February 13, 2012

The Latest on the Chinese KineRAW Digital Cinema Camera

The KineRAW is a Chinese digital cinema camera that I called (perhaps too harshly) a "knockoff" of the ARRI ALEXA and RED cameras. This is a guest post by Wentao Marvin.

As China is celebrating the Lunar New Year (the Year of Dragon), Kinefinity KineRAW development has entered the final stage of internal user testing, and public testing is scheduled to roll out in February. This update focuses on the S35 (Super35-sized sensor) and S8 (Super8mm-sized sensor) model as they are being developed back-to-back.

Here are some images showing the S35 camera body design:

A few key specifications of the S35 model:

  • Super 35mm sized CMOS sensor
  • Dual raw recording, uncompressed 12bit linear cinemaDNG (800Mbps) or 10bit log90 GoPro Cineform RAW (100Mbps), uses regular 2.5 inch SSD or HDD (shoot and dump)
  • DCI 2K 1-24fps, 1080p 1-30fps, 720p 1-60fps. (Not yet finalised)
  • Interchangeable lens mount, supports PL (standard), Canon EF, Nikon F, OCT-19
  • PL mount version 280mm*135mm*155mm, approx. 4kg.

I've been told that the dynamic range of the sensor is likely to achieve or exceed 13 stops. However the S35 model is still being fine-tuned, the actual footage is estimated to be released in mid Februrary. Here is the latest information on the camera, in the form of Q&A:

FAQ

  • Q: Why there are HDMI and VF sockets on the front of the camera? A: They are intended for compact monitors or EVF, two SDI output on the back are for reference monitors.
  • Q: What is the function of that antenna? A: It will be used for remote control (eg. smart phones or tablets), also a wireless monitoring feature is being considered.
  • Q: How many recording buttons are there on the body? A: One on the left, one on the back, one remote trigger socket on the front.
  • Q: What power supply can I use? A: the S35 model uses 4 pin XLR, supports standard 14v battery, a 140Wh battery can last approximately 4 hours.
  • Q: How many accessory mounting options are there on the body? A: There are two 1/4-20 mounting screws on the left and right side respectively, one 3/8-16 screw and 3 rows of four 1/4-20 screws on the top.
  • Q: It was mentioned that the S35 model will have an EF mount version, is the aperture electronically controlled? A: Currently the sample unit cannot electronically control the aperture of EF lenses, however it's still being developed and might be able to do that upon release.
  • Q: Does this camera have Genlock? A: It doesn't have Genlock but it will feature a special interface for 3D or multicam sync.
  • Q: How much is the S35 model? A: Approximately $8000 USD body only.

The S8 model shares most of the key features of the S35 model, two test video and some uncompressed frames can be viewed below, please note that these footage do not represent the actual quality of the S8 model since it's still a sample unit. You can download high quality .avi files of each test here and here.

Sample uncompressed 1080p frame  grabs(processed from 2.5k cinemaDNG) can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 4.

I will provide Koo with more footage as soon as more is available, please stay tuned!

Your Comment

135 Comments

Looks interesting. The Super 8 footage does look quite filmic, but I have a question. What's a Super 8 sized sensor camera good for?

February 13, 2012

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Eugenio Fernánd...

Documentary where a shallow depth of field is normally more problematic than it's worth.

February 13, 2012

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D

Because of the high pixel resolution of S8's 2.5K, when shooting with good f/0.95 lenses you can also get shallow depth of field. There is a 200% zoom on the HDMI viewfinder that lets you focus with greater certainty.

February 21, 2012

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Be sure to see the comments on page two as well as there are more than 90 now...

March 3, 2012

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Maybe you only see one page, you may need to re-fresh your browser after making a post...

March 3, 2012

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About the page at the bottom that says the camera is 'rolling out' in FEB, that's a bit ahead of what's going on, they got two revised prototypes back from the factory and are shooting with those now, I have been getting some calibration frames this week, and the camera seems to be working enough for that, I am told that its shooting both CinemaDNG and Cineform (tm) although we are working on the camera monitoring LUT because those are needed not only for the camera monitoring but also for making 3D-LUT for various workflows like Iridas Speed Grade (tm) and Cineform (tm) to have color matching.

