 89 percent. Notably, the camera continues at this resolving power through ISO 6400. At the maximum ISO tested by Image Engineering, ISO 12,800, the ZV-E10 slips to 83 percent. By contrast, Fujifilm’s more photo-friendly X-S10 is delivering 95 percent of its sensor’s theoretical maximum resolution at ISO 12,800.

Image Engineering found that the Sony ZV-E10 applies mild sharpening along high-contrast edges. Sharpening will be strongest at ISO 3200, but the amount of sharpening remains generally consistent throughout the ISO values evaluated by Image Engineering.

The ZV-E10’s Noise is Under Control

Like many cameras tested these days, the ZV-E10 does a fine job controlling image noise, particularly when viewing output as small or large prints.

When viewing the ZV-E10’s files on a digital display at 100 percent magnification, the most challenging viewing condition, noise won’t be visible until ISO 800. That’s about on par with its aforementioned competitors. By ISO 3200, Image Engineering found that noise is “easier to see” and “distinct” by ISO 12,800 in this exacting viewing test.

Noise is well under control when viewing the ZV-E10’s images as a postcard-sized print or a large print, where it rears its splotchy head at ISO 12,800. That’s not quite as good as the Nikon Z fc, which didn’t produce any visible image noise when viewing output as a print.

Dynamic Range Color are Where the Sony ZV-E10 Really Delivers

Dynamic range, which is so important for both stills and video, was deemed excellent with over 10 stops when the camera is set to ISO 100 and 400 (shooting stills). That’s similar to what the Fujifilm S-X10 produced, and better than Nikon’s Z fc (9.3 stops of dynamic range at base ISO).

Color reproduction is equally solid, with the camera only showing four strong deviations from the reference target. The questionable colors were two cobalt blues and two deep purples. This is considerably better than the Nikon Z fc, which had 16 colors veer off strongly from their reference target. It’s not quite as good as the S-X10, though, which had zero (count ‘em) strong color deviations.

Sony’s ZV-E10 will also provide consistently accurate automatic white balance throughout its ISO range.

Video in the Spotlight

Given its target audience of video content producers, Image Engineering had some good news: the video performance doesn’t disappoint.

The camera’s resolving power when filming in 4K was excellent at both low and high ISO values. Examining a still image extracted from a 4K video frame revealed that the camera is capable of resolving 107 percent of the theoretical resolution at low ISO and 102 percent at high ISO. That’s better than the performance when shooting stills.

Sharpening was found to be “fairly strong” and stronger still along low-contrast edges. By ISO 1600, the sharpening effect is less noticeable.

As far as visual noise is concerned, it wasn’t found in any viewing condition tested at ISO 100. At ISO 1600, a still frame extracted from 4K video and viewed at 100 percent would show some noise, but it wouldn’t be visible in a small or large print.

You’ll enjoy over 10 stops of dynamic range at ISO 100 and the dynamic range is fairly consistent throughout the lower ISO values. By ISO 1600, it’s still 9.6 stops. Image Engineering found the white balance to be decent. Color reproduction was also good, but it will show a bit more variance during video than the performance when shooting stills.

As far as autofocus tracking during video, it worked “without a hitch.”

Sony ZV-E10: Performance Results

The Sony ZV-E10 starts up at a rather stately 1.8 seconds, slower than both of its aforementioned competitors.

When set to burst mode, the ZV-E10 records 8 frames per second (either JPEG or RAW format) until the memory card is full. It’s not quite as fast as the Nikon Z fc, but it’s capable of continuous recording without stopping, where the faster Nikon will slow down after around 100 frames.

Autofocus was tested using the Sony FE 28-70mm. F/ 3.5-5.6 OSS lens. In bright light (300lx), the camera’s autofocus was clocked at a third of a second for a total capture time of half a second from shutter press to image capture. In low light (30lx) autofocusing was clocked at two-fifths of a second with a total shooting time of 0.6 of a second.

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Sony ZV-E10 Mirrorless Camera with 16-50mm Lens (Black)

Perfect for vloggers, the Sony ZV-E10 pairs a large APS-C sensor and mirrorless versatility with a specialized feature-set built just for content creators. Improving upon the ubiquitous smartphone, the ZV-E10 is an Alpha camera that brings improved image quality, greater choice of lenses, and increased control to up your creativity when shooting.

Taking a concept that originated with the ZV-1, the ZV-E10 is the mirrorless continuation of this idea of a camera built around the concept of vlogging. It’s a highly capable and portable camera but incorporates a series of design choices and shooting modes that are ideal for single-person productions. A vari-angle screen lets you accurately frame up shots, the integrated directional mic is purpose-built for recording more accurate sound from front-facing subjects, and shooting modes like Background Defocus and Product Showcase help you highlight specific subjects with ease.

