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KineRAW Super 35mm 2K Camera Pre-Orders Have Begun, Prices Starting Under $7,000

08.27.12 @ 11:30AM Tags : , , , ,

The last time we talked the KineRAW S35, Kinefinity had released RAW sample clips for the general public to mess around with and grade. If this is going to be the way things are done with smaller companies (like Blackmagic) — Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and Sony are going to have to get on board. Allowing users to handle files straight from a camera is the only way to judge actual quality and to know if a particular camera is going to work for you. The KineRAW S35 is now inching ever closer to being the real deal, as Kinefinity started limited pre-orders at the BIRTV show in China.

If you haven’t seen it, this is the clip that got so many people excited:

Here are some more samples:

Here are the specs and recording times for the camera:

It’s looking like Kinefinity is going with a tiered structure for camera pricing, and the base package with HDMI only and without a lens mount starts at about $6300. For around $400 more, you can add HD-SDI which will give you monitoring only in 1080p for 3G HD-SDI and 720p in standard HD-SDI. Since this is a mirrorless camera which features a back PL mount just like the Sony F3, almost any lens in existence is adaptable, but the mount will need to be designed and manufactured. Purely mechanical (that means no automatic iris control), will start around $200, and in addition to PL, they are also working on Nikon and Canon EF mounts. Unfortunately right now this means that users are limited to lenses with a manual iris only (unlike the Blackmagic Cinema Camera which has an electronic Canon mount).

All in all if you want a real functioning camera you’re probably looking at somewhere between $7,000 to $8,000, which, if you’ve been looking at the competition, is quite a deal. At this price point and sensor size there is nothing in existence that can touch RAW recording. Some were a little confused about my comparison to the F3, but I was trying to find the nearest competitor and they share a very similar body type as well as the PL base mount (and really not too much else). It will be interesting to see how the actual resolution measures up against those mid-range cameras, since the KineRAW is actually pixel-binning to get to 2K (from 4K). This means combining pixels at the sensor level to reach a data rate that the recording media can handle. Unfortunately, this will be happening before debayering, so the final image will most likely not be quite as sharp as the C300 and F3. There is no doubt it will be an improvement upon DSLRs, however, and resolution is not the only thing that matters. Sharpness aside, the ability to record RAW images cannot be understated, and low-light sensitivity should be more than enough for most situations.

As of right now the pre-orders are only available in person, but it would stand to reason that it won’t be too long before they open them up online (since pre-orders will supposedly be delivered within 45 days). Either way there isn’t support for the camera outside the U.S. right now, so if you were able to pre-order outside of China online and there was a problem, the camera would have to go back there. We’ll see if that changes when it gets a true worldwide release.

These are interesting times, and just as RED changed the game and brought the price of digital cinema cameras down to Earth, these new cameras are putting RAW and digital cinema quality within reach of even the smallest productions.

If you want to play with samples of the footage, head on over to this post.

What do you guys think? If you had the money would you pre-order the camera based on the footage that has been released?

Link: Kinefinity

[via DSLR News Shooter & Cinescopophilia]


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Description image 48 COMMENTS

  • I’m incredibly excited to physically try this camera out. I need to know how it operates and feels in my hands before making any decisions regarding a purchase. For me a cameras handheld ergonomics come a VERY close second to image quality. When operating I much prefer physical buttons and switches to touch screen controls. I need to be able to make adjustments without lowering the camera from my shoulder or having to look at a screen. I’m so glad Kinefinity went with a design that is closer to the Alexa then the Red or BMC. Exciting times indeed!

  • This can also record a 1080p file like the Black Magic, right?

  • I love the image out of this camera. Plus it’s very easy to grade. I agree with NDrillot, I would like to physically hold the camera to get a feel for it. This and the BMCC are the cameras that most interest me. I’m not a colorist so my video is not as good as Dans’ or James’ lol.

    Enjoyed playing with this footage. I think this camera and the BMCC have similarities. Their images give off different looks. Both feel cinematic to me though. Exciting times.

    Hopefully Kinfinity can partner with someone in the states so the can eliminate the log shipping times and shipping to China when there is an issue with the camera.

