Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Atomos and Z CAM release 5.8K and 4K ProRes RAW recording and camera control for E2 series cinema cameras

Today, the rest of the Z CAM camera line joins the ProRes RAW family.  The full frame Z CAM E2 F8 and F6, the Super 35 Z CAM E2 S6 and the micro four thirds Z CAM E2 M4 and E2C can all now record ProRes RAW to the $499 Atomos Ninja V.

Here is the Atomos press release:

Atomos and Z CAM have today enabled 12-bit 5.8K Apple ProRes RAW over HDMI recording on the Ninja V HDR monitor-recorder in combination with the Flagship series Z CAM E2 F6, E2 F8 and E2-S6 large sensor cinema cameras, as well as 4K ProRes RAW recording from the Micro 4/3 E2, E2 M4 and E2C models.

Atomos have also released new camera control functions for all Z CAM models that allow key functions to be set from the Ninja V via the monitor’s touchscreen. The Ninja V connects via USB-C and allows two-way communication for a range of controls such as record start/stop, iris, shutter speed, ISO and eND. The Control feature works whether recording internally in the camera, or externally to the Ninja V. The camera constantly updates the Ninja V with the value of each setting, which is in turn displayed clearly on the monitor. As a result, you can now record ProRes RAW from the camera and still be able to control main camera functions at the same time on the Ninja V screen. To use the feature will require an appropriate interface cable - either the existing Atomos Serial to USB cable with a USB-A to USB-C type adapter, or a new dedicated Atomos control cable that will be available in Summer 2020 as an optional accessory.

The Ninja V can record 5.8K ProRes RAW at up to 29.97p and up to 4K (UHD) up to 59.94p from all three Flagship models: the E2-S6, E2-F6 and E2-F8. The E2 and new E2-M4 will output RAW at up to DCI 4Kp59.94 for recording in ProRes RAW. The E2C can output RAW at DCI 4K 29.97p to the Ninja V. The frame rates available for RAW over HDMI recording vary depending on the camera model.
Atomos CEO Jeromy Young said: “Z CAM and Atomos have a shared vision to create industry-leading technologies at affordable prices. Our collaboration on RAW recording and camera controls for the E2 series and Ninja V demonstrates that by working together we are able to offer a tightly integrated camera system that really delivers for our users.
 “This is also the first time we have implemented camera control from our products and I’m delighted that is with Z CAM. The combination of Z CAM’s advanced small form-factor camera bodies and Atomos Controls, plus RAW recording and HDR monitoring is hard to beat.”

Kinson Loo, CEO of Z CAM said: “We are glad to extend Apple ProRes RAW support to cover the Z CAM E2 series with the help of Atomos. The new combinations open up a lot of opportunities while meeting high-end production requirements. How good is ProRes RAW recording on Z CAM with Atomos? Seeing is believing!

Support for RAW over HDMI is now available or announced for cameras from Panasonic, Fujifilm, Nikon, Sigma and Z CAM. This is in addition to several Sony, Canon, and Panasonic cinema cameras that already support ProRes RAW recording via SDI to Atomos monitor-recorders. As a result, ProRes RAW is now firmly established for RAW video capture, with many more cameras due this year.
These options are available immediately in a free AtomOS 10.5 update from Atomos and firmware update 0.96 from Z CAM."
Here is the Super 35 E2 S6 recording ProRes RAW to the Ninja V for the film Elle and Flash by Dan Ludeman:

And here is the Micro Four Thirds E2 recording ProRes RAW to the Ninja V for the film Planting, again by Dan Ludeman:

All of that said, the most exciting news for budget-conscious shooters might be that ProRes RAW is now available for the entry-level Z CAM E2C.

So for less than $1,300, you can buy a $799 Z CAM E2C and a $499 Ninja V, record to ProRes RAW and control the camera from the Ninja's 5" touch screen monitor (which you can point in any direction).

This will probably impact sales of the $1,295 Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, which has a fixed rear screen monitor.

And PortKeys may have to lower the price of their $499 BM5 monitor, which can control Z CAM cameras, but has no built-in recorder.

Bottom line - whether you shoot with a low cost Z CAM E2C, a moderately priced Sigma fp, or a high end Fujifilm GFX 100 - Atomos seems to be turning the Ninja V into a must-have accessory for maximizing the potential of your camera.

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