Sony Alpha has just tweeted a teaser for a camera announcement on May 26th. All Sony will say is that it is a "new compact camera", along with a blurry outline of some kind of camera, probably with a moving screen. Fortunately, we don't have to guess what it is since Sony Alpha Rumors recently cleared the details. It's almost certainly the Sony ZV-1, and if the leaked specs from Sony Alpha Rumors are correct, it looks like an ideal compact vlogging camera.
In the release, the camera was described as "basically an RX100VII successor to Vlogger". If it turns out to be the case, I'm pretty excited. It has an articulation screen where you can see yourself a hot shoe for attaching a microphone or other accessories, and a large red button for recording videos instead of your own on the RX100.
There will also be Sony's popular eye-based autofocus, which acts as a clutch when you can't control the camera directly (because you're shooting yourself).
The RX100 VII is a compact point-and-shoot camera that is actually remarkably powerful. With the addition of a full microphone jack, it was very convincing for vloggers. I've used one since it came out. However, the RX100 VII has some features that make it a more versatile camera, but also less ideal for vloggers.
First, Sony replaced the 28-70 zoom lens of previous RX100 models with a 24-200 zoom. More zoom sounds good, but the largest aperture went from 1: 1.8 to 1: 2.8 – and that makes it a challenge to achieve good background blur with such a small sensor and lens. It's the opposite of what most vloggers would want. The previous RX100 models also had a built-in neutral filter, which made it easier to take photos outdoors without blowing out highlights.
Leaked image of the Sony ZV-1.
Picture: Sony Alpha rumors
The ZV-1 seems to undo both changes if it is basically an RX100 that has been newly created for vlogging. Sony Alpha Rumors says it has a "20MP 1-inch sensor" and a "24-70mm F1.8 – 2.8 lens". There's apparently also a one-touch bokeh button. Hopefully this will only set the optical settings for the ideal bokeh shot and no software-based portrait mode will be introduced.
Last but not least, it has a "better grip". I connected third-party handles to my RX100 cameras because they are so small and slippery that this is also helpful.
Everything seems to be perfect, but with cameras (and really all technologies), it is safest not to arouse your hopes too much just in case there are unknown pitfalls. The RX100 VII seemed to be the perfect vlogger rig until the moment its minor flaws became apparent. However, if you regularly point a camera for YouTube at your own face, it's hard not to be a little excited that Sony is working to make your life a little easier.