In today’s digital world, vlogging has evolved. It is no longer a requirement to have an expensive video recorder. Instead, most vloggers use compact or mirrorless cameras.
In fact, many cameras are now capable of recording 4K video and can create professional-grade footage. But which vlogging camera is best? In this article, we take a careful look at two popular vlogging options, the Canon M50 Mark II vs Sony ZV-1 – and we determine which camera is right for your needs.
Canon M50 Mark II vs Sony ZV-1: Overview
Before we jump into the Canon M50 Mark II vs Sony ZV-1 comparison, let’s explore a brief overview of each camera and its pros and cons.
Canon EOS M50 Mark II
The M50 Mark II offers a 24.1 MP sensor and 4K/24p recording, combined with useful features for stationary vlogging.
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is the second iteration of the popular M50 mirrorless camera. It’s gained a range of improvements and remains a popular camera for vlogging. The camera features a large 24.1 MP CMOS sensor and can record at 4K/24p. This makes it suitable for both still photography and video recording.
For vlogging, it benefits from a fully rotatable touchscreen and a relatively compact design. Overall, though, this camera may be better suited for stationary vlogging or vlogging in a studio environment. This is because it is larger and heavier than the Sony ZV-1 (not even considering the interchangeable lenses). The addition of interchangeable lenses does, however, improve the versatility of this camera for vlogging. It also has some useful connectivity features such as being able to stream directly to YouTube.
The Sony ZV-1 is compact and lightweight and better suited for active vlogging where you move frequently.
The Sony ZV-1 is a compact camera that has no predecessor – it is the first of its kind and has been marketed particularly for vlogging. This is due to its excellent 4K/30p recording capabilities, plus its small and lightweight size. For travel vlogging or vlogging on the go, this camera is a great choice, and it will certainly give you great versatility for your recordings.
It has a 20 MP CMOS sensor, which is good but not great in low light. Also, some vloggers may not like the lack of interchangeable lenses, in which case you’ll appreciate the M50 Mark II more. However, despite these two minor drawbacks, it is a well-rounded camera that is perfect for active and adventurous vlogs.
Canon M50 Mark II vs Sony ZV-1: A Comparison
To give you a clear comparison between these two vlogging cameras, we’ve broken the head-to-head into different categories. First, we look at the technical specs. We then delve into specific feature comparisons that are relevant for vlogging.
It is important to have a clear understanding of the basic technical specifications of these cameras. From this, you can gain some idea of how each camera will perform. It also paints a picture relating to the utility and versatility of the camera. The following are the basic tech specs for both the M50 Mark II and the ZV-1:
Canon EOS M50 Mark II Specifications
- Sensor: 24.1 MP CMOS
- Image Stabilization: N/A
- Zoom: N/A
- Optical Design: 10 elements in 9 groups
- ISO Sensitivity: 100 to 25600 (100 to 51200 extended)
- Shutter Speed: 1/4000 to 30 seconds
- Continuous Shooting: 10 fps at 24.1 MP
- Video: 4K at 24fps, 1080p at 60fps, 720p at 120fps
- Audio: Built-in stereo microphone
- Viewfinder: 2.36M-dot EVF
- Screen: 3-inch touchscreen; around 1 M-dot
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
- Size: 4.6 x 3.5 x 2.3 in/116.3 x 88.1 x 58.7 mm
- Weight: 13.7 oz /387 g
- Sensor: 20.1 MP CMOS
- Image Stabilization: Digital, optical
- Zoom: 2.7x optical, 16.3x digital
- Optical Design: 10 elements in 9 groups
- ISO Sensitivity: 100 to 12800 (64 to 25600 extended)
- Shutter Speed: 1/2000s to 30 seconds (mechanical)
- Continuous Shooting: 24 fps at 20.1 MP
- Video: 4K/30fps, 1080p/120fps
- Audio: Built-in stereo microphone
- Viewfinder: N/A
- Screen: 3-inch LCD touchscreen; 921,600 dots
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
- Size: 4.15 x 2.36 x 1.71 in/105.5 x 60 x 43.5 mm
- Weight: 10.37 oz/294 g
From this, we can see some immediate differences. For example, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is a slightly larger and heavier camera. You will also notice that the M50 has a higher ISO range and should therefore be superior for low-light vlogging.
In contrast, the Sony ZV-1 appears to have better overall recording resolutions, as it can capture full HD at 120 fps, whereas the M50 can only shoot at 120 fps at 720p. One other main difference to note is that the Sony ZV-1 has a fixed lens – this may limit its versatility somewhat compared to the Canon, which has access to a range of native EF-M lenses and EF lenses via an adapter.
Design and usability for vlogging
When choosing a camera for vlogging, you should consider the design and usability. How suitable are the camera shape and features for video? Does it have a rotatable screen? Is it easy to carry and store? We look at these aspects of the Canon M50 Mark II vs Sony ZV-1 comparison below.
