Sony’s ZV-1 II vlog camera comes with wider appeal (and a wider lens)
2020’s ZV-1 gets a timely update
Sony has announced an updated edition of its ZV-1 vlogging camera, which comes complete with a smattering – but a thoughtful one – of new and improved features. The ZV-1 II will be available from mid-June, priced at $900/£870/€1000.
The original ZV-1, which arrived in 2020, will remain on sale for now, so the ZV-1 II shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as a total replacement. Like the first model, it’s a pocket-sized compact camera designed around vlogging – hence the fully articulated screen, built-in three-capsule microphone (complete with removable fluffy wind noise reducer) and 4K/30p video recording from a 1in 20.1MP sensor all being retained.
There are some new additions, most notably the 18-50mm F1.8-4 zoom lens. This offers a significantly larger field of view at the wider end than the 24mm you got from the original ZV-1’s lens, which means the new camera will be able to fit more in the frame, whether that’s a group of friends or more background. 24mm always felt a little tight on the original camera, particularly when vlogging while holding the camera in one hand, so this extra width feels like a thoughtful upgrade.
There’s also a built-in ND filter for improved exposure and more opportunity for background bokeh in bright conditions, and multiple face recognition rather than single-face recognition. With the latter turned on, the camera will adjust focus and aperture to ensure every face in frame remains sharp.
The microphone, meanwhile, gets the same directivity we saw in the recent Sony ZV-E1 mirrorless vlog camera: you can manually set it to pick up sound from one (or several) directions while isolating sound from others, or set it to auto and let the camera decide where to point it.
More new features borrowed from the ZV-E1 are an improved touch UI with more options available to change via tapping on-screen, plus the CineVlog quick setting that gives videos an instant ‘Hollywood look’ through applying Sony’s S-Cinetone picture profile, a 24fps frame rate and 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The outdated mini USB port has also been replaced by USB-C here, and you can now use it for power supply or to live stream video via a computer or connected smartphone.
While the changes might not sound too drastic, they should serve to make the ZV-1 II a more user-friendly than its predecessor – and less tech-related stress when you’re recording is something most vloggers would probably agree is a good thing.