olivier schmitt filming himself with the sony zv-e1

The Creative Spark in My Pocket

Olivier Schmitt

My name is Olivier Schmitt and I am a professional content creator and vlogger on two YouTube channels, one of which is dedicated to travel and “vanlife”. As a Sony ambassador, I was fortunate enough to try the ZV-E1 before its release and put it through its paces.

To achieve this, I am very demanding of my equipment: it must be robust, highly efficient, simple, and quick to use and above all, the image quality must be impeccable in all circumstances.

When I first picked up the new Sony ZV-E1, I felt like I had found the perfect creative partner for my needs. The camera is compact, light, and comfortable to hold, and you immediately feel that you are dealing with a professional range. A few buttons for quick access to VLOG-oriented features make it immediately clear that the ZV-E1 is there to save time and be efficient.

From my initial tests, I immediately saw the various advantages that I would find in this new camera. Firstly, the image quality was on par with that of my Alpha 7S III (which I am extremely attached to), especially in low-light as I really enjoy shooting the night-time ambience of the cities and nature I explore. Secondly, its VLOG-oriented features make it easy for me to create videos for YouTube and Instagram. I can record my face for priority recognition, shoot ultra-stable and therefore work without a stabiliser in many situations, quickly create unique moods with the new “Looks” and “Moods” and in some situations I can also do without a second camera with the new Auto Framing feature.

olivier schmitt filming himself with the sony zv-e1

Thirdly, my professional requirements are satisfied as I can add my own LUT to the ZV-E1, a great deal of finesse to the auto-focus, especially when shooting sports or animal videos with my Sony 200-600mm. No matter what I shoot, the artificial intelligence (taken from the Alpha 7R V) built into the Sony ZV-E1 is there to assist me at all times, so I never miss my focus. One last element is very appreciable as a pro: the Sony ZV-E1 uses NP-FZ100 batteries which offer perfect longevity during a day’s shooting.

For the video, I decided to use 4 very different lenses to test different needs, budgets and features. For the VLOG side and in front of the camera I used the compact FE PZ 16-35mm f/4 G. Since the ZV-E1 is equipped with a full frame sensor, a 16mm lens is sufficient for shooting at arm’s length with the GP-VPT2BT grip. This lens is equipped with a power zoom which is controllable from the camera itself and allows me to make very smooth focal length transitions at varying speeds. Alongside the zoom I also used the FE 24mm f/1.4 GM and FE 85mm /1.8 lenses. The 24mm is one I particularly like, it is very sharp, even in the corners of the image and its bokeh is magnificent! The 85mm is interesting for its unbeatable quality/price ratio for this type of focal length. It allowed me to bring a tighter type of shot that is very complementary to wide angle shots. Finally, the Sony 200-600mm allowed me to get some incredible animal shots at distance. You don’t necessarily need that many lenses to make a good VLOG, but I think it’s essential to choose complementary lenses. The 16-35mm, for example, combined with a fixed focal length lens such as a 50mm or 85mm, can already produce a lot of very relevant content while remaining light and compact. The new “Dynamic Active” stabilisation mode offers the possibility of going without a gimbal and therefore having a very clean and simple setup.

olivier schmitt crouching with his sony zv-e1

With this new ZV-E1, I think Sony has met the expectations of many content creators like myself. This camera combines everything you need, and we dreamed of for professional vlogging for a very attractive budget when compared to the technologies and performance offered. I can’t wait to see where else this camera takes me!

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