Panasonic Lumix S5II initial review

(Pocket-lint) – We were seriously impressed with the Lumix S5 when it launched back in 2020, and now Panasonic is back with a new and improved version.

To be clear, the S5II isn’t replacing the S5, but will instead be available alongside it as a more premium option.

As much as we love the brand’s cameras, there’s been one ever-present issue with Panasonic’s offerings: the lacklustre autofocus performance.

That all changes with the S5II, and the introduction of its new phase hybrid autofocus system.

So, has Panasonic hit the nail on the head and created one of the best cameras to buy today? On paper, it certainly seems like it.

We got the chance to take the new camera on a stroll around the picturesque streets of Valencia, and here’s what we found out.

Our quick take

We’ve only spent a brief amount of time with the Panasonic Lumix S5II, and it was using pre-release firmware, so we’ll hold off on giving our verdict until we see the final product.

However, what we can say, is that this is a seriously impressive piece of equipment.

The image stabilisation is superb and the new phase hybrid autofocus system puts this offering head and shoulders above the brand’s other cameras.

As usual, there’s an incredible amount of options that can be configured for both photo and video shooting.

The chassis, while familiar, is as robust and comfortable as ever.

We’ll need to test it more thoroughly before giving it a rating, but we think it’s shaping up to be one of the best mirrorless cameras on the market.

Panasonic Lumix S5II initial review: The camera we've been waiting for?

  • Impressive phase hybrid autofocus system
  • Excellent image stabilisation
  • Improved EVF
  • 6K video capture
  • 30 fps bursts with 200 frame buffer

  • No high frame-rate video in 4K
  • A bit pricier than its predecessor



  • Dimensions: 134.3 x 102.3 x 90.1 mm
  • Weight: 740g
  • New 8-direction joystick

The S5II has a very similar look and feel to its predecessor. The button layout remains unchanged, as do the materials and colours used on the camera’s body.

The spec sheet tells us that it’s actually slightly larger in all dimensions, as well as being about 26 grams heavier, but if you aren’t holding them side by side, you’d never be able to tell. The only obvious change is the S5II badge on the front of the camera.

Most of the changes are performance-oriented and found on the inside of the camera, with the exception of a new 8-direction joystick. This is found in the same position as the 4-direction joystick on the original S5.

We tend to use the touchscreen more frequently than the joystick, but if you spend a lot of time looking through the EVF, you’ll no doubt be pleased with this improvement. We believe it can also be assigned to eight function buttons, but this wasn’t something that we had time to try during our quick session with the camera.

Connectivity and displays

  • Full-size HDMI, USB-C, Headphone and Mic sockets
  • Dual SD card slots, 1x UHS-II and 1x UHS-I
  • 3,680k OLED LVF and 1,840k flip-out LCD

Starting with connectivity, things remain functionally very similar, as well. Thankfully, though, this model ditches the micro HDMI in favour of a full-sized HDMI port – very welcome news for those who use an external monitor. 

There’s a USB-C port which has been upgraded to USB 3.2, and separate 3.5mm headphone and mic sockets. When the screen is flipped out, neither of the 3.5mm jacks or USB-C get in the way of the articulation – however, the HDMI will get blocked, which is no big deal in the majority of cases. 

Around the other side, we find dual SD card slots, just like the S5. These have been upgraded, too, both are now UHS-II compatible, whereas the S5 only features a single UHS-II slot.

The other big news is a new and improved OLED EVF. This looks great, it’s very sharp and smooth, and it made it very easy to dial in our settings and frame our shots. We weren’t able to test it side-by-side with the S5, so it’s hard to say exactly how much it has improved, but from memory, this is certainly a step up.

The flip-out LCD appears to be the same as its predecessor, but no complaints there, it’s very responsive and is easy to see in a variety of lighting conditions.

Photo performance

  • New 24.2MP sensor with IBIS and Active I.S.
  • Phase hybrid AF, 779-point
  • Up to 30fps burst shooting with 200 frame buffer

We were really pleased with the photos we were able to capture on the Lumix S5II. The images are sharp and detailed, while the colours are natural and lifelike. The RAW files hold up to some serious colour grading, and the JPEGs don’t fare too poorly, either.

Shooting on the S5II is a breeze, the new autofocus is fast and reliable and the subject tracking works excellently, even in challenging conditions like a busy city street. We had a little less luck with animal eye detection and some pigeons, but they weren’t staying still for very long at all – human detection was near-flawless.

We should note that we were testing a pre-release firmware, too, so there’s every chance that the autofocus system will be tweaked and improved prior to the retail launch. We’ll be sure to do some more thorough testing once we can get our mitts on a production sample.

Being long-time users of cameras like the GH5, we found the menu system and button layout to be familiar and intuitive. One of Panasonic’s strongest features is the degree to which you can configure and remap buttons to suit your specific needs, and we’re massive fans of this. Though, for those less familiar with the system, we can imagine the sheer breadth of options being a little overwhelming.

