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KineRAW-MINI Pre-Ordering Has Begun, Get a 2K RAW Super 35mm Camera for Just Over $3,000

02.10.13 @ 11:43PM Tags : , , , , ,

This one came as a bit of a surprise back in January, and now it looks like pre-orders have already begun. The KineRAW-MINI, a new camera from Kinefinity, has an identical sensor to the KineRAW-S35 (which is shipping in China). However, it forgoes some of the fancier aspects of the larger S35 — like Cineform and dual SSD slots — to create a compact and much more affordable version. We’ve now got some preliminary pricing information that should make this a very, very interesting option when it starts shipping next month (likely in China first). Check out more details below.

First, check out some new photos of the camera (thanks to Cinescopophilia for the heads-up):

Here are the specs on the camera:


  • Super 35mm CMOS Sensor
  • 12-bit Uncompressed CinemaDNG (Cineform is optional to a recorder they don’t make yet)
  • 2048 x 1080 // 1920 x 1080 // 1280 x 720
  • One 2.5″ SSD Slot
  • ISO: 80-10,240 — Base of ISO 800
  • Dynamic Range: 11.5 Stops (up to 13 stops in log)
  • Electronic Canon or Interchangeable Kinefinity Mount
  • Monitoring: 720p with 2 HDMI Outputs
  • No Fan or Phantom Power Audio
  • Optional Handgrip with Battery
  • Power Consumption: 8-10 Watts
  • No On-board Monitor or LCD

Here are a couple photos of their order form. I’ve translated the document (using Google, with some changes to make it clearer), and converted the prices based on the current exchange rate between the Yuan and the Dollar:

We should keep in mind that these are the Chinese prices converted, so it’s not clear yet if these will be the exact prices when the camera is made available internationally. There is also an $800 deposit for the camera (which is refundable), and the first 100 buyers get a discount.

As you can see above, the price of the body starts at a little over $3,000, but that includes just the “brain,” very similar to RED’s EPIC and SCARLET cameras (which it shares an uncomfortable resemblance to). To really get the camera working, it’s going to cost another $1-$2,000 for media, batteries, and monitoring, but even at $5,000, a RAW Super 35mm 2K camera is pretty remarkable, especially since all you can find in this price range are 8-bit 4:2:0 1080p cameras. They are also offering package deals which get you started in terms of power and SSDs — the most expensive of which is still under $6,000. While the MINI can take off-the-shelf SSDs, you are guaranteed not to have any dropped frames with the speedy KineMAGs.

In my last post I said where I thought this camera would fit in, especially at the prices above, and I think the only obstacle going forward will be support in the US. As of right now they don’t have any distributors or repair facilities here, so the camera would need to be sent back to China. With these low prices though, I think that situation could change much sooner.

There have been many complaints about the Blackmagic Cinema Camera not having a larger sensor (it’s a little smaller than Micro 4/3), but they made that compromise for overall image quality. The Cinema Camera has more dynamic range (Update: it may still have more, but Kinefinity’s documentation has changed for the S35 camera to only list log dynamic range which puts it at 13 stops. We’ll have to wait and see if anything changes for the MINI camera, as their original specification listed 11.5 and 13 in log), which is clear from the samples of the KineRAW that I’ve seen so far, and Blackmagic’s sensor may actually resolve a higher resolution image thanks to the pixel-binning down to 2K on Kinefinity’s 4K sensor. The one advantage the Kinefinity sensor has besides its physical size is that it can go all the way up to 10,240 ISO.

It also shares one major feature with the Cinema Camera: uncompressed CinemaDNG. While these clips should be a little bit smaller since it’s 2K or 1080p as opposed to 2.5K, uncompressed RAW makes for some very large files (as we talked about in this post). It’s the price you pay for a cheaper camera. They do plan on making a Cineform recorder which would give you compressed RAW with the MINI, but it’s unclear if the product listed above with that name is actually the recorder or is the cost of the Cineform software itself that allows you to convert in post.

RAW cameras are now within reach for almost any filmmaker — the MINI makes the 3rd available for under $5,000 — but RAW has its own workflow hoops that one must jump through in order to get to a final product. CinemaDNG is an open codec, but it’s not NLE-friendly, so it’s a bit more complicated than just bringing your footage into your editor and cutting away. As computers get faster and CinemaDNG gets broad NLE support, this will be a non-issue — but we’re not quite there just yet.

We should get more information on international shipping for both of Kinefinity’s cameras as the company is expected to be at NAB.

What do you think of the price? How do you think this compares with the Digital Bolex and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera (which are all around the same price)?

Links:

[via Cinescopophilia]

Related Posts

  1. KineRAW Super 35mm 2K Camera Pre-Orders Have Begun, Prices Starting Under $7,000
  2. Mini S35 Camera from Kinefinity: 2K RAW in a RED EPIC-Style Body, Priced Under $6K
  3. The Kinefinity KineRAW S35 is a Sony F3 with RAW Output for Half the Price ($6k)

COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • I met with these guys in Beijing over a year ago, they were fishing for ideas, I’m no tech guy but i did say keep it simple. Looks like they are going that way but as some have said already, if you been using DSLR cameras then this will be a piece of cake to use and get good results..

  • Are there removable batteries?

  • You really want to spend 4,700 which is the standard edition or the Professional edition which is 5,700.

  • It looks like those are 3d renderings, not photos…

  • I like this camera but those are 3d renderings I’m sure.

  • Does RED use CMOS chips, and do either of those have the rolling shutter issue?

    Also, how does this compare to a Sony FS100? They call that theirs a super35 chip and the pricing is in the ballpark.

