August 14, 2019

You Can Now Pre-Order ZCam's New 6K/8K Cameras

ZCam's E2-F8 8K Cinema Camera
This great cameras offer a Full Frame image sensor and Z-Raw up to 120fps.

Z-Cam is back at it. Fresh off the news of a 4K Cinema Camera for under $800, ZCam has 6K and 8K cinema cameras that are also available for preorder. 

The F6's full frame 28MP image sensor has a wider range of options for shooting in fps. The F6 can shoot 6K at up to 60fps, 4K at up to 120 fps, and Full HD at 120fps. The 61 MP 8K F8 remains constant at 30fps at this juncture, even when shooting at lower 6K and 4K resolutions. That's kind of a bummer, because you'd think that at lower resolutions other options would be open.

Maybe Z-Cam is planning to open them up with a future firmware update? One other difference is that the 8K F8 is slightly larger, while the 6K F6 has the same basic dimensions as the 4K model.

ZCam E2-F6 Can shoot at up to 120fps

Other options for both cameras include Open Gate at full res, DCI 2.4:1, 4:3 and 6:5 in various configurations. The F6 also promises 15 stops of dynamic range, shooting in the new Z-Raw codec, images to CFast 2 cards at up to 300 fps, and has 10 bit recording in 4:2:0 color sampling. Both 6K and 8K models also support dual native ISO with ISO 400 and 2500.

ZCam's E2-F6 Walk around

One thing that is also noteworthy, is that the F6 & F8 don't come ProRes certified, and do not offer Apple's hires codec as an option. This is a step backwards from the Micro Four Thirds E2F4, which shoot ProRes 4:2:2 with HQ, Standard, LT and Proxying options. That's a very similar problem that we've heard on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, which also doesn't shoot ProRes.

Z-Cam reps say that ProRes could come later, leaving me to think that certification is taking longer than expected, and as such, why wait when you can get opened up later? I mean, no need to wait for Cupertino to give their blessing, if you can just unlock it in a future firmware update.

Other features include:

  • CFast 2.0
  • USB 3 Type-C
  • 2x com ports
  • Sony LANC support
  • 3,5mm audio in/out
  • dual XLR microphone jacks
  • 802.11n WiFi
ZCam Super 35mm E2-S6 6K Camera

ZCam is also introducing a Sub $3,000 Super 35mm E2-S6, with 14 stops of dynamic range and shooting 6K at up to 48fps. The S6 can shoot up to 120 fps in full HD, but for 6K it maxes out at 75ps. But it can shoot Open gate, 6K via DCI at 2.4:1 .

Price for the cameras break out as follows:

  • ZCam E2-F8 8K Full Frame Cinema Camera - $5,995
  • ZCam E2-F6 6K Full Frame Cinema Camera - $4,995
  • Z-Cam E2-S6 Super 35mm Cinema Camera - $2,995

All three are available for pre-order now.

Z-Raw Video Suite is required to convert Z-Cam's Raw for editing

In other Z-Cam news, the camera company is offering their own flavor of Raw (dubbed Z-Raw) to the 4K E2, E2C, and as mentioned, it will be included in future S6, F6 and F8 Cinema Cameras as well. Firmware .88 offers the following new features and fixes:

  • ZRAW (partial debayer), supports up to 4096×2160@30fps initially
  • Monitor preview LUT, x33 cube format
  • Pre-rolling
  • Still image capture (JPEG only)
  • VFR fine control, 1 frame per step
  • Native ISO toggle control
  • Parade view
  • Card formatting compatibility
  • AWB always use a white priority in Z-Log2
  • Performance optimization

Bugs fixes

  • Time Code sync to an external device
  • Other minor bug fixes

Users will require ZRAW VideoSuite convert ZRAW for post production workflows. And unfortunately, it's Windows only. Additionally, no proxy recording is allowed when ZRAW is selected. Shooters will need to use iOS device or HDMI to record proxy file instead.

Z-Cam users can download the E2 firmware 0.88 here and the ZRAW VideoSuite here.

So, BMD offers 6K for under $3,000, RED is hinting the Komodo 6K may be around $5,000, and now we have Z-Cam 6K for under $6,000. I think it's safe to say the cinema camera market is pretty well disrupted.     

Your Comment

3 Comments

Yeah, great progress on the front of image acquisition,but that's not really what we need. We need decent content, and frankly it's not out there, except for some docs, but most narrative are dismal. I'm now at a point where I'd watched any great narrative shot on VHS. We are becoming more and more a culture of form over substance and content, I guess that goes well with everything we can read in the news these days. Who wants to pay me to I go watch Once Upon A Time in Hollywood?

August 15, 2019 at 7:12AM

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I completely agree with this statement. The last film I saw which I REALLY enjoyed was hereditary. I agree that substance seems to not be a priority for a lot of creators unfortunately. Especially when they assume all you need is a high frame rate to make your footage “cinematic”

August 15, 2019 at 12:02PM

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Alex Woodruff
Director of Photography/Gaffer/Grip
15

The problem is that that films have peeked the interest of investments more so than ever. Not necessarily that films are returning a much higher ROI than in history.

But rather the volume of cash that it acquired is much higher. the market was tested out in the early 2000s and it was proven that the market could sustain hundreds of million projects and now billion dollar projects that are happening in the same year.

Which then the issue with a larger budget is the fact that the investors feel like they have to have a greater stake in the film. And more removed the people are that are investing into the film and the more they care less about selling a story as much as selling billion or ten billion dollar project to the masses.

Inflation is one thing but even something outrageous like Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 Ten Commandments would equate to around $22 million dollars today.

So two fold its that more money than ever is pouring into films and it gets more attention than ever from people who don't care about telling stories as much as getting a big return on investment.

And then their is the global box office in play too. Because a film could be quite average and on a 100 million dollar budget make 100 million dollars domestically and then make 100 million per country overseas and possibly get high up there even though by all means it is quite an average narrative.

Which is why movies that focus on visuals, and more basic narratives typically sell better globally since their concepts are more universal and easier to pick up on than a film with tons of dialogue and a very tightly crafted narrative that hinges on each word said.

Which is probably why films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon did great, because the film had fantastic visuals and then also because it was able to be properly translated into multiple languages quickly and accurately. (for the most part)

August 15, 2019 at 3:09PM

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Kyle Dockum
Videographer and Editor
1120