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Sony ZV-1 vs Canon M50 (2021): Which Camera Should You Add To Your Vlogging Arsenal?

If you want to take the quality of your vlogs up a notch, the best way to do so is to invest in a quality camera. But investing doesn’t necessarily mean giving up an arm and a leg as there are top-notch vlogging cameras out there that are budget-friendly. The Sony ZV-1 and the Canon EOS M50 are great examples of this, both known as being impressive for their own special reasons. To help you decide between the two, here’s an in-depth comparison that covers their design, sensor, image stabilization, and video quality.

Sony ZV-1 vs Canon M50 Comparison Chart

ModelSony ZV-1Canon EOS M50
 Sony ZV-1 Digital Camera for Content Creators, Vlogging and YouTube with Flip Screen, Built-in...Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Vlogging Camera Kit with EF-M 15-45mm Lens, Black
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
TypeCompact cameraMirrorless Camera
Vari-Angle Flip ScreenYesYes
LensFixed 24mm-70mm lens with a f1.8mm-2.8mm apertureCompatible with all EF-M lenses as well as EF and EF-S lenses via mount adapter
Focus TypeFast Hybrid AFDual CMOS AF System
Sensor1.0-type CMOS sensorASP-C sensor
Effective Pixels20.1MP24.1MP
High Speed Video ShootingMax of 120fps in 1080p60fps in 1080p and 120fps in 720p
4K ModeYesYes
Dimensions105.5 x 60.0 x 43.5 mm116.3 x 88.1 x 58.7mm
Weight294g387g (black); 390g (white)

Design

The Sony ZV-1 is more portable but the Canon M50 is more versatile and beginner-friendly.

Sony ZV1 vs Canon M50 design
The Canon M50 (right) is an interchangeable lens mirrorless camera while the Sony ZV-1 (left) has a fixed lens.

The most obvious design difference between the Sony ZV-1 and the Canon M50 is size. The Sony ZV-1 is clearly the more portable camera of the two, small enough to stuff in your bag or jacket pocket. This makes it perfect for vloggers who like to go out and explore. As for the Canon M50, it’s definitely not the type of camera you want to lug around with you all day, making it more ideal for home vloggers.

Another key difference between these two models is lens compatibility. The Canon EOS M50 is a mirrorless camera so you can use it with different lenses depending on the kind of photos you’re after and the environment you’re in. The Sony ZV-1, on the other hand, is a compact camera which means you’re stuck with its 24mm to 70mm lens. So if creativity, versatility, and functionality are high on your priority list, you might find it quite limiting.

Ease of use is another area where these cameras differ. With the Sony ZV-1, there’s definitely a steeper learning curve involved, no thanks to its inaccessible settings. If you want to make changes, not only do you have to search hard in the menu, but a lot of the settings aren’t available on the touchscreen. Instead, you have to fiddle with the buttons and directional pad. So if you’re new to vlogging cameras, the Canon M50 will definitely give you a much easier time.

Sensor Size

The Canon M50 has a larger sensor than the Sony ZV-1.

Sony ZV1 vs Canon M50 sensor
It’s easier to take pictures with a shallow depth of field with the Canon M50 (right) than the Sony ZV-1 (left).

When it comes to sensor size, the Canon M50 is the clear winner. It comes with an APS-C sensor which is quite large compared to the Sony ZV-1’s tiny 1-inch sensor. With the size of Canon M50’s sensor, you’re going to have a much easier time shooting in low light conditions. Also, those who love taking photos with a shallow depth of field will have a better chance of achieving that with the Canon EOS M50, given that you’re using the right type of lens. Technically, you can still capture images with blurry backgrounds with the Sony ZV-1, thanks to its f1.8-2.8mm aperture. However, it’s going to be a lot trickier as you need to shoot with the correct focal length and lighting.

Image Stabilization

The Sony ZV-1 has better image stabilization than the Canon M50.

Sony ZV1 vs Canon M50 image stabilization
The Sony ZV-1 (left) has an Active SteadyShot mode which allows it to produce smoother videos than the Canon M50 (right).

Both the Canon M50 and the Sony ZV-1 are equipped with electronic image stabilization. However, we’re going to have give this round to the latter. With the Canon M50, the stabilization works pretty well when you’re capturing still images while tilting or panning. But that quality decreases significantly when you’re shooting shaky videos. So for the adventurous vloggers out there, it’s definitely not the kind of camera you can depend on for smooth footage.

As for the Sony ZV-1, not only does its stabilization work wonders for images but the same can be said for moving shots. We have its Active SteadyShot mode to thank for this which is responsible for producing steady footage that won’t make you feel dizzy or nauseous. One downside of this feature, however, is that it crops your images and videos. The Canon EOS M50 does this too though. Fortunately, you can always use Sony’s Catalyst Browse software to smoothen out your videos after taking them as a workaround for the cropping issue.

Video Quality

The ZV-1 has better 4K mode and high speed video shooting than the Canon M50.

Sony ZV1 vs Canon M50 video quality
The Canon M50 (right) is stuck at 120fps in 720p while the Sony ZV-1 (left) can go all the way to 120fps in 1080p.

The Canon M50 claims to be a 4K camera but this is actually a big letdown. While it does have 4K mode, it crops such a big chunk of your footage that it’s almost useless. As if that’s not bad enough, using 4K mode shuts off the Dual Pixel Auto Focus too, which is probably the most essential feature when shooting in HD mode. While autofocus is decent in 4K mode, it’s not nearly as good as the Dual Pixel AF. So if you want a true 4K camera, you’re better off with the Sony ZV-1. There’s no cropping involved, plus its Phase Detect Focusing works great even in 4K mode.

When it comes to high speed video shooting, the Canon EOS M50 falls short yet again. It can do 60fps in 1080p and 120fps in 720p but once you hit 120fps, your video gets cropped and you’ll have no audio. You don’t have to worry about such issues with the Sony ZV-1 as it’s able go all the way to 120fps in 1080p with audio and no cropping. You can even access burst mode if you want to shoot in 960fps. However, this is where the image quality starts to decrease and you don’t get any audio but still, it’s quite an impressive feat for such a tiny compact camera.

Verdict

Both the Canon M50 and the Sony ZV-1 have their own set of strengths so it’s all about choosing the camera that fits your vlogging needs.

There’s no winner between the Canon M50 and the Sony ZV-1 as they’re both great vlogging cameras with their own sets of strengths. This means that it’s all about choosing the camera that meets your vlogging needs. If your priority is being able to use different kinds of lenses, being able to shoot in various lighting conditions, and being able to access settings with ease, then you’ll enjoy the Canon EOS M50 more. However, those who value portability, want a true 4K experience, and need top-quality image stabilization for moving shots, will be better off spending money on the Sony ZV-1.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What are the Sony ZV-1 lenses?

The Sony ZV-1 comes with a fixed 24mm-70mm lens with a f1.8mm-2.8mm aperture. Because the Sony ZV-1 is a compact camera, you can’t swap out its lens for other kinds.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Sony ZV-1 worth it?

The Sony ZV-1 is a good vlogging camera for its price point. It’s a smart choice for those who value portability, want a true 4K experience, and need top-quality image stabilization for moving shots.

๐Ÿ“Œ What lenses can you use with the Canon M50?

The Canon M50 is an interchangeable lens mirrorless camera. All EF-M lenses are compatible with it while EF and EF-S lenses can be used via a mount adapter.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Canon M50 worth it?

The Canon M50 is ideal for vloggers who want to be able to use different kinds of lenses, shoot in various lighting conditions, and access settings with ease.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.