We were extremely impressed with the upgraded image stabilisation system, and though it may be of the most benefit to video shooters, it’s excellent for photography, too. We were able to take up to one-second long exposure shots, handheld, with tack-sharp results. Impressive stuff.

Most of our shooting was during the daytime, or with well-lit interiors, so we didn’t get to push the ISO too far, but early signs are looking good. Shots at ISO 3200 are still very clean and usable, with only a slight increase in graininess.

A key feature of the S5II is its ability to shoot at up to 30fps bursts with the electronic shutter. This is a massive improvement over the meagre 7fps offered by the S5, but it was another thing that we didn’t have much opportunity to play with. After all, photos of architecture don’t really require such bursts. We’re looking forward to playing with this more on the final sample.

Video performance

  • 6K recording at up to 30fps in 4:2:0 10-bit
  • 4K recording at up to 60fps in 4:2:2 10-bit
  • Unlimited recording time and onboard LUTs

During the few hours we spent with the camera, we didn’t dive too deeply into the video functionality, but the small amount of footage that we captured looks excellent.

The stabilisation is great, the autofocus is brilliant, especially when it comes to tracking faces, and there’s a wealth of resolutions, bit rates and codecs to choose from.

You don’t get Apple ProRes options on the S5II, but there’s another version, the S5IIX, launching around June 2023 that will have these included. It’ll cost a bit extra but otherwise seems to be an almost identical camera.

We were a little disappointed that there are no high-frame rate 4K options (except for 60fps) but if you want slow motion, you can drop down to 1080p and shoot at up to 180fps. 

The resolutions and frame rates that support 4:2:2 10-bit colour have been expanded significantly on this model, and that includes Cinema 4K at 60fps.

There are no recording limitations whatsoever, and the cooling has apparently been tested at 40 degrees Celsius, which is far too warm for our British bodies. So, hopefully, we won’t be seeing any temperature warnings that so often plague high-spec mirrorless shooters.

The S5II’s internal audio recording now supports up to 96kHz / 24-bit LPCM and can record four-track audio, when used with Panasonic’s XLR adapter.


To recap

We haven’t spent long enough with the S5II to deliver a full verdict, but first impressions are very positive. If the camera holds up to more rigorous testing, it might just be Panasonic’s best camera so far.

Writing by Luke Baker.

Panasonic launches the Lumix S5II and S5IIX

(Pocket-lint) – We love Panasonic’s mirrorless cameras, they’re some of the most feature-rich and configurable cameras on the market.

However, there’s always been one thing that lets the system down, and that’s the brand’s reliance on contrast-based autofocus.

That’s all about to change, as Panasonic has announced its latest full-frame mirrorless bodies, and they feature phase hybrid autofocus for the first time.

The Lumix S5II is the successor to 2020’s Lumix S5, but it won’t replace it entirely, it will instead run alongside as a more premium option.


The S5IIX is launching later this year and is aimed at video professionals, it adds Apple ProRes codecs to the mix along with live streaming features – but is otherwise essentially the same camera.

Both boast a brand-new 24-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and imaging engine while remaining compatible with the existing range of Lumix S lenses.

The new engine allows for internal 6K 4:2:0 10-bit recording and 4K 4:2:2 10-bit at up to 60fps.

A new heat management system allows for unlimited recording times, without significantly increasing the size of the camera.

There’s high-speed recording, at up to 180fps, but this is limited to 1080p.

PanasonicPanasonic launches the Lumix S5II and S5IIX with phase hybrid autofocus photo 3

A 14+ stop V-Log profile is included as standard on both models, and a new real-time LUT function enables you to directly apply your grade in-camera.

For photographers, you can now shoot at up to 30fps burst with the electronic shutter, a vast improvement over the original S5.

Meanwhile, upgraded active image stabilisation benefits in both photo and video shooting – compensating as much as 200 per cent compared to conventional stabilisation.

Another small but important upgrade is the switch to a full-size HDMI port, monitor users rejoice.

The Lumix S5II will be available later this month at the competitive price of $1999 / £1999 / €2199.


The Lumix S5IIX is launching in the Spring and will go for $2199 / £2299 / €2499.

Writing by Luke Baker.

Nintendo teams up with Fujifilm Instax for Splatoon fun

(Pocket-lint) – Nintendo doesn’t team up with just anyone, but it’s decided that Fujifilm’s Instax brand is an interesting enough one to warrant a cool-looking partnership.

The key launch in a new app, Fujifilm Instax Mini Link for Nintendo Switch, which will let users easily print off Switch screenshots using a Mini Link or Mini Link 2 printer.

It’s not just prints, though – you’ll be able to add frames and filters based on Nintendo’s games from Animal Crossing: New Horizons to Splatoon 3.

