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Posted 07/27/21
Last year, Sony tried something new with the launch of the ZV-1. This year, the company is taking the same philosophy and moving it up to mirrorless with the ZV-E10. With a feature-set perfect for vloggers, the ZV-E10 is a camera that looks familiar in the E-mount lineup but has more specialized capabilities, borrowed from the ZV-1, and aimed squarely at content creators. The ZV-1 took Sony’s well-regarded RX100-esque form factor and image quality and tweaked it a bit to appeal to vloggers. Sony improved audio recording, modified the body and screen design for easier front-facing recording, and added a variety of specialized shooting modes. The company is applying this same formula to mirrorless with the ZV-E10, which certainly looks like other APS-C-format E-mount cameras, but then adds the same specialized shooting capabilities and handling enhancements first seen in the ZV-1. Sony ZV-E10 The ZV-E10 separates itself from its smaller ZV-1 sibling by focusing primarily on image quality and the versatility of it being a mirrorless camera with a broad range of lens options. In terms of imaging specs, the proven 24.2MP Exmor CMOS sensor is featured here, along with a BIONZ X image processor that achieves a useful balance of image quality and speed. This APS-C-format sensor is approximately 3x larger than the 1" sensor in the ZV-1, and about 10x larger than common smartphone sensor sizes. This increased size greatly benefits sensitivity, reduces noise, improves depth of field control, and helps to produce imagery with smoother color gradations and a wider dynamic range. Coupled with the BIONZ X processor, the sensor offers a top native sensitivity of ISO 32000 that is suitable for low-light use, and it’s also a fast-working system with a top continuous shooting speed of 11 fps. In terms of video, the ZV-E10 offers UHD 4K recording at up to 30p with full pixel readout and 6K oversampling. Full HD recording at 120p is supported, too, and the S-Log3 gamma setting is available for improving your dynamic range and benefiting color-grading control during post-production. Also, video recording is benefited by active SteadyShot electronic image stabilization, which helps to smooth camera shake, specifically when moving while recording. Beyond image quality and speed, the advanced sensor design also affords a sophisticated Fast Hybrid autofocus system that uses a 425-point array for quick and accurate AF performance. This focusing system also enables Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Subject Tracking and supports specialized shooting modes, like Face Priority AE and Soft Skin Effect. Additionally, the other key benefit of the mirrorless platform is the ability to work with any of the dozens of E-mount lenses; and the Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS and Sonnar T* E 24mm f/1.8 ZA are particularly good choices for vlogging, representing a good balance between speed, versatility, and portability. Moving on to the other key features of the ZV-E10, one standout feature inherited from the ZV-1 is the attention given to the audio recording. Recognizing that sound quality is just as important as picture quality, Sony has given the camera a directional three-capsule mic for higher quality, more realistic audio with a bias toward recording sound from in front of the camera. This upgraded built-in mic also comes with an auxiliary wind screen for clearer sound in windy conditions. For more control over audio, the top Multi-Interface Shoe also supports a digital audio interface and is compatible with dedicated mics from Sony, such as the ECM-W2BT. There are both 3.5mm headphone and external microphone ports, if needed. It’s true the ZV-E10 resembles some of the Alpha cameras, but its physical specs have also been tuned for vlogging with the inclusion of a vari-angle touchscreen LCD that flips out to the side, so as not to interfere with top-mounted mics or be obscured by any mounts. Among other tactile details are dedicated buttons for a few shooting modes: S&Q mode, which lets you instantly change to slow- or quick-motion recording, and Background Defocus mode, which helps to achieve a desirable shallow depth of field look quickly. Other vlogging-specific shooting features include the Product Showcase setting, which will quickly recognize a close-up object and smoothly shift focus to suit making product-review videos. There is also a front-facing tally lamp, and the LCD can display a red border to help make it easier to know when recording is taking place. Finally, the ZV-E10 is also a good choice for use as a webcam, with support for UVC and UAC standards, and can connect directly to a computer or a mobile device such as the XPERIA 1, for simple livestreaming use. With vlogging now a hugely popular genre for content creation, the ZV-E10 is an ideal choice to handle the unique video and photo needs of this niche. At its core, this camera is a compact, portable hybrid camera that blends the key imaging capabilities of an E-mount mirrorless body with a specific series of attributes catering to vloggers. For more information on how this camera stacks up to other options in the vlogging world, check out our companion article that compares the ZV-E10 with the ZV-1, a6400, and some additional popular choices from other manufacturers. Also join us for a live B&H & Sony Tech Talk scheduled for Wednesday, July 28 from 11 a.m. to noon: What are your thoughts on such a specialized camera? Do you have any experience with other vlogging-type cameras? What are the standout features of the ZV-E10 you like most? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 06/24/20
