Sony ZV-1 vs. Sony ZV-1 Mark II – (The Old Version is Best)

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Having explored the world of content creation, I’ve always looked for the perfect camera to capture my moments. The Sony ZV-1 quickly caught my attention with its fantastic features, designed specifically for vloggers.

The Mark II version of the ZV-1 was recently released, promising new improvements and enhancements. However, after extensively comparing both models, the first version remains my top choice.


  • Lens Stabilization: The absence of stabilization in the 18-50mm range of Mark II’s lens results in shaky footage, hindering its performance for vlogging and motion-focused content creation.
  • Sensor Size and Image Quality: Mark II retains the same sensor size, limiting its ability to excel in challenging lighting conditions and deliver enhanced dynamic range and low-light performance.
  • Value vs. Price: The Mark II’s price tag may not be justified given its limitations. Competing options like the Sony ZV E10 and GoPro might offer better value for the investment.

I recommend these two cameras as an alternative: GoPro and Sony ZV E10.

In this discussion, I’ll delve into the key differences between the Sony ZV-1 and its Mark II counterpart and why I believe the original version still reigns supreme for content creators like me.

Let’s uncover the reasons behind my preference!

You can also watch my detailed video review below if you’d like!

Sony ZV-1 Digital Camera for Content Creators, Vlogging and YouTube with Flip Screen, Built-in Microphone, 4K HDR Video, Touchscreen Display, Live Video Streaming, Webcam
  • 20.1MP stacked back illuminated 1” Exmor RS CMOS sensor w/ DRAM. Large aperture 24-70mm1 F1.8-2.8 ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T...
  • Fast Hybrid Autofocus and Real Time Eye Autofocus and Real-time Autofocus tracking.
  • Side flip-out 3.0” LCD screen that also tilts up and down for easier to compose selfie shots

Last update on 2024-06-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sony ZV-1 II Vlog Camera for Content Creators and Vloggers - Black
  • Ultra-wide 18-50mm1 zoom lens gets it all in the frame
  • Large 1.0-type sensor for professional results even in low-light
  • Wide aperture F1.8-4.0 lens for beautifully defocused backgrounds

Last update on 2024-06-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Sony ZV-1 vs. Sony ZV-1 Mark II: Product Specifications

Here’s a comparison table between the Sony ZV-1 II and the Sony ZV-1 cameras:

Key SpecificationsSony ZV-1 IISony ZV-1
Sensor20MP – 1″ BSI-CMOS20MP – 1″ BSI-CMOS
ISO Range125 – 12800 (expandable to 80 – 25600)125 – 12800 (expandable to 80 – 25600)
Lens18-50 mm F1.8–4.0 Zoom Lens24-70 mm F1.8–2.8 Zoom Lens
Image StabilizationNot specifiedOptical Image Stabilization
Screen3.00″ Fully Articulated Screen3.00″ Fully Articulated Screen
Continuous Shooting24.0fps24.0fps
Video Resolution4K (UHD) – 3840 x 21604K (UHD) – 3840 x 2160
High-Speed Video960fps960fps
Built-in WirelessYesYes
Dimensions (WxHxD)106 x 60 x 47 mm105 x 60 x 44 mm

Why Sony ZV-1 is Better Than the Sony ZV-1 Mark II

I’ve extensively used both the Sony ZV-1 and its Mark II counterpart. These cameras cater to our unique needs with their flip-out screens, exceptional autofocus, and 4K video capabilities.

But after thorough testing and comparison, I’m excited to share why I firmly believe the original ZV-1 still outshines the Mark II.

Let’s dive into the reasons behind my preference and uncover the better option!

1. Lens in Sony ZV-1 Mark II is Not Stabilized in the 18-50mm Range

One of the significant drawbacks of the Sony ZV-1 Mark II is that its lens is not stabilized in the 18-50mm range.

This limitation is quite disappointing for someone who values stable and smooth footage. When shooting in this focal range, especially while walking or in motion, the absence of optical stabilization can result in shaky and jittery videos, ultimately compromising overall quality.

Having used cameras with stabilized lenses before, I appreciate the benefits they bring to vlogging and content creation.

The optical stabilization allows for steady footage, even when captured on the go or in challenging environments. It helps maintain clarity and reduces unwanted camera movements, resulting in a more professional-looking final product.

While the Sony ZV-1 Mark II may have other appealing features, the lack of stabilization in the critical 18-50mm focal range hinders its performance, especially for vloggers like myself, who rely on versatility and smooth video capture.

In today’s competitive market, optical stabilization has become an essential aspect of modern cameras, and its absence is a significant drawback in Sony ZV-1 Mark II.

Given the investment required to upgrade to the Mark II, I would consider whether the other new features outweigh the stabilization issue.

For now, I might explore other camera options offering a stabilized lens and the desired functionality for my vlogging needs.