That latter title is the most central, seemingly, because a new version of the Instax Mini Link 2 is being released including a Splatoon 3-themed silicone grip that’s nice and funky.


The app doesn’t launch until 19 January 2023 for both iOS and Android, while the bundle with the Splatoon 3 case will cost a little more than the regular camera, at £129.99.

That means it’s probably only worth it for big Nintendo fans, although the case might also offer some added protection if you’re planning to use the printer while out and about.

Having used the Mini Link 2 over a few months, it’s a pretty slick way to get Instax prints that are a little more reliable than a true instant camera, and is small enough to be really convenient to store or pack for travel.


Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.

Panasonic Lumix S5II vs Panasonic Lumix S5: What’s new?

(Pocket-lint) – Panasonic’s latest full-frame camera has hit the scene, and it brings with it some highly sought-after features. 

The Lumix S5II boasts a new autofocus system, better stabilisation and more – it’s undoubtedly got many Panasonic fans scrambling for their pocketbook.

However, the S5II isn’t here to replace the S5 completely, it will instead run alongside the older product as a more premium option.

Then, in the summer, we’ll get an even more premium model, called the S5IIX.

So, should you upgrade to the newer model? Let’s take a look at what’s changed.



  • Lumix S5II – 134.3 x 102.3 x 90.1 mm, 740g
  • Lumix S5 – 132.6 x 97.1 x 81.9 mm, 714g
  • Lumix S5II – New 8-direction joystick, Improved OLED EVF, Full-size HDMI


At a glance, the two cameras are almost identical, aside from the badge on the front. But, if you look a little closer, there are some subtle differences between them.

The S5II is slightly larger than the S5 in all dimensions, and it’s about 26 grams heavier, too. It’s not very noticeable unless you hold the cameras side-by-side, but it’s something to consider.

Pocket-lintPanasonic Lumix S5II vs Panasonic Lumix S5: What's new? photo 10

Another change is the joystick, which is in the same position as before but has been bumped from supporting 4-direction to 8-direction inputs. This will make adjusting your focus point much smoother, and presumably, you can assign each direction to a custom function, if you really need more.

The EVF has been upgraded from 2360K 0.74x to 3680K 0.78x, and it appears sharper and smoother than the viewfinder on the original S5.

Both SD card slots on the S5II support UHS-II speeds, whereas the S5 has one UHS-I slot and one UHS-II slot.

Pocket-lintPanasonic Lumix S5II vs Panasonic Lumix S5: What's new? photo 11

Finally, the HDMI port has been upgraded to a full-sized connector, rather than the micro HDMI on the S5. This is massively welcome news for anyone who relies on external recorders, on-camera monitors or works with live broadcasts.

Photography features

  • Both: 24.2MP stills /  96MP high resolution mode
  • Lumix S5II: Burst shooting: 30fps electronic shutter / Up to 9fps mechanical
  • Lumix S5: Burst Shooting: Up to 7fps (AFS) or 5fps (AFC)
  • Lumix S5 II: 779-point phase hybrid autofocus, IBIS and Active IS

The big change with the S5II, is the move to a phase hybrid autofocus system, along with improved in-body image stabilisation. While it’s true that these features will be most appealing for video use, they’re still massively beneficial for photographers, too.

Pocket-lintPanasonic Lumix S5II vs Panasonic Lumix S5: What's new? photo 6

The S5II has an improved processing engine, too, and this allows for blazing-fast 30fps burst shooting, up from a meagre 7fps on the S5. This is sure to excite sports and wildlife photographers, in particular.

What’s also impressive is the buffer, which allows for 200 shots in RAW before throttling. That’s a full 6-seconds of uninterrupted 30fps burst shooting.

Video features

  • Lumix S5II: Up to 6K 30fps, 4K 60fps in 4:2:2 10-bit
  • Lumix S5:  Up to 4K 60fps in 4:2:0 8-bit, 4K 30fps in 4:2:2 10-bit
  • Lumix S5 II: 779-point phase hybrid autofocus, IBIS and Active IS
  • Lumix S5: 225-area contrast AF, 5-axis IBIS

When it comes to video shooting, we’ve jumped from a maximum of 4K resolution recording to being able to shoot at 6K and 5.9K in 4:2:0 10-bit. Most users won’t be looking to deliver at these resolutions, but it allows you to punch in during post-production for 4K delivery, which is super handy.

Pocket-lintPanasonic Lumix S5II vs Panasonic Lumix S5: What's new? photo 5

In Cinema 4K, you can now record 4:2:2 10-bit internally, at up to 60fps, whereas it maxed out at 30fps on the S5 – unless you dropped down to 8-bit. 

Audio recording has seen improvements, too, jumping from a maximum of 48kHz/16-bit to 96kHz/24-bit. You can also record four-track audio in camera when using Panasonic’s XLR adapter (which is sold separately).

