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Z-CAM E2 Sticky Thread


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/22/2020 at 6:52 PM, Andrew Reid said:

Just opening this to start off the discussion of the Z-CAM E2 models.

I shot with one for the first time at IBC in 2019 and will bring you some footage from the full frame 6K version of the Z-CAM 2

What are your thoughts on the Z Cam E2 ?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just have the E2C, but I ended up getting the HEDBOX V-Mount (specifically this one: https://www.hedbox.com/products/power-v-plates/unix-lpe6/) because my BlindSpot Power Junkie wasn't able to power my camera, Nucleus N motor, and my cheap monitor at the same time without exceeding it's cap. I receive the parts tonight. Also, as of the 0.94 update, the E2C currently has a 1440p 60 fps mode with less crop and seemingly better rolling shutter. I'll probably have it at 1440p/23.976 90% of the time. Will post pic as soon as I can build the damn thing.

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For those not in the Facebook Z Cam group: it sounds like the eND module is about to start shipping and is in the hands of some early test users.


-1.7 - 6.7 stops

-no color shift (One user said it seemed comparable to the ARRI ND he uses)

-powered via camera
-works with EF and PL mounts
-Compatibility is with the new flagships: S6, F6, F8 
 

Also cool:

-Camera control and external raw via Atomos coming soonish sounds like

-ToF AF module is about finalized and tests on FB look promising

-NDI via Ethernet is working and they are beta testing their Mac version of software to convert the stream to NDI or H.265 (PC out already)

-They are working on an EF Mount option with built in speed booster

-.94 firmware added some new modes and DNG stills

-Adobe Zraw support coming
 

I picked up 5 E2C’s for multi camera studio set up and have been selling off my other gear slowly. Also just nabbed a used E2 and another E2C for a good price on B&H.  Pretty crazy how quickly they are moving and rolling out new features and updates. Of course still some bugs here and there that they are working through. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

The new firmware (v0.95) enables ProRes RAW over HDMI to Atomos recorders on all E2 models. This includes the $800 E2c. This means that the E2 series now has not one, but two different Raw formats.

I'm sort of surprised the Z Cam is still barely talked about here. It checks a lot of boxes that people complain about with the P4K. The entire series now has H.264, H.265, ProRes, ZRAW, and ProRes RAW recording capabilities, plus incredible frame rate options at full sensor width on the E2, multiple crop options and aspect ratios, low rolling shutter, long battery life, and incredible build quality. I recently got one, though probably won't have any projects to use it on for a few months.

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20 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

The new firmware (v0.95) enables ProRes RAW over HDMI to Atomos recorders on all E2 models. This includes the $800 E2c. This means that the E2 series now has not one, but two different Raw formats.

I'm sort of surprised the Z Cam is still barely talked about here. It checks a lot of boxes that people complain about with the P4K. The entire series now has H.264, H.265, ProRes, ZRAW, and ProRes RAW recording capabilities, plus incredible frame rate options at full sensor width on the E2, multiple crop options and aspect ratios, low rolling shutter, long battery life, and incredible build quality. I recently got one, though probably won't have any projects to use it on for a few months.

I think it’s less chatter here because most people are on the Facebook group. I have the E2C and I’m pretty excited for the updates.

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14 hours ago, ktfright said:

I think it’s less chatter here because most people are on the Facebook group. I have the E2C and I’m pretty excited for the updates.

Maybe? I think members here just aren't that interested in the E2. Though it's an extraordinarily awesome Facebook group, especially a few years ago when it was very small. It's recently grown to the point of having a lot of repeat questions.

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The company I work with is going to supply me with a E2-S6 as soon as B&H fills the order. Given all the P4k/P6k chatter here, you'd think more would be high on the E2's. But the FB community is really robust - and forums like this are wilting because of Groups. So its no surprise.

Chris

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36 minutes ago, FranciscoB said:

Im very curious on the f6 but my main issue is audio. Theres no proper xlr on this camera so that sucks for me.

Yeah, definitely no the camera for great in-camera audio control. I always record externally so it's not an issue for me. You can get an adapter cable for direct(ish) XLR, but you'd have to figure out how to cable manage that--I don't know if I'd want heavy XLR connectors hanging off that little Lemo port. Or you could get a small mixer of some sort, which is really more a bandaid than anything else.

I'd love to see some actual numbers on the rolling shutter on the S6 and F6. If I get time I'll do some measurements on the E2 and see if they match C5D's numbers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

More amazing news from Z Cam:  the E2-M4 is on the way, which is the same internals as the Z Cam E2 but with the body and interchangeable mount of the S6/F6. It does not have the multicam sync feature of the E2, however. It's $1500 in the US. If you bolt Z Cam's 1st party focal reducer on the front, you basically have a S35 active locking EF cinema camera in a tiny package for a low price.

https://cvp.com/product/z-cam-e2-m4-cinematic-camera

Also, the S6 and F6 will have price drops of $500 and $1k respectively.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm actually starting to get interested in the Z-Cams. Since covid-19 smashed my dreams of buying an URSA Mini Pro G2 this year I've been thinking about other options and the Z-Cam is the only other camera that ticks most of the boxes I want for my next camera. Here's the checklist of things I want:

- 4K @ 100fps
- Internal ProRes (or similar edit-friendly 10-bit codec)
- V-Mount batteries (or easily adapted without making a horrible rig) to power monitor, FF, etc.
- Better Image quality / colour than the FS700 4K
- Dual XLR
- Native EF mount so I can do away with Metabones adapters.