Today, anyone can create, and everyone can publish. Panasonic saw this trend and designed something specifically for this new breed of creators: the G100. It is a lightweight, powerful mirrorless Micro Four Thirds camera with a fully articulating touchscreen, advanced OZO Audio by Nokia, 4K video, and plenty of sharing-oriented recording features that will appeal to the vlogger in everyone. Panasonic Lumix G100 Mirrorless Digital Camera The Details Image quality is great—as it should be. The imaging pipeline is a familiar one to the G9 and GH series, so this is going to be a winner. The real differences come with the body design. For vloggers, there is perhaps nothing more important than having a flip-out screen. If you can't see yourself, you can't effectively shoot. The screen flips out to the side, can face front or back, and can even be tucked away for protection. It measures 3.0", has a 1.84m-dot resolution, and has a high brightness, making it useful when outdoors in bright sunlight. A vlogging-specific interface and Video Selfie Mode make using this device even easier by automating many processes. Image quality is superb, which is not surprising considering it is using a 20.3MP Micro Four Thirds MOS sensor and a Venus Engine—just like the GH5 and G9. This allows it to capture beautiful UHD 4K at 30p and Full HD at 60p with such a compact form factor. V-Log L comes built-in here, for advanced color grading and integration with other systems. It's also good for capturing stills. Panasonic Lumix G100- Sample Photos Image stabilization comes as standard with a 5-axis hybrid setup. This uses electronic stabilization from the camera as well as optical stabilization from compatible lenses. This should help smooth out your walking videos. It even works with 4K recording, though this drops down to 4 axes. Heading back to more content creation features, we have to discuss a lot more body design features. Related to the screen is the addition of a sharp, high brightness EVF. It has a 3.68m-dot resolution and should be no problem for recording footage on a bright day. To help with recording, the camera also has a nice large, red record button on the top next to the shutter. Autofocus has been upgraded to be faster and more effective at tracking faces and eyes. This will be huge for vlogging or doing interviews, as you can just let the camera do what it needs to do. For other speedy moments, the G100 has a Slow and Quick mode that can help you capture video at up to 120 fps in Full HD and get a nice, slowed down image straight out of the camera. For vlogging, the G100 features a brand-new microphone system, called OZO Audio by Nokia. What this does is use an array of three microphones at the top of the camera and smart software to focus the pickup pattern. The coolest application is the Tracking option. The camera's autofocus system will actually track your face and eye as you shoot and then adjust the audio system to make sure you are always coming in clear while the background noise does not. Other options include Surround, which appears to just capture everything around you; Front, which focuses in on anything in front of the camera and is perfect for interviews or vlogs; and Behind, which can help keep narration clean as you capture things in front of you. An Auto setting can switch between Tracking and Surround based on what it sees. If you want to use your own mic, there is a standard 3.5mm input. There is a lot of fun stuff packed into the menus and operation modes. For starters, when you hit Record there is a red box that shows up around the entire image that clearly tells you that you are recording. The G100 also has frame markers, which will make it easier to shoot for various platforms and social media sites. These include 5:4, 1:1, 4:5, and 9:16. Variable opacity will give you control over how much outside the frame video is visible. And, the camera will automatically tag video shot vertically so it plays back properly on your devices. Finally, it is worth talking about the sharing features. There is a button at the top that will help you quickly transfer stuff to your smartphone from the Playback menu. You'll need to connect to your device using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth using the Lumix Sync App. Combined with built-in tools to make capturing easier for finishing on your devices, this should streamline the creation process without needing a computer in the middle. If you want to make the most of the system, Panasonic has created the DMW-SHGR1 Tripod Grip. This mini tripod can also work as a handheld grip, and if you connect it to the camera you are given controls for the shutter, recording, and sleep. It's great for quickly setting up and moving around with the G100. You can get the camera and grip in a nice starter kit. On paper, this looks to be a stellar camera, especially if you want to upgrade your vlogs. The Hands-On Experience Honestly, the G100 matches what the specs on paper tell you. It is a great, compact mirrorless camera that is especially well suited to vlogging. The relatively large Four Thirds sensor will make a difference to your images in certain situations, and it manages to keep the camera size competitive with point-and-shoots commonly found in the industry. This camera feels good in the hand, it's lightweight, and it could easily squeeze into an everyday bag or even a jacket pocket with relative ease. It's not the smallest thing out there, but it's close enough, considering all the other advantages it brings. The audio system actually works surprisingly well. The lack of a windscreen means that you might struggle in windy conditions, but for the most part it delivers as promised. Setting to Front or Back provides the most clarity for speaking, and it does a great job. This really helps with most vlogging situations and is very helpful. Tracking is also sounding good, especially for walking and talking. I love the new content creation features. Having a big red box