These are all nice to have, but it’s the phase detect autofocus that’s the real selling point here. It’s worlds ahead of the contrast-based system on the S5. We only got to test it for a short time, but we could instantly see superior results. It’s a game-changer for Panasonic.

In addition, improvements to the in-camera image stabilisation sweeten the deal. The S5II has one of the best-performing IBIS systems for full-frame that we’ve seen so far.

Pocket-lintPanasonic Lumix S5II vs Panasonic Lumix S5: What's new? photo 3

If you drop the resolution down to 1080p, you can record up to 180fps slow motion on both cameras. However, the S5 limits you to 8-bit colour in this mode, whereas the S5II can shoot in 10-bit 4:2:0. 


Pricing and verdict

  • Lumix S5II MSRP: $1999 / €2199 / £1999
  • Lumix S5 MSRP: $1699 / €1699 / £1699

The Panasonic Lumix S5II comes at a significantly higher price than the S5, especially when you consider that the S5 can often be found on sale below its MSRP. That said, both of these cameras are competitively priced, undercutting most of the competition.

For most people, the amazing new autofocus system alone will be well worth the price of entry, not to mention all of the other improvements that we’ve covered in this article.

Simply put, the S5II is the superior camera, and if you can afford it, it’s likely the one to go for.

Even still, the original S5 is an incredible camera, and if you’re the type of shooter who doesn’t rely on autofocus so much, and you see it on sale for a good price, it could be the right one for you.

Writing by Luke Baker.

Pixii’s 2023 camera is the first to use a 64-bit processor

(Pocket-lint) – French company Pixii has announced that its latest digital rangefinder camera is the world’s first to sport a 64-bit processor.

The new camera, simply designated as the 2023 model and carrying the model number A2572, starts at around $2800 / €2,699.00 and is already sold out until late January 2023. But Pixii says that the new 64-bit processor and other smarts mean that this model is the first to be able to take “true” monochrome DNG images.

The chip involved here is apparently a quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 affair with a dual-core GPU. This all means processing power of up to 7GPixels/s thanks to dedicated NPU and VPU cores. Pixii has also paired all of that with the same 26-megapixel APS-C sensor that it has been using for a few years at this point.


Alongside the new processor, Pixii also says that “storage speed gets a huge boost” with photos captured “at the speed of a click”. Support for Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) has also been added to this new version.

In the grand scheme of things, this all amounts to a camera that Pixii reckons can process images up to 10 times faster than older models while transfer speeds have also been given a bump – they’re now claimed to be up to three times faster than before.

If all that sounds good, it should! But the initial allocation of cameras is long gone, and one that will ship in the middle of January of next year is sold out as well. That means that you can put your money down now if you like, but you won’t see anything in return until the end of January 2023, unfortunately.

Writing by Oliver Haslam.

EE Pocket-lint Awards 2022: Camera of the year

(Pocket-lint) – In 2022, we saw a huge number of cameras come to market, from large prosumer mirrorless options to tiny action cameras and everything in between.

We’ve seen everything from stunning 8K capture to extremely fast burst-shooting. Many manufacturers are beginning to adopt pro-grade codecs in their consumer cameras, too.

Higher bitrates and larger sensors are finding their way into the most compact of cameras, and it’s certainly an exciting time to be an imaging enthusiast.

This all meant that we had a plethora of excellent contenders for this year’s EE Pocket-lint Awards, but in the end, there could only be one winner.

Camera of the year: Panasonic Lumix GH6



The long-awaited GH6 takes everything we loved about the GH5 and cranks it up a notch. Panasonic’s video-focused flagship is now capable of recording at a wide variety of frame rates including 4k 120fps, 1080p 300fps and a staggering 5.7K at 60fps. If you love slow motion, this is one of the top options available today.

The compact beast allows you to record ProRes internally, too, making it a serious production tool that’s available at a fraction of the cost of most cinema cameras. HLG and full V-Log recording are available right out of the box, at no additional cost, cementing the GH6’s standing as a serious professional tool. 

As usual, Panasonic’s image stabilisation is best-in-class, meaning you can often do away with the gimbal and still record gorgeously smooth footage. For video makers, it’s undoubtedly one of the best bodies on the market today.

Highly Commended: Sony A7 IV


It may not have quite taken our top spot, but the Sony A7 IV is a seriously impressive camera that deserves fanfare. 

Its full-frame sensor produces gorgeous images, no matter the lighting conditions, and its autofocus abilities are among the best around.

Whereas our winner has a heavy focus on video recording, the Sony A7 IV excels equally at photography and video, making it a top option for hybrid shooters.

The best of the rest

While Pansonic and Sony took our top spots this year, the competition was close and our other contenders brought some serious features to the table.

