3 Years Later… The NEW Sony ZV-1 Mark II First Impressions

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The world’s first celebrated point-and-shoot vlog camera gets a facelift. Nearly three years after its initial release, Sony brings even better autofocus, a wider zoom lens, advanced slow motion, integrated ND filters, and creamy bokeh control.

Although we have yet to test this bad boy, the much-anticipated upgrade to Sony’s iconic ZV-1 is here — the ZV-1 Mark II. Boasting a long list of more advanced optimizations and tinkered upgrades will make any vlogger swoon with intrigue.

If you’re unfamiliar with the vlogging camera space, the Sony ZV-1 helped pave the path for new-age content creators and YouTubers. This first-generation camera held quick, accurate automated settings made possible with Sony’s decades-long history of technological implementations. It’s affordable, easy to use, and a generous step up for mobile shooters needing something extra. Three years later, the newly surfaced Mark II makes creators question how good the updates are and if it’s worth upgrading for only $100 more.

Spoiler alert: we think so!

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Quality & Sensor

Featuring a wider, seemingly crispier zoom lens compared to the ZV-1 is the latest 18-50mm F1.8-4.0 (for reference, the ZV-1 only had a 24-70mm lens). This wider length guarantees more visuals in the frame, but the added 8-bit, 1-inch sensor has removed SCinetone. Additionally, the Mark II’s 1.0-type exmoor rs image sensor is perfect for videographers wanting more significant bokeh and heavier depth of field. I’m excited about this since that level of dynamic picture sets apart the footage from my already decent-enough ZV-1 or iPhone 14 Pro.

Vlog Settings, Face AE Priority, and Auto-Focus

The camera’s newest vlog settings elevate the camera’s capabilities to more than just automated control and iPhone-level ease. Now featuring a Cinematic Vlog setting, or “Cinescope” as Sony likes to call it, the camera footage is technically A.I. advanced to appear more Hollywood-esque. Still, it feels more buttery than the ZV-1’s former clinical sharpness.

Ring light, no more! Just kidding, I wouldn’t go that far, but the camera’s new built-in Face Priority AE keeps your face digitally naturally bright and blemish-free, mimicking the effects of external lights and filters. Adjusting exposure is a breeze with the Touch AE function, allowing you to easily fine-tune specific points in the frame by simply touching the monitor display. Easy to film at the non-selfie angle, as well.

Building upon the success of its predecessor, the ZV-1 Mark II takes auto-focus to new heights. With silent focus and precise tracking capabilities, you can use this camera to capture your subject with minimal disruption. Sony's commitment to quiet operation ensures a seamless filming experience, free from distractions and unexpected shifts in focus.

Camera Body & Ergonomics

The ZV-1 Mark II features an ultra-compact, ergonomic, quirky, and comfortable design. While it may initially seem small, it maintains the point-and-shoot silhouette that many creators appreciate. Reminiscent of classic cameras, it combines nostalgia with a rich interior suite of advanced features, providing the best of both worlds.

New Intelligent 3-Capsule Microphone

Audio quality is crucial in any video production. The ZV-1 Mark II takes audio to the next level with its intelligent 3-capsule microphone. It automatically detects and switches between foreground and background subjects, ensuring optimal sound quality. No more worries about manual adjustments — let the camera do the work for you. And if you prefer full manual control, the camera remains compatible with a 3.5mm microphone jack.


With the ZV-1 Mark II, Sony introduces an intuitive touch interface, making accessing features and tracking subjects easier than ever. The touchscreen functionality allows for seamless swiping and navigation, similar to a smartphone. Combined with the camera's enhanced auto-focus capabilities, you'll enjoy a truly user-friendly experience.

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Worth It?

While I have a deep attachment to my ZV-1 and wouldn't easily consider an upgrade, the improved autofocus and touchscreen operations of the Mark II version do make it tempting, especially for those looking for their first vlogging camera. Sony has truly mastered video capture, creating an ideal tool for producing high-quality YouTube videos and engaging content. The Mark II offers an appealing range of features to enhance quick shooting, all at just a $100 premium. It's a reliable choice if you're yet to find a camera you truly adore, although it may not be compelling enough to replace your FX30 just yet. Personally, I firmly believe that the ZV series outshines smartphones by a factor of ten, and I stand by that opinion. We’ll share more detailed thoughts once we try the camera ourselves. Until then, let's enjoy the timely and amusing memes on Twitter.

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