In terms of specs, the ZV-E10 revolves around a 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor, which enables UHD 4K video recording up to 30p, Full HD recording at 120p, and stills shooting up to 11 fps. Sensitivity ranges from 100-32000 for working in a variety of lighting conditions and the sensor’s design also integrates a 425-point Fast Hybrid AF system for accurate tracking and detection of subjects.

The body design is reminiscent of Sony’s other Alpha E-mount cameras and features an intuitive control layout along with the functional 3.0″ vari-angle touchscreen LCD for intuitive settings control and framing. With audio being a main concern of vlogging and creative content, the ZV-E10 focuses on this aspect of recording by including a 3-capsule directional mic into the camera design as well as incorporating both 3.5mm mic and headphone ports and having the top Multi Interface shoe support a digital audio interface for improved audio quality.

Vlogging Features

Optimized Camera Design

  • Rear 3.0″ 921.6k-dot touchscreen LCD features a side flip-out design that is ideal for filming yourself or taking selfies in a natural and intuitive manner.
  • Side-opening screen allows for a redesigned top plate, which incorporates a directional 3-capsule microphone that is specifically designed for forward-directional audio recording. Also, a dedicated wind screen for the built-in mic is included to help achieve cleaner audio when working outdoors.
  • Both 3.5mm microphone and headphone ports are also featured for more advanced audio recording, and the Multi Interface Shoe also benefits audio recording capabilities. This accessory shoe supports a digital audio interface that helps to achieve lower noise during recording and also eliminates cable clutter and the need for external power when working with compatible shoe-mounted mics.
  • Front tally lamp serves as a visual indicator for when recording is occurring. Also, the LCD can display a red border frame to further serve as an additional recording indicator.
  • Live streaming is possible directly from the camera simply by connecting the camera to a computer or compatible mobile device via USB, allowing the camera’s video and audio capabilities to be used for live social media and video conferencing. UVC and UAC standards are supported for improved picture and sound quality during streaming.

Specialized Shooting Modes

  • Product Showcase setting is ideal for vlogging and product review or demonstration videos and allows for quick and smooth FOCUS transitions between a subject’s face and an object placed in front of the lens.
  • Background Defocus lets you immediately switch to the maximum aperture setting of the attached lens, using a custom button function, for isolating your subject using shallow depth of field and bokeh.
  • Face-Priority AE detects the subject’s face and adjusts the exposure to ensure the face is depicted in an ideal brightness, even if walking from a bright place into shade. The AE technology also suppresses abrupt changes in exposure if the subject quickly turns away from the frame to eliminate unexpected blown-out or extremely dark shots.
  • Refined color science helps to optimize skin tones for any subject, in both still and video modes, in order to achieve a healthy and natural look that is inclusive of different ages, genders, and ethnicity.
  • Soft Skin Effect can be used to soften and smooth wrinkles or blemishes on a subject’s face to create a natural, smooth complexion. The default setting is Mid and can be adjusted to Off, Low, or Hi. For longer takes, extended continuous video recording is available when setting the Auto Power OFF Temp. function to High.
  • Movie footage can be tagged with specific metadata to indicate vertical recording orientation for direct playback in smartphone apps or for other instances when vertical video playback is needed.
  • Active SteadyShot is an advanced image stabilization mode that ensures steady video while moving, even when handheld shooting while walking.

Image Quality, Autofocus, and 4K Video

24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Processor

  • A revised APS-C-format 24.2MP Exmor CMOS sensor realizes smooth, nuanced image quality with minimal noise and high sensitivity from ISO 100-32000, which can further be expanded to ISO 51200 for working in low-light conditions.
  • The sensor dimensions are approximately 3x larger than a 1″ sensor, and up to 10x larger than some smartphone sensors, enabling greater sensitivity, reduced noise, and improved control over depth of field.
  • The sensor and BIONZ X processor combination also avails a top continuous-shooting rate of 11 fps with AF and AE and permits 14-bit raw file output for a wide tonal and color scale.

425-Point Fast Hybrid AF

  • The sensor’s design incorporates a 425-point Fast Hybrid AF system, which blends both phase-detection and contrast-detection methods to achieve focusing performance that is fast, natural, and accurate.
  • The on-chip focusing system covers 84% of the sensor field and is capable of achieving FOCUS in as little as 0.02 sec.
  • Real-time Eye AF can prioritize focusing on human or animal eyes for ensured sharpness when making portraits. When selected, this function is activated by half-pressing the shutter button and you can further choose to prioritize either the right or left eye.
  • Real-time tracking utilizes AI-based algorithms to automatically recognize and track moving subjects. If Face/Eye Priority AF is on, this tracking method will further track a subject’s eye or face in real time with seamless changing depending on the status of the moving subject.

