Sony has introduced a new version of its ZV-1 camera optimized for web videos, the new device is called ZV-1 II, also pronounced “ZV-1 Mark Two”. The form factor, controls, memory and battery have remained the same, and the built-in lens is particularly new.
The lens now offers a focal length range of 18 to 50 millimeters and an aperture of f/1.8 to f/4.0. The ZV-1 from 2020 was still 28-70 millimeters, but offered f/2.8 at the long end. The new lens is therefore better suited for handheld selfies thanks to its wider angle, but it is also less bright. By doing without larger lenses, the weight has hardly changed, the ZV-1 weighs 294 grams, the Mark Two 292 grams.
20 megapixels and 4K30
The 20-megapixel sensor with a 1-inch diagonal and the maximum video format of 4K with 30 frames per second have also remained unchanged. With Full HD, 60 frames per second are possible, without sound and even 120 FPS for slow motion. Like its predecessor, the Mark Two only masters RAW recordings for photos; instead, Sony emphasizes the new color profiles according to the S-Log3 standard in addition to S-Log2 for the video function. As a first test by Petapixel shows, no videos are recorded with a 10-bit color depth, which severely limits subsequent color grading, for example.
Instead, the camera can already create certain looks for contrast and color during the recording, for example with a profile called “Classic x Forest” that emphasizes the colors of nature. When it comes to autofocus, the ZV-1 II has some of the features of the current Alpha system cameras, such as a lock on a person’s eyes. This is also focused on again if the subject has moved briefly out of the picture. Automatic skin smoothing can also be switched on.
No optical image stabilizer
Another change compared to its predecessor is the omission of optical image stabilization in the lens. There is electronic stabilization for this, which Sony also shows in its introductory video for action-packed scenes such as skateboarding. This apparently works quite well, but always requires a certain zoom into the picture. According to Petapixel, this limits the effective shortest focal length of 18 to about 23 millimeters.
When it comes to connectivity, however, the Mark Two is almost up to date: the camera can be used as a webcam via USB cable, even on a smartphone. Live streaming via Wi-Fi is not required, but recordings can be uploaded via mobile phone via Sony’s app.
According to Sony, the ZV-1 II should be available in June 2023 for 999 euros, the predecessor appeared for 799 euros and now costs around 600 euros. The ZV-1F with a fixed 20 mm lens without zoom is also still available from around 520 euros.
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