If things go well sales of the KineRAW-S35 (tm) may start in a few months. You can email Kinefinity.com (tm) and tell them you are interested in being kept up to date about when the camera will be on sale outside China. If you google KineRAW (tm) from time to time you may be able to follow what is going on. I still plan to make some more KineRAW-S8p (tm) test demos for my Vimeo pages, and to do additional testing and calibrations as the camera designs get closer to their public release dates.

You should note that the AVI linked to here ARE NOT uncompressed AVI and show heavy losses over the 100% uncompressed samples, even though they show quite good results. The reason for that is that the frames for uncompressed AVI are 1920x1080x3bytes each, or 10.4MB each, so for 6 minutes of video it would be about 1.5GB to download. The camera Bayer frames are 12bits per pixel (1.5 bytes is 12bits packed two pixels in three bytes) so the do not take as much space as uncompressed BMP frames used in the uncompressed AVI file. The AVI I sent to Kinefinity.com (tm) and Vimeo (tm) were compressed MPEG4v2 to make them small enough to meat Vimeo (tm) limits and so have lost some of the crispness and fine detail that the camera can capture. If you want to see some of the uncompressed BMP frames used to make the demo-videos you can email me directly at: tempnulbox (at) yahoo (dot) come and put 'NOFILMSCHOOL reader BMP frame request' in the subject line, that way I know you are not junk mailm thanks.

If you have any questions about when the cameras will go on sale or when additional videos from the S35 will start to be shot, you can email Kinefinity.com (tm) directly since they are in control of those dates.

March 3, 2012

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It good for using Super8 C-mount lenses like the Angenieux 6-80mm f/1.2, as well as Regular 16mm C-mount lenses as they are lighter weight than 35mm lenses of the same type, in addition to that the total cost of the camera is lower, as the MSRP is forecast to fall between maybe $1500 and $2000. Because of the 2.5K resolution of the sensor, in the case of the demos, which should only be viewed 1:1 pixel on your monitor as any re-size will degrade the quality, it have oversample for making Blu-ray or DCP for projection in Digital Movie theatres, Arri Alexa (tm) shoots 2880x1620 and these samples were shot at 2592x1104 so there is only a pixel difference of 288 pixels in the sensor active area across the frame. That oversample helps reduce some de-Bayer artifacts. Its an alternative to using a HDSLR for making a micro-budget feature film, and should work for that function if used within its limitations.

February 21, 2012

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Frame grabs look great. Samples I have seen (the ones you posted have been around a while) do indeed make it look analog and close to film.

Should be a worthy product if it hits the market place soon.

February 13, 2012

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jordan carr

Thank you for the complements, after I get done with the anamorphic test reel, I'll try to shoot some shorter test reels that focus on particular looks and lighting types. If people have suggestions of what types of shots they would like to see they can email me with 'camera shot suggestions' in the email subject, my email is at the top of each page at my web site, google DANCAD3D to find that.

February 21, 2012

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Very interesting indeed! Looking forward to more developments :)

February 13, 2012

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Feel free to contact Kinefinity.com (tm) directly as their email in on their web sites,

http://www.Kinefinity.com

and

http://www.KineRAW.com

If you have an interest in one of their camera models please tell them as that helps gauge the interest and project the sales volume so they can bargain for the best price with the factory orders. You can also get answers to specific questions about details that are important to you as a filmmaker, and they can also learn your concerns about matters that are important to you personally.

February 21, 2012

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Cool!

Though the "super 8" model would have been better off as a 1/2 or 2/3 chip to use readily available lenses for Super 16. There are plenty of excellent and cheap 1/3 cameras on the market, though not 2/3 ! With few Super 16 digital cameras available there is a huge supply of lenses waiting for an inexpensive camera to mount them to.

M

February 13, 2012

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They've got an S16 cam in the works too...apparently with a CCD sensor, meaning no rolling shutter!

