In the never-ending arms race between the major camera manufacturers like Canon, Sony, Panasonic, and more. Like always, the chase always seems to be about boosting the pixel count as much as possible. 

As we saw with Canon’s 8K capable R5 camera, the market is usually impressed by the highest number, even if other issues and lower frame-per-second rates aren’t as much up to snuff.

With that in mind, it’s interesting to see Sony so quickly go back to one of its more popular cameras to boost up its recording rate instead of trying to just focus on adding more “K’s” to its spec sheet.

Let’s take a look at the Sony ZV-E1 to review what it offers and explore how this new 4K 120p video recording update might actually matter to any interested content creators or filmmakers.

The Sony ZV-E1

As we covered when the Sony ZV-E1 was first announced, the ZV-E1 comes with the same 12.1MP Full-Frame CMOS Exmor R Sensor which you’ll find in the Sony FX3—a camera that costs almost $2,000 more. 

“With this new upgrade, the ZV-E1 joins a roster of Sony cameras featuring 4K 120p video recording, including the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III, and the FX6, FX3, and FX30 from Sony’s Cinema Line. This feature enables faster high-speed frame rate video recording, resulting in smooth slow-motion footage that is five times slower than standard 24fps, highlighting Sony’s commitment to providing groundbreaking technology for all creators.” — Sony

With this sensor and a more compact design, the ZV-E1 has unsurprisingly been a hugely popular camera for a wide range of content creators, videographers, and filmmakers who might have been interested in a higher-end Sony cinema camera, but wanted to be more judicious with their budgets.

A white and black sony ZV-E1 vlog cameraSony ZV-E1Credit: Sony

Why 4K 120p Video Matters

Now, there are a few things that are quite notable about this new update. For one, this new upgrade is also set to include Full HD at 240 fps along with the ability to now record 4K video at up to 120 frames per second, both new specs which drastically increase the camera’s ability to shoot more impactful slow-motion.

It’s also interesting to note that this new free update is downloadable through its new Creators’ Cloud platform, which is Sony’s hybrid creators’ ecosystem and social network of sorts.

Regarding the 4K at 120p though, Sony has confirmed that this new recording level is only going to be available with the Long GOP inter-frame compression mode, whereas the Full HD 240p mode is going to be accessible through the S&Q mode.

Updated Sony ZV-E1 Specs and Pricing

Ultimately though, this free upgrade should be appealing to content creators who want to truly feel like they got a high-quality cinema camera at a cheaper mirrorless camera price point. With these new high frame rate recording options, the Sony ZV-E1 just took another step forward to offer that solution for filmmakers and content creators who might want to save a couple of thousand dollars.

Here are the (newly updated) full specs for the Sony ZV-E1 and price point:

  • Designed for Content Creators
  • 12MP Full-Frame Exmor R CMOS Sensor
  • UHD 4K 120p / FHD 240p / 10-Bit 4:2:2
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot Image Stabilization
  • 15+ Stops Dynamic Range, AI Auto-Framing
  • Multi-Face Recognition, Time-Lapse
  • Product Showcase Setting
  • S-Log3, S-Gamut3, S-Cinetone, User LUTs
  • Extended ISO 80-409,600
  • Internal Mic + Inputs, USB Streaming

Price: $2,198.00

You can download the free update for your Sony ZV-E1 here.

How do you feel about this new 4K 120p video update coming to the Sony ZV-E1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.