Someday, even the most powerful cameras will probably be no bigger than our smartphone. In the meantime, if you want the best combo of size and shooting quality, it’s going to be hard to top what the Z Camera E1 offers.
An interchangeable-lens 4K camera, it measures just slightly bigger than the GoPro Hero4, making for a highly-compact device with serious filming capabilities. Whether you want to trade in the bulky DSLR for more lenses in your gear bag, need the most powerful camera you can mount on a drone, or just want the smallest rig you can bring to a shoot, this thing packs enough talents to merit serious consideration.
The Z Camera E1 uses a micro four-thirds sensor and lens mount, allowing it to handle a wide range of existing compatible lenses from popular brands like Olympus, Panasonic, and Sigma. A Panasonic sensor and an Ambarella A9 image processor allow it to film in cinema-quality 4K (4,096 x 2,160) at 29 fps, ultra-HD (3,840 x 2,160) at 30 fps, and 1080p at 60fps, with advanced 3D noise filters to reduce jitter, ghosting, and blurring during shoots. It boasts a focusing technology that enables continuous autofocus for both photos and videos, with different sensitivity settings that you can optimize on the fly.
Other features include WiFi, Bluetooth LE, a 2.5-inch LCD (320 x 240 resolution), and a removable 2,000 mAh battery (45 minutes max when shooting 4K with WiFi turned on), so you can quickly swap in a new one to minimize shooting delay. Everything is housed in a magnesium enclosure that was chosen to help with the heat when shooting 4K. Yep, it gets hot really fast in 4K mode (no heating issues for 1080p), but doesn’t get much hotter beyond warm-to-the-touch, so users can still handle the camera properly.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Z Camera E1. Pledges to reserve a unit starts at $599.