The $2000 Z-Cam E2 gets upgraded to 4K 160fps with firmware update, RAW codec coming later

I really do like the look of the Z-Cam E2. Reading Erik Naso’s very detailed review was an eye-opener. For a modular camera, it’s very forgiving in terms of bare bones shooting. You do need a cage and ideally an external EVF or monitor – but it runs off a small Sony NP camcorder battery and records internally at a very high spec – so you don’t need to add an expensive external recorder and heavy V-lock battery.

I’ve been rather impressed by the colour science on this camera as well. It has a certain Digital Bolex mojo to it. All the sample footage I’ve seen so far has been absolutely beautiful and cinematic.

For more details, check out the Z-Cam website.

ABOVE: Digital Bolex / Kodak colour mojo!!

The Z-Cam E2 has a similar Micro Four Thirds sensor as seen in the GH5S and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K but superior specs in a smaller camera body, with better battery economy. Impressively it shoots 4K 10bit ProRes internally to CFast cards.

Excitingly, a Z-Cam RAW codec is in development and will be added in a firmware update later. The CEO of Z-Cam also claims there’s a global shutter sensor version coming, the E2G!

The Z-Cam E2 initially shot 4K/120fps, but the maximum slow-motion frame rate has gone up even further – a bump to 160fps with the latest firmware.

Other features to be added include a handy Super 16mm 2.8K mode (perfect for C-mount lenses and vintage Arriflex). Yet more Digital Bolex mojo!!

Internal recording options options include both Z-LOG and Hybrid LOG Gamma.

Don’t forget there are also full frame and Super 35mm versions to come. SLR Magic’s Andrew Chan has been shooting with his latest Cine lenses on a pre-production model of the 8K full frame Z-CAM E2 F8 recently. The 6K footage from full frame Z-Cam E2 F6 also looks incredible and there’s the S6 with its Super 35mm sensor. In addition Z-Cam have launched a huge range of cinema VR cameras.

Z-Cam have already published some full frame 6K test footage on Vimeo here:

As the E2 is a more traditional cinema camera “brain” concept, you’d rig it up just like a Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera. There is a small screen but it’s really designed more for the settings menu. It is an active Micro Four Thirds mount that can drive the autofocus motors in the lenses, but autofocus performance isn’t PDAF standard. You don’t get a built in EVF or 5 axis IBIS and I think Z-Cam missed a bit of a trick because that very small built in screen is capable of SO MUCH MORE than just the menus, including a live-view image! If it were bigger and articulated, you could shoot barebones without an HDMI monitor.

As a pure cinema camera sensor in a box though, the Z-Cam E2 appears to be unbeatable for the price.

How much would RED charge for a similar spec?!

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