I recently had the opportunity to slip the Z CAM E2-S6 Super 35 6K Cinema Camera on my Freefly MoVI M5 and put it to the test on a real estate shoot. My go-to camera is the Panasonic Lumix GH5 with a Laowa 7.5mm f/2 which is a great lightweight combination. I had read about the Z CAM so when photographer Evan Olson offered up his E2-S6 6k Cinema Camera mated with the Laowa 12mm f/2.8, I jumped at the chance.
You may be asking, why would you ever consider using a 6k Cinema Camera on a real estate walk through tour? Isn’t that a bit of…overkill? Sure. But who could resist the camera that offers a Super 35 sensor with 10-bit 4:2:2 color support and nominal 14 stops of dynamic range? Add to that the ability to shoot 1080p @120fps! No brainer.
Shooting walk-through real estate video with a 3-axis gimbal and 120fps produces a real stable footage that adds a professional look and feel for your clients. One of the technical difficulties you face when shooting interior video vs still photography is getting the most latitude from your footage without the aid of flash or exposure bracketing. With video, you need to balance the highlights with the shadow details so testing a camera that captures 14 stops of dynamic range makes editing a much easier task.
Z CAM E2-S6 vs RED vs GH5
A couple nice features the Z CAM offers compared to a few other Super 35 Cinema Cameras is the use of CFast media cards rather a more expensive proprietary media required for than say RED cameras. You can purchase it with either a PL or MFT lens mounts too. All this for a bargain price of about 3k!
It’s a fairly hefty package weighing in just under 7 pounds with a small external monitor. The RED will be slightly heavier due to the batteries and storage media required. Compare that with the GH5 with the Laowa 7.5mm f/2 lens which weighs half that. Now that doesn’t sound like much, but add in the MoVI and it can get a little heavy lugging around a good size custom home and you will feel it in your back and arms by the end of the day.
Will I switch to the Z CAM from my GH5? Not during these uncertain times. I can definitely see one in my future, not for real estate – that will be left to my GH5, but I love the quality of footage, easy of use, great balance with a cinema lens attached and of course, the slow motion features offered.