Sony ZV-1 notes from Singapore

Upgraded from a G7X mk3 to the Sony ZV-1 for my Youtubing ambitions

Published: Thursday, Jul 16, 2020 Last modified: Monday, May 27, 2024

tl;dr if you are an image quality nazi, consider this. If you value convenience, get an iPhone 12

From Cathay Photo on the 14th of July 2020 I upgraded from my Canon G7X mkiii

  1. Sony ZV-1 SGD999
    • Free: 64GB card
  2. Purchase with Purchase: Sony VCT-SGR-1 SGD97

Prices quoted above are GST inclusive and valid till 2 August 2020. Warranty is 15 months upon online registration and non-transferable.

Starts for no reason whatsoever

Just brushing against it is enough to inadvertently turn on the ZV-1 camera!

Memory card

This memory card include the bundle is quite astonishing really. It’s much faster than the Sandisk Extreme (150 MB/s) to import data.

I think the key difference is the SDXC mark II moniker.


This is the key difference over the Canon G7X mk III for me. The focus speed on this Sony is astonishing.

I’m still an owner of a Panasonic GH5, so it’s double impressive!

Support issues

I don’t know who to turn to for Sony support. Cathay are not very helpful. There isn’t any Reddit channels. Quite a few Youtubers have covered the ZV-1, but I feel daft for asking questions in their comments.

Unable to record at 30fps 4K

25p options on PAL

Solution: Switch to NTSC from PAL

Oddly this requires a reformat …

Directory structure

On a freshly formatted disk there is already a ton of files:

│   ├── AVIN0001.BNP
│   ├── AVIN0001.INP
│   ├── AVIN0001.INT
│   └── PRV00001.BIN
	├── AVCHD
	│   └── BDMV
	│       ├── CLIPINF
	│       ├── INDEX.BDM
	│       ├── MOVIEOBJ.BDM
	│       ├── PLAYLIST
	│       └── STREAM
	├── M4ROOT
	│   ├── CLIP
	│   ├── GENERAL
	│   ├── STATUS.BIN
	│   ├── SUB
	│   └── THMBNL
	└── SONY

Videos bizarrely end up in PRIVATE/M4ROOT which MacOS Photos doesn’t see for import. FCPX is however able to find the videos to import.

Here is a sample structure which interestingly includes the model serial number in the XML.

4k recording cuts out

I think it just cuts when it’s over heating around the 10 minute mark. The problem is doesn’t tell you it’s stopped recording very clearly. :(

Is there a workaround??

Not sure how to turn this off!

Can’t find a “Silent Shooting” option. Ah, it’s under Audio Signals!

Wide angle

As many have complained a wide lens adaptor is sorely needed. I’m not sure where to source the Len adaptor mentioned in in Singapore. Cathay are of no help. This lens adaptor doesn’t ship to Singapore.

So I am asking around in Singapore

Major ZV-1 Annoyances

Turning on

Some times I put it in my pocket and the camera turns on (by itself?!) and lens extends. Why? I am not sure what triggered it!

Upside down monitor

The flip out screen is often upside down and hard to rectify!

Shooting grip

I cannot recommend the VCT-SGR-1 shooting grip since it’s unreliable. I do not understand … sometimes when plugged in, it simply does not work!!!

Videos have a JPG thumbnail when importing

Not sure how to turn this feature off.

Poor mobile connectivity

Failed to pair the Sony ZV-1 over Bluetooth

I’m unable to control the camera with Imaging Edge Mobile, the Sony IOS camera app.

I’m also unable to get it join my wireless LAN to avoid the inconvenient direct WiFi steps.

Can’t fit the Peak Design Cuff

Peak design has smaller cuffs as well as large

Peak design sent me smaller cuffs for free. Whoa, what incredible customer service.

Digital stabilisation

Sadly not nearly as good as the Canon G7X out the box. Active stabilization mode crops like crazy!

No time lapse movie option

You can only take a series of photos and join them later into a movie on your computer:

The UI is just terrible in this regard.

As a Webcam

It’s very good as a Webcam!