Z CAM E2-M5G Announced – 5K60p, Global Shutter M43 Sensor with Dual Gain Architecture, and More

September 18th, 2023 Jump to Comment Section 8

At IBC 2023, camera and lighting manufacturer Z CAM introduced the E2-M5G cinema camera. It features a 5K Micro Four Thirds global shutter CMOS sensor with Dual Gain architecture and Dual Native ISO, can record in 5K60p or 4K96p, plus it has a user-interchangeable MFT lens mount and a claimed dynamic range of 16 stops.

When we last visited Z CAM’s booth at IBC in Amsterdam last year, the company had just introduced the E2-F6 Pro, an entirely new cinema camera platform offering a 6K full-frame rolling shutter sensor, a 5” touchscreen monitor, 12G-SDI, Genlock, Timecode, and more.

Its non-Pro counterpart played a key role in the making of the latest Mission Impossible movie. Hence, Z CAM’s popularity in these applications likely led many cinematographers to beg Z CAM for a new global shutter camera. And here it is, the new E2-M5G! On the show floor at IBC 2023, my colleague Johnnie sat down with the “Z CAM man” himself – Kinson Loo – to discuss this feature-dense camera. Let’s take a look!

Z CAM E2-M5G with PL mount
Z CAM E2-M5G with PL mount. Image credit: CineD

Z CAM E2-M5G 5K global shutter camera – features

The new E2-M5G is not Z CAM’s first global shutter cinema camera. Indeed, the company already has the E2-S6G 6K Super35 model in its arsenal. However, according to Kinson, the new 5K Micro Four Thirds global shutter CMOS sensor of the E2-M5G performs exceptionally well.

To start with, the camera records in 5K at up to 60fps or 4K at up to 94fps. Moreover, 4K recording can be pushed to a maximum of 116fps when using the 2.4:1 aspect ratio. Files are stored on a CFAST 2.0 card, but USB-C recording on an external SSD drive – whilst not recommended due to the delicate design of the USB-C connection – is also possible.

The new Z CAM E2-M5G features a 5K Micro Four Thirds Global Shutter sensor
The new Z CAM E2-M5G features a 5K Micro Four Thirds Global Shutter sensor. Image credit: CineD

According to Z CAM’s internal tests, the sensor can capture up to 16 stops of dynamic range thanks to its Dual Conversion Gain technology. This is quite impressive, especially considering its global shutter design. But Kinson elaborates even further and adds that: 

This is the best dynamic range cinema camera
we’ve ever produced.

Kinson Loo, CEO at Z CAM

Of course, this a very bold statement, so we’re eager to put the E2-M5G through its paces by stressing it in our Lab Test. For reference, the Z CAM E2-F6 non-Pro did not shine in our Lab Test. You can check it out here. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to test the E2-S6G.

Z CAM E2-M5G's top and rear sides
Z CAM E2-M5G’s top and rear sides. Image credit: CineD

Moving on to the lens mount, the E2-M5G features a Micro Four Thirds mount, although this is user-interchangeable to either EF, PL or even the new Z CAM LPL mount, for example. Alternatively, you can opt for their EF Turbo Mount with a built-in 0.7x focal reducer to make the most out of your full-frame or S35 glass. Another option is to use their eND filter module that is compatible with the EF and PL mounts.

Unlike the E2-F6 Pro, which is equipped with 12G-SDI, the E2-M5G is an HDMI-only camera. Nonetheless, the I/O and connectivity array of the camera is quite extensive, including a 2-pin LEMO for power, USB-C, Wi-Fi, CTRL, 2.5mm LANC, Ethernet, mini XLR, 2-pin AUX (12V), as well as a 3.5mm mic and headphone jack.

I/O array on Z CAM E2-M5G
I/O array on Z CAM E2-M5G. Image credit: CineD

Last but definitely not least, Kinson revealed that they are also considering adding another global shutter camera to their new camera platform, which means it would sit next to the E2-F6 Pro. So what’s your guess? Please let me know in the comments below.

Price and availability

The new Z CAM E2-M5G is now available to pre-order from B&H. The camera should become available towards the end of October 2023. Its official retail price is set at $3,999.

For more information, please keep an eye on Z CAM’s website.

Have you ever shot on a Z CAM? What do you think of this new global shutter model? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!


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