Sony is back with yet another sequel in the ZV-1 II, a point-and-shoot camera primarily aimed at vloggers looking for something more compact. The camera is a successor to the previous ZV-1 released in 2020, and yet another option among Sony’s increasing ZV camera lineup.
While it bears many similarities to its predecessor, the ZV-1 II comes with some key differences. One is the lens’ focal range, along with feature improvements or additions better suited to shooting video for vloggers who want some versatility.
What’s new in the ZV-1 II
The ZV-1 had a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 focal range, whereas this model has an 18-50mm f/1.8-4. Sony says it chose to make the change to accommodate the wider field of view vloggers need to capture themselves and the background. It’s also wide enough to fit multiple subjects in the frame, including smart focusing to ensure no one comes out looking blurry.
That latter part comes from improved bokeh and autofocus capabilities. Not only do you get eye and face detection for humans, but the ZV-1 II also adds animals to the mix. Product Showcase will apply smart bokeh when presenting an item to the camera for smoother focus transitions. It’s not entirely clear how well subject tracking will work with faster-moving subjects, but the camera looks to be capable of handling most situations. If you like, you can use the newer USB-C port to connect to a computer and turn the ZV-E1 II into a webcam.
To add more to the video side, Sony also includes Cinematic Vlog to give footage the Hollywood treatment in a 2:35:1 aspect ratio. You choose a colour profile or preset you like to essentially capture the kind of mood you’re going for.
The camera’s built-in microphone is directional, where you can tell it to focus on the rear, front or all around. Sony includes a furry dead cat cover to muffle wind and other noise that you can attach to the hotshoe. That’s a carryover from the previous ZV-1, only this time you can attach an external mic onto the hotshoe to get better sound. The ZV-1 II works with certain Sony mics, like the ECM-G1 shotgun mic and ECM-B1, but not the ECM-B10, apparently. You won’t get a headphone jack, so no listening to the audio you’re actually recording.
The ZV-1 II retains the same 20.1-megapixel one-inch Exmor RS CMOS sensor and Bionz X processor of the previous model. Video recording still maxes out at 4K at 30fps, so you won’t get any upgrade in resolution or frame rate here. For most vlogging situations, 24fps or 30fps is perfectly fine, but if you’re thinking of using this for faster action, you might want to consider one of Sony’s other vlogging cameras. Not to mention, you only get electronic image stabilization here, in case that matters for the kind of video you want.
The touchscreen flips and articulates the exact same way, except the ZV-1 II screen offers more touchpoints to control settings and menus. This is good news considering the size and weight differences are practically the same.
Since it uses the exact same battery, the ratings also remain the same—45 minutes for video or 260 still images. Same for the memory card slot, which takes the same SDXC or HC cards.
Though other Sony cameras get some of the company’s AI (artificial intelligence) features, you won’t really find them here. Sony positions the ZV-1 II as more of an entry-level vlogger camera to keep things simple in capturing better images than a smartphone could.
You can pre-order the Sony ZV-1 II now, which will come in either black or white.