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Z Camera E1 Mini m43 4K camera for $199 only, cheapest 4K ever
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  • @eatstoomuchjam

    Need to add it to the fame of PV. "I just saw image almost completely made of noise".

    Do not drink so much, ok?

  • All three of those look like they're almost completely made of noise.

  • Looks good.

  • Too noisy in dim light? 4K frame grabs from a dim church.

    Z Dark 7a.jpg
    3264 x 1836 - 1M
    Z Dark 6a.jpg
    3264 x 1836 - 2M
    Z Dark 2a.jpg
    3264 x 1836 - 2M
  • Lumix 14-140mm, AWB, AF, handheld.

  • That lens is another great buy (wow - a $299 HDR 4K monitor/TV, a $199 m43 miniature camera, a 4K60P $245 action cam).

    I need handheld, and thus OSS. So, for run and gun, the 12-35 pancake OSS lens!

    And the Z camera E1 alone (with Nocticron):

    E1 2 a.jpg
    3428 x 2571 - 2M
  • Ok. I have the camera. So, let's get real :).

    First, at the firmware .23 that comes with the camera, half of the features do not work and autofocus does not work right. This explains most of the review complaints on BH and Amazon.

    With the October update (.30), the focus now works - push to focus. You can set shutter speed, aperture, and ISO - you can set ISO to Auto and set aperture and shutter speed manually, for example. There are many tweaks for picture, including NR and sharpness.

    Second, the complaints about shadow noise may also be due to old firmware, since with the new firmware you can adjust noise reduction. In any case, the sensor is exactly the same as the one in the Panasonic GH4. So, performance should be similar (not identical, could be better given a newer processor and how it's tuned).

    So, how about a 4K30P comparison of the GH4 and the Z Camera E1 - same scene, same lens, same shutter and aperture? This is actually with the old E1 firmware.

    Leica Nocticron f1.2 lens (yes, a $1500 lens on a $199 camera) on both.

    Here it is. Same scene at F2 and at F5.6 (and ISO 800 for that scene). The cameras are in the same order for each lens/ISO setting. Which is which? which do you like better? Which has more noise? Which is more accurate?

    One camera does not get the reds correctly (too orange). Auto WB in both.

  • Quick, not very detailed shootout with the E1 and several other cameras/options - when reviewing it again, the yi's moire is worse than I originally thought, but still not as bad):

  • (And FWIW, the Yi m43 camera doesn't have nearly as much moire or noise in my tests)

  • I just gave mine another try today in a sort-of shootout with bunch of other cameras. The picture quality has definitely improved from firmware 0.2.6, but the noise is still pretty bad in shadows (I was noticing it a lot at ISO 500) and moire in my shirt was really bad.

    I think it's graduated, though, to being a camera that I could throw in a bag and leave attached to a lens doing a time lapse or catching bts footage or something if it's a fairly bright day outside.

  • This cam doesn't work with MFT panasonic lenses. Focus and aperture not available.

    If you look at camera page they have list of working Panasonic lenses.

  • Very good POV with interchangeable lense for price with 4k posibility. But just a negative point. This cam doesn't work with MFT panasonic lenses. Focus and aperture not available.

  • Nice! I'd like to see images in good light conditions! DR, Colors, bit rates... But i already have a Yi M1 (which i'm enjoying)

  • So, mine arrived today, it's had a quick test around the house and I believe it to be value for money:


    From the GH2 days I have a selection of nice old 'L' type FD lenses. Here's the wide angle on the E1:

    It might just go on a dog walk shortly!

    2400 x 1695 - 2M
    800 x 644 - 63K
  • B&H have reduced the price of the E1 again. It's now $250. $50 more than the previous special price but still not bad. Perhaps it'll stay at that price. People will need to order it quick just in case it doesn't stay at that price.