February 13, 2012

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Gabe

The sensor is a bit wider than Super8, when shooting 2592x1104 the image diagonal is close, the sensor works well with 1/2" and 2/3" megapixel lenses of good quality as well regular 16mm lenses such as Schneider and Kern Switar. Its also possible to relay optics to shoot with 35mm movie camera or still lenses, rather than just a DOF adapter, and in that way it should be possible to use Lomo anamorphic lenses with the 1828x1556 pixel mode, or even rent Panavision (tm) anamorphics and make a mount to fit those to the relay optics. If you have an interest in shooting with other than C, CS, and D mount lenses on the KineRAW-S8 (tm) you can contact me and I can tell you more about how that could be done. As for the KineRAW-S35 (tm) it has a changeable lens mount system and so you can use various 35mm movie or still camera lenses on it without relay optics.

February 21, 2012

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It will perform as good as a Chinese car!

February 13, 2012

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What a dumb thing to suggest. First, I'd be willing to bet a fair amount you've never actually driven a Chinese car. But plenty of the electronics you use -- including, in all likelihood, the computer or phone you used to make that comment -- are manufactured wholly or partially in China and they work just fine.

There are plenty of things wrong with China, and plenty of stuff that gets made here is crap, but there's plenty of good stuff too. Is this kind of comment really helpful in doing anything other than perpetuating a stereotype?

More importantly, did you actually look at the frame grabs or uncompressed footage?

February 14, 2012

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C. Custer, Pls tell him!

February 14, 2012

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the fact you are alive to type that comment proves you have never driven one either. Have you seen the crash test videos? Chinese labor is great, chinese quality control is not.

February 14, 2012

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kevin

As you type this on a low quality computer made in china. Remember they used to say the bullshit about Japanese products.

February 14, 2012

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JEF

hahaha, ok first of all i find it funny i am being called narrow minded and controlling media while China is notorious for censoring. What I am stating is FACT. People take their designs, they build factories in china and they hire Chinese to work in them, this does not mean its a Chinese product. Like I said watch the crash test videos, the cars crumple up like paper. I dont hate Chinese people, in fact I am half Chinese! What I am saying is China has a LONG way to go before it catches up to the quality control and safety standards of the rest of the world. If you think different im sorry but you are just wrong and closed minded. I have my masters degree in mechanical engineering and have plenty of friends in the auto industry and this is simply a well known fact.

February 15, 2012

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kevin

@kevin

I do believe you are the one that is closed minded. The top Audiophile equipment in the world now comes from Chinese companies. I own a Shanling CD player (valve based), and a Melody (Australian brand, Chinese made) valve amplifier. They exceed anything in the market less than $10000. They look weird. Chinese styling is strange to say the least, but I would not go for any American or Japanese made equipment for twice the price (if money was no object).

In fact, I have actually stopped buying Japanese equipment because their quality control is so poor now. I threw all my Denon, Yamaha and Sony gear out of my second floor window in complete disgust. I then contacted the Japanese consulate to tell them that because of their poor quality and arrogant sales and service (including after sales service) that I would NEVER buy another Japanese product. I signed a contract with Canon two years ago stating that I would buy no more Canon products after I had a run of half a dozen dead Canon products (I have a loophole allowing me to buy more Canon lenses for my Canon cameras, but I have never used it as I prefer reliable equipment from China and Russia). In fact, the ONLY problem I have with my Volvo is the crappy Japanese made capacitors they used in the speedo. I need to replace them with reliable Chinese made Capacitors.

February 16, 2012

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boybunny

Speaking of Chinese Capacitors. My Schaub Lorenz TV packed it in a couple of months ago. It is Korean made with a Samsung (Korean) screen. Guess what needed to be replaced? Yeah, the idiots used Japanese Capacitors. It has reliable Chinese Capacitors now.

February 16, 2012

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boybunny

@boybunny Ok you are clearly talking out of your ass. Toyota is the number one auto manufacturer in the world. In fact much of the word (i've seen this in america and Europe) are moving to adopt its business strategies and models in their companies. As for canon im not sure if you are talking about canon cameras and lenses but you care clearly making that up. Im also an avid photographer/videographer and have used many of their products extensively, and it and nikon are the most trusted brands in the industry as far as sports and wedding photography go. For shear quality you cant beat the Germans tho, leica lenses are the best of the best and German cars are so over engineered its insane. I see you didnt mention anything about saftey standards in general and cars. China is a great developing country and is improving daily. But they still have a long way to go before they catch up.

