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Sony Introduces ZV-1 II - Enhanced Features for Vloggers and Content Creators

Sony has recently unveiled the ZV-1 II, an upgraded version of its popular ZV-1 camera, tailored specifically for the needs of social media influencers, videographers, vloggers, and creators of short-form video. One notable enhancement in the ZV-1 II is its wider lens, which enhances its capabilities for capturing content in various situations.

One standout feature of the ZV-1 II is its Multiple Face Recognition capability, allowing the camera to identify and focus on multiple faces simultaneously. This proves particularly useful for selfie shots involving two or three people. Moreover, the camera's Auto mode intelligently detects human faces or objects and automatically adjusts the direction of the built-in microphone to optimize audio capture. In Manual mode, users have the flexibility to choose the microphone direction—front, rear, or all directions—depending on the shooting scenario.

Sony ZV-1 II Selfie
Image Source: Sony

Equipped with a 1.0-type Exmor RS image sensor boasting approximately 20.1 effective megapixels, the ZV-1 II combines this powerful sensor with the BIONZ X image processing engine for impressive image quality. The camera also features a newly developed ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 18-50 mm F1.8-4 lens, comprised of 9 elements in 9 groups, including 5 aspherical lens elements, and a 7-bladed circular aperture.

Sony has introduced a "Cinematic Vlog Setting" in the ZV-1 II, claiming to offer videographers the ability to capture videos with a filmic look. It should be noted that while the camera records in a CinemaScope aspect ratio (2.35:1) with a frame rate of 23.98 fps, the resulting image, excluding the cinematic bars, is still in the standard 16:9 ratio. According to Sony, the ZV-1 II lists frame rates as follows: 24p (23.98 fps), 30p (29.97 fps), 60p (59.94 fps), and 120p (119.88 fps).

Sony ZV-1 II Influencer
Image Souce: Sony

To further aid content creators and influencers, the ZV-1 II offers on-screen buttons for selecting from a range of LOOKs and MOODs. Face Priority AE and Soft Skin Effect features automatically detect faces and optimize exposure for facial brightness, regardless of the lighting conditions. The Soft Skin Effect further enhances the appearance of skin and facial features during filming.

Main Features:

  • High-Resolution Capture: Equipped with a 20.1MP 1-inch Exmor RS BSI CMOS sensor

  • Versatile Lens: The ZV-1 II comes with a wide-angle 18-50mm-equivalent f/1.8-4 lens, providing flexibility and versatility in capturing a variety of subjects and scenes.

  • Professional Video Capabilities: With UHD 4K30p video recording capability and support for HLG and S-Log3/2 gammas, the camera empowers videographers to produce high-quality, cinematic videos.

  • Convenient Flip-Out Touchscreen: The camera features a 3-inch side flip-out touchscreen LCD

  • Advanced Focus and Tracking: The ZV-1 II incorporates real-time tracking and Eye AF technologies, enabling subject tracking, ensuring that your subjects stay in focus throughout your videos.

  • Creative Control: Bokeh Switch and Face Priority AE allow videographers to achieve background blur and optimal exposure for faces.

  • Cinematic Vlog Setting

  • Slow-Motion Capabilities: The S&Q Shoot Mode allows the camera operator to explore slow-motion footage, with up to 5x slower or quick-motion at up to 60x faster speeds.

Sony ZV-1 II Eye AF
Image Source: Sony

The Fast Hybrid AF System incorporated in the ZV-1 II ensures sharp and precise focusing, leveraging the same technology found in Sony's α series cameras. Users can adjust the AF Transition Speed during video recording to select the focusing speed, while the AF Subject Shift Sensitivity allows control over focus shifting between subjects. Real-time Eye AF technology enables accurate tracking of human and animal subjects in both stills and movies.

Sony ZV-1 II Multiple Face Recognition
Image Source: Sony

Another useful feature for content creators is the Product Showcase Setting, which facilitates seamless focus transitions from the user's face to the highlighted item during product review videos. The camera also offers an S&Q shoot mode, enabling slow-motion footage at up to 5x slower or quick-motion at up to 60x faster speeds. The combination of shooting and recording frame rates can be easily configured on a single screen. It's important to note that in S&Q mode, the camera records in the XAVC S HD format, but audio cannot be captured. To ensure smooth recording at 100 Mbps, a UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC memory card is required.

 Sony ZV-1 II video shoot
Image Source: Sony

In terms of usability, the ZV-1 II boasts a vari-angle screen that is particularly suitable for selfies and allows for easier framing and monitoring of shots. Its compact size ensures comfortable handling, making it ideal for content creators who are constantly on the go. Sony has also prioritized connectivity and sharing options for creators. The ZV-1 II enables seamless content transfer and sharing through Sony's Creators' Cloud platform and smartphone connection. The dedicated Creators' App provides users with control over the camera from their smartphones, allowing them to monitor battery and media status, edit metadata and camera settings, and transfer photos and videos.

Sony Creators' Cloud platform
Image Source: Sony

The ZV-1 II can be connected to a PC or smartphone using a commercially available USB cable to function as a webcam. This feature enables streaming at a resolution of 1280x720 pixels and a frame rate of 30 fps. It's important to ensure that the PC's or smartphone's operating system supports UVC/UAC for this function to work seamlessly.

Accessibility seems to be a key consideration in the ZV-1 II, with features designed to facilitate operation for individuals with visual impairments or low vision. The camera incorporates a screen reader functionality that audibly reads aloud the text on menu screens when activated. Users can adjust the volume of the screen reader via the Sound Options settings, offering a more inclusive and user-friendly experience.

 Sony ZV-1 II Size
Image Source: Sony

Additional features of the ZV-1 II include Focus Magnification and Peaking, which assist with precise focusing, as well as Touch Focus, Touch Tracking, and Touch Shutter functionalities. These touch-based controls enable users to easily select and track subjects on the monitor screen, simplifying the shooting process.

You can read more about the camera by visiting Sony's website directly here. The ZV-1 II will be available June 2023 and will cost $898 (Around €840)


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