First, let’s look at the body shape and size. Both cameras are relatively small compared to full-frame DSLR cameras. However, the Sony ZV-1 is smaller and lighter than the M50 Mark II. It weighs nearly 3.5 oz less and is smaller, too (mainly due to the lack of a lens mount). The ZV-1 also has a design that is more like a traditional point-and-shoot camera.
As a result, the Sony ZV-1 is better suited for vlogging on the go when you need to move around and when you want something that is more portable.
While the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is much smaller than full-frame DSLR cameras, it is the bulkier and heavier choice. Its overall weight depends largely on the attached lens, too. As a result, this camera is better for studio vlogging or vlogging in situations where you are operating the camera from a fixed location.
Something else to consider is that the ZV-1 also has USB charging. This makes it far more convenient to charge than the M50 Mark II, especially for travel vlogging.
As a vlogger, the camera screen is essential. You want a versatile screen that you can use in a variety of ways. Luckily, both cameras have an LCD touchscreen that can be fully tilted and rotated. You can pull the screens outwards and flip them 180-degrees – this is practically a requirement for vlogging today. This 180-degree rotation allows you to watch and review footage as you record it.
Aside from the movement, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II does have a higher resolution screen. While the Sony ZV-1 has a resolution of 921,600 dots, the M50 Mark II has a resolution of 1,040,000 dots. This means that videos previewed on the M50 Mark II will look slightly better. The difference may not be huge, however, and the main point is that both cameras have fully rotatable touchscreens.
Video Quality and Shooting Modes
Now onto one of the most important factors: video quality. The great thing about these cameras is that they both offer 4K recording. However, there are some differences and these should affect your decision.
The Sony ZV-1 can record 4K/30 fps whereas the M50 Mark II can only record at 4K/24 fps. This does make a difference to the overall quality.
Also, for the 4K recording, Sony’s Phase-Detect AF works great. In contrast, the M50 Mark II has a decent AF system, but it cannot Canon’s amazing Dual Pixel AF.
Thanks to the larger sensor of the M50 Mark II, it is the superior choice for low-light and nighttime vlogging. The 24MP CMOS sensor compared to the 20MP CMOS sensor does make a difference and it just allows for better low-light video performance.
For high-speed and slow-motion recording, the Sony ZV-1 has the edge. It can record full 1080p HF at 120 fps without any crop and full audio. In contrast, the M50 Mark II can only record 120 fps at 720p. In addition, when shooting in this mode, you lose audio and the recording is cropped.
We should also consider direct recording modes and any streaming options. In this category, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II has a slight edge. This is because it allows you to stream directly to YouTube for live vlogs, which makes it one of the best cameras for YouTube videos. You can also use the camera as a webcam via a USB connection. In contrast, the Sony ZV-1 has no live streaming capabilities.
Availability of Lenses
When looking at the Canon M50 Mark II vs Sony ZV-1, some consideration must be given to the lenses.
As previously mentioned, this could be a major determining factor since the Sony ZV-1 has a fixed lens. This means you cannot purchase interchangeable lenses for it. Its lens has an equivalent focal length of 24-70m. It also features an aperture range of f/1.8 to f/11. The aperture range is fine and is versatile enough for a range of different video compositions. However, some may feel that the focal range and lack of interchangeable lenses limit what you can achieve with the Sony ZV-1.
In contrast, the M50 Mark II has access to hundreds of high-quality Canon and third-party lenses. You can utilize the various native EF-M lenses or use the EOS M adapter to expand your options and use the wide range of EF lenses.
If you want to create specialist vlogs with specific camera angles and framing, the M50 provides a far better choice to do this via its lens accessibility.
Having a range of connectivity methods is also useful when vlogging. If you have a camera that has Wi-Fi, for example, you can download footage to your smartphone to start editing and using it immediately.
Both the Canon EOS M50 Mark II and the Sony ZV-1 have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. For transferals and video management, Canon users have access to the Camera Connect smartphone app. This is a decent app that allows you to connect your camera to your smartphone. This app works well and is worth the slightly lengthy setup process for added freedom and flexibility.
Sony users can utilize the Imaging Edge Mobile app. This is a similar app to Camera Connect.
Which Is the Best Camera for Vlogging in 2021: Our Verdict
So which camera wins in our Canon M50 Mark II vs Sony ZV-1 comparison? In truth, both make excellent cameras for vlogging. However, which camera is right for you depends on your type of vlogging and the type of videos you intend to create.
For active content such as travel vlogs, the Sony ZV-1 is the better option. This is because it is far more portable and compact. You could easily mount it on a monopod or selfie stick to create vlogs as you explore a location, for example. This is complemented by the USB charging and the variety of 4K recording options.
In contrast, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is better suited for single location vlogs. For example, if you have a recording setup in your home or you use a studio. This is because it has better low-light performance. Also, you can utilize the interchangeable lenses easier to create different cinematic styles and visually impressive results.
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