The DJI Osmo Action 3 returned to its GoPro-style form factor and brought with it an excellent magnetic mounting system and a handy front-facing touchscreen. The Fujifilm X-H2 impressed with its extremely high-resolution APS-C sensor, performing exceptionally in both photo and video modes. The GoPro Hero 11 Black introduced 10-bit colour and a unique sensor that allows for some really creative shooting. And finally, the Insta360 X3 refined the brand’s top 360 camera, making huge strides in photography whilst massively improving low-light performance and usability.

What are the Pocket-lint Awards?

The EE Pocket-lint Awards take place annually to celebrate the best of tech from the previous 12 months. Products need to be fully reviewed by the Pocket-lint team to be considered for the Awards, with judging taking place towards the end of the year. Through a process of longlisting and shortlisting, the panel of expert judges scores the devices to result in the overall winner and a Highly Commended runner-up.

The Pocket-lint Awards was run for 19th time in 2022.

Writing by Luke Baker. Editing by Chris Hall.

Canon EOS R6 Mk II is its fastest full-frame mirrorless camera

(Pocket-lint) – Canon has unveiled what it claims to be its “fastest advanced full-frame mirrorless camera”, the EOS R6 Mark II.

Boasting a newly-formed 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and the same DIGIC X processor tech found in the EOS-1D X Mark III, the camera also supports the brand’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF II autofocus engine.

This enables it to track subjects as they move through a scene in real time. It can also, through AI, recognise people, vehicles (including aircraft and trains), and animals – ensuring that they are kept in focus respectively.

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II can shoot continuously at up to 40 frames-per-second. A RAW burst mode is also capable of shooting at up to 30fps for up to 191 frames.


Video can be recorded at up to 4K 60p, with the camera oversampling the sensor’s 6K output to ensure crisp images. Over 40 minutes of 4K 60p footage can be recorded without overloading the camera. That can be increased to 6 hours for 4K 30p video – all depending on your memory card, battery life, and ambient temperature.

Slow motion video is also possible, at up to 179.82fps at Full HD (1080p).

Bluetooth 5.0 and 5GHz Wi-Fi connectivity is on-board, which enables the camera to connect to a smartphone or other wireless sharing system. It can also be tethered through high-speed USB-C. And, it can even be used as a webcam on a PC or Mac (which would be a bit overkill, but each to their own).

Available soon, the Canon EOS R6 Mark II can be pre-ordered and will be priced at $2,499 / £2,779.99 / €3,149.99 for the body only, £3,129.99 / €3,549.99 with an RF 24-105 F4-7.1 IS STM lens, or £3,999.99 / €4,549.99 with an RF 24-105 F4L IS USM lens.


Writing by Rik Henderson.

Fujifilm X-T5 is has launched, and it sounds epic

(Pocket-lint) – Fujifilm has unveiled its latest addition to the X-series camera range, and this one adds some serious photography and video capabilities to its usual classic, retro camera design. 

For the past few years, the X-T model has been a stunning example of combining great photography and video skills with a classic look, and the X-T5 is no different. 

This latest model is built around a 40.2-megapixel CMOS sensor which – when combined with Fujifilm’s image processing engine – delivers sharp images with great colour and depth, and little noise. Plus, it can even recognise and quickly focus on animals, birds, people and other popular subjects. 


The sensor is stabilised too. Fujifilm’s latest high-end consumer camera offers up to seven stops of stabilisation with its 5-axis IBIS system, which should ensure no hand-shake will render your photos or video ruined. 

Videographers are well-catered for too, with up to 6.2K resolution video at 30fps, or a 4K mode which oversamples the 6.2K footage to offer really sharp 4K content. This with 4:2:2 10-bit colour depth, which should mean video editors – particularly those who do a lot colour correction or grading work – should be very happy. 

Add that to the fact you can record externally on to an Atomos HDMI device with 12-bit Apple ProRes RAW at 6.2K/30, and you get a lot of flexibility from a camera company that typically focuses mostly on still photography. 

Like previous models, the body has dedicated dials for ISO, shutter speed and exposure comp, giving you easy access to the settings you need the most. And this in a camera body that weighs 50 grams less than the X-T4 that came before it. 

It’s also got a new tilting display with three-way tilting, but sadly not a true flip-out screen. It can’t face forwards, but it can be used in different angles, including low shots in portrait orientation. This 1.84 million dot LCD screen is joined by a 3.69 million dot internal EVF. 

As is seemingly the norm now for high end mirrorless cameras, the X-T5 has two SD card slots on the right side, plus the a collection of ports on the left which includes a USB-C for transfer and charging, HDMI out a remote shutte port and 3.5mm port for microphones. 

The Fujifilm X-T5 is expected to hit store shelves on 17 November, and will be available in black or silver with a price of $1699.95 body only in the US, or £1699 in the UK. 


Writing by Cam Bunton.

Sony ZV-1F review: For the content creators

(Pocket-lint) – Sony’s camera launches have become increasingly more targeted and niche over the past few years as it seeks to offer cameras to cater to all manner of specific use cases and customers. Among those is the ZV range, which is its smallest video-centric camera line. 

