Z CAM E2C – Very Affordable 4K Camera, Now Available for Pre-order

3 days ago
Z CAM E2C - Very Affordable 4K Camera, Now Available for Pre-order

The Z Cam E2C is now available for preorder. It is the most affordable camera within the entire current Z CAM lineup – the price has been set to US $799. The camera features a Micro Four Thirds sensor and mount, and can shoot internal UHD video at up to 30fps. Powering and rigging options are very wide.

Z Cam E2C – affordable 4K camera. Source: Z CAM

The Chinese camera manufacturer Z CAM has been very visible lately. The pace in which this company introduces new cameras is almost unbelievable. Last year at NAB, they introduced their tiny cinema camera Z CAM E2 with a Micro Four Thirds sensor. The camera was packed with amazing specs, such as internal 4K DCI (4096 x 2160) video recording at up to 120fps (300Mbps H.265).

At this year’s NAB, they introduced three new Z CAM E2 flagship cameras with larger sensors. Already during the end of last year, Z CAM announced the E2C – the most affordable camera within their current lineup. It seems like it got slightly delayed (initially, the camera was supposed to be available in March 2019). Now, it is finally available for pre-order. Let’s take a short look at its features.

Z Cam E2C – Affordable 4K Camera

The Z CAM E2C can record internal UHD video (3840 x 2160) at up to 30fps and full HD up to 60fps. At the moment, the available codecs are H.264 (8-bit) and H.265 (10-bit), only. It supports various powering options – Canon LP-E6 batteries, DC 12V, D-Tap or even Ethernet. Its Micro Four Thirds sensor has up to 11.5 stops of Dynamic Range. The gigabit Ethernet port can be used for live streaming. And, the camera uses affordable SDXC media.

The Z Cam E2C looks like a small cube. Source: Z CAM

Differences to the Original Z CAM E2

Apart from the lower price, the new Z Cam E2C is also smaller. Both, the width and length have remained the same, but its height is now lower by 15.3mm. The E2C camera body is also 89 grams lighter. Furthermore, the Z Cam E2C still uses a Micro Four Thirds lens mount, but the sensor is different. The resolution is higher at 16.83M and the sensor’s aspect ratio is very close to 4:3.

The Z Cam E2C utilises Canon LP-E6 batteries (versus Sony NP-F with the Z CAM E2). The recording resolutions and frame rates (and most likely also bitrates) are much lower with the E2C. The E2C cannot record in ProRes at the moment (while the Z CAM E2 can), but that capability should come with future firmware updates. Storage media is SDXC (as opposed to the Z CAM E2’s CFast 2.0).

Z Cam E2C – Technical Specifications

Z CAM has published quite a comprehensive list of the new Z Cam E2C’s specs. As the company claims, the below listed technical specifications are subjected to Z CAM‘s sole interpretation and explanation. The specifications are subject to change without notice.

Camera Features

  • Sensor type: 4/3″ CMOS sensor
  • Sensor size: 17.56 x 13.11mm
  • Effective pixels: 16.83M
  • Dynamic range: 11.5 Stops (Z-Log2)
  • Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Microphone: built-in stereo microphone

Recording

  • Resolutions & frame rates: 3840 x 2160 @ 29.97 / 25 / 24 / 23.98 fps, 2880 x 2880 @ 29.97 / 25 / 24 / 23.98 fps, 1920 x 1080 @ 59.97 / 50 / 29.97 / 25 / 24 / 23.98 fps
  • Color bit depth: 10-bit (H.265) / 8-bit (H.264)
  • Video encoder: H.265 main 10-bit profile / H.264 high profile (Apple ProRes will be supported via firmware update after the certification program)
  • Audio format: 24-bit 48 kHz, AAC / PCM (for MOV only)
  • File format: MOV / MP4
  • Record mode: video / time lapse video

Settings

  • ISO: auto, manual (800 ~ 25600)
  • Shutter: shutter speed: auto, manual (up to 1/8000”) or shutter angle: auto, manual (1° ~ 360°)
  • White balance: auto, preset, manual (2300K ~ 7500K)
  • Focus mode: MF / AF / CAF
  • Image: brightness / contrast / saturation / sharpness
  • LUT: Rec.709 / Z-Log2 / FLAT / HLG
  • Audio: audio in / audio out level
  • Time code: current time / manual input

Storage

  • Media: SDXC class 10, recommended to use UHS-I speed class 3 (U3) cards for 4K video recording
  • File system: exFAT

Connectivity

  • HDMI: HDMI 2.0 type A
  • USB: USB 3.0 type C for camera control & data transfer only
  • Remote control: 2.5 mm jack socket (Sony LANC compatible)
  • Audio-in: 3.5 mm stereo jack socket for active microphone only
  • Audio-out: 3.5 mm stereo jack socket
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11n, 2.4G with external antenna port
  • Ethernet: gigabit ethernet port for control, setting & live streaming, POE supported

Power

  • Battery: Canon LP-E6 compatible (Battery not included)
  • External power supply: DC 12V/1.5~5A, with power cable with D-TAP plug & D-TAP/DC connector (AC/DC adapter not included)
  • Power over ethernet (POE): 802.3at/af compatible, need CAT5E or above ethernet cable

Physical

  • Material: aluminum alloy
  • Weight: 668 g (without lens)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 91.2 mm x 83.9 mm x 89.1 mm (without lens)

Environment

  • Storage temperature: -20 °C ~ 60 °C
  • Operation temperature: 0 °C ~ 40 °C

The Z Cam E2C camera is available for pre-order now, and should start shipping by the end of August 2019. The price of the camera body is a very friendly US $799.

What do you think of the Z Cam E2C? Do you have any experience with their other cameras? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

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Orhan Başak AjredinovskiBen JSMP Saint Marks Pictures LLCDavid NJ Recent comment authors
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 SMP Saint Marks Pictures LLC
SMP Saint Marks Pictures LLC
Member2 days ago

Can you confirm whether it’s 422 10 bit or 420 10 bit. I suspect the latter since they don’t specify.

 David NJ
David NJ
Member2 days ago

It is slightly less expensive and more compact, slightly, than a Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4k. The BMPCC4k records in RAW and ProRes HQ 4:2:2. It can record in DCI format and record to huge, inexpensive SSD drives via a USB Gen2 Type-C port.

How does this camera fit in?

Ben J
Ben J
Member2 days ago

It’s $500 less, which doesn’t seem slight although, of course, a monitor would be an extra purchase. The H.265 footage from the E2 is very good and occupies very little space, so this could suit certain projects better. Battery life on the E2 is great (people have reported 4+ hours from a cheap NPF970 battery) – hopefully on this too. They’ve done some clever stuff with the 709 profile, possibly similar to BMD’s extended video. Some interesting multi-cam synch options with the E2C. Probably better build quality – the E2 is very robust. Fits gimbals easily. Seems to sit comfortably alongside the P4K as a different sort of camera.

 Orhan Başak Ajredinovski
Orhan Başak Ajredinovski
MemberOctober 26th, 2019

I’m thinking of automating and syncing two of these. Is it possible to control/interface with the E2C with a Raspberry Pi or Jetson Nano? If yes, any resources you could share?

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