Review Tech

Sony’s new ZV-1 II vlogging camera has a wider lens and faster sensor


After fleshing out its vlog-focused digital camera lineup with the full-frame ZV-E1, Sony is now updating its bread-and-butter point-and-shoot that kicked off the ZV household. The brand new ZV-1 II is an $899.99 digital camera with a one-inch-type sensor, wider zoom lens than its predecessor, and numerous quality-of-life enhancements over the ZV-1 of 2020. Whereas the 20.1-megapixel decision and ISO vary stay the identical, the brand new mannequin opts for a wider, extra vlog-friendly zoom lens and numerous conveniences like a USB-C port when it launches in June.

The unique ZV-1 was very a lot an offshoot of the longstanding RX-100 line — a longtime favourite for individuals who wished a compact digital camera with good picture high quality for stills — with enhanced video options and a greater articulating display for self-recording. The ZV-1 II takes that additional with a wider 18–50mm (35mm equal) f/1.8-4 zoom lens, Cinematic Vlog settings (just like the ZV-E1), contact controls, straightforward webcam use, a mic with adjustable pickup patterns for narration, and S-Log 3 for a style of a pro-like enhancing workflow.

Whereas there’s no digital viewfinder, the highest of the digital camera has an adjunct shoe, mic array, and even fast entry to the bokeh button.

What the ZV-1 II doesn’t have is a mechanical shutter, eschewing one fully in favor of a fast-reading stacked sensor that depends fully on its digital shutter for nonetheless footage. If stacked sensors in a Sony Alpha 1, A9 II, or Nikon’s shutterless Z9 and Z8 can deal with fast-action pictures with out exhibiting jello results, then the ZV-1 II needs to be as much as the duty utilizing the identical tech in a smaller sensor.

Whereas stacked sensors are useful for capturing stills with none shutter noise in any respect, having a quick readout sensor can be helpful for video — which is extra of this digital camera’s focus. The ZV-1 II, like its predecessor, is ready to movie in 4K at as much as 30fps. It additionally makes use of Sony’s real-time phase-detect autofocus monitoring to simply focus and monitor a number of faces and eyes in addition to Product Showcase for realizing when to concentrate on objects held as much as the digital camera. A lot of this has turn out to be par for the course with Sony cameras, and whereas it could not have the AI smarts of A7R V or ZV-E1, it’s nonetheless spectacular to get this stage of focus efficiency in a digital camera beneath $1,000.

One of many trickle-down options from the latest ZV-E1 is that Cinematic Vlog setting, which provides black bars to the highest and backside of the body, units the body fee to 24fps, and permits you to dial in some preset “seems” and “moods” to your liking. Very similar to how the ZV-1 II affords a shortcut to creating decent-looking vlogs with minimal effort, Cinematic Vlog is a one-click manner so as to add drama to a video clip — even in case you don’t know your manner round digital camera settings. The identical may be stated for the bokeh swap, which simply units the digital camera as much as slim the depth of subject for blurred backgrounds by opening the lens to its widest aperture.

The ZV-1 II’s most aperture of f/1.8 is similar because the lens of the last-gen mannequin, however by choosing a wider angle of 18mm, it’s a lot simpler to get each your self and your environment in body. The broader lens makes complete sense, as most vlogs are filmed fairly broad and shedding some telephoto attain might be no huge deal, although the brand new lens is a slower f/4 when zoomed all the best way to its 50mm restrict. That’s nonetheless a good tradeoff to be made by sustaining the ZV-1 II’s pocket-ish measurement.

The ZV-1 has been Sony’s bestselling mannequin of its burgeoning ZV line, and the model II appears to supply the proper enhancements the place it counts. In fact, it additionally prices about $100 greater than the value of the unique ZV-1 when it first got here out and $150 greater than its present promoting value. However even at the next value, a ZV-1 proprietor might discover the brand new lens and encompasses a worthwhile improve in the event that they’re not but prepared to leap to a ZV-E10, ZV-E1, or Sony Alpha digital camera with interchangeable lenses, larger batteries, and extra sturdy options — no less than, after all, till Sony floods this house with much more cameras for each doable use case.

Pictures by Becca Farsace / The Verge


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