4K Video Recording

  • UHD 4K video recording is possible up to 30p and uses full pixel readout with 6K oversampling to yield greater detail with reduced moiré and aliasing. Full HD 1080p recording is also supported in frame rates up to 120 fps, and both resolutions utilize the 100 Mb/s XAVC S format contained within an MP4 wrapper with 4:2:0 sampling. In addition to high-resolution internal recording, uncompressed HDMI output also enables the use of an optional external recorder for clean 4K recording with 4:2:2 sampling.
  • Slow Quick (SQ) mode allows shooters to capture Full HD video at specified steps between 1-120 fps. These settings will allow you to slow down action as well as speed up a slow-moving scene.
  • No recording limit for movie recording, allowing for longer takes and uninterrupted shooting of live events.
  • Affording extensive customizable color and gamma controls, the ZV-E10 allows users to adjust the gamma, black level, knee, color level, and more. Use the same S-Log2 Gamma Curve that is found on high-end Sony Cinema cameras, which squeezes up to 1300% more dynamic range into the video signal then traditional Rec. 709, for increased post-production flexibility. HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) support is also available, along with the BT.2020 color space, for recording within a wide color gamut and, in addition to S-Log2, S-Log3 is also available for producing an effective 14-stop dynamic range with increased grading control in the shadow to mid-tone regions of the image.
  • Interval shooting mode is ideal for creating time-lapse movies with the aid of Imaging Edge software. Intervals can be selected between 1-60 seconds for recording up to 9999 sequential free. Also, in-camera battery charging is possible via the USB port using a portable battery to benefit long interval shooting sessions.

Physical Design and Wireless Connectivity

Camera Body Design

  • Built for portable applications and one-handed use, the camera incorporates a large right-hand grip and intuitive physical control layout.
  • Grip design, along with the vari-angle LCD, also suits working from front-facing angles, such as when vlogging or taking selfies.
  • Integrated zoom lever surrounds the shutter button and works in conjunction with select Power Zoom lenses.
  • Vari-angle screen can be closed against the body, with the screen facing inward, to automatically power off the camera even when the power switch is set to ‘On’.
  • Dedicated Movie Record, Background Defocus, Product Showcase, and SQ buttons provide direct access to common features used by vloggers.
  • Included NP-FW50 battery is rated for up to 440 shots or approximately 125 minutes of recording per charge. Power can also be supplied to the camera through the USB Type-C port or by using the optional AC-PW20AM AC adapter.

Wireless and Sharing

  • Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity enables instant transferring of imagery to mobile devices for direct sharing online to social networking, via email, and to Cloud storage sites. Once connected, the linked mobile device can also display a live view image on its screen and, using Smart Remote Control, remotely control the camera’s shutter release.
  • The ZV-E10 is also compatible with the Movie Edit add-on from the Imaging Edge mobile app.
  • Bluetooth connectivity enables connecting to the optional GP-VPT2BT Wireless Shooting Grip for efficient camera control.

E PZ 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens

  • The included E PZ 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens is a 24-75mm-equivalent zoom characterized by its versatile range and sleek, retractable design. Helping to deliver excellent optical quality throughout the range are an extra-low dispersion element and four aspherical elements to combat various aberrations and improve contrast. The lens also incorporates Optical SteadyShot image stabilization and a power zoom mechanism, both of which will help you capture smooth and steady stills and video. Additionally, it has an internal FOCUS design, a minimum FOCUS distance of 9.8″, and uses a seven-blade circular aperture for smooth bokeh.

Additional Information

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We do not sell Grey Market Products

Sony ZV-E10 vs Sony ZV-E1

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What are the differences as far as a customer is concerned?

In most cases, the main difference between a “USA” and a “Grey Market,” or imported product is the cost of the item and the terms of the item’s warranty coverage. The products themselves are otherwise identical. As a rule, “Grey Market” items typically cost less than their USA counterparts. “Grey market” products never qualify for manufacturer’s rebate programs and can not be price matched. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-333-4280.

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Additional Information

Bedford Camera Video is a Sony Authorized dealer! All new products come with a full manufactures USA Limited warranty.

We do not sell Grey Market Products

Products that are imported and sold by anyone other than USA Authorized dealers are considered Grey Market products. These are often genuine products that were intended for other countries; therefore, they may not meet the manufacturer’s specifications for US products or perform as expected, and they are not covered by a USA manufacture warranty or eligible for a USA repair service.

What are the differences as far as a customer is concerned?

In most cases, the main difference between a “USA” and a “Grey Market,” or imported product is the cost of the item and the terms of the item’s warranty coverage. The products themselves are otherwise identical. As a rule, “Grey Market” items typically cost less than their USA counterparts. “Grey market” products never qualify for manufacturer’s rebate programs and can not be price matched. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-333-4280.

