The new Z CAM E2 – M4 Micro 4/3″ sensor cinema 4k camera offers performance that punches way above its own price weight of just $1,499 @ Adorama which is $500 less than the very similar regular Z CAM E2 just lacking Multicam synch support which is a very minor trade off considering the power and benefits you gain. It has Triple native ISO of 80 / 160 / 800 and 13 stops of DR using their ZLog profile, and 16 stops of DR in WDR mode which does some HDR processing.
The frame rates are also outstanding for such a low-cost camera and while the higher setting requires H.265 encoding which for many is not ideal considering it lowers the bit depth from 10 bits to 8, it offers what many cameras only dream of. 160fps in 4k in beautiful resolution and up to 240fps in 1080p which has very good quality with some compromises.
The Z Cam E2 has finally started shipping and is now available for direct order at their site. The camera caught our attention for its low price of just $1999 and the high frame rate features of 240fps 1080p and 120fps 4k. It seems to be using the same 4/3 sensor as the great Panasonic GH5s but with extended features.
The camera company ZCam has also released some samples in a variety of scenarios so you can see what the camera is capable of. At first inspection, it is clear this camera is a clear step up from the Z Cam E1 which had some image quality issues. The E2 seems to go out of the box ready to produce class-leading imagery and offer some very nice high frame rate action. There are also some rumored comments that suggest the team is testing 300fps at 720p as an added bonus for future software.
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.
The Z Cam E1 which delivered excellent quality 4k footage from a tiny package and was able to do 720p 240fps frame rates “at less than ideal quality”, however, a new Rumor from 4/3 Rumors here shows a Twitter message that hints at a new Z E2 m4/3 camera that is able to do 120fps at full 4k resolution. If this turns out to be true it could yield further performance improvements in 1080p and 720p along with higher quality that could be usable.
As far as linear specs go a 120p 4k pipeline could in theory yield 480fps 1080p and 960/1000fps 720p without going out of spec. As we have come to know over the years, however, it is usually wrong to extrapolate these specs to the maximum possible metric as the sensor or memory could be bottlenecks that limit the performance. So this rumor could have some legs to it and NAB 2018 could be the show that makes 4k 120p a regular feature for cameras.
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