    • I am about to pull the trigger on the FS100. This changes things, I would love to hear how this camera compares if anyone has an idea as of yet

  • If Sony just got hit with a lawsuit from RED for patent infringement, these guys are next. That modular design and side handle look like remarkably similar!

  • Any camera that washes the bitter 7D & 5D taste out of my mouth will be welcomed with open arms. I can’t even watch most Canon DSLR videos these days without slightly cringing- the image is just too worn out to enjoy. I’d rather watch video with real DR, detail and sharpness than the moving oil-paintings I’ve been subjected to for the last few years.

    Hopefully people start adopting these lower priced tools soon, so much potential.

    • Don’t be a band wagon jumper my friend. A couple of years ago, the 7D and 5D were Gods among men and got the job done adequately. Now that we’re getting RAW, some of us are acting like jerks. Sure h264 isnt the best codec, and moire was horrible, but only us filmmakers/videographers could really notice. Don’t be unnapreciative for what Canon has done for us. Its only a matter of time before some of us turn on RAW.

  • I know footage from this cam has been hard to find. I’ve been scouring the internets for some and came across this, so I thought I’d pass it along.

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/aG6v3c4ibq0

    Cheers.

  • Mher Hakobyan on 02.14.13 @ 5:19PM

    when this camera will ship to Dubai?

  • First I think we should congradulate Kinefinity.com (sm)’s parent company that was making astronomical cameras for getting this far over the last five years. Its not easy to bring a product like this to market but they have a good connection to their factory in China that can convert their renders to finished prototypes and production cameras in a short turnaround time.

    No camera has all the needed features in one package at a lower price yet, and there are things that could imporve all of the camera options on the market, but I have shoot with the KineRAW-S35 ™ and processed the DNG frames and looked at them on my high quality 2048×1556 CRT monitor and I have looked at frames from the other DNG camera options as well since I support CinemaDNG in my freeish DI/NLE/Grade/Mix software and the ability to use our real Cinema Glass in Mitchell NC, OCT-19, 2709, and Eyemo mount gives very good results.

    I have sent a great deal of footage to them to share, but they have not posted it for people to review, not because of any fault I can see in the footage for the most part. I got frustrated with posting versions on Vimeo because of the heavy losses and block artifacts caused from conversion to H.264, and the need to over de-noise the footage to prevent misquito noise in making an H.264 version to upload to Vimeo. But I can say looking at the uncompressed AVI play in 2K is something that gives a snappy quality to the images, so much of the fault you may see in examples is not due in particular to the camera but rather the way the footage has been processed to display.

    As for resolution being higher in a camera without an OLPF filter, yes you can get a false peak in MTF curves from aliasing. The custom designed OLPF in the S35 does its job well and when used with good cinema lenses stopped down one can increase the luma sharpen in de-Bayer processing, such as in my de-Bayer program option, to get very good results that don’t show a lot of aliasing and chroma artifacts that cameras without OLPF can show since when an OLPF is used you can sharpen the luma without sharpening the chroma which was blured by the OLPF to avoid false color artifacts on edges and surface texture. In fact with the right OLPF its been my experence that you can get greater control over the MTF shape by adjustment of the anti-OLPF sharpen when an OLPF is used than when it is not used because when you don’t use an OLPF and you do sharpen you sharpen the existing aliasing and moire artifacts where as when the OLPF is used, the actual subject edges seem to have higher contrast so sharpen with advantage over the resudue aliasing and moire and the chroma artifacts in particular are reduced in total by having the OLPF in the camera.

    For myself, the lack of an OLPF and changable lens mount are two reasons not to select the BMDCC over the S35-mini as having good Cinema glass and an OLPF makes more movie like images over so called “digital” lenses that do not focus to high resolution in order to make soft images for HDSLR that do not have a strong enough OLPF for movie mode (the HDSLR OLPF is optimized for stills mode which means the blur radius is half what it should be).

    Hopefully rentals will be avalable and you can try both or other DNG recording cameras yourself in your own hands and to process their frames in your own workflow so you can know for yourself what your finished film is going to look like.

    I went to a hi-fi retiler one time and they had lots of strereos sitting around with price tags on them, and the odd thing was that none of them were setup with speakers to listen to what the sounded like! How does one purchase a stereo without listening to the results, Class-A, Class-B, Tube, Bipolar, HEX-FET, etc. all SOUND different in their own ways aside from the circuit design, yet all types sold to various people, in some cases without the buyer ever compairing how each one sounded, based on what? Price?

    Price along should not be your guide, more so in the selection of a camera that will leave its footprint on your finished movie. Do you want to use soft “digital” lenses, do you want chroma moire and false MTF peaks making actor’s blemishes stand out if they move into prime focus during part of a shot?

    The interaction between the OLPF+IR/UV cut filter and the sensor, lenses, and de-Bayer software has maybe as much impact on the end results as the sensor itself from the samples I have seen. I was able to look at the internal tests of the OLPF filter development for the KineRAW-S35 ™ camera so I am one of the few people that as seen those internal tests and the developments of their image chain over the last few years. Much of the early tests shown did have issues both with the relation ship between the sensor and their previous OLPF design and with the workflow and the color balance of the combination of the OLPF+IR cut filter and the de-Bayer workflow they were using. A vast improvement has happend over the last few years and changes made have resolved many of the workflow issues to get better color balance in the end results, and hopefully that refinement will continue with additional improvements by their sensor maker.

    I don’t understand why these forums seem to end up as some kind of “us aganst them” conflect, unless clacks with an ax to grind are involved, some people like oranges and others banannas, the earth is large enough for both kinds of people to like together is it not?