Prop 65 Warning: California Residents

Sony ZV-E10 review: The dream for vlogging on a budget?

It seems like Sony is looking to take over the vlogging camera world. They started by introducing the compact ZV-1, which got a decent reception on the market. Now they’ve upped the sensor size with the ZV-E10. Is this camera ready to take over the vlogging world?

The Sony ZV-E10 is the newest APS-C camera to the Sony lineup. It’s aimed right at the YouTuber and vlogger. While the ZV-1 was a fixed lens compact camera, the ZV-E10 is an interchangeable lens mirrorless camera. It also features a brand-new body design that isn’t shared with any of their other cameras.

Sony ZV-E10. волк в овечьей шкурке! Камера экономит деньги

Could this be the ultimate budget vlogging camera? I put this camera through its paces for a couple of weeks to find out.

Cons. Sony ZV-E10 — Technical specifications

All of the technical specifications for the Sony ZV-E10 have been taken from the product listing page at BH Photo:

  • 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor
  • UHD 4K30p and Full HD 120p Video
  • 3.0″ Side Flip-Out Touchscreen LCD
  • 425-Point Fast Hybrid AF
  • Up to 11fps shooting, ISO 100-32000
  • Real-Time Eye AF and Tracking
  • Background Defocus Face Priority AE
  • Directional 3-Capsule Mic and Windscreen
  • Headphone and Microphone Ports

Sony ZV-E10 — Ergonomics and build quality

The ZV-E10 is a tiny camera. However, the ergonomics of the body are surprisingly comfortable. You wouldn’t want to use it with huge lenses, but for its intended purpose, it works. The grip is small but combined with the nub on the back of the body, I never felt in danger of a drop.

When held in a vlogging position, it feels pretty good also. My larger thumb didn’t quite fit between the lens and grip, but it never felt uncomfortable. As a result, it may be a bit cramped for the sausage-fingered among us.

The top panel of the ZV-E10 diverges a bit from the typical Sony. Where the on/off switch is normally located is now a power zoom toggle. The on/off switch has been relocated to a slider. In addition to the shutter, Sony has added a big record button reminiscent of the a7S III. There is also a button for Background Defocus and video/photo modes near the rear dial. Notably missing is the EVF. However, Sony’s multi-interface shoe remains. This is all rounded out with the new mic in the center.

The back of the ZV-E10 features a new articulating screen. From there, the rear of the camera will feel familiar to any Sony user. It features the same wheel/directional dial, function button, trash can, playback and menu buttons as usual. However, the trash button is set from the factory to enable the product AF mode on the ZV-E10.

Build quality

The ZV-E10 largely seems built of high-quality plastics. While it’s not magnesium alloy, it doesn’t feel bad. Turning the dials feels typical of a Sony camera. The buttons provide nice surfaces and good feedback. The texturing on the grip and thumb-rest area seems like it should last as well.

This camera suffers a common fault among lower-priced cameras, however. There’s no weather sealing. Forget about vlogging your adventures in inclement weather. That said, if you are careful about your shooting conditions, the ZV-E10 seems like it will hold up fine.

Sony ZV-E10 — Ease of use

The Sony ZV-E10 is a mixed bag when it comes to ease of use. The large record button, optional blogging grip/tripod, articulating screen, and zoom toggle are all features that make for an easy time controlling the camera. However, it still uses the old Sony menus. There’s no touch functionality for settings. The lack of mode dial and front dial can also be a bit frustrating.


However, Sony’s awesome autofocus makes vlogging a breeze. I never once worried about FOCUS while filming or photographing with the ZV-E10. In that regard, the camera is a trouble-free joy. The tally light on the front is also a nice touch. Between that and the on-screen recording indicators, you’ll never second guess if you hit record.

One notable mention when discussing the ease of use is the lack of an EVF. This may bother some people and could be completely acceptable to others. However, it’s worth noting that you’re stuck with just the back panel when shooting with the ZV-E10.

SteadyShot performance

While the ZV-E10 doesn’t have IBIS, it does have Sony’s Active SteadyShot for video. This mode adds digital image stabilization. It works either on its own or in conjunction with lens stabilization. However, there is a hefty 1.44x crop when it’s in use. This combined with the 1.5x crop factor of APS-C gives the ZV-E10 a higher crop factor than micro four-thirds.

In use, Active SteadyShot does an impressive job. I tested it with both the 16-50mm kit lens and an adapted vintage lens. In both cases, the stabilization was nearly on par with some of the better IBIS systems I’ve tried. Unfortunately, it requires such a heavy crop to achieve this, as lens OS alone just can’t quite compete.

As a vlogging camera, this is a problem. The 2.16x total crop gives the 16mm kit lens roughly a 35mm equivalent focal length. That’s simply just too tight for vlogging, even with Sony’s optional vlogging tripod equipped.

