As is the case with many digital cameras when you take them out in the hot summer sun, they can overheat. This is nothing completely new to the world of digital cameras. However, as one of the most popular new cameras in Sony’s mirrorless line, the ZV-E1 has been getting a bit of heat for its possible overheating issues.
This is in part due to a recent firmware update released by Sony which now allows users to amp up their video recording to 4K at 120 fps, something the ZV-E1 did not offer when first released. And, to no surprise to anyone who’s worked in film and video for some time, this of course caused some overheating issues.
Still, despite these reported issues (which only apply to the most extreme weather and continuous recording or live streaming operations), where there is innovation to be had—technology finds a way.
Let’s take a look at this new Tilta cooling system for the Sony ZV-E1 and explore how it could help any interested Sony shooters keep their rigs cool and operational in the summer heat.
Hot Cameras in Hot Heat
Just as any Canon 5D shooter learned when they hacked their cameras with Magic Lantern back in the day, over-cranking your camera to record video at its highest rate possible is great for getting the best footage possible, but not so great for keeping your camera cool and functional.
So when Sony released this 4K 120p recording update for the ZV-E1, many were skeptical about what issues this might cause. After all, if the ZV-E1 was truly made to handle that recording rate, why didn’t they include it from the start?
And again, as mentioned above, as tests have proven that these overheating issues might be quite minor in most environments and shooting situations, the problem is compounded simply by the record-high heat many have felt this summer across the globe. When shooting video outside in the middle of summer, your camera—like yourself—is going to get quite hot.
A Tilta Cooling System for the Sony ZV-E1
That’s where this new Titla cooling system comes in. Designed specifically for the Sony ZV-E1, this cooling system includes a six-layer structure which uses semiconductor materials and a fan to assist with heat dissipation.
Manufactured as an attachable add-on to the Tilta half cage for Sony (which retails at only about $50), the cooling system can be easily connected to the cage with two thumbscrews, making it a cinch to assemble or disassemble when on set.
Going off the numbers from some bench tests of the cooling system, users should see an extension of around 20 minutes when shooting high fps in hot settings before overheating shutdown issues (going from around 17 minutes to 38 minutes), as well as an increase of around 40 minutes of shooting time when recording at 50fps (going from 20 minutes to 64 minutes).
Sony ZV-E1 Mirrorless Camera
Designed as a professional photo+cinema camera for content creators to up their game, the ultra-compact black Sony ZV-E1 Mirrorless Camera provides cinematic looks to your vlogs, interviews, and product demonstrations.
A Retrospective on the Sony ZV-E1
With multiple power supply options, a swivel mounting point and multiple fan speeds, this add-on really should mostly solve any overheating issues you might have with the Sony ZV-E1. So now, the question becomes, how does this change the legacy of Sony’s popular mirrorless camera?
Honestly, even with the overheating issues being reported and what they were, it wasn’t a huge game-changer to most users. Of course live streamers or those looking to record HFR footage for 17 minutes or more might have felt these issues, but they’d probably find similar concerns for most cameras around the same $2,000 price point.
The numbers for 24p or 30p recording are much more respectable even without the cooling system, so if you’re looking to shoot shot-by-shot the ZV-E1 should be fine for most projects. However, if you’re looking to live stream content or produce long-form video, this cooling system might be an add-on you should look into consider its $65 price tag.