Chinese KineRAW S35 Camcorder Attempts to Knock Off the RED and ARRI ALEXA for $8,000
In our global economy, one could amend the phrase “nothing is certain in life except death and taxes” to “nothing is certain in life except death, taxes, and knockoffs.” The country responsible for half of my existence, China, is knockoff/bootleg Ground Zero, and so it should come as no surprise that the first reports of a RED and ARRI ALEXA clone come from The Motherland. The 2K KineRAW Kinefinity camcorder is like a larger RED (using “KineMAG” SSD drives instead of REDMAG SSD drives) with the size and weight of an ALEXA. It even uses basically the same menu system and display on the side of the body as does the ALEXA (knockoffs are not exactly known for their originality). The camera will record to CinemaDNG or Cineform RAW and will supposedly ship for the “gorgeous” price of $7-8k.
Check out a video of the camera being presented at a Beijing tradeshow at DSLR News Shooter (this is where the “gorgeous” quote comes from). Here’s the spec sheet:
|Image Sensor||Super 35mm Sized CMOS sensor|
|12-bit linear output for True RAW as CinemaDNG, or 10-bit Log90 output for Cineform RAW|
|Lens Mount||PL Mount as Standard Mount|
|Interchangeable Lens Mounting System with adjustable Flange-to-Focal Distance|
|Recording||2K@23.976fps, 24fps, 25fps, 30fps|
|Both uncompressed True RAW as CinemaDNG and GoPro-Cineform ™ RAW|
|Monitoring||480p, 576p, 720p, 1080p, RGB 8bpc, compatable with third party EVF, LCD and HD monitors.|
|One HDMI port and Two SDI ports|
|Audio||24-bit depth and 48KHz|
|3-Pin XLR two channels|
|Sync||Time Code: supports SMPTE LTC Timecode input and output (Master/Slave)|
|Genlock: SMPTE 274M-2005 Tri-Level Sync signal|
|Sensor Sync Signal: between two cameras, like for shooting Stereo-3D or multi-camera.|
|Power Supply||Camera DC Power Input 11 – 26V, maximum typical current draw is 4 amps from 12V.|
|Size and Weight||Length x Width x Height w/o projections: 312x190x150mm|
The first obvious difference between the specs of the KineRAW and the RED models is that the KineRAW lacks 4K or 5K options and maxes out at 30fps instead of 300fps like the EPIC does. Of course, on a film production the specs of the camera are only important to the extent that the camera works — reliably. Would you trust your entire production to a camera startup with an unproven track record? You know, like RED was a few years ago?
Seriously though, while I’ve heard no reports of any ALEXA reliability issues, as Philip Bloom found out yesterday, the current RED EPIC-M is in fact a “beta” camera. EPIC shooters run the risk of discovering problems that aren’t fixable on-set — Bloom has to wait until the camera can be taken in to be fixed, given the camera would not even power on. However, RED has always been upfront about this — on the sales page it states, “The EPIC-M is a hand-assembled, non-production run camera and is intended for users who can provide testing and constructive feedback directly to RED.” To me this kind of crash will only be an unforgivable offense if the shipping EPIC-X cameras run into similar problems. Then again, I’m not shooting on an EPIC-M right now, and I might feel differently if my production came to an unexpected halt because a $58,000 camera suddenly transformed into an inert brick.
Also of interest: the KineRAW S35 camera isn’t the only planned model; they’ve also got a KineRAW S16 and S8 version, which presumably mimic the sensor sizes of Super16mm and Super8mm film. No pricing announced for those two.
Ultimately, until there are footage samples, and more importantly cameras actually being used in the field, this is all pure speculation. A specification sheet does not a camera make; on set, issues like usability, reliability, battery life, build quality, etc. all take on much higher priority than they do on paper. And while I’m all for bringing high-end tools to indie filmmakers at lower prices, I also greatly respect the R&D efforts of companies like RED and ARRI, and if a company is going to make a similar camera, I’d love to see some innovative ideas to go along with a copied spec sheet.
[via DSLR News Shooter]
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