Battery life and storage

Battery life on the ZV-E10 is fairly average. It uses the common Sony NP-FW50 battery and is CIPA-rated at 440 shots per charge or 80 mins of continuous video capture. I found that to be a conservative rating, and was able to exceed those numbers by a fair amount with careful use. Also, the ZV-E10 features a USB-C port that can be used for charging.

The ZV-E10 has a single UHS-I card slot, located in the battery compartment. UHS-II cards can be used, however, you won’t gain any speed in doing so.

Sony ZV-E10 — Autofocus performance

Sony’s autofocus has been the golden standard of mirrorless cameras for a while. The ZV-E10 continues this tradition. It allows you to leave the camera in wide-area mode, turn on the face and eye tracking, and forget worrying about FOCUS. I found the tracking to be confidence-inspiring in both video and photo modes. As you can see in the samples above, it even retained tracking when the mountain biker rode past with tree branches between him and the camera.

The 16-50mm kit lens wasn’t exactly blazing fast. While serviceable, it didn’t add anything significant to the autofocus capabilities of the body. In low-light, the ZV-E10 still performed well. The autofocus does slow down a bit. However, some of that could be due to the relatively slower max aperture of the lens. Accuracy in low-light was still great, though. Overall, you can count on the ZV-E10 autofocus whether in continuous or single modes.

Sony ZV-E10 — Image quality

The images out of the ZV-E10 are quite good. This sensor has been in the Sony 6000-series of cameras for ages, so it isn’t tough to know what to expect from it. It has some great strengths and a few glaring issues. Let’s get into those.

Dynamic range

The ZV-E10 performs well in terms of dynamic range. It does a good job recovering highlights. It does even better when it comes to recovering shadow detail. Unless your exposure is quite a bit off, the RAW files from the ZV-E10 give you a lot of room to adjust.

As you can tell with the comparison tool, the ZV-E10 RAW files can handle challenging conditions. The Sony is a great performer here.

JPEG quality

Sony has certainly improved its JPEG engine over the years. JPEGs from the ZV-E10 are quite nice. There are several creative modes as well as the standard Sony picture profiles. This gives a good amount of room for creativity.

The colors from the ZV-E10 are nice and natural. The camera doesn’t apply too much sharpening or noise reduction either. As a result, you can certainly get nice JPEGs out of this camera.

High ISO performance

High ISO performance on the ZV-E10 is great, with a couple of caveats. When shooting photos, the camera can handle up to 6400 ISO with ease. Above that noise starts to get fairly prevalent. When shooting in 4K video the results are equally great. However, noise comes on strong above ISO 800 in 1080p.

Video Quality

The 4K video quality on the Sony XV-E10 is excellent. This camera again shares the benefits and pitfalls of its sensor with Sony’s other APS-C cameras. It downsamples its 4K picture from the full 6K output of the sensor. As a result, the 4K is exquisitely detailed, low on noise, and looks great.

On the negative side, we have the 1080p video quality and rolling shutter. The ZV-E10 1080p is soft, noisy, and generally mushy-looking. Unfortunately, the slow-motion modes have all the same problems. This camera also has some bad rolling shutter. The photos shot below were done in electronic shutter mode to demonstrate just that.

The ZV-E10 also features a new, large microphone. It’s located on top of the camera, dead center. While this does work better than any built-in mic on a mirrorless camera I’ve ever used, it’s still a built-in mic. The included deadcat helps to tune down wind noise. However, the sound recorded from the ZV-E10 still doesn’t match a nice shotgun or lapel mic.

Is the Sony ZV-E10 the vlogging camera to beat?

Sony has tried to capture the YouTuber and Vlogging markets with the ZV cameras. However, it’s a tough market with a lot of competition. The ZV-E10 is a tough sale. If someone were looking for a compact vlogging camera, I’d be more inclined to recommend its sibling, the ZV-1. The only reason I see to go with the ZV-E10 is if you plan to experiment with lenses and ditch the mediocre 16-50mm.

While the ZV-E10 is a fine camera, it’s not an outstanding camera. For similar money, many micro four-thirds cameras can be had. Those bodies feature IBIS in addition to being light and small in many cases. Active SteadyShot does well, but its hefty crop negates much of the APS-C sensor benefits.

I think it’s safe to say the perfect vlogging camera still doesn’t exist. The ZV-E10 is a fun camera and works well despite its shortcomings, but I struggle to determine who I would recommend the ZV-E10 to over other options on the market. Perhaps if you’re already invested in the Sony ecosystem, this would make a good B-camera for vlogging. Also, for the budget, it does feature one of the best autofocus systems out there, and that’s worth considering.