  • I think the current special price of the Yi M1 that includes both a zoom and a prime lens is pretty decent for $322.99 (Update. The price just increased to $350. It was $322.99 when I originally wrote this post) The 42.5mm f/1.8 lens alone usually sells for $199 although it was $99 very recently but the price just went up to the original $199. Now that the $199 deal for the E1 is over, the Yi M1 can be an alternative for anyone who wants a very cheap M43 camera as long as they aren't expecting too much for that price.

    Definitely pluses and minuses between both camera. The Yi M1 has a touch screen and standard SD card slot while on the E1, it's not a touch screen and it has a micro SD card slot. A benefit of the E1 is obviously the fact that it's a little smaller and has a 24p 4K DCI option with slightly more resolution.

    A question mark is the low light capabilities and auto focusing between the 2 cameras.

    I guess I'll have to wait and see since I'll also be getting it. I'll be comparing it with the Yi M1. Debated with myself over getting it and then finally decided that I should have once the deal was over. Was able to talk to a B&H rep over the phone yesterday to see if I can still get the deal and in the end, they allowed it. I can definitely use another 4K angle for some of the kinds of videos I shoot including music videos. I might also add extra angles to videos of events that I sometimes shoot around Boston.

    Now to hope the manual controls on the E1 will be easy to set. It's very easy on the Yi M1. Only major issue now (After the recent firmware update) is the fact that you can't see how the video will truly look in full manual mode until after you hit record. Basically if you increase the ISO on the Yi M1, the picture doesn't get brighter. Stays the same. You'll only see how it truly looks until after you hit record. Good news is that you can still do adjustments once you hit record but that's annoying. Yi have fixed some bugs already so hopefully they'll still release a newer firmware update that fixes that.

    I think the chances are very good that we could see both Yi and Z Cam releases successors of the M1 and E1 in 2018.. Perhaps the new versions could have the same sensor that is in the GH5 and offer 4K 60p.

  • I dug mine out and charged it - I had firmware 0.26 on it - I think that was from around the time when they shut down their forum.

    I set up 0.30 yesterday, but haven't had a chance to go shoot anything with it. The user interface is still pretty awkward unless there's some way to change aperture/shutter speed/iso without going into a menu. If I still dislike it and anybody here likes it, I'll be glad to sell it to them for not much money. If you love yours, markr041, maybe you'll be interested in a second... :)

    Oh, and you're totally right about the 4K+. I absolutely love mine - I also finally have my ribcage modified one (and one where I swapped the lens for a rectilinear m12 instead of a fisheye). Maybe I'll do a test of all of them along with the yi m43 camera...

  • This deal was a no-brainer: $199 for an m43 camera selling for $499 or $599, and a 30-day return policy. You can take the deal and sell the camera for a profit if you don't like it. Or buy 10 and undercut the sellers.

    So, yes, I bought one. I have mft lenses and have access to a GH4. So, I can compare.

    I am used to lousy continuous AF on all Panasonic cameras. But if this camera is ok, then one can have a gimbaled relatively large sensor camera that is light and portable. One can move with the camera!

    My faith in Chinese companies producing their own cameras with standard parts (like big-company sensors) that are real deals was upped by my experience with Yi: it's 4K+ action cam beats the GoPro 6 in IQ and is half the price, and so does its 360 camera beat the GoPro Fusion, at 57% of the GoPro price (although I am not sure its m43 offering is a bargain).

  • I haven't plugged mine in since 0.2x came out many months before. When the forum vanished (unless it's moved somewhere and is no longer linked from their website), I assumed that they shut it down because it was almost nothing but people complaining about how bad the camera was/is.

    The facebook post about 0.30 doesn't have a whole lot of info about what the patch does. Someone mentioned bug fixes and maximum iso setting.

  • They are actually still supporting the E1. The latest firmware update (0.30) was released on October 19. Basically last month so fairly recently. They also say that they might still update it.

  • A handful of these would be a cheap way to get into 360VR

  • High ISO look not bad