What makes a camera pro? Z Cam thinks it has the answer.
At IBC 2022, Z Cam showcased a Pro version of its E2-F6 Full Frame 6K Cinema Camera with up to 15 stops of dynamic range, 10-bit color encoding, and the addition of Genlock with Timecode. The camera is the same as its previous F6 model, save for advancements in IO and an improved image signal processor.
So what makes it pro? Let's keep digging.
Becoming a Pro
The full-frame image sensor of the new Z Cam E2-F6 Pro is capable of capturing 6K video at up to 60 frames per second and will save that video to CFast 2.0 memory cards. Though the camera has a very modular RED-like vibe, Z Cam has also stated that they are working on supporting external drive support to capture directly to a proprietary SSD drive, much like Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro. Though, to be fair to BMD, their external SSD options accept a variety of more open-source options.
The camera uses an EF lens mount, which also has a built-in ND filter included. But there is an option for a user swappable for a PL mount with just a few screws removed. There will be a Leica M-Mount option as well.
As for power, the E2-F6 now supports a V-mount battery attachment, replacing the Sony L-type connections in the previous F6 model. There is also an optional power adapter and a port that accepts a 2-pin LEMO source. The camera also offers multiple 12G-SDI and HDMI outputs for separate connections.
Z Cam also says that the E2-F6 Pro also includes a 1000 nit detachable five-inch touchscreen monitor, which connects to the camera brain through a port interface on top. This keeps cabling to a minimum. The touchscreen is proprietary, however, and will not function with other cameras. That’s unfortunate, but it does provide complete control of the camera interface outside of the four user-assignable buttons to save favorite functions for faster access.
Should You Get It?
Though the low cost will certainly attract many DSLR and mirrorless users looking to expand their tools set to a more cinema-centric platform, it would seem that the reliance on proprietary features hurts, more than helps, those who could consider it. However, the image quality is such that users may choose to overlook being hemmed into a set ecosystem. The addition of V-mount battery support and internal NDs really does add some pro-level workflow, so we're excited to see the new Z Cam perform out in the wild.
The retail price of the Z Cam E2-F6 Cinema Camera is $3,999, and according to NewsShooter (shout out to them for the photo above), it will ship during the fourth quarter of 2022. The new upgrades are subtle but really bring the camera in line with other offerings on the market.
If you happen to agree (or disagree), let us know in the comments!