Sony ZV-E10

The Sony ZV-E10 is Sony’s latest attempt at the vlogging camera. It features nice 4K video, slow-motion video options, a 24MP sensor and more. It’s an interesting take on a camera built specifically with vlogging in mind. It’s small, takes interchangeable lenses, and has the much wanted fully articulating screen. If you’re looking for a small vlogging camera with excellent autofocus, this could be for you.

Sony ZV-E10 Review

Images, and the devices that capture them, are my FOCUS. I’ve covered cameras at PCMag for the past 10 years, which has given me a front row seat for the DSLR to mirrorless transition, the smartphone camera revolution, and the mainstream adoption of drones for aerial imaging. You can find me on Instagram @jamespfisher.

The Bottom Line

Sony‘s ZV-E10 camera appeals to vloggers with a quality mic and support for swappable lenses, but is held back by a weak battery and a so-so touch interface.

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  • Excellent 4K video at 24 or 30fps
  • Best-in-class autofocus
  • Bright, front-facing LCD
  • Clear in-camera microphone
  • Supports add-on mic and headphone monitoring
  • Works as a USB webcam


  • Battery drains quickly
  • Digital stabilization adds crop to video
  • Limited touch controls
  • In-camera charging slow for on-the-go use
  • Slow-motion limited to 1080p
  • No 4K60 recording

Sony ZV-E10 Specs

A year after introducing its first camera for vloggers (the fixed-lens ZV-1), Sony is bringing the concept to an interchangeable lens platform. The ZV-E10 (699.99, body only) is built around the same sensor as the stills-focused a6100, but is made just for video. It has a quality in-camera microphone, a front-facing display, and some FOCUS and metering modes tuned for vlog video. The 4K video it captures is crisp, but digital stabilization tightens the angle of view when working handheld, and a weak battery means you’ll want to carry some spares for all-day work.

Made for Video and Vlogs

The ZV-E10 is built with the needs of video-first creators, particularly vloggers, in mind. As such, it drops the EVF, built-in flash, and Mode dial from the stills-first a6100. Instead, it uses a quality three-capsule microphone (a windscreen is included) and adds a swing-out, front-facing LCD. It’s a slim, light camera—2.5 by 4.5 by 1.8 inches (HWD) and 12 ounces.

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Sony is offering the camera in a black (which we received for review) or white finish. If you’re already in the E-mount mirrorless system, you can buy it as a body only. There’s a kit option with the E PZ 16-50mm for 799.99, but if selfie vlogs are your thing, you may prefer a wider zoom. The camera relies on digital stabilization to supplement lens-based IS; it’s quite effective, but it does crop the view of your lens.

It’s built around an APS-C sensor, smaller than the full-frame chips Sony puts in its a7 series. You can use both full-frame (FE) and made-for-APS (E) lenses. There’s typically some penalty of cost and weight by opting for full-frame glass, but it’s a plus if you’re already in the Sony system. To get a wider view, I used the Sony E 10-18mm F4 and Tamron 11-20mm F2.8, and tried it with the Tamron 150-500mm for telephoto shots.

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The grip is way too small to use handheld with a big lens, as it’s too unwieldy to hold the lens while using the rear display to frame shots. A tripod came in handy there, as well as for some long-exposure images. For the most part, I used the camera handheld along with the GP-VPT2BT Wireless Shooting Grip, available separately for 150.

The grip connects to the ZV-E10 via Bluetooth and includes controls to record clips, adjust zoom, and toggle Background Defocus (more on that later). It’s an almost required accessory for handheld use—you’ll naturally hold the camera steadier with a pistol-style grip—and it folds out into a convenient tabletop tripod. Tilt and rotation are supported, too. If you’re buying the camera, you should try and make room in your budget for the grip.

Controls and Interface

The ZV-E10’s controls are a departure from a stills-first camera. There’s no mode dial on the top; instead you’ll set the capture mode via the menu. You do get a shutter release at the top of the handgrip. It has a rocker to drive zoom on power zoom lenses, like the E 16-50mm kit option.

An On/Off switch, Record and Background Defocus buttons, and a control wheel are located on the top. There’s also a mode button to swap between still, video, and slow-motion (SQ) capture. As mentioned, there’s no traditional mode dial, so you’ll need to go into the menu to change between auto, manual, shutter, aperture, and other exposure modes.

Background Defocus is a feature introduced on the ZV-1. It’s made its way here and works the same way. Pressing the button opens the f-stop on the attached lens as wide as it will go. With the right glass, you’ll net a blurred-out background behind your in-FOCUS subject. If you want everything to be in FOCUS, tap the button again. The lens aperture closes down to get more of the shot in FOCUS. If you know your way around a camera, you can still set the f-stop manually, but this is a quick way for anyone to get the bokeh look, regardless of level of expertise.