February 17, 2012

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kevin

@Jeff

I believe you have dificulty with reality.

Toyota sells morte cars because they sell cheap and have large global advertising campaigns. More people eat Chuppa Chups lollipops than they do Beluga Caviar.... does that make Beluga Caviar inferior? In your mind, I suspect it does.

I had a serious issue with ALL my canon puchases. high end printers, corporate printers ($80000 POS trash heaps), my 20D had a list of issues (known issues in body and lenses), and professional image scanners. Not one of these Canon products worked when purchased, and not one was repaired by Canons incompetent repair teams, with the exception of the 20D and lenses. Do you want me to post the contract I signed with Canon that Canon wrote up on Canon letterhead where I agree to never buy Canon products for an unspecified payout from Canon? Do you actually believe that Canon would pay out a customer for their faulty goods for no reason? You may have the best of luck with your Canon equipment. But there is always a failure rate for every product, and somehow I got a long line of expensive faults.

Chinese cars almost a decade ago had known safety problems, but within months of the reports, all local Chinese made cars had safety features like airbags fitted. More improvents have been made in the past decade. Maybe you sould stop living in the past. I get the feeling that if you were alive in the 70's and early 80's, that you were the guy that said "Jap Crap" over and over until no one wanted to talk to you.

February 25, 2012

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boybunny

It's a fearful situation when people of such narrow perspectives get control of tools of media.

February 15, 2012

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Bobkat

I didn't say it was a good or bad thing, you made up your own conclusion which is interesting.

February 15, 2012

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What you meant was quite clear.

February 15, 2012

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That's what I thought: most of the electronic devices we use today are already made in China, so they definitely got the materials to make a good camera. The question is will they be able to pull off the engineering and useability part of the equation.
The footage looks quite good, so the question will be: what will be the market price for these cameras, and will they be reliable tools?

February 17, 2012

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Heiko

My iPhone is manufactured in China, but that doesn't make it a Chinese product.
There's a huge difference between manufacture and design, and I think the point here is that Chinese design has a long way to go before it catches up, especially when it comes to reliability.
Chinese cars are garbage. They may look nice, feel nice and even drive nice, but hit them with anything harder than slippers and they crumple like sheets of paper. Same goes for the quality of every Chinese "knock off" I've tried or owned, so I think it's perfectly reasonable that people are skeptical about this camera.
Having looked at the images linked from here, I don't think established camera companies have anything to worry about. Quite frankly, they look like ass.

February 21, 2012

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Jack Frost

Do you have any particular points about the images? I'll be shooting some more and am interested in what camera's samples in particular you are making the comparisons to. If you would like to be constrictive, it would be useful for you to email me so we can talk about what subjects and grading styles you think would show a more attractive result.

February 21, 2012

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People who are interested can make their own decision about if they are interested in using the cameras for their particular projects. Some people like one thing and others like another, some people like fast and some image quality. There are no best or worst in particular, even if you shoot 35mm there are many trade-offs regarding how you scan the film, and if you make a DI or contact print. 35mm film can vary greatly in how it ends up looking on the Blu-ray depending on how it is de-grained and filtered in addition to how it is graded and encoded. The point of RAW recording cameras is to give a wide range of possible work-flows and end results, with compressed HDSLR that only record 8bit data, you have to live with the way you recorded the images since any major changes to the 8bit data in grading will introduce histogram gaps. With a RAW recording camera you have the actual sensor data to archive and go back to if you want to change the grading. If that matters or not to the end user depends on what sort of end use he has in mind. For uncompressed transfer to 35mm release print and making DCP you are likely to see more from an absence of H.264 artifacts, perhaps.

February 21, 2012

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...Like American cars are so great.
Why did GM and Chrysler go Bankrupt.
Capitalism works with US Govt. Bailouts.

