Sony has added a new model called the ZV-E10 to its Vlogging Camera series this year. This is not a follow-up to the Sony ZV-1 launched last year, but an improved version that supports interchangeable lenses and has a larger sensor. More interesting is the price of this camera. It’s a little more expensive than the ZV-1, but costs less than Sony’s A6100, which has a lot in common with the ZV-E10.
If you are just starting out as a content creator and still don’t want to spend a lot of money on very expensive gear, then you are wondering what to buy. What’s the best budget Vlogger camera for Sony ZV-E10? Find out.
Sony ZV-E10 design
The Sony ZV-E10 has a slightly larger dimension than the ZV-1 but is relatively compact despite having a 16-50mm kit lens attached. Body weight is 343g but the total weight will vary depending on the lens you are using. The camera holds the shortcut buttons for the vlogging features we saw on the ZV-1 such as product showcase and background defocus, but the layout is a bit different.
On top of the Sony ZV-E10 is an extra dial and a new mode button that rotates through stills, video and S&Q (slow and fast) shooting modes. The camera has a three-capsule microphone on the top and a hot shoe connector on the left. There is no built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), so all framing and interaction with the camera must be done using the LCD screen.
The Sony ZV-E10’s handgrip is smoother than the ZV-1’s, as the camera uses the same battery as the A6100. The build quality of all the panels as well as the fit and finish is very good. On the left, we have two flaps that protect the microphone, USB Type-C, Micro-HDMI, and headphone connector. Below the camera, we have a single bogie for battery and SD card at one end and a tripod mount at the other end. Unlike the faulty design of the ZV-1, you can replace the battery of the ZV-E10 even if it is mounted on a tripod.
The Sony ZV-E10 has a 3-inch fully articulated LCD panel with touch support. Like most Sony cameras, touch functionality is limited to setting focus and reviewing images. You can only buy the body of ZV-E10 for Rs. 59,490, or you can get this camera with a powered 16-50mm kit lens that goes back inwards when the camera is off for a small footprint. The price of the last bundle is in MRP. 69,990. This lens has a power zoom slider so that your subject can be zoomed in and out smoothly. In terms of optics, its aperture ranges from f / 3.5 to f / 5.6, so it’s not the brightest or fastest of lenses, but it does the job for casual use.
Sony ZV-E10 Specifications and Features
The biggest change of ZV-E10 compared to ZV-1 is its large 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor. This new camera uses Sony’s e-mount system which means you have a lot of choice in terms of lenses. The ZV-E10 shares many features with the A6100, such as a native ISO range of 100-32,000, 425 phase detection and contrast detection autofocus (AF) points, Animal Eye-AF for stills, and a maximum of 11fps Burst Shooting High + mode. The ZV-E10 supports advanced image profiles like S-log3 and HLG for HDR workflow, one step ahead of the A6100. This camera can be used as a webcam when connected to a computer via a cable. Your phone also has a Wi-Fi connection for transferring images, which will require your Sony’s Imaging Edge app.
The menu system will be familiar to existing Sony Mirrorless camera users. You still can’t use the touchscreen to navigate the menu, but you’ll be able to turn around very quickly when using the buttons and back dial. From here you can adjust the autofocus tracking speed, change the default shortcuts on the back dial and much more.
Sony ZV-E10 Performance and Battery Life
Like the Sony ZV-1, the ZV-E10 makes blogging much easier. Just point the camera at yourself and the great tracking system takes care of the rest. Background defocus shortcuts are very useful when you are blogging and want to cut down on confusion. The flip-out screen makes it easy to track whether this feature is enabled. The Product Showcase shortcut is useful when you want the camera to focus on any object you hold without blocking your face. When enabled, the camera basically disables face tracking so it automatically shifts focus to the object closest to the lens. A thick red bar will appear on the LCD screen to warn you that recording has started, which is convenient. Another feature I found useful is the ability to power the camera by opening the LCD display. For this to work you need to leave the power switch on.
In terms of image quality, the Sony ZV-E10 performs much better than the ZV-1, thanks to its large sensors. The advantage of having an APS-C sensor versus a 1-inch sensor is easily seen in our ISO tests. The Sony ZV-1 excels at ISO 12,800 with a granular image but the Sony ZV-E10 delivers a relatively clear and sharp image at the same ISO level. There is a slight deterioration in quality at ISO 12,800 compared to lower ISO levels, but it is rarely noticeable. When you get close to the ZV-E10’s native maximum ISO 32,000 level, you’ll start to experience poorer sharpness and a bit more grain.
The ZV-E10 has a maximum elevated ISO level of 51,200 but the image quality is quite degraded by pushing so far, so it is best to keep it only for extreme situations. Overall, the camera offers very good ISO performance for the price and even rivals Sony’s own A6100.
The Sony ZV-E10 is great for capturing everyday sights and events abruptly. The 16-50mm kit lens provides decent sharpness at wide focal lengths but is slightly reduced at higher zoom levels. I also noticed some color distortion in some of the photos but it wasn’t bad enough to ruin a shot. Even during the day the camera takes refuge in high ISO, as the lens does not have a very wide aperture and it shrinks when you increase the focal length. For sharper photos, you’d better use a quick prime lens with this camera.
Eye and face detection works very well. Sony ZV-E10 supports Eye-AF in video up to 4K, but only for humans. You need to remember to convert IAF into humans or animals depending on your subject. Animal I-AF worked well in my experience when I was shooting stills of some local stray cats. Sony’s tracking autofocus is also quite reliable, and Reticul remembers your subject even if it goes out of frame for a moment and comes back.
Daylight shots taken with the Sony ZV-E10 usually have good details and color due to the limitations of the kit lens. In low light, the camera’s noise reduction feature works well for keeping images clear. I noticed some focus prey when trying to shoot distant objects at the telephoto end of the zoom range, but this was not a regular occurrence. 4K videos with great detail and tracking autofocus also work well for fast moving objects like pets.
There’s electronic stability here that worked well enough in good light, but at night, there was noticeable shaking in the video. The rolling shutter was a problem when shooting in 4K (a jelly-like effect when the camera is quickly panned left or right) but this effect was minimal in 1080p. This can be a big problem if your shooting style includes a quick pan. If it is, you need to use a lower resolution to avoid it.
Battery life was more than satisfactory. The Sony ZV-E10 uses the same NP-FW50 battery as the A6100 but is rated for a slightly better 440 shots per charge (vs. 420). With actual use, I’ve been able to go beyond the rated number, which is usually the case. Even with the mixed use of stills, burst shots and short 4K video clips, I’ve been able to get through more than half the day’s shooting. The ZV-E10 can also be powered by a USB Type-C port, so you can continue filming if you connect it to a power bank.
The Sony ZV-E10 has the best features of the ZV-1 and A6100 in a single package and is priced between them, making it a no-brainer to choose. If you haven’t already bought a ZV-1 or A6100, then ZV-E10 is what you should look for.
Compared to the ZV-1, the ZV-E10 offers more flexibility in terms of lens choice, better battery life and better image quality. The Sony A6100 is more expensive than the ZV-E10, and with it you’ll get an electronic viewfinder and full-blow mode dial. However, apart from these features, the two cameras are not very different. In fact, the ZV-E10’s USB Type-C port, S-log and HLG picture profile support, headphone jack and much more do some good things where it costs less. The Rolling Shutter is a problem when shooting in 4K on the ZV-E10, which I hope will be fixed with a future firmware update.
Overall, the Sony ZV-E10 is a solid entry into the world of mirrorless cameras. It’s easy enough for beginners to use, but offers lots of advanced features to keep professionals happy