The center of the top plate houses the three-capsule mic. Sony bundles a windscreen with the camera, just slide it into the hot shoe to shield the built-in mic. The hot shoe also accepts Sony’s digital on-camera mics and can mount a standard analog mic; the 3.5mm input is nearby on the left side panel.

The rear is dominated by the swing-out LCD. Physical controls are on the right side. The full Menu and on-screen Fn menu buttons are at the top, while Play and Delete are at the bottom. The rear command dial sits between. It turns to adjust settings and includes four directional presses—Display, ISO, EV, and Drive.

Physical controls are supplemented via on-screen menus, but touch support is limited. You need to use buttons to navigate through the on-screen menus, which extends to the very useful Fn interface, an overlay menu with a two-strip design housing a dozen options. It’s completely configurable (via the main menu), and it’s worth taking the time to fiddle if you want quick access to a certain feature.

Sony has a better menu system with real touch controls on some of its high-end cameras, including the full-frame a7S III, but it’s not included here. The ZV-E10 is built on an older processor and sensor platform, one that doesn’t seem to support the new interface.

It does limit your control over the camera when you’re both cinematographer and on-screen talent. You can tap the screen to set a FOCUS point, but that’s really it. If you’re recording a selfie vlog and want to make some settings between clips, you’ll need to get behind the camera and work with the rear buttons.

The display itself is excellent. The 3-inch 1.4-million-dot LCD is sharp enough to be your only viewfinder, and plenty bright, especially if you turn on the Sunny Weather display setting, something that came in handy when working with the camera outdoors in early summer. A red outline shows around the frame when recording. There’s also a tally light on the front panel, an additional visual confirmation that you’re rolling footage.

Power and Connectivity

The camera includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect to a smartphone—you’ll use the Sony Imaging Edge Mobile app for Android and iOS for remote control and file transfers. It includes USB-C to connect to a computer for transfers or for use as a webcam. It complies with UVC and UAC standards, so it’ll work with Macs, PCs, and Android 11 smartphones. Streaming is at 720p and includes an audio feed.

The ZV-E10 is powered by Sony’s oft-lamented NP-FW50 battery. It’s rated for about 80 minutes of record time or 440 photos, but your mileage will vary based on how you use the camera. On-the-go charging is available, but it’s pretty slow. It took about three hours to recharge a nearly depleted battery with an 87W Apple charger.

The hot shoe supports Sony digital microphones. You can also use analog mics via a 3.5mm input, attach a set of earphones for monitoring (also 3.5mm), or send a clean 4:2:2 8-bit video signal out of the micro HDMI port to feed an Atomos Ninja V or external other recorder.

Images and video are saved on SD memory. There’s a single slot nestled into the battery compartment. The ZV-E10 supports UHS-I transfer rates, and can also use Sony Memory Stick Duo cards.

Quick, Reliable Autofocus

The ZV-E10 uses the same autofocus system as other recent APS-C models from Sony, including the a6100 and the step-up model in the line, the a6400. It mixes phase and contrast detection, spreading coverage across the frame. The autofocus is able to track subjects once they’ve been acquired, and it supports face and eye detection for people and pets.

There are some fine-tuned options for vloggers. One is Product Showcase, a one-touch setting for product reviewers and others who present items to camera. Sony‘s face detection will typically stick with you no matter what gets in between subject and camera, but this prioritizes FOCUS on objects close to the lens. It works quite well.

related to metering than FOCUS, the camera is also tuned to set exposure based on detected faces. This is especially useful when recording video with changing light—say a walk-and-talk moving from sunlight to shadow, and for scenes with a strong backlight. If you’re starring in your own vlog, you’ll want to be properly exposed.

Focus is fast, and the camera does as good a job tracking action as others in the Sony series. We consider it to be among the best you can find in an APS-C camera, and it’s backed up by a very speedy burst rate, 11fps. It manages 111 JPGs, 48 Raw, or 43 RawJPGs before the buffer fills, but if you do fill it all the way, you’ll need to wait for all the photos to save to memory before you can switch to a video mode. We clocked it around 25 seconds for Raw, 37 seconds for JPG, and 76 seconds for RawJPG pairs.

Imaging and Video

The ZV-E10 uses a 24MP CMOS sensor to snap photos. It’s the same as in the a6100 and image quality is identical. If you stick to JPG capture, you’ll enjoy photos with clear detail through the standard ISO range. If you delve into manual settings, you can move beyond ISO 6400. Photo quality suffers when you move past ISO 12800, and is blurry at the highest ISO 51200 setting.

Raw capture is available, too. You’ll need to use software to process images—we use Adobe Lightroom. I wasn’t able to look at Raw photos from the camera, as Adobe hasn’t yet added support. We know what to expect, though, which is the same level of clarity and flexibility you get from the a6100.

