The E1 camera by Z-cam is a really unique action camera as it comes with an interchangeable lens (micro four third – MFT).

E1 camera by Z-cam

E1 camera by Z-cam

 

E1 Camera Specs:

Image Sensor:
The sensor is the 16,4 MP Panasonic MN34230, which is the standard MFT sensor.

Chipset:
The E1 camera is equipped with an Ambarella A9 image processor (same one is used in the GoPro Hero 4)

Lens:
The E1’s micro four-thirds lens mount can handle a wide range of AF (auto-focus) lenses available from brands such as Olympus, Panasonic Lumix, Leica and Sigma. It also supports a variety of existing MF (manual-focus) lenses.

For still capture the crop factor is 2x (as all MFT cameras). For video mode, it’s around 2.34x crop factor.
For 1080p mode, it’s still of the same view angle as 4K as the camera downscales instead of binning (like DLSRs do).

Video Resolution & Frame Rate:

  • 4K – 24fps   (4096×2160)
  • UHD – 24fps / 25fps / 30fps   (3840×2160)
  • 2K – 24fps / 25fps / 30fps
  • 1080p – 24fps / 25fps / 30fps / 50fps / 60fps
  • 720p – 50fps / 60fps / 240fps

There are also some other “non standard formats” like 1920×1920 available (which I didn’t include in the list above).

Dynamic Range:
Wide dynamical range mode will be expected to be 11 stops.

Recording Format:
The videos are recorded in .mov files with .h264 codec.
Datarate is 60Mbps (in 4K recording)
It use AAC as encoder for audio recording, bit rate at 128kbps, the sample rate is 48k. (external MIC jack (3.5mm) built in)

Photo Resolution & Format:
Image resolution up to 16 MP (4640×3480) is available with 3 .jpg quality settings (Super Fine, Fine, Basic) and uncompressed DNG!

Display:
The E1 camera offers a 2,5″ live view LCD display with 320×240 pixels resolution.

Battery:
A detachable 2000mAh, lithium-ion battery is used, which is almost twice as large as the GoPro battery!
An external double charger will be available.

E1 Camera - interchangeable MTF lenses, detachable battery

E1 Camera – interchangeable MTF lenses, detachable battery

 

Storage:
MicroSD cards are used in the E1 camera.

Connectivity & Ports:
The camera offers wifi and bluetooth for wireless remote via iOS or Android App,
the wifi should work +/- 80m.

There is a microUSB port with A/V out function,
a microHDMI port for HD video output (up to 1080p 60fps),
a 3,5mm microphone jack,
and an I/O port to control the camera via a serial port by VISCA protocol.

E1 Camera - 2,5" live view screen, 3,5mm mic jack & ports

E1 Camera – 2,5″ live view screen, 3,5mm mic jack & ports

 

Dimension & Weight:
75.2 x 56.1 x 50.25 mm
210 g (battery 42g)

for comparison:

GoPro Hero 4 black
59 x 41 x 30 mm
152 g with housing

Sony Alpha 6300 mirrorless camera:
120 x 66.9 x 48.8 mm
404 g

 

Accessories:
Actually I couldn’t find out what is included in the sales price? A Lens?
On their kickstarter campaign (which is over) they stated they work on an underwater case.

Special Features:

Besides the interchangeable lens the E1 offers a photo burst mode with up to 15 photos/sec in 16M;
a time-lapse mode is also available
and you can set shutter manually.
Besides focussing manually there are 3 auto-focus modes (Single, Continuous Center and Flexible zone) depending on the lens.

Advanced 3D noise filters using motion compensated temporal filtering (MCTF) technology reduces noise and jitter. This allows for incredible low-light performance with the camera’s ability to shoot at up to ISO 102,400 while maintaining high image quality, up to ISO 6400.
Additionally, the 3D noise filter actively removes ghosting and blurring.

The E1’s magnesium housing is specifically designed to dissipate heat and properly support the high demands of the A9 image processor.

Retailer/Price Comparison:

more information: z-cam.com

 

Conclusion

I’m very interested in the E1 camera as it offers many opportunities and I not really a fan of fisheye videos and I also expect way better videos than from a GoPro Hero 4 black.
Although I currently have three major concerns which keep me from buying:

  1. Protection/case: I know that it is tricky to build a case for the camera as you have several lens options, but there should be at least a case for the “standard” 14mm lens or something similar.
  2. Gimbal: They add so much opportunities when shooting with action cameras and I really love to work with the. But most of them are designed for GoPros – you can find an overview here – or for larger mirrorless cameras like the Sony Alpha series. So the smaller GoPro models won’t work with the E1 camera and the larger ones are a bit oversized to benefit from the small form factor of the E1.
  3. Price/Performance Ratio: The newer mirrorless cameras are some kind of competitors. There is not much info out yet, but the new Sony Alpha 6300 got my attention: 4K internal recording and 1080p with 120fps! Price is a higher and the size larger, but you also get a fully equipped photo camera. (the older Sony Alpha 600o is cheaper 498 USD, won’t record 4K, but 1080p with 60fps).

 

Sample

This is a 4K sample clip by Z-cam:

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