Z CAM Officially Gets Apple ProRes RAW. Is it More Appealing Now?

Apple ProRes RAW for Z CAM is no longer a tease, but E2G owners get left out. 

Atomos and Z CAM previously teased Apple ProRes RAW would be supported by its line of E2 cameras. Now, Atomos and Z CAM has made the marriage official with the release of the AtomOS V10.5 for Ninja V and Z CAM update 0.96. The latest Z CAM firmware improves its existing external RAW recording while adding new features like UVC web camera supports for both H.264 and MJPEG. 

As previously reported by No Film School, firmware version 0.95 brought RAW over HDMI to nearly the entire lineup of of Z CAM cameras with the exception of the Z CAM E1. But while Atomos was working on the AtomOS update, Z CAM released the E2-M4 in June, a cheaper version of the E2 that's essentially the same Micro Four Thirds 4K camera, but it's missing the multi-cam synchronization. 

Fast-forward to Z CAM releasing update 0.96, and nearly every camera received it: the E2, E2C, E2-F6, E2-F8, E2-S6, and the E2-M4. But there's a camera missing from the group. The E2G. So if you happened to own that version, its seems you have been left out on ProRes RAW.

No Film School reached out to Z CAM to see if the camera will receive Apple ProRes RAW support in the future, and are still waiting for a response. In the meantime, if you're considering a Z CAM camera, you might want to steer clear of the E2G as it could be phased out. 

For the rest of the lineup, the larger sensor cameras, including the E2-F6, E2-F8 and E2-S6, enable 12-bit linear 5.8K Apple ProRes RAW recording over HDMI on the Ninja V and the Micro Four Third cameras, E2, E2C, and E2-M4 get 4K ProRes RAW. 

While version Z CAM firmware 0.95 unlocked external HDMI, 0.96 adds camera control that allows 2-way communication to control start/stop, iris, shutter speed, ISO and eND. According to Atomos, the control feature works whether recording internally to the camera or externally to the Ninja V. This will allow filmmakers to record ProRes RAW while controlling the main functions of the camera via the Ninja V screen. To do so, you'll need an interface cable supplied by Atomos. 

The Ninja V will record 5.8K ProRes RAW up to 29.97fps and 4K UHD up to 59.94fps on the E2-S6, E2-F6, and E2-F8. The E2 and E2-M4 will record 4K DCI at 59.94fps, and the E2C will output 4K DCI at 29.97fps. The exact frame available for RAW over HDMI will vary depending on the camera model, so one camera might receive 23.98fps, while another one might not.

Purely speculation, but it would be safe to assume future updates from Z CAM and Atomos would provide additional frame rates, but don't count on them until it's official. 

Z CAM joins Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Panasonic, Sigma, and Sony camera that are supported by Atomos for Apple ProRes RAW. The one outlier is Kinefinity, which announced that its 8K Mavo Edge records ProRes RAW internally. 

With Atomos' exclusivity on Apple ProRes RAW, they've managed to quietly create a monopoly. If filmmakers want to shoot with the codec, you essentially have to buy one of its recorders. 

For Z CAM owners, you can download firmware update 0.96 on the support page, and AtomOS V10.5 for the Ninja V here.      

Your Comment

5 Comments

This is a damn shame. The E2G is the only aspect of ZCam that I've been interested in thus far. In my opinion: Short of an Alexa, there hasn't been a digital camera that looks as filmic since the Digital Bolex. The color coming from the sensor on the E2G doesn't compare to the D16's but the global shutter gives it a quality that I haven't seen in anything put out by RED, BMD, Canon, Sony, Fuji, etc. The fact that global shutters aren't looked at as an absolutely necessary trait is mind boggling to me, as I consider it to be a complete deal breaker in most scenarios. Here's hoping ZCam has plans to build upon the E2G and begins expanding their G line.

July 2, 2020 at 10:26AM

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Sean Pettis
Director/DP
715

I don’t understand camera manufacturers who build cameras for broadcast but, don’t think to factor in a simple 4:2:2 10 bit codec in their cameras. Even youtubers have now embraced more efficient codecs. Z cam CDNG images are surprisingly beyond amazing. I’m still waiting for the Gottcha moments of the camera. Like when will the camera break.

July 4, 2020 at 4:38AM

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It does have prores, unless you think they need something else?

July 4, 2020 at 9:06AM

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Darren Orange
Director/Producer
305

It doesn’t have ProRes internally, unless I’m wrong... does it? I will get one immediately if it does.

July 5, 2020 at 4:59AM

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It does have ProRes internally. All the E2-S6, F6, F8 and M4 all have ProRes internal. I own a E2-S6.

July 6, 2020 at 1:22PM, Edited July 6, 1:22PM

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Darren Orange
Director/Producer
305