  • Awesome prospect but somewhat scary thinking about service or warranty having to send back and forth to and from China.. :/

    • Thats not a big deal if you know how to import and export goods. It can get to China in 5-7 days if you know what you’re doing. You can also pre-order the camera via proxy if you have a chinese connection.

      Knowing about the import business is useful in situations like this.

    • That is a point, but most of the issues that have come up with the two cameras I have here were able to be taken care of by myself swapping a part and installing new firmware revisions.

  • nigel Thompson on 08.27.12 @ 2:04PM

    Where do i pre order ? somebody give me a link PLZ…..

  • Awesome :-)

    • Too bad you can’t see the uncompressed TIF on my 2K CRT monitor or the Cineform ™ playing on my Brother’s 2K monitor in his editing software etc.

      The lack of compression artifacts is a big leap forward for micro budget filmmakers, and sad for Kodak ™ as they don’t have anything at EI ISO 2560 I have seen that you can shoot color movies with?

  • nigel Thompson on 08.27.12 @ 2:20PM

    ok never mind maybe i should have read everything and not let excitement get to me LOLOL

  • Can’t wait to try it out.

  • john jeffreys on 08.27.12 @ 4:00PM

    id rent it for sure and see how it performs.

  • There is a lot to like about this camera: Super 35 sensor, Native Cineform output, PL Mount with easy adaptors, quick button functionality a la Alexa, etc, etc. The cineform option really nudges this camera over the BMCC because working with CInema DNG on a feature film is just not realistic for a low budget filmmaker. The data requirements are obscene. As long as the camera isn’t buggy, this is going to be a winner for low budget cinema.

    • mark london on 08.27.12 @ 5:05PM

      Agreed. For me its the size of that sensor (no cropping), and a PL mount Day 1. Also, some basic slow-mo. XLRs!

  • I would rather have an FS700. 240fps AVCHD with future 4K is more interesting than 2K 30fps max RAW. The KineRAW only claims 11.5 stops of dynamic range for its RAW anyway.

    I think people are all worked up about codec quality, but the codecs aren’t so very bad these days. Things are blamed on the codec but the damage takes place elsewhere, such as the sensor or downsampler, which can’t be circumvented with external recorders. Macroblocking in the shadows when you underexposed a shot is about the worst of codec damage, but there are techniques for dealing with it. And RAW is bandwidth/storage intensive. Light and expose your shots properly!

    • I would say if you’re not grading your footage much, it’s a valid point. Unfortunately for a lot of projects that will do a final color grade, codec fidelity is extremely important. I did tests grading the D800, internal vs. ProRes 4:2:2 HQ, and having that extra color space makes an enormous difference.

      Again it all depends on what a user needs. The FS700 4K mode would use a lot more data than Cineform on this camera, so it’s interesting you put that out there. Kinefinity has also said it’s likely they will allow buyers of this camera to upgrade to 4K recording when that becomes available – though that’s certainly not set in stone.

      • I’m not anti-RAW, I like the BMCC and am considering getting one. That offers 2.5K RAW or ProRes which gives you cropping room for stablization etc. while this has only 1080 lines for its 2K mode…no cropping room allowed. The BMCC offers 13 stops of DR and is less than half the price of this, and it’s a company with a track record in this industry as opposed to another one. The FS700 has the must-have for slo-mo, has an E mount that can be adapted to anything, a bigger sensor area I believe (?), and comes from an even more established company for about the same price. And I think an external recorder on the FS700 would capture a good image, especially if they have the ability to send 4K out in the future (right? I’m not an expert on the FS700).

        I don’t see what’s interesting about this camera vs. what is already available at comparable prices. RAW on its own isn’t enough to be worth a froth.

        • That would all be fine, except have you seen the pictures out of a FS700? If you’re ok with those, and find them cinematic, I’m not sure a discussion about RAW codecs is the highest priority for you.

        • I like the footage from the first clip, and also considering a BMCC. I’m kind on the fence with the RAW hype. Though this VIMEO link was an interesting clip graded from FS700 AVCHD files

        • Besides RAW, the main interest is in it’s form factor, the the fact that it has a S35 sized sensor, and the that in theory it’s mount can be adapted to considerably more lenses easier than the BMCC can. I NEVER trust camera companies when it comes to how much DR they claim their cameras have so the fact that Kine is only advertising 11.5 stops doesn’t necessarily make me think it will have less DR then the BMCC. Until production models of both cameras are in the wild and someone does a professional test we just can’t know how much DR each camera really has.

