Why the Z-Cam E2C Is Your New Best Friend

Z_Cam's E2C Modular Camera Brings 4K for under $800
This might be the best 4K cinema camera on the market.

For under $800, the E2C may be the smallest and most affordable 4K camera out there right now. It's also one of the best things to happen in the history of human events.

Z-Cam's new E2C 4K Cinema Camera looks awfully familiar. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if they look a hard look at Blackmagic's Micro Cinema Camera and then took a look at how they could put their own 4K spin on it. 

Capable of recording 4K 10-Bit H.265 video through DCI, at up to 300 fps,  as well as 8-bit H.264 at up to 120 fps. By contrast, the 1080p BMMCC boasts 13 stops of DR. But it's also HD, not UHD, sSo E-Cam has the advantage there, and can shoot full HD at up to 60 fps as well.  The micro four thirds image sensor of the E2C is capable of up to 11.5 stops of dynamic range when shooting with Z-Log2.

The E2C may be the smallest and most affordable 4K cinema camera on the market

Other features include:

  • Sensor type: 4/3″ CMOS sensor
  • Sensor size: 17.56 x 13.11mm
  • Effective pixels: 16.83M
  • ISO 800-25600
  • Dynamic range: 11.5 Stops (Z-Log2)
  • Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Microphone: built-in stereo microphone
  • Recording options include Rec 709 and Z-Log2 LUTs, as well as FLAT and hybrid log gamma (HLG) for HDR.
  • 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 
  • Audio format: 24-bit 48 kHz, AAC / PCM (for MOV only)
  • File format: MOV / MP4
  • Record mode: video / time lapse video

The camera also offers gigabit ethernet, HDMI 2 Type A, USB-C, as well as an audio jack, Wifi, and it records to SDXC media (sadly, only UHS-1 rated).  Powering options include Canon LP-E6 batteries, 12v DC, D-Tap, and you can even drive the camera with power over Ethernet.  

The E2C is also smaller than the BMMCC, at 91.2 mm x 83.9 mm x 89.1 mm, and weighs in at 668g without a Micro Four Thirds lens attached. At that weight, it would be ideal for attaching to a drone for some delicious ultra high definition aerial cinematography.

The only downside is that the E2C can't record ProRes right now, but Z-Cam says that they are awaiting Apple certification for it, and a future firmware update will bring it down the line. The real question is, will that include ProRes Raw?

Announced at NAB last year, the E2C's projected March date was delayed. But it's finally available for pre-order for $799. There's also a create your own bundle with a wide array of lenses including an Olympus M. Zuiko 14042mm f3.5-5.6 II R lens, that could save you up to $150.  Shipping by month's end.      

Your Comment

5 Comments

4k @ 300 fps? Typo...

August 1, 2019 at 2:59PM

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avatar
Joseph Arant
Writer
566

Nice, close up pic shows it has TWO audio jacks, mic and headphone for monitoring.

August 1, 2019 at 3:21PM, Edited August 1, 3:23PM

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The E1 was a pile of garbage. I hope Z Cam learned their lesson from the first round.

August 3, 2019 at 9:44AM

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Aaron P-F
116

No, the E1 was never a pile of garbage, I own it, it's a great little camera. It's simply that people never understood it. I can prove to you - and there are example out there - that the E1 is capable of great footage. Simply, the documentation that came with it is almost non-existent; it didn't shipped with a charger, but it was available; and most people mistook for an action cam - which was never the intent. You can rack-focus from an AF MFT lens with the E1 on your iPhone. Fuck man, if that's not innovative, then I don't know what is. It packs the sensor of the GH4 for 250 bucks on B&H because people don't understand it.
On manual the footage is fantastic and downright ridiculous for under 300 bucks. The E1 was a test for the E2 sure but people who said ALL over the place it was an action cam... it's not waterproof... it's not shockproof... it can't be, because the lens is interchangeable.... .... I mean that was just 110% dumb comments about the E1. Sorry. Some complaints were true, but coming from a pro owner, 90% of people who reviewd the E1 had no idea how to even make it work on manual. Granted you have to scout Reddit but seriously??? Please.

September 28, 2019 at 1:20AM

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Jasmin
74

"It's also one of the best things to happen in the history of human events"

NFS, you've really jumped the shark. This is just getting ridiculous. And a bit sad.

August 5, 2019 at 12:04AM

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Parky
74

This is the stripped down version of the more expensive E2 that's been out for a while now. Can't speak for the E2c but I've been using the E2 and it's a great versatile little camera. I love the color, battery life, and the wifi/control via smart device. My E2 does 250fps in HD but it's not that usable with the subsampling. However the 160fps 4k looks great

August 5, 2019 at 8:15AM, Edited August 5, 8:15AM

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kj
177