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Miguel Quiles On The New Sony ZV-1

In addition to being a renowned portrait photographer, Miguel Quiles also hosts a super-popular YouTube channel. To create content, Quiles routinely uses a variety of cameras including the Sony FX9, α7 III and α7R IV. Before the Sony ZV-1 was introduced, Quiles got one of the cameras to do some shooting for his YouTube Channel. We connected with him to get his impressions.

“It’s unbelievable. It's amazing on so many different fronts.” – Portrait Photographer & YouTube Host Miguel Quiles on the Sony ZV-1

“It’s unbelievable. It's amazing on so many different fronts,” says Quiles. “I know a lot of vloggers and content creators have been waiting anxiously to take advantage of all of the tech that Sony has been putting in their cameras and to have that tech in a camera where they could use it for their day-to-day content.”

A Different Way To Work

For Quiles’ YouTube channel, he routinely shoots with his Sony FX9, but the ZV-1 has given him a different way to work. “For my YouTube content I use the FX9 because it’s a monster camera with great video quality, but it can be too much. I’ve been using the ZV-1 instead and it has exceeded my expectations. Having the flip-screen is absolutely fantastic and it's a lot easier to set up than the big camera. The files have been really easy to work with in post-production and they edit together beautifully with my FX9 footage.”  

The ZV-1 inherits a lot of technology from the high-end Sony Alpha line of interchangeable-lens cameras, including the sophisticated Real-Time Tracking AF system. “I’ve been shooting a lot of talking-head and people footage since I got the ZV-1, and having the Real-Time Tracking AF has been really solid. The transitions between the eyes and holding up something in front of the camera has been super-smooth and spot on. With other cameras I’ve used, that kind of typical vlogging shot usually doesn’t work that well. This camera just does it in a way that looks like I have somebody actually operating focus on the camera. The first time I tried it, I was super-impressed at how well it works.” 

ZV-1 Audio Capabilities & Bokeh Effects

Another area where Sony paid particular attention to the needs of video shooters and vloggers is in the audio. Because bad audio is unwatchable, Sony upped the sound capabilities in the ZV-1 significantly. 

“It's always been a thing for me when shooting a vlog to have my audio recorded separately to sound good. When I got briefed about the ZV-1, Sony told me about the audio capabilities and I was a little skeptical. Whatever they did with the mic in this new camera, it sounds really good. I'm the type of creator where if I run into a scenario and I say, this would be great for YouTube but I don't have all of the equipment that I need to actually make it look and sound good, I would not even record. The audio that's coming out of this camera is so good that if I ran into a scenario like that, it wouldn’t be an issue.”

As a professional photographer, Quiles knows how to set up his camera to control depth of field, but he still wanted to experiment with the bokeh effect in the ZV-1. Unlike other cameras that simulate a wide-aperture effect, the ZV-1 gives content-creators a one-button solution to that limits depth of field by adjusting aperture and exposure to create a cinematic look. “For somebody who is less interested in learning about photography controls, but still wants to have a more cinematic look, it’s perfect and it works. You just have to tap the screen and there you go. I was pretty impressed by that.”

ZV-1 Ergonomics 

One thing that Quiles was pleasantly surprised about, was the camera’s ergonomics. “Once I got my hands on the camera, I was surprised at the ergonomics because I have bigger hands. When I saw photos of the camera, I thought to myself, ‘I'm not sure how this is going to feel in my hand for extended periods of time,’ but once I actually got the camera in my hand and felt how they designed the grip I could tell that there was some thought put into it. Like it was one of those things where I just cracked a smile.”

He continues, “I don’t know why I was surprised, though. In the time I’ve been shooting with Sony, they’ve always paid attention to things like that and responded to what content creators want, sometimes before we knew what we wanted ourselves. For me, they pulled off another win with the ZV-1.”


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