Why the Z-Cam E2C Is Your New Best Friend
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.
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.