When Sony released their original vlogging camera three years ago, we weren’t sure how well it would do. Considering they’ve already released multiple additions to the line, including a pro version and an interchangeable lens model, we’re guessing it’s somewhat of a hit for the outfit. And what do you do with successful camera models? Make a next-gen version, of course, which is what they’re doing with the Sony ZV-1 II.
That’s right, Sony made a new version of the vlogging camera, retaining the compact point-and-shoot form factor of the original while coming with a host of updated features. Just like the original, it’s designed to offer an upgrade from smartphone cameras, all while being lighter and more compact than mirrorless and DLSR options.
The Sony ZV-1 II is equipped with a 20.1-megapixel 1-inch stacked BSI sensor just like its predecessor, along with a similar body and control set. However, they swapped out the old lens in favor of a wider 18-50mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.8-4 lens, allowing it to capture a wider frame, which should come in handy for framing selfie footage with electronic stabilization engaged, which was one of the biggest complaints with the original camera. It’s more versatile, too, allowing you to use the 18mm for selfies and the 50mm for portraits, all while letting you add atmosphere to shots with a smooth background bokeh. Do note, the new lens doesn’t have optical stabilization like the original camera did, so you’ll have to rely more on the electronic stabilization.
It can capture 4K video at 30fps, complete with S-Log2 and S-Log3 shooting modes, although it only supports 8-bit video. There’s a new Cinematic Vlog setting that allows it to use a 2.35:1 aspect ratio that gives your footage that CinemaScope feel, complete with easy access to filters, looks, and other ways to stylize your shots.
The Sony ZV-1 II has a Product Showcase setting that shifts focus to objects at the forefront of the frame, making it very useful for product demonstrations, as well as a Bokeh Switch that stops down the aperture as far as it can go to blur out the background behind the subject on screen. Sony’s Hybrid AF system is also onboard, promising fast autofocus that uses AI to lock onto the subject’s eyes, as well as a built-in ND filter that can reduce exposure by three stops for better background bokeh on bright daylight settings.
Since this is meant primarily for taking video, there’s no viewfinder, although the built-in mic now offers three patterns, allowing you to focus the sound pickup in front of the camera, in the back of the camera, or both. There’s no XLR input, but there’s a 3.5mm port for hooking up an external mic. Other features include Multiple Face Recognition (it will adjust to keep all faces sharp and clear), ISO sensitivity from 125 to 12800, a vari-angle screen, remote operation via the Creators App, and support for webcam mode via a USB connection.
The Sony ZV-1 II comes out in June, priced at $900.