Sony has taken user feedback to heart and released the second generation ZV-1 II vlogging camera. The point-and-shoot has a wider zoom lens, an upgraded microphone, and offers facial recognition to keep everyone in frame and in focus.
The ZV-1 II offers an ultra-wide 18-50mm f/1.8-4 Vario Sonnar zoom lens, which now uses facial recognition software to keep up to three people in the frame.
The lens is designed with 9 elements in 9 groups, including 5 aspherical and 1 advanced aspherical element, and a 7-bladed circular aperture. Each element has Sony’s special T Coating to suppress ghosting and flaring.
The ZV-1 II sports a 20.1 MP 1.0 Exmor RS BSI CMOS image sensor, with a BIONZ X image processor, neutral density filters, and face priority auto exposure for more natural-looking skin tones.
The camera can capture in hybrid log gamma (HLG) and S-Log 2 or 3 for a very cinematic dynamic range and color gamut. The camera can capture 4K video at 30 frames per second, or full HD video at up to 120 fps for sharp slow motion.
The processor leverages real-time eye autofocus and tracking features for subject tracking, as well as active mode image stabilization for steady footage and reduced camera shake. Through Active mode stabilization, users can reduce camera shake by up to eight times more than with standard SteadyShot while shooting 4K video.
The camera offers a special cinematic vlog setting which gives content creators the ability to automatically set a 2.35:1 aspect ratio at 24 frames per second for that professional look, but it can also make custom adjustments with a smartphone-like swipe.
Moreover, the camera’s frame rate can be set by 1-120 fps to allow even greater creativity, and the content creator can disable the auto power-off temperature function for shooting longer form interviews and extended video clips.
The user can also adjust the bokeh with a dedicated bokeh switch, that can switch to the maximum aperture setting of f1.8 to create a more shallow depth of field and isolate the subject’s focus from the background.
Another professional feature is a front tally lamp, which provides a visual indicator to the subject that the camera is recording and active.
Live streaming is also possible directly without the need of a video capture card thanks to Sony changing to a USB-C connection. Both the UVC and UAC standards are supported for improved picture and sound quality during streaming.
The 3-inch flip-out touchscreen can be used for selfie-style vlog framing and enables the content creator to adjust controls for touch AE, Tracking, shutter, and other features. There is also expanded bokeh through background defocus and a soft skin effect.
The ZV-1 II also offers a three-capsule microphone for an expanded audio dynamic range, and for narrating from behind the camera. The microphone’s direction can also be shifted for focusing on the subject within the frame.
The camera also comes with a dead cat windscreen for cleaner audio with recording outdoors, and there is also a 3.5mm external microphone jack and a multi-interface hotshoe for additional connection options.
The camera weighs just nine ounces so it can be easily held for one-handed shooting in vlog and selfie situations where long takes could normally fatigue the shooter.
Pricing and Availability
The Sony ZV-1 II will be available in both black and white colors, beginning Wednesday, May 24th at 10 am ET for a preorder retail price of $898.00. It is expected to ship in June 2023.
- Sony ZV-1 II Digital Camera (B&H)
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