        • You need to see the uncompressed results in person on a good 2K monitor that does not clip the highlights and shadows…

      • I would also mention that we don’t know for certain how much the 4K recorder for the FS700 is going to cost. Hopefully Sony does the 4K in the most economic and democratic way, however it certainly will drive the price of the FS700 beyond it’s original 8K starting price.

        Between the BMCC and the KinRAW it’s an extremely exciting time for low cost CINEMA cameras!!!! Hopefully both cameras offer similar AMAZING image quality!

        • Good point. The cool thing is all three camera in question look to be capable tools in storytelling. Anyone one of these is way above the DV cameras with DOF adapters used to make some pretty cool films over the past decade.

  • Really an interesting news. Look forward to the pre-order . lol !!

  • A reminder for those who want to use EF lenses, KineRAW S35 currently cannot control iris electronically, but it might be possible with a future firmware upgrade.

    • I know I tend to be a little verbose, but still:

      “Purely mechanical (that means no automatic iris control), will start around $200, and in addition to PL, they are also working on Nikon and Canon EF mounts. Unfortunately right now this means that users are limited to lenses with a manual iris only (unlike the Blackmagic Cinema Camera which has an electronic Canon mount).”

  • What I would like to see, as soon as it is possible, is an unbiased comparison between the overall performances of the KineRAW, the BMDCC & the Panasonic GH3. I would find something like that really useful for knowing which camera is for me. I’m not going to actually need a new video camera until late 2013 anyway. I just like to know in advance my best options. I have noticed one thing in my search for a great camera: there are loads of cretinous fanboys of particular brands and models of technology out there.

  • Any news on the S16 version of the KineRaw? On the official website under the KineRaw-S16 and KineRaw-S8 tabs is nothing. Just blank.

    • They said they are looking into the S16 design concept in light of the other cameras going on the market now, and they still plan the S8, you can suggest they have an option in the S8 for a mechanical shutter so that there is zero jell-o and skew and no rolling shutter for shutter angles 0 to 180 degrees. Feel free to write directly to (sm) and tell them your interest in the S8 and S16 models, as well as a 4K S35 model etc.

      From a quality vs. work-flow hassle issue the current S35 2K model is a good balance. The low noise from the 4K sensor binned down to 2K helps the de-Bayer processing go faster on the DNG frames since less filtering is needed to get clean results.

  • i want to buy as soon as possible, but not before i see actual real world film footage, as well as lens/battery solutions for the bmc. i was more or less 100% decided on it but this has me reconsidering. the test footage from the bmc has been impressive, but that first video at the top of the page has me thinking twice…

    • I’ve shot lots of footage and the results are very good so far, I have not posted it on Vimeo until now because its a big step down to convert the uncompressed footage to H.264 for Vimeo to accept it. You can try to get some uncompressed Cineform ™ MOV off the (sm) web site. Stay tuned for more footage toe be available…

  • Personally I’m for the Scarlet. Look at this point cameras need to be in 2K or 4K. Still going for 1080p and calling it 2K is crap. Nice video, but still has that ugly DLSR look.

    • The look of the KineRAW-S35 ™ depends on how you de-Bayer the footage, and that depends on if you are using the Cineform ™ compressed or CinemaDNG ™ uncompressed shooting mode. With DNG you have more de-Bayer options maybe so you can get control over the look, with Cineform ™ you can apply 3D-LUT and get different sort of looks, if you use the stock go-pro ™ 3D-LUT then you will get a stock look, if you use custom color corrections the you have fine control as you like.

  • MARK GEORGEFF on 08.30.12 @ 8:36PM

    With the cost for this camera…being sooo low, you can do all the fix ups you need to do. It just can’t be that crappy of a camera when you take into consideration the higher costs with the EPIC, SCARLETT, etc. This is exaCtly what’ve I’ve been waiting for…if my first indie feature is budgeted under 20 grand????

    Guess others filmers out there pretty much have that silver spoon with them their whole life.

    There’s no discussion about this whole debate with me. I’m getting it. Plain and simple. I don’t want to rent anything any more.

    It’s still going to come down to the specific story you’re filming and how a low budget approach with this camera is more than well worth it.

