Z Cam the relatively new Camera company from Shenzhen, China has announced the Z Cam E2 at NAB 2018 MSRP $1,999.00 USD. It is not a direct replacement for their ambitious but half-baked Z E1 m4/3 camera which costs $399. The new camera is a beast specs wise with up to 120fps 4k and full HD 1080p at 240fps. The codecs will be H.264 and H.265 at 10 bit but no RAW support so far which might be acceptable if the codec is clean enough and their promised Log Flat curve preserves the estimated 13.5 stops of dynamic range.
The camera is still being developed for a June 2018 estimated ship date. It lacks a back screen and relies on a Wifi or Gigabit Ethernet link to their dedicated control application. They intend to support iOS devices and or a PC client. No mention of Android support or Mac which should be included in order to maintain the widest compatibility. We feel lacking Android control is a big deal and should be promised in a future update. It is also unclear if the camera will be possible to use by using a touch screen field monitor which probably will not be the case. Using an iPhone or an iPad as the control interface is probably the best use case.
On Semiconductor has launched two new 4k ready CMOS global shutter sensors with new technology for reduced noise and improved image quality. The parts are geared to surveillance, automotive, consumer devices and industrial applications. Both sensors are able to do high frame rates at 4k at full resolution.
The XGS 8000 is an 8.8 Mp (4096 x 2160) 4k / UHD resolution Global Shutter CMOS image sensor in 1/1.1 inch optical format capable of 120fps at full 8.8MP resolution. This first one geared for smaller devices. The XGS 12000 is a 12.6 Mp (4096 x 3072) CMOS image sensor in 1″ inch format, supporting up to 90 fps readout at full 12.6MP resolution. This sensor is better for higher resolution solutions.
One of the few under the radar products that caught our attention is the Removu K1 all in one stabilized three axis gimbal camera system which has an included LCD screen and 4+ hours of battery life. It has advanced features for creating several kinds of moves, time lapse, panning motion and crane-like shots.
It also includes three high frame rate modes to spice up the package. It can shoot 1080p 120fps with GoPro Hero 5-6 like quality and 720p 240fps which we have yet to see due to a lack of samples. However, for a reasonable price of $429 USD this ultra-portable stabilized camera system might be the best option for vloggers on the move. The 4k 30p quality is pretty respectable in itself with similar quality to the Hero 5 Black as they use similar components.
The newly announced Sony A7R Mark III is one impressive full-frame beast of a camera that aims for high-resolution enthusiasts who do not want to compromise on features, speed, and autofocus by having a superior pixel count sensor. The 42 MP Camera shares the same pixel count and what seems the same sensor as the A7R II but it is improving on both image quality and features.
It makes a mature revision to the series with 10fps shooting at full resolution, slow motion now is 1080p Full-HD 120fps in video mode compared to 720p HD before, AF is now a9 like with blazing fast performance with continuous tracking in video mode. Of note and what could be it’s most impressive new spec is an in Body Stabilization system claiming 5.5 f stops of shake correction. That is very impressive for an IBIS system.
The Sony a99 II with SLT “fixed translucent mirror design” has been awaited by the A Mount users who only have this camera to upgrade. It is by no means a slouch with it’s impressive specs like 42MP BSI Sensor and 12fps full AF picture shooting. It also has 4k video recording at 24, 25 and 30p and a 120fps slow motion mode that works at 1080p full HD.
The slow motion quality has been mostly an obscure feature since no samples have been available until recently. The original a99 had 60fps full HD on a 24MP sensor but the a99 II Doubles every spec and performance is not affected. It is really a monster of a camera for still shooters that can go head to head with the Nikon D5 and or Canon 1DX Mark II without skipping a beat.
In a launch that was mostly subdued, a new camera was launched in August; the Panasonic HC-X1 which is a mid range professional fixed lens ENG or EFP camera with some serious specs to go behind it. For starters there is 4k at up to 60fps a format that we hope to see in upcoming ILCs like the GH4 successor and Sony Cameras. The other is 100fps PAL or 120fps NTSC 1080p which is now a must have slow motion standard for any serious camera.
The qualities of the new Panasonic HC-X1 do not stop at higher frame rates; it features a fantastic 3 independent fly by wire ring system for focus, aperture and the last for zoom which starts at a very wide 24mm to 480mm at the long end or 20x optical. The camera also features a built in ND Filter wheel from 1/4th to 1/64th for effortless 180 degree shooting outdoors.
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