Sony ZV-E1 gets 4K 120p update

As promised, Sony has issued a license upgrade for its full-frame ZV-E1 mirrorless camera. The update enables additional high-speed recording frame rates.

Alpha ZV-E1

Back in March, we reported on the launch of Sony’s new full-frame E-mount interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera, the Alpha ZV-E1. The new camera was marketed to vloggers and content creators by Sony. However, the ZV-E1 shares many features with the company’s A7S III and Netflix-approved Cinema Line FX3 cameras. One feature that was missing was 120 fps recording when shooting in 4K, but Sony said that this would be enabled by a license upgrade in June 2023. With only a day or two to go, Sony has released the upgrade.

What does the license upgrade do?

After the license upgrade, the Sony ZV-E1 will have a 4K 120p option added to its movie recording mode. In addition, 4K 120fps and Full-HD 240 fps recording are added to the camera’s S&Q (slow-motion/quick-motion) recording mode. However, 4K 120p recording is available only with Long GOP inter-frame compression.

How do I get the upgrade?

To obtain the upgraded license for your ZV-E1, you need to use Sony’s Creators’ Cloud website. You can obtain a license without logging in if you wish, but you will need your camera’s serial number. Once you have downloaded the license upgrade file, you also need to copy it to the root directory of a memory card. After you put the card in your camera, follow the instructions on the camera to complete the license upgrade.

What we think

It’s good to see that Sony has delivered on its commitment to bring new features to the Alpha ZV-E1. The license upgrade is a slightly curious route compared to a simple firmware update. However, Sony has confirmed that once you have installed the license on your camera, it doesn’t have an expiration date. The company also hasn’t released any information about any potential overheating issues and how long you can record at the new high frame rates. Still, even if there are limitations on how long you can record, it’s a great feature to have. So if you own a ZV-E1, you should upgrade as soon as you can.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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