The Sony ZV-1 remains one of the best vlogging cameras you can buy, despite arriving back in 2020 – but that may not be the case for long if new rumors about a sequel are correct.
The reliable Sony Alpha Rumors claims that a "trusted source" has revealed that a new Sony ZV-1 successor will launch by "the end of May". If you're looking to buy one of the best cheap cameras for vlogging, then, it might be wise to hold off for the next few weeks.
Unfortunately, those are all of the details we have about the Sony ZV-1 Mark II (which may or may not be its official name) right now, with the expected specs only likely to arrive in the run-up to the launch.
But the arrival of the Sony ZV-1F last year, and our own experiences with the ZV-1, have given us a good idea of the kind of things we'd like to see in the ZV-1's successor. So here's our wishlist of five features and changes that could make it the best cheap vlogging camera for fledgling YouTubers.
5 things we'd like to see in a Sony ZV-1 Mark II
1. A wider main lens
One of the biggest restrictions of the Sony ZV-1 was that its lens was just slightly too tight for handheld vlogging, particularly when you factored in a crop while using Active SteadyShot stabilization.
The Sony ZV-1F improved on this with a fixed 20mm f/2 lens. We'd like to see this lens on the ZV-1 or an even wider zoom equivalent, given the current model's 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens does give you some compositional flexibility.
Given that no previous camera in Sony's RX100 series (which the ZV compacts are based on) had a lens that was wider than 24mm, we'd say the 20mm fixed prime is the most likely, but something even wider would be ideal.
2. New touchscreen menus
Another improvement that we enjoyed on the ZV-1F was that it has Sony's latest menu system, which includes some smartphone-style touchscreen tricks. You can swipe up from the bottom of the screen to use frequently-used settings or tap the screen's control icons to change aperture.
We'd like to see Sony lean even harder into this, giving the ZV-1 Mark II a true smartphone-style feel that has the speed and responsiveness of a smartphone like the Sony Xperia 1 Mark IV. That would be a boon for both beginners and more advanced shooters, particularly as the ZV-1 lacked touchscreen menus.
3. Better webcam powers
The Sony ZV-1 ultimately managed to get webcam powers with a firmware update, but its quality was hampered by a disappointing 720p maximum resolution.
We'd like to see this bumped up to at least 1080p on a ZV-1 Mark II, given that resolution comes as standard on the best webcams. If Sony adds some of its latest face-tracking autofocus – perhaps even some of the AI-powered tricks seen on the Sony A7R V – that could help make it the best vlogging-webcam combo around.
4. Less rolling shutter
One of the video quality weaknesses of the Sony ZV-1 and ZV-1F is some noticeable 'rolling shutter', which can make straight lines in your scene (like signposts and buildings) look wonky if you pan the camera quickly from side to side.
This could be fixed by pairing a sensor with faster read-out speeds with a newer Bionz XR processor, which is what we'd like to see in a ZV-1 Mark II. Could Sony even go bigger than the 1-inch sensor in the ZV-1? That would also be welcome, though it would be a break with tradition for this size of Sony camera.
5. 10-bit color depth
Now that even the GoPro Hero 11 Black offers 10-bit color depth, it seems reasonable to expect it on a modern Sony vlogging camera. That wasn't the case on the ZV-1 or even the Sony ZV-E10, but we'd expect Sony to offer the feature on a ZV-1 Mark II.
The benefit of 10-bit color is that it gives you a far wider range of shades to edit with when doing color grading – so while it's a relatively advanced feature, it would give the ZV-1 Mark II a wider appeal than the more beginner-friendly ZV-1F.