May 13, 2020

Z CAM E2 Firmware 0.95 Adds External RAW via HMDI

Z CAM E2 cinema cameras can now output RAW over HDMI. 

Z CAM has released firmware version 0.95 which adds RAW support over HDMI to all 6 of its E2 cinema cameras, including the flagship E2 as well as the E2-S6, E2C, E2-F6, E2G, and the E2-F8. With the firmware, each camera model received individual updates as well. 

Since firmware 0.88, Z CAM E2 cameras have had the ability to record ZRAW internally, Z CAM's own flavor of RAW. The one workflow note is that ZRAW is not currently embraced by non-linear editors natively or through a plug-in. It requires Z CAM's VideoSuite software to convert the footage first before importing. 

At its launch, VideoSuite was only available for Windows 10. It's now compatible with macOS version 10.13 or higher. The software features color grading tools and a multiple level denoiser. It supports footage up to 4K 30p and can output DNxHR or uncompressed YUV footage at 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 as well as H.265 footage at 4:2:2.

Z CAM mentioned in August of 2019, 4K 60p would be supported in the future. It's still in development. Also, a caveat when capturing ZRAW internally is that internal proxy recording is disabled on the camera. You have to use an iOS device or the HDMI output to record proxy files.

Now that RAW is available over HDMI, it's now only a matter of which external recorders will begin to support ZRAW (if any will at all). Since ZRAW can be recorded internally, would filmmakers want an external option? Will manufacturers of external recorders start supporting ZRAW? Probably not. 

So why did Z CAM unlock RAW over HDMI? It has everything to do with supporting Apple ProRes RAW. With firmware version 0.95, the E2 supports 12-Bit ProRes RAW recording over HDMI. Which external recorder supports it? The Atomos Ninja V

Other updates with firmware version 0.95 include 2.8K120fps on the E2-S6 and 2880 x 2160 30fps on the E2G.

To find out the details of each camera model update and download the firmware, jump over to Z CAM's support page    

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But I can get a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K for the same price that shoots RAW internally...

May 13, 2020 at 8:32PM

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Joseph Arant
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