    • Its all about what you movie is going to look like, if you put all your money into the camera there is nothing left for what you are shooting, if you put all your money into what you are shooting there is not much for a quality camera, the price for KineRAW-S35 ™ leaves something for the what goes in front of the camera and has the True RAW recording on a 4K sensor (binned down to 2K for faster work-flow). The Binning of the 4K sensor down to 2K also improves the S/N ratio and gives you higher EI ISO to work with. Also its a true Digital Cinema camera shooting 2048×1080 at real 24.000fps for direct use in DCP and Digital Projectors in Digital Movie Theaters, its not just a HD camera being called a cinema camera, it IS a cinema camera…

  • I got time to convert the KineRAW-S35 ™ 2048×1080 version of the video Alvin Somwaru helped shoot in Golden Gate Park into Letter-boxed MPEG4 1920×1080 for posting on Vimeo,

    “KineRAW-S35 ™ I1 2K boxed 1920×1080 full range (grade a1) “Daisies and Windmills” on Vimeo”

    I used TEncoder ™ set to 12000 kbps and two pass compression for the conversion from the graded uncompressed AVI but there are still some compression artifacts that show up here and there, anyone have suggestions for a better free, or maybe not free, encoder for making H.264 video files that Vimeo will accept?

    I was using just the MPEG4v2 option in VirtualDUB ™ but that is one pass and shows much worse compression artifacts. If you see the video as looking too light and washed out on your MAC notebook let me know about that, I may try to post another copy graded darker. It seems there is a bug in Quicktime ™ where it shows videos too light and washed out looking, under Media Player ™ on my Brother’s PC with the CRT monitor set to 1920 resolution it looks OK as far as brightness. Viewing on a LCD or HD monitor it may look like the highlights are burned out and the shadows too dark since I encoded it full range for PC viewing.

    If you follow the link for Alvin Somwaru from my Vimeo page for the video above, you can see some more footage on his Vimeo page he processed from Cineform ™ clips shot in the KineRAW-S35 ™ that I have not had time to grade and letterbox yet for posting on my Vimeo page…

    • Are you being payed by Kinefinity? Like, maybe a US rep or something?

      • No, I am not the US rep on payrole of (sm), I was talking with them before they started the camera development. I have been talking with various True RAW CinemDNG recording camera makers, and am working on support for the BlackMagic ™ and Aaton ™ Digital Cinema Cameras as well as I just added audio extraction for the Acan dII ™ camera. (sm) another company in China was the first to get a 2.5K raw recording camera to shoot, (sm) got their first footage a bit after that. My de-Bayer program was in serious development since 2009. It part of my freeish DI system that is a not cost download from my web site for finishing motion pictures. I’m just trying to support the KineRAW-Sxx ™ cameras in my DI system, and so that requires talking to them and processing some tests to work out having things work together well, some special meta-data is generated in the KineRAW ™ DNG tags for use in my de-Bayer program.

  • Got word from (sm) that they will be going to NAB 2013 in Las Vegas (in April),

    Quote: [Our booth number in this coming NAB is C12813.]

    So if you have wanted some ‘hands on’ time with their cameras, this will be the first time they are showing them outside China as far as I know.

    I’ve been shooting some additional test footage with both the KineRAW-S35 ™ and the prototype KineRAW-S8p ™ and may post that on my Vimeo page when I get it edited together. They are working on a demo reel for showing at NAB 2013, so if you have any suggestions of shots you would like to see you can email them and ask them to have one of their field testers shoot something like what you would like to see maybe so that when you go to NAB 2013 you can see how it turned out. They said they will have cameras there you can look over, and maybe the KineRAW-S35-mini ™ they are still working on, its a smaller version with the same high quality 100% true RAW DNG recording and S35 sensor with sub-PL mount for using a wide range of movie and still lenses, as I understand it, you can email them for detailed specs if you are interested.

    Also the MSRP and shipping should be lower for the KineRAW-S35-mini ™. So jot down booth C12813 if your going to NAB this year and say high, they have been developing these cameras for many years, and the larger KineRAW-S35 ™ has been in field testing in China (in addition to the one I got to do calibrations in the monitoring with). They said they are very busy putting cameras together to ship out, so, so far things seem to be going well for them.