Its latest model in that range is the most budget-friendly: the ZV-1F. Its aim is to bridge the gap between a smartphone and ‘proper’ camera, giving you better quality and more functionality than your phone, but making it as easy as possible to make that transition. Has it worked though? 

Our quick take

In the end, the impression we get from the ZV-1F is that it’s a camera for aspiring content creators. If you want to try vlogging – either for TikTok or Youtube – or if you want to try your hand at live-streaming from a desktop gaming PC, or if you want to try it all and not have to invest in lots of different cameras, the ZV-1F is like a gateway into that world. 

Image quality – overall – is better than what you’ll get from your phone and the fact it doubles as a simple, good-quality plug-and-play webcam gives in an edge that may just convince you it’s worth having alongside your phone in your mobile shooting kit. 

You get a compact, yet powerful and feature-rich camera that’s easy to use and doesn’t cost a lot of money. Its appeal is quite limited, like most dedicated cameras, and we can’t imagine the vast majority getting dramatically more from it than they can get from their smartphone, but it is worth considering if you’re wanting to take live streaming and vlogging a little more seriously. 

Sony ZV-1F review: For the content creators

  • Small and lightweight
  • Wide field of view
  • Effective auto-exposure and object tracking
  • Proper flip-out touchscreen
  • Easy plug and play webcam

  • Fixed lens
  • Focus hunting at times
  • Not much to grip on to
  • Battery life could be better


  • 105.5 x 60.0 x 46.4mm – 226g 
  • Flip-out touchscreen 
  • Dedicated background blur button


One of the things we appreciate most about the ZV-1F is the design. And when we say that, we don’t just mean the way it looks. It’s about more than just aesthetics, because there’s nothing especially eye-catching about the Sony ZV-1F. This camera is designed to be practical, user-friendly and unobtrusive. 

A big part of that is the size and the weight. At 226 grams, it’s barely heavier than a smartphone. In fact, it’s lighter than an iPhone 14 Pro Max and only 20 grams heavier than an iPhone 14 Pro.

What’s more, it’s equipped with all you need to get started. First of all, the prime lens on the front is fixed. So no having to mess around with removing and reattaching lenses to the front. Plus, that lens is surrounded by a really sturdy-feeling metal ring that protrudes further than the actual lens, to ensure it’s as well protected as it can be against knocks and drops. 

Pocket-lintSony ZV-1F hardware photo 12

For some, the lack of interchangeable lenses will be a bit of a downside. However, Sony does offer the ZV-E10 which is a little more expensive but features the Sony E-mount to support a wide range of lenses. It also has a larger APS-C sensor inside. 

The ZV-1F is all about bringing a more affordable, ready-to-go camera to market without the need for extra expense beyond buying a memory card, which – these days – isn’t much of an expense at all. On that note, it supports SD cards and Sony Memory Stick, with a slot that fits both near the battery, and with the door on the underside of the camera. 

Sony’s focus on making a very compact and lightweight camera has led to some compromises. For instance, there’s not much in the way of a grip. Where a larger camera might give you a big grippy protrusion on the front, the ZV-1F doesn’t have much. There’s a small, cylindrical area in the corner, but it’s so small, we’re unsure whether it really makes any difference. Saying that our right-hand fingers instinctively curl around it while our thumb automatically found the small grip on the back, so it clearly serves some kind of purpose. 

Pocket-lintSony ZV-1F hardware photo 11

What’s impressive, however, is how well Sony has used very little space. For instance, the flip-out touchscreen that lives on the back takes up most of the space on the back of the camera. Plus, it flips out and rotates, so you can have it facing forwards, or rotate it to face up or down, or rotate it to face inwards to protect it while it’s stowed away. 

The user interface on this touchscreen has also been designed to make the camera easy to use. With its colour-coded menu system, it’s easy enough to find and change the settings you want – whether that’s the video quality or focus mode. Plus, right from the main view you can switch and adjust different convenient settings like exposure control, zoom, and enable or disable the product showcase mode (more on that later). 

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Otherwise, there are plenty of buttons to press too. All – due to constraints – are quite small, but they’re still easy enough to find. The small shutter button on the top has a zoom lever and sits on the top, alongside the red-accented movie button for recording video, the button for switching between video, photo and slow/fast recording and – lastly – the background blur button. 

This last one’s actually quite cool, and lets you quickly enable a bokeh for the background, giving you a depth effect when you don’t want the background distracting from you. Or – when you do want to show your background – switch it off. 

Unlike larger cameras, you don’t get dedicated physical dials for exposure, aperture or shutter speed. It’s very much designed for point-and-shoot, or recording everything in automatic modes, like a phone. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change those settings, it’s just not quite as convenient to do so. 