indicating you are recording just makes me feel so much better. It's an underrated feature I think everyone should adopt at least as an option in lieu of traditional tally lights. The different frame markers are also super helpful. Before that required having a good external monitor; now you can just see it right on the camera, and needing one less tool is always an advantage. Moving on to image quality, I can't say I'm surprised. It looks great. The optional color effects are also nice to have for quick workflows where minimal editing is desired. As for autofocus, this is where I was very surprised. It exceeds that of the ever-popular GH series. It caught my face and tracked with ease, even when I was using it as a webcam. Previous Pause Next Panasonic Lumix G100- Sample Photos Since it is all the rage these days, you can use the G100 as a webcam if you use the camera's HDMI output and have a capture device for your computer. It's a nice option to have, but I do wish that it was native or supported by Panasonic's Lumix Tether for Streaming (Beta). The HDMI out is also limited to Full HD 60p and turns off the camera's screen when in use. There is one point of disappointment from my hands-on review, and that is that I think the camera is being held back by the included kit lens. The lens is okay, but it is slow and lacks some cool features like power zoom. If you have any additional Micro Four Thirds lenses or are looking to pick some more up, this camera can unleash its full potential. To be fair, the lens choice keeps the camera tiny and affordable, but it is a limiting factor for something that is being billed as an all-in-one solution in the kit. The mini tripod was a nice touch, and if you aim to do vlogging I highly recommend going for the kit. It completes the package. Overall, I think this is a great system to start with vlogging, particularly because you can expand it later on with new lenses or even match it with more serious cameras. It's a standard format, which should help, and V-Log L will allow it to integrate into more serious workflows. I would only knock the lens, which can be easily swapped out if you want to get an even better image. What are your thoughts on the new Lumix G100? Are you thinking of giving it a try? Let us know in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 06/11/20
Derek talks about the newly announced Sony ZV-1 Digital Camera with  Jason Vong and Vivienne Lee. These content creators discuss their experiences while using this new Sony camera. To learn more about the Sony ZV-1, watch this  Hands-on Review.
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Posted 06/02/20
Perhaps you’re thinking of starting a YouTube channel or podcast. Either way, we have you covered! Doug goes over his basic content creation tips and offers some suggestions on what gear you can use to get started. Learn the basics from Doug, then turn to these videos for more content creation tips: How to Start a Podcast Filmmaking Tips for Beginners Audio for Video
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Posted 05/26/20
Vlogging just got a whole lot easier with the release of the Sony ZV-1 Digital Camera. This ultra-compact system may look familiar to fans of the RX100—it does borrow a lot of that series’ tech—but Sony has redesigned the ZV-1 to better appeal to the everyday content creator. Just by looking at it, you can see the improvements—it has a side flip-out screen, brings back the Multi Interface Shoe, adds a significantly better audio system, and offers some under-the-hood features that will make recording video a breeze. The ZV-1 Is a Compact with a Vlogger Makeover One look at the spec sheet should make you realize that a lot of the RX100’s DNA has returned in the ZV-1—which is good! The ZV-1 uses the same sensor and processor combination as the RX100 VII, which is a 20.1MP 1"-type Exmor RS stacked CMOS and the BIONZ X processor with front-end LSI. Basically, that means it's sharp and fast. It also unlocks some a9-like features, such as Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking in video. Sony ZV-1 Digital Camera Another thing lifted from the RX100 series—specifically from the pocketable Mark V version—is the ZEISS 24-70mm-equivalent f/1.8-2.8 lens. Its fast aperture helps in low-light shooting and getting the shallow depth-of-field look in your photos and videos. The lens also has Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to help smooth out your shots, and it can combine with digital stabilization for a much more advanced Active SteadyShot mode. Previous Pause Next Beyond those key features, the ZV-1 takes on a whole new external appearance. It is lighter than RX100-series cameras and has a larger, more pronounced grip that should make one-handed operation easier. The biggest update is the 3.0" side flip-out touchscreen, which is exactly what most content creators would choose if they were designing a camera. And, there is a large REC button on the top and a tally light on the front to help solidify the camera’s positioning as a compact video creation tool. Looking at the top of the camera reveals a few other tweaks. The big change to the middle is a brand-new directional three-capsule microphone. It has been optimized for audio coming from the front of the camera and will help isolate your subject’s voice while reducing background noise. The ZV-1 even comes with a windscreen that slides into the Multi Interface Shoe. Oh yeah, and it has a hot shoe. Everyone can identify the benefits of a Multi Interface Shoe on a vlogging camera. You can mount all your extra accessories, whether might be a wireless receiver or a light, and you can use it for dedicated attachments such as the Sony ECM-XYST1M Stereo Microphone. It’s also offset to the side of the camera. A standard 3.5mm microphone port is available, too, for even greater