Z CAM E2 flagship cameras will be shipping next month. The S6 (6K super 35), F6 (6K full frame), and F8 (8K full frame) will come in EF-mount and PL-mount versions (user interchangeable). All versions will support the optional electronic ND filter unit. Z CAM E2 S6 will additionally come in M4/3 mount version without the electronic ND filter support.
Z CAM is a Chinese camera manufacturer. The company has already attracted many customers because of their Z CAM E2 camera, which offered 4K 120fps video recording with M4/3 sensor and internal ProRes or ZRAW recording. Make sure to check our Z CAM E2 review if you haven’t already. Now, the Chinese company is fully focusing on their flagship cameras with larger sensors.
Z CAM first showed prototypes of their new super 35 and full frame cameras during NAB 2019. You can take a look at our NAB article with a video interview from April if you feel like refreshing your memory. We met with Kinson Loo from Z CAM again during IBC in Amsterdam to talk about new development around Z CAM’s new flagship cameras as they are getting close to the shipment date.
Z CAM S6, F6, and F8 Flagship Cameras
Z CAM product names might seem a bit confusing at first, but they actually make sense. S stands for “super 35”, F stands for “full frame”, 6 stands for 6K video recording and 8 stands for 8K recording. At IBC we looked mainly at the Z CAM F6 (full frame image sensor capable of recording video in up to 6K resolution.)
Kinson explained to us, that what Z CAM showed during NAB in April was not the final form factor of the camera yet. The body will use Sony NP-F batteries. One slight change at the back of the camera is a new 12V two-pin Lemo power output, so some accessories can be powered directly from the camera’s NP-F battery.
The body of the Z CAM E2 F6 is only around 100g heavier than the original Z CAM E2 so the body itself is still very compact. All Z CAM flagship cameras will be available with two lens mounts – Canon EF-mount and PL-mount. Both mounts will be used interchangeably. Z CAM E2 S6 will additionally come with Micro four thirds mount.
When it comes to internal video recording, all cameras will top at the following recording modes:
- Z CAM E2 S6 will record up to 6K 75fps with 14 stops of dynamic range and 300Mbps bitrate.
- Z CAM E2 F6 will record up to 6K 60fps with 15 stops of dynamic range and 300Mbps bitrate.
- Z CAM E2 F6 will record up to 8K 30fps with 14 stops of dynamic range and 300Mbps bitrate.
All recorded internally to CFast 2.0 media. The cameras support ZRAW format, MOV and MP4 using H.265 for 10-bit recording or H.264 for 8-bit recording. (Interested in reading our thoughts about Z CAM’s ZRAW? Please head to our comparison article by clicking here).
Optional Electronic ND Filter Unit
One of the most exciting new features of this camera’s final version is the optional electronic ND filter. It functions in the same way as the ND RF-EF Adapter from Canon. There is a removable piece, which slides in or out from the side. The piece that comes with the camera contains a pure glass element. The optional unit will contain an electronic ND filter, so limiting the light entering the sensor will be very convenient.
It seems Z CAM’s electronic ND filter unit will offer a strong range of 1.8 to 8 stops. The advantage of electronic ND is much more precise control over its strength – the strength changes seamlessly, so the exposure can be consistent even when the light is changing (for instance with clouds during outdoor shoots). The ND filter unit will be held in position by two screws.
This electronic ND filter will be implemented in all the Z CAM E2 flagship models – Z CAM E2 S6, F6, and F8 – with EF-mount or PL-mount. The only exception is the Z CAM E2 S6 with the Micro four thirds mount. The electronic ND unit will not be available for this mount simply because of the much shorter flange focal distance.
Pricing and Availability
The new Z CAM E2 flagship cameras are now available for pre-order. They will be available on October 2019. I would say the price is very interesting given the number of features and impressive specs:
- E2-S6 (6K super 35): $2,995 – available in PL, EF and M4/3 mount.
- E2-F6 (6K full frame): $4,995 – available in PL or EF-mount.
- E2-F8 (8K full frame): $5,995 – available in PL or EF-mount.
The exact pricing for the electronic ND filter unit has not been finalized yet, but Kinson assured us it will be affordable.
What do you think about the new Z CAM E2 F6? Do you miss the internal electronic ND filter with your current camera? Do you have experience with the original Z CAM E2? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.