Other buttons are all placed on the back and include the usual menu button, the rotating dial for navigating menus and the gallery, display and delete buttons. 


  • Plug and play webcam
  • Just connect to your Mac/PC and it works

As well as being a handy little vlogging camera with some tremendous automatic tools, the ZV-1F also doubles as a very good webcam. And unlike some other dedicated cameras, you don’t need to download any software or drivers in order for it to work. There’s no complicated set-up process either. 

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The standard 1/4-inch screw mount on the bottom means you can mount the camera – as usual – to any standard tripod, and you can get those small enough to sit on your desk for very little money. Then, just plug in the USB-C cable into the camera and your desktop or laptop, and it’s ready to go. 

While it’s plugged in it will use power from your computer to charge. So all you need to do after plugging it in is switch it on, then ensure whatever app you’re using to video conference or live stream from has the Sony ZV-1F camera selected as the video source. 

While you’re using it as a webcam, you’ll see it using its ability to keep your face as well exposed as possible. It knows that needs to be the focus, and so adjusts to keep your face lit. Or – at least – that’s the theory. 

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In most instances, it works really well, but it can struggle sometimes. On our video calls, we’re generally sitting with a big bay window to our left, so that can get quite bright. We found if we were sitting a little too far from the camera, it would not adjust the exposure to our face properly, instead adjusting the exposure to make the window dimmer, dropping the exposure on our face and making it darker. 

With that said, it was still better than most webcams in that situation. We weren’t turned into a silhouette, and you could still see our facial features, it was just darker than if we leant a little further forward towards the camera.  

Despite its size, you still get enough physical ports. There’s a USB-C port for data transfer and charging, a micro HDMI for video output and a 3.5 port for microphone input. There’s even a cold shoe on the top, right on the left side, for mounting additional accessories you might need. Although, if you’re shooting outdoors, it’s probably best to use that for the included fluffy windshield if you’re relying on the camera’s built-in microphone for audio. 

Video capture 

  • 20.1MP – 1.0-type Exmor RS sensor 
  • 4K up to 30fps – 1080p at 60fps
  • 425 contrast-detection AF points
  • Up to 4x zoom

Sony’s vlogging cameras are, of course, all about video capture. And it’s not just about resolution, frame rates and bitrates. Sony has built a lot of smarts behind its cameras. With the ZV range in particular that means keeping your face well exposed even when light conditions around you change. 

For the most part – as with the webcam usage – this works well when recording. We found that when we moved between bright backlighting to being in shadow, the camera smoothly adjusted the exposure on our face to ensure you could see us clearly. All in real-time too, so we don’t have to mess around in the edit. The gyroscope-powered stabilisation also ensures the footage is nice and smooth. 

There are other neat features too, like the product showcase mode. When enabled, it can quickly and automatically focus on a product that you hold up to the centre of the camera. It works generally quite well, even when holding things close to the camera. In this mode, however, we did find that when we’re in the frame without a product it seemed to do a lot of focus hunting, resulting in that jarring motion where you can tell the camera is looking for something to focus on. 

However, with the tap-to-track feature – where you can tap on an object on the screen and it stays locked onto it – the focus was very effective. We shot some close-up video in regular mode and slow-motion of some small berries being blown in the wind, and the camera was very good at keeping that fast swaying object in focus. 

Pocket-lintSony ZV-1F hardware photo 10

What we like about Sony’s approach to colours, contrast, detail and light is that it’s all designed to look realistic, so you don’t find many exaggerated colours and saturation, and you won’t see the contrast cranked up too high either. The end result is something that’s attractive, but still natural.

The wide angle of the prime lens means it’s primed (sorry) and ready for wide shots, and that makes it ideal for capturing yourself at arm’s length. That is more than enough distance for this lens to capture the top half of your torso and head, while also getting in a good amount of background. Plus, with the fluffy windshield over the microphone, it offers decent enough capture of voice and sound. 

With that said, there’s no denying you’d still get better sound if you used a dedicated microphone. The overall tone is a little tinny and doesn’t sound especially natural or crisp but it is clear and it does seem to do a good job of elevating the voice above background noise and elevating it. If you want improved sound tt’s easy enough to fix a dedicated system to the ZV-1F too, thanks to that cold shoe and the 3.5mm input for microphones or wireless receivers. 

With still photos you get great detail from the 20.1-megapixel sensor, and a sense of realism that’s missing from a lot of smartphone cameras. You also get a much nicer and more natural-looking background blur from the Sony camera than you get from pretty much any phone. Plus, with the sensor crop-based zoom, you can get a nice 2x-4x zoom without really losing any detail or image quality. 

Battery life is just about okay, you can probably get away with just over an hour’s worth of shooting with the display switched on before the battery gets low. The convenience of it charging via USB-C can’t be overlooked, and the small battery can charge relatively quickly.  You’ll probably want to carry around a battery pack for charging if you’re out and about, away from a wall outlet. 