Sony’s Raw files offer loads of room for creative photographers to edit exposure and color. They retain more detail at high ISOs, but show a bit of a grainy look at high settings. It’s still best to keep the camera at ISO 12800 or below when you can.

For video, the ZV-E10 is a little better than the a6100 in terms of specs. It records 4K footage at 24 or 30fps at the same 100Mbps recording rate, but has a few additional color profiles, including a flat S-Log3 for grading and HLG for HDR playback. The video is captured at 8-bit quality, though, so you won’t have as much room to adjust color as with 10-bit footage.

Off-speed recording is available, but only at 1080p. It’s available in the SQ (Slow and Quick) shooting mode. You can record at 1, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, or 120fps with 24, 30, or 60p playback options. It opens up some creative possibilities for cutaways and b-roll, as much as 60x speed fast motion and 5x slow motion. Pushing the camera to 120fps nets footage on the soft side, but the slow-motion effect is compelling enough to forgive. The Fujifilm X-S10 and X-T4 go further with slow-mo, as far as 240fps at 1080p, and net clearer 120fps footage.

You can hear the quality of the ZV-E10’s mic for yourself in our sample footage. The audio comes through loud and clear. You’ll hear some rattling in our test video, but that’s my fault. I attached a set of anchors for a Peak Design camera strap, which in turn knocked about the sides of the camera. If you use Peak straps, you may want to skip putting the anchor connectors on the ZV-E10, especially if you’re using the Wireless Shooting Grip.

If there’s a complaint to be made about the ZV-E10 as a handheld video camera, it’s with stabilization. In-body systems (IBIS) are more and more common, but Sony chose to rely on a mix of lens-based stabilization and digital ActiveShot to achieve handheld footage that’s free of jumps and jitters.

With the handheld grip, ActiveShot is effective, but it comes at the cost of angle of view—it crops footage to get the job done. It makes a wide-angle lens a useful add-on, especially if you don’t have long arms.

The Sony E 10-18mm is a good fit, and it includes optical stabilization. ActiveShot is good enough where I’d recommend leaving it on when you’re able to do so, as there’s still some jumpiness with lens stabilization on its own.

If you’re serious about handheld work, adding a gimbal isn’t a bad idea. I paired the ZV-E10 with the Zhiyun Weebill 2 and it netted absolutely smooth footage. It comes with cost—a few hundred dollars for a quality gimbal, and there’s more to carry, charge, and configure.

A Vlog Camera With Swappable Lenses

Sony tells us it’s going after creative vloggers with the ZV-E10, and the camera’s design and feature set certainly appeal to that audience. The camera puts video features first, tunes controls to match, and captures clear in-camera audio without the need for an add-on mic. We’d love to see more cameras with microphones like this.

It’s powered by the same sensor and processing engine Sony uses in its a6100 and a6400 stills models. It nets fast, accurate autofocus for stills and video, and is Smart enough to recognize faces and eyes. The 4K footage and 24MP stills are both up there with competing stills models: not quite best-in-class, but not too far behind.

There are some drawbacks to consider, too. Battery life is a big one; you’ll want to grab a few spares if you plan to use the camera all day, and get an external charger to get them back up and running at the end of the day. For handheld video, the lack of IBIS is palpable. ActiveShot delivers good results, but we hope the next version of this camera has a stabilized sensor.

I’m also disappointed by the touch interface, or lack thereof. There’s very little you can do to change settings from the LCD itself, which is problematic for one that’s sure to get a lot of selfie use. Other Sony cameras have a refreshed menu system with much better touch support, but it’s not here.

That said, if you’re all about your vlog, or video in general, the ZV-E10 gets more right than wrong. It’s a compelling upgrade for creators currently using just a smartphone, especially since one-touch features like Background Defocus and Product Showcase are so easy to use. You don’t have to know your f-stops to get the bokeh look.

You can change things up with different lenses. Sony has a big library of native autofocus lenses, and since this is a mirrorless camera, you can use nearly any vintage SLR or rangefinder lens via an adapter. Old lenses are good fit for creative video, many show a soft, glowing flare that you don’t get with modern glass.

As for alternatives, Sony has the ZV-1 with a fixed 24-70mm zoom lens and smaller 1-inch class image sensor. It’s very similar otherwise and it’s expensive. At 750, it costs nearly as much as the ZV-E10 kit, but is one to think about if you don’t want to deal with lens changes. Panasonic has the Lumix G100, a Micro Four Thirds model with a quality internal mic, but its autofocus isn’t nearly on the same level as Sony’s.

We’ve yet to give an Editors’ Choice award to a specialized vlogging camera. The category is nascent, and we haven’t yet seen a model that knocks us off our feet. We’ll keep looking, though. In the meantime, the ZV-E10 is a good way to go, as long as you’re aware of its limitations—and buy some extra batteries.



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