It seems the Z Cams can handle all of this with the exception of XLR - though with the newest update it at least makes it possible to record and adjust two channels independently. I'm researching exactly what I need to make a working rig at the moment.

 

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On 6/14/2020 at 6:21 PM, Mike Mgee said:

Played with the m4 over the weekend. Great image quality, trash ergonomics. Trash menu system. 

Did the camera you tested have a rig and handles, or was it just the camera body?

It seems like the Z Cams design makes it a lot easier to build a functional rig than a DSLR or BMPCC 4K/6K, and there's a good number of cage options available. Obviously the flip side of that is that the body is not really usable straight out of the box like other options in the same price range.

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Quote

Did the camera you tested have a rig and handles, or was it just the camera body?

Yes. Was in a SmallRig cage with a wooden side handle. As much as the BMPPC4K is poo poo'd on because of the DSLR form factor, it is very convenient. 

I can keep one hand on the camera and scroll through aputures on the Pocket4k with the other hand. On the Zcam you need to remove your grip from the handle and press the squishy buttons on the camera.

That's my main complaint tbh. You need to release your grip on the side and readjust your hands to interact with the camera. They really need a native Lanc/BT handle to interact with the camera. And I am not talking about a $400 third party option.

Same thing with the menu. BM has spoiled a lot of people with its design. ZCAM is reminiscent of a Sony menu system. They should release a first party monitor to interact with the camera. 

 

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17 hours ago, barefoot_dp said:

I'm actually starting to get interested in the Z-Cams. Since covid-19 smashed my dreams of buying an URSA Mini Pro G2 this year I've been thinking about other options and the Z-Cam is the only other camera that ticks most of the boxes I want for my next camera. Here's the checklist of things I want:

- 4K @ 100fps
- Internal ProRes (or similar edit-friendly 10-bit codec)
- V-Mount batteries (or easily adapted without making a horrible rig) to power monitor, FF, etc.
- Better Image quality / colour than the FS700 4K
- Dual XLR
- Native EF mount so I can do away with Metabones adapters.

It seems the Z Cams can handle all of this with the exception of XLR - though with the newest update it at least makes it possible to record and adjust two channels independently. I'm researching exactly what I need to make a working rig at the moment.

 

You can get a 3rd party cable for stereo XLR on the E2. I have not tried it, but I have heard that there are audio issues such as possible clipping at -3 db or something like that. Definitely something to research first if you need reliable XLRs.

V mount batteries are quite easy to attach, though personally I prefer using NP batteries for size and simplicity. I use an old iPhone SE as a monitor, which is charged over the USB cable, so it's still a single battery solution.

10 hours ago, Mike Mgee said:

Yes. Was in a SmallRig cage with a wooden side handle. As much as the BMPPC4K is poo poo'd on because of the DSLR form factor, it is very convenient. 

I can keep one hand on the camera and scroll through aputures on the Pocket4k with the other hand. On the Zcam you need to remove your grip from the handle and press the squishy buttons on the camera.

That's my main complaint tbh. You need to release your grip on the side and readjust your hands to interact with the camera. They really need a native Lanc/BT handle to interact with the camera. And I am not talking about a $400 third party option.

Same thing with the menu. BM has spoiled a lot of people with its design. ZCAM is reminiscent of a Sony menu system. They should release a first party monitor to interact with the camera. 

 

Can't you keep your right hand on the handle and use your left to press buttons? Or vice versa if you have a left handed grip. But yeah, the menu sucks, and on the original E2 the buttons are... not great. It's certainly not designed for handheld at all. A proper handle would go a long way, particularly one that can navigate the menus. I get the impression that their original design was for people to use the app, which is what I use. So IF your camera is rigged with an iphone, then it has great touchscreen controls.

The other thing that is really annoying on the original E2 is the CFast slot is essentially underneath my handle, and is hard to open to begin with. I wrapped a piece of tape around it with a tab to open, so it's not terrible, but the card slot should have been on the left from the beginning (as it is on the new bodies).

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16 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

You can get a 3rd party cable for stereo XLR on the E2. I have not tried it, but I have heard that there are audio issues such as possible clipping at -3 db or something like that. Definitely something to research first if you need reliable XLRs.

Yeah I've already got the right cable I think, as it's the same as the one for the Shogun Inferno. But I have been keeping tabs on the FB page and have seen a few posts that there are bugs with the audio. Hopefully it's sorted out soon.

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  • 6 months later...
On 5/16/2020 at 5:11 AM, Trek of Joy said:

The company I work with is going to supply me with a E2-S6 as soon as B&H fills the order. Given all the P4k/P6k chatter here, you'd think more would be high on the E2's. But the FB community is really robust - and forums like this are wilting because of Groups. So its no surprise.

Chris

Sadly that is true across the spectrum of various interests, for instance ramps/jwsound are not what they were in their heydays, because of Facebook groups instead. I do worry that a decade or two in the future, none of those Facebook groups will be anywhere near as searchable as eoshd/ramps/jwsound/dvxuser/etc are

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