To recap

The ZV-1F is that is a camera built for aspiring content creators. Whether you have your eye on TikTok or Youtube, or you want to try your hand at live-streaming from a desktop gaming PC, the ZV-1F is a gateway into those worlds, without needing to invest in lots of different kit. 

Writing by Cam Bunton. Editing by Verity Burns.

Art portraits turned into smartphone selfies, the photo gallery

(Pocket-lint) – The art of the selfie has become as common as any traditional photo, but it’s still not a true art form. At least it wasn’t until one clever person decided to reimagine classic portrait art from a selfie perspective.

Danish designer Olivia Muus had the clever idea of making portraits look like they were being taken as selfies. By holding her camera up in front of portraits at the National Gallery of Denmark she’s created her own art form in the Museum of Selfies.

The art form has since caught on with other people imitating her technique at galleries all over the world. You’ve got to love how ingeniously simple but effective this selfie-snapping method is.


We’ve compiled all the great snaps taken so far in a gallery so you can flick through to find your favourite. Maybe these will give you some inspiration to create your own. 

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Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton

This is a painting of Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton who was captured on canvas by Sir Godfrey Kneller in around 1703.  

The original painting certainly makes the Duke look like a bit of a poser, so the perfect subject matter for these selfie shenanigans. 

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Unimpressed with the latest

We’re not sure who this one is of, but she looks really unimpressed with whatever she’s seeing on her phone. Maybe the lighting isn’t right for her selfie. 

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Seated old Man by Pablo Picasso

Even slightly more abstract paintings aren’t safe from the smartphone selfie treatment. The hand might not match, but we’ll still forgive it for the amusing perspective this gives to Picasso’s work. 

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The boy means business

Here we see a young man in full military garb seemingly trying to look all serious while also snapping a selfie. Which seems perfectly apt. 

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Is this blasphemy?

Here we see a much more religious view of mother and child posing for a selfie. Perfectly standard in modern times but something that wouldn’t have even been contemplated when the painting was crafted. 

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Gerard Andriesz Bicker

Here’s a portrait of Gerard Andriesz Bicker that dates back to 1642. It shows a large and confident young man, but one who’s taking things very seriously. 

The perspective of the painting normally makes it look like he’s starting at the viewer, but now he appears to be staring at his phone instead. 

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Giovanni Bellini

This one is a painting of Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini, that was said to be crafted by Tizian in around 1511.

We like it because the artist appears to be staring wistfully off into the distance, perhaps daydreaming of better times while also snapping a selfie on an ageing iPhone. 

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A right regal selfie

There’s something brilliant about seeing these old-painted portraits being hilariously given a fresh twist with the simple addition of smartphone in the frame. 

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Felix Platter

Felix Platter was a Swiss physician who was well known for his work on the classification of psychiatric diseases. An important man whose likeness was captured here on canvas in 1584. 

Felix Platter certainly deserved a famous selfie, but this image certainly doesn’t show off his magnificent trousers.

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Statues get selfies too

It’s not just paintings that got the selfie treatment. Statues have had it too. 

This one of what looks like Neptune appears to be grabbing the phone in a fantastically dramatic way. 

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What would they think?

When seeing these photos we wonder what the original artist would have thought to see their work treated this way. 

For some hundreds of years have passed since they were originally made. Now they’re just a funny moment on the internet. 

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High class selfies

It’s not just the men getting the Museum of Selfies treatment. These high-class women are also posing for photos. 

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John Rolle Walter

John Rolle Walter was a Minister of Parliament in the 1700s. A man who apparently had fabulous taste in phone cases. 

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Catharina Behaghel

Catharina Behaghel was the wife of Rogier Le Witer, a wealthy merchant from Antwerp. Here she’s seen adorned with her expensive jewellery and in a fancy background too. The perfect backdrop for any selfie. 

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Alexander von Humboldt

Here we see Alexander von Humboldt, an intellectual and a polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer and much more. 

This man lived quite a significant life and travelled the world as part of the Spanish American expedition. So it’s no wonder he’s so serious and sullen. 

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Distracted from life

The thing we like about these images is they could easily be photos of people in the real world. Staring at their phones, distracted from their everyday humdrum existence. 

The devil is in the details

This might well be one of our favourites, simply for the little touches that include a glow from the smartphone on the face of the lady in the portrait. 

Tiny phone?

Does this lady have a massive head or just own a really tiny phone? We can’t decide, but we found it amazing. 

Jesus does it differently

No one is safe from the selfies. Even Jesus Christ himself has taken the time to snap a photo. 

It seems like Jesus is a little bit different though as it looks like he’s posing for a solemn bathroom mirror selfie. 


Looking at Medusa was meant to be bad for you, so maybe seeing herself in the rear-facing camera was bad news. 

Writing by Luke Edwards and Adrian Willings.