New Z CAM firmware update 0.97 increases frame rate options and ZRAW compatibility

Increased frame rates for ProRes and ZRAW support in OS X
Z CAM released firmware version 0.97 today which adds new high frame rates for ProRes recording. The firmware doesn't apply evenly to the entire range of E2 cameras, but most still received updates. Most notably, the S6, F6 and F8 cameras have nice bumps in frame rates.
The announcement was made on the Z CAM E2 Facebook Group. The post with firmware download links can be found here.

Frame Rate Increases

  • ProRes 422 Proxy, 4K up to 120fps (for E2 & E2-M4)
  • ProRes HQ, C4K up to 50fps (for E2-S6 & E2-F6)
  • Prores 422, 8K up to 25fps (for E2-F8)
  • ProRes LT, 8K up to 30fps (for E2-F8)
There were a couple of other updates as well. The S6 and F6 cameras received an entirely new C4K recording mode with a 3:2 aspect ratio. The manual ISO ranges have been extended and the VFR selection setting has been moved to record. It was previously under the video page, which some users found confusing.
A new C4K recording mode with a 3:2 aspect ratio.
A new C4K recording mode with a 3:2 aspect ratio.
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The VFR setting moved to the record menu.
The VFR setting moved to the record menu.
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Z RAW Plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro on OS X

Just as welcome as frame rate increases is the release of an OS X plugin version 0.65 for ZRAW. ZRAW is Z CAM's proprietary raw format that is notoriously difficult to work with. Support for the format has been very limited with just Z CAM's own ZRAW VideoSuite software and a plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro on Windows. Now Mac users can edit ZRAW without needing to transcode, which was very slow using ZRAW VideoSuite.

The new plugin might have a caveat, however. By default the OS X plugin will use an embedded proxy file while editing, which isn't exactly the same thing as working with raw data. The actual raw file will only be used during export. Strong grading against the proxy could cause it to break down more easily than the raw file. It's unknown how this will pan out yet.

A download link to the new OS X plugin can be found at this post.

Z CAM Grip?

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One clever user posted a photo of a menu screen that appears to offer control over a grip. This might indicate that Z CAM is working on a new grip product. They are known to be working on many products and it would be no surprise if a grip was in the works. There was no mention of this feature in Z CAM's announcement, so it's currently unknown what this feature is for. Some users questioned if it would be able to program the RVLVR Clutch grip.

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