2. There’s No Enhancement in the Sensor Size

As someone who values image quality and low-light performance in a camera, I find it disappointing that there’s no enhancement in the sensor size with the Sony ZV-1 Mark II. When investing in a new camera, an improved sensor can substantially affect the overall image and video quality.

Unfortunately, the Mark II retains the same sensor size as its predecessor, which may limit its capability to deliver superior results in challenging lighting conditions.

A larger sensor, such as an APS-C or full-frame sensor, can capture more light, resulting in better dynamic range, reduced noise, and improved overall image clarity.

This enhancement is crucial for those who enjoy capturing content in various lighting scenarios, from well-lit environments to dimly lit settings.

Moreover, a larger sensor can enhance the bokeh effect, allowing for a more cinematic and professional look in videos and photos.

It provides the ability to achieve that beautiful background blur, adding depth and visual appeal to the content.

While the Sony ZV-1 Mark II might offer other enticing features, the lack of improvement in the sensor size leaves me questioning whether it can truly meet my expectations regarding image quality and low-light performance.

Considering that there are other camera options in the market with larger sensors, I might explore those alternatives to ensure I get the performance and versatility I desire in my content creation journey.

3. The Microphone Improvements Weren’t Required

The built-in microphones in the original ZV-1 and other cameras discussed were already of good quality for vlogging and content creation.

While enhancing audio capabilities is always welcome, if the existing microphones were already meeting users’ needs, the priority could have been given to other aspects, such as sensor improvements or stabilization enhancements.

Although better audio quality is a positive addition, it might not have been a crucial upgrade considering the camera’s primary target audience and purpose.

4. There’s No Optical Image Stabilization

I find it concerning that the Sony ZV-1 Mark II lacks optical image stabilization. As someone who values capturing smooth and steady footage, the absence of this feature can significantly impact the overall video quality.

Shooting handheld or in motion without optical stabilization might result in shaky and jittery videos, making it challenging to produce professional-looking content.

Optical image stabilization is a crucial feature in modern cameras, especially for vlogging and on-the-go filming, and its absence is a notable drawback in the Mark II model.

5. The Value Doesn’t Justify the High Price Tag

Considering the limitations discussed, such as the lack of optical image stabilization and no enhancement in the sensor size, it becomes challenging to justify investing in this camera at its current price point.

With other competitive options available in the market offering better features and performance, I would carefully evaluate whether the Mark II meets my requirements before making such a substantial financial commitment.

Still Want an Upgrade? Try These Two Options!

If you’re still looking for an upgrade, consider exploring these excellent options: the Sony ZV E10 and the GoPro.

  • The Sony ZV E10 offers a compelling choice with its APS-C sensor, providing superior image quality and better low-light performance than the ZV-1 Mark II. Additionally, its interchangeable lens system allows for more creative versatility.
Sony Alpha ZV-E10 - APS-C Interchangeable Lens Mirrorless Vlog Camera Kit - Black
  • Large 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor and fast BIONZ X processor
  • 4K Movie oversampled from 6k w/ full pixel readout, no pixel binning
  • Product Showcase Setting transitions focus from face to object

Last update on 2024-06-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • On the other hand, the GoPro is perfect for super-stabilized vlogging and content creation, with its wide-angle lens and exceptional stabilization capabilities. It’s an ideal companion for on-the-go adventures, offering steady footage and the ability to capture stunning action shots.
GoPro HERO11 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with 5.3K60 Ultra HD Video, 27MP Photos, 1/1.9' Image Sensor, Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization
1,281 Reviews
GoPro HERO11 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with 5.3K60 Ultra HD Video, 27MP Photos, 1/1.9" Image Sensor, Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization
  • Revolutionary New Image Sensor: expansive field of view ever on a HERO camera out of the box. This gives you an extra-large...
  • Unbelievable Image Quality: With 5.3K video that gives you 91% more resolution than 4K and an incredible 665% more than...
  • High-Res Photos + Videos, High Frame Rate: HERO11 Black’s new image sensor boosts photo resolution up to an incredible 27MP...

Last update on 2024-06-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Take-Home Point

After careful consideration and analysis, the take-home point for me is that the Sony ZV-1 Mark II may not be the most suitable upgrade option.

While it offers some new features, such as an improved microphone and cineblox mode, the absence of optical image stabilization and lack of enhancement in the sensor size are significant drawbacks.

Also, the price tag seems steep for the value it provides. Instead, I find the Sony ZV E10 and GoPro more appealing choices.

The ZV E10’s APS-C sensor and interchangeable lens system promise better image quality, while the GoPro’s superb stabilization makes it perfect for dynamic vlogging adventures.

Oh, and if you have the ZV-1, it’s a fantastic device you can continue using!

My name is Simon, and this is my website. I maainly talk about camera gear, but also other stuff i own.

This website is an extension of my YouTube channel called: Simon's Danglish Reviews.

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