Sony introduced Tuesday the ZV-1 II vlogging camera, billed as the direct successor to the popular Sony ZV-1.

Launched behind the tagline “all for vlogging,” the Sony ZV-1 II is another fixed-lens compact camera optimized for one-man vlogging operations. This is in contrast to the recently introduced ZV-E1 interchangeable lens camera (ILC) that is positioned more for “content creators” requiring greater control flexibility.

The ZV-1 II newly integrates an 18-50mm equivalent focal length zoom lens, which provides a wider effective focal length than the original 24-70mm. At the widest setting, this should be sufficient to fit up to three people in the frame.

The camera also features a number of new AI features, including facial recognition software to keep everyone in focus.

The former 3-capsule microphone has been upgraded for changeable directivity, and includes intelligent mic recognition of faces and objects, while prioritizing audio capture from the direction of the subject.

The camera’s touch controls now enable smartphone-like swiping gestures to access the shooting menu and other basic settings, similar to the recently introduced ZV-E1 ILC.

The new camera also features Slow and Quick mode and a Cinematic Vlog setting for uncomplicated output of cinematic-style content.

The ZV-1 II continues to include the 20.1 megapixel 1-inch Exmor RS CMOS sensor, HD filters and auto focus systems of the EV-1. Also continuing are popular vlogging features like Face Priority AE and natural-looking skin tone adjustment.

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Light-sensitivity is helped with an ISO 120-12800 range for very fast performance. The image sensor stacks the pixel area, a high-speed signal processing circuit, and memory in order to increase data throughput. This while also delivering features such as Real Time Tracking, Real Time Eye AF, Touch AE, UHD 4K video, and other benefits, Sony said.

The sensor also has 315 phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast detection areas for fast, precise focusing.

The sensor is paired with Sony’s revised BIONZ X image processor that speeds up throughput of the entire imaging system to enable blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 24 fps with continuous AF/AE calculations being performed.

Sony has also replaced the Micro USB with a more utilitarian USB-C input for greater ease-of-use as a streaming camera that needs to connect to common USB-C peripherals.

Other features of the Sony ZV-1 II include the following:

  • The rear LCD touchscreen features a side flip-out design ideal for filming yourself or taking selfies in a natural and intuitive manner.
  • A multidirectional three-capsule microphone orients the microphone toward computer-recognized faces and objects when in auto mode.
  • A dedicated wind screen for the built-in mic is included to help achieve cleaner audio when working outdoors.
  • UVC and UAC standards support for improved picture and sound quality during streaming.
  • Both a 3.5mm microphone port and a Multi Interface Shoe are included for greater accessory compatibility.
  • Compact and lightweight body design with an easy-to-hold, right-hand grip for effective one-handed operation.
  • A large REC button for quick recognition.
  • Front tally lamp visual recording indicator.
  • A product showcase setting to optize product displays for quick and smooth focus transitions between a subject’s face and an object placed in front of the lens.
  • A Bokeh Switch lets you immediately switch to the maximum aperture setting (f/1.8-4), using a custom button function, for isolating your subject using shallow depth of field and bokeh.
  • A built-in, 3-stop ND filter benefits using this mode in bright lighting conditions by controlling overexposure.
  • Face-Priority AE detects the subject’s face and adjusts the exposure for ideal brightness, even when walking from a light to shade. The AE technology also suppresses abrupt changes in exposure if the subject quickly turns away from the frame to eliminate unexpected blown-out or extremely dark shots.
  • Extended continuous video recording for longer takes is available when setting the Auto Power OFF Temp. function to High.
  • Advanced image stabilization mode keeps videos steady while moving. The mode combines optical and electronic stabilization methods for more effective results—when recording HD video with Active mode, camera shake is reduced by up to 11 times more than with standard SteadyShot.
  • When recording 4K video with Active mode, camera shake is reduced by up to 8 times more than with standard SteadyShot.

Sony said pre-orders for the ZV-1 II will begin Wednesday with shipments expected to begin in June. The camera will be available in a choice of black or white body colors.

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By Greg Tarr

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