Sony ZV-1 Mark II

Sony has announced the ZV-1 II, a follow-up to the original ZV-1. The ZV-1 II features a wider lens than ZV-1 and it is being targeted at vloggers, social media influencers, and short form video creators.

Key features

  • For Vloggers and Content Creators
  • 20.1MP 1″ Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
  • Wide-Angle 18-50mm-Equiv. f/1.8-4 Lens
  • UHD 4K30p Video w/ HLG & S-Log3/2 Gammas
  • 3″ Side Flip-Out Touchscreen LCD
  • Intuitive Touch Focus & Exposure Control
  • Real-Time Tracking & Eye AF
  • Bokeh Switch & Face Priority AE
  • Cinematic Vlog Setting, S&Q Shoot Mode
  • Product Showcase Setting

The ZV-1 II features a 1.0-type Exmor RS image sensor (approximately 20.1 effective megapixels), BIONZ X image processing engine, and newly developed ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 18-50 mm F1.8-4 lens. The lens design consists of 9 elements in 9 groups, including 5 aspherical lens elements. It has a 7-bladed circular aperture.

Multiple Face Recognition can recognize multiple faces and automatically adjust to keep all faces sharp and clear when taking selfie shots that include two or three people. In Auto mode, the camera recognizes human faces or objects and automatically switches the direction of the built-in microphone ([Front] or [All Directions]). In Manual mode, you can select [Front] for selfies, [Rear] when shooting with narration or [All Directions].

There is a ‘Cinematic Vlog Setting function’ that Sony states allow users to capture videos with a filmic look. ​You can tap the on-screen function icon and the camera will automatically set a CinemaScope size (2.35:1) and a frame rate of 23.98 fps. I am not sure why companies persist with his type of marketing nonsense. Recording a 2.35:1 screen ratio and shooting in 23.98 doesn’t make something cinematic. What is worse is that the image (excluding the bars) is in CinemaScope aspect ratio, but the recorded image is 16:9.

I am not sure why Sony also still feels the need to incorrectly list frame rates in its cameras. Below is what the camera displays, but the actual frame rates being recorded are different.

24p: 23.98 fps, 30p: 29.97 fps, 60p: 59.94 fps, and 120p: 119.88 fps.

There are also on-screen buttons to select from five LOOKs and four MOODs. As you would expect in a camera being targeted at content creators and influencers, there is a Face Priority AE and Soft Skin Effect that automatically and immediately detects faces and adjusts the exposure to optimize facial brightness, no matter the lighting. Soft skin effect smooths skin and facial features when filming.

Sony claims that the Fast Hybrid AF System will keep the images sharp with the same Fast Hybrid AF system seen in α series cameras. The camera is equipped with AF Transition Speed to select the focusing speed during video recording, and AF Subject Shift Sensitivity to control whether the camera shifts focus from one subject to another. Real-time Eye AF can accurately keep focus on human or animals for both stills and movies.

The Product Showcase Setting is stated to deliver convenient shooting of product review videos with smooth focus transitions from your face to the item you are highlighting. An S&Q shoot mode allows a selection up to 5x slow or up to 60x quick motion. The combination of shooting and recording frame rates can now be set on a single screen. ​S&Q mode records in XAVC S HD format. Audio cannot be recorded. A Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card is required. Recording at 100 Mbps requires a UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC memory card.

The camera has an ISO sensitivity spanning from 125 to 12800. Active Mode electronic image stabilization is also available and a built-in ND filter can reduce exposure by three stops.

The ZV-1 II’s vari-angle screen is suitable for selfies, and the camera’s size allows it to be easily held.

Creators can connect and share content with Sony’s Creators’ Cloud platform and smartphone connection. The Creators’ App can be used to control the ZV-1 II from a smartphone, monitor camera battery and media status, edit date and camera names, and easily transfer stills and videos shot, even in the background.​

For easy high-quality live streaming, you can connect the ZV-1 II to a PC or smartphone with a commercially available USB cable (not included) to use it as a webcam. Streaming via USB gives 1280×720 resolution and 30 fps frame rate. To use this function, the PC’s or smartphone’s OS must support UVC/UAC

The ZV-1 II includes accessibility features that facilitate operation in several ways, including screen reader functionality for people with low vision or with visual impairments. Accessibility features allow anyone to enjoy shooting and playback. When the screen reader function is activated, text on the menu screens is read aloud. The screen reader function can be activated by turning the [Screen Reader] function in the [Setup] tab ON. Screen reader volume can be adjusted via the [Sound Options] settings.

The camera has Focus Magnification, and Peaking, as well as features like Touch Focus, Touch Tracking, and Touch Shutter, which let the user focus, track, and shoot simply by touching the subject on the monitor screen.

Price & Availability

The new ZV-1 II will be available in June 2023 for $898 USD.

Preorder starts at 10am ET, Wed May 24th.

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