February 14, 2012

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sammy

they couldnt have asked that man to be more awkward haha

February 14, 2012

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Robert

I guess you mean my Brother in the B1 reel? He was helping me shoot some test charts for calibrating the EI/ISO and K values of the camera's viewfinder. He has spine disease and is in constant pain. I was not sure if I should show those shots, but people were asking me for some flesh tone shots in various kinds of light and that was one of the few shots I have processed so I put it in the reel along with a bunch of other tests that I had been making.

February 21, 2012

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Looking good!

February 14, 2012

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Mark

Those were two of the most painfully dreadful camera samples I've ever seen. Ha! Good info, though

February 14, 2012

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Huh...???...That footage with a S8 sensor looks better than RED.
RED RAW = Compressed Bayer

February 14, 2012

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sammy

Referring to the content and execution. Sorry for the confusion!

February 15, 2012

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I'm sorry you liked neater the content or execution, what suggestions would you have for making future demo reels more to your liking?

February 21, 2012

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If you think this looks better than RED, you're either blind or trolling. Quite frankly, the TIFs look like crap if you view them at anything bigger than a cell phone. Compression artefacts out the wazoo. I remember Video for Windows looking like this about 15 years ago.

February 21, 2012

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Jack Frost

As far as I know there is no compression in the TIF frames obtained from me in the first place, I don't know how they ended up here, maybe if they had asked me I would have suggested using some other frames as better examples. I have some BMP frames used to make the videos with that are the uncompressed source frames you can read instructions on how to get some on my Vimeo page.

February 21, 2012

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So this camera is from China? I wonder why the test footage was shot in San Francisco... Guess it doesn't matter, but its going to bug me. Looks great though.

February 14, 2012

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Wayne

The footage was shot by Dan Hudgins, (http://www.dancad3d.com/) who is testing software with the camera for this company, and he's based in San Fran

February 14, 2012

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Cool thanks! I live in SF so it was interesting to me.

February 15, 2012

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Wayne

Holy Christ, the excuses people will make for the sake of it.

February 15, 2012

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Bobkat

The cameras can shoot uncompressed CinemaDNG, and I have been developing a free de-Bayer program that supports CinemaDNG recording cameras, like Acan dII (tm), SI-2K (tm) (via their converter program), Aaton (tm), Kinor-2K (tm) and others. I offered to help calibrate the viewfinder and needed to shoot some footage to shake down my full uncompressed DI/NLE/CC/MIX feature film finishing system that is currently up for download on my web site for 'beta-testing'. Its only one of many possible work-flow options, but for the S8 its no-charge now, so it gives micro-budget filmmakers ca chance to get out from under H.264 like compression when making a feature film for theatrical projection.

The S35 and S16 models are also planed to support Cineform (tm) wavelet compression, like the REDCODE (tm) compression used in the RED cameras like Epic (tm), Scarlet (tm) and RED-ONE (tm).

For the alternative work-flows they have been working on 3D-LUT support so that color matching can be obtained with the camera's viewfinder LUT settings made while filming. In addition to that the DNG frames also support some color matching through the DNG tags and meta-data.

Since there were some technical details of the SMPTE time code and meta-data to work out as well as the color matching, I offered to do some testing and development of my support for their cameras. I also have an interest in using their camera for a project I have planed for some time.

February 21, 2012

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There's something fishy about the shot of the bird in the second video at 0:26. It looks like it was keyed to give the impression of more dynamic range.

February 14, 2012

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Luke

It's almost certainly just a very naive (temporal) noise reduction filter. The wood grain is smooth enough that small movements aren't actually treated as "movement," so you just get a static image that is the average of all of the frames. The transients (e.g. pieces of bread) have sharp edges so the filter doesn't average them out.

It is pretty weird looking, though.

February 14, 2012

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cows

Any of the de-Bayer settings in my programs can be changed or turned off. Most of the shots are what they are as tests, its not much more than that, people were asking to see something, so its something. I hope to produce some additional tests, and when the cameras get out for wider testing, who knows what you may see.

If you don't like what results I have made with my programs, there are an almost infinite other ways to process the camera data, and then you can talk about what you think of those results.

February 21, 2012

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Yeah I noticed the same thing, especially the ground on the bird... looks key framed.

February 14, 2012

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