mic compatibility. High-Quality 4K Video and Fast AF In terms of video, there should be few surprises here. The ZV-1 is going to match up with the highly regarded RX100 VII. It will record in UHD 4K at up to 30p while doing a true downsampling of the sensor to create detailed footage. The larger 1"-type sensor will help minimize noise in low light, and the ZEISS optics and fast aperture will further benefit the video-quality pipeline. Sony has also eliminated the video record limit for 4K shooting with select settings, and there is a micro-HDMI port for those choosing to use an external recorder as opposed to in-camera recording to an SD memory card. Setting the ZV-1 apart from the rest is Sony’s inclusion of its advanced Picture Profiles. These let you tune the look of your footage in numerous ways. Pros will immediately gravitate toward options like S-Log3/2 and HLG, both of which are found on Sony’s professional cinema cameras. HLG, especially, will appeal to creators, because it helps unlock an Instant HDR workflow. Additionally, Sony has again tweaked the color science for improved skin tones. Where the ZV-1 excels is going to be in the autofocus department. The RX100 VII’s tech is impressive and can track subjects with ease, even in Movie Mode. Highlights for vlogs and content creators have to be Real-time Eye AF for humans and Real-time Tracking AF. Both of these can be tuned for speed and sensitivity to optimize performance for different situations. It’s something that has to be seen to understand just how good it can be. Another speedy feature is a Super Slow-Motion option. Again, this is a feature we have seen before but greatly appreciate seeing again. It allows for recording in up to 960 fps for extreme slow-motion capture. It’s a niche feature that can be a lot of fun. Dedicated Features for Content Creation Making the ZV-1 even better for vlogs and other content is Sony’s continual addition of new features to improve the filmmaking experience. Sony took the time to tune the ZV-1 to an impressive degree. One of the most interesting is the Product Showcase Setting. If you have watched a YouTube review of a product, you’ve seen how it goes. The presenter holds the item in front of their face and then the camera eventually (hopefully) shifts focus to the item. The Product Showcase Setting optimizes AF performance so that it will quickly and smoothly switch between an individual’s face and the object placed in front of the lens. Helping automate the video process are a couple of new features. The Face-Priority Auto-Exposure (AE) function will use the ZV-1’s advanced face detection tech and make sure the exposure always prioritizes the face. This means that as you walk and talk in changing light, no one will lose track of what is most important: you! Also, something great for beginners is a Background Defocus function. This is simple; it will automatically set the aperture to provide either more or less depth of field without having to think about it. Another new addition is a Skin-Softening function. This should help you look camera-ready any time and anywhere you want. Of course, since everyone is already beautiful in their own way, you can always turn it off. As with nearly every new camera, the ZV-1 does have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This allows it to transfer photos to your phone easily via Sony’s Imaging Edge Mobile app. It also means it will support the Movie Edit add-on app, which can help edit and crop your video for various social media platforms and perform impressive digital image stabilization. Pick It up with an Accessory Kit Anyone can get started in vlogging with the ZV-1, and to make the jump easier, Sony has developed the Vlogger Accessory Kit. Including the GP-VPT2BT Shooting Wireless Remote Commander Grip and a 64GB SDXC Memory Card, you’ll have everything you need to start your own YouTube channel. At launch, Sony is offering this kit at discount when purchased with the ZV-1, so now is a great time to jump in. If you want to know a few other recommended accessories, I would say to absolutely pick up a couple spare batteries. Then consider compact lighting and audio gear, such as the RØDE Wireless GO or Aputure MC RGBWW LED Light. And, be sure to check out B&H’s video hands-on review for a first look at the ZV-1. Sony Vlogger Accessory Kit Are you a vlogger who is excited about the ZV-1? Anything in particular catch your eye from the feature list? Let us know in the Comments section, below!
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Posted 07/24/19
It's Adventure Week at B&H, so we sent some B&H writers to Colorado, along with the DJI Osmo Action, GoPro Hero 7, Tamron 17-28mm lens, and the Hasselblad X1D II 50C. They climbed the Manitou Incline’s 2,768 steps, conquered class IV rapids, sandboarded on the Great Sand Dunes, and visited the summit of Mount Evans. Did they survive? How did the gear hold up? You'll have to watch to find out! Click on the link to read more about our exploits during Summer Adventure Week, here at B&H Explora! Be sure to check back on B&H Explora for more of Adventure Week —and don't forget to follow B&H on Twitter @BHPhotoVideo for up-to-the-minute #adventureweek news.  
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Posted 07/23/19
We took the DJI Osmo Action Camera to Colorado for # AdventureWeek to find out how steady RockSteady Mode really is. We tested it while hiking up the Manitou Incline's 2,768 steps, sand boarding, and even rafting on some Class IV rapids. So, did the DJI Osmo Action's RockSteady Mode pass our tests? Let us know in the Comments section, below! Be sure to check back on B&H Explora for more of Adventure Week —and don't forget to follow B&H on Twitter @BHPhotoVideo for up-to-the-minute #adventureweek news.
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