E1 camera blends a 4K GoPro with interchangeable lenses

GoPros and other small cameras have become commonplace for allowing the capture of different perspectives. They’re rugged enough to brave the elements but have a fixed lens that make many shots look similar.

The E1 trades the GoPro’s ruggedness for some of the flexibility and quality of DSLR cameras. Instead of the fixed lens used by GoPro, it can take advantage of the lenses used by “micro four thirds” (MFT) cameras such as those from Olympus and Panasonic. Instead of using the the same fisheye effect to capture everything, MFT lenses can handle long telephoto zooms and wide-angle shots. The MFT system comes close to the quality of full-fledged DSLRs, but the lenses are quite a bit smaller. Even so, the combination can get a bit unwieldy for long zoom lenses.

The E1 includes Bluetooth to allow remote activation of the cameras as well as as 802.11n for browsing photos from the camera. For transferring 4K video, though, a wired connection to a PC will be best. Z, the company behind the compact imaging device, seeks $42,000 by August 1st. The E1 will retail for $699, but there are a number of early bird reward tiers for less than that. The first unlimited reward tier is an $899 deal that includes a 14 mm Panasonic pancake lens.

Backers shouldn’t expect to be shooting any surfing videos with the E1 any time soon (although a waterproof case is planned). Essentially, the value of the product is being able to cut down on the bulk of an interchangeable lens camera, particularly when looking at shots that may require multiple angles. But there are many shooting scenarios such as in-vehicle shots for which the eminently mountable (assuming a short lens) E1 can create more flexible imaging options than the GoPro.

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