Have you ever wondered what a hybrid of the popular GoPro and the Panasonic GH4 would look like? Well, Z Camera, a two-year-old Los Angeles based company, is trying to bring this concept to life with its new E1 camera, the smallest Micro Four Thirds camera to shoot in 4K. Though launched only a couple of days ago, their Kickstarter campaign has already raised much more than the original goal and continues to amass support and funding.
The E1’s purpose is to combine the compact nature and reasonable price of action cameras with the high still and video quality of Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds line-up. The camera will feature a 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor, manufactured by Panasonic, and an interchangeable MFT mount, making it compatible with all Micro Four Thirds lenses from Panasonic, Olympus, and Sigma. As far as we can tell, the first images look quite promising.
The body is very compact and appears quite minimalistic. While it has a 2.5 inch LCD screen with a resolution of 320×240 pixels and a few external controls, most of the camera’s operations and functions can be controlled without having any physical contact with the camera at all thanks to the inclusion of WiFi and Bluetooth.
In fact, two proprietary applications for iOS and Android have already been developed and are available for download from the Apple Store and Google Play. The app is also open to developers who want to explore better use of the camera. Unlike other cameras, users can leave the camera in standby mode and remotely power it, whether it be on or off.
Equipped with an advanced Ambarella A9 image processor, the E1 will shoot 4K at 24 fps and ultra HD video at 30 fps with H.264 compression. Without WiFi activated, you can shoot in 4K for 80 minutes but this becomes 45 minutes if you activate WiFi. The heat generated during 4K shooting will be dissipated by the camera’s die cast magnesium housing. According to the official specifications, an effective time lapse function is already available and slow motion capabilities at 120 fps are also coming soon.
The E1 is also a very appealing low-light companion. It delivers high ISO performance up to 102,400 ISO (with high image quality up to 6400 ISO) and is equipped with advanced 3D noise filters that reduce noise, jitter, ghosting and blurring.
Though a video camera by nature, the E1 will also shoot 16MP stills with Raw and JPG options with a burst speed of 15fps (JPG only).
The potential applications for a camera like this are many – from aerial photography to underwater exploration to action cameras in films.
In keeping with Z Camera’s goal to keep prices as low as possible, the E1 will enter the market at $699. If you’d like to support the campaign, you can head over to the company’s Kickstarter page or visit their official website to find out more. By pledging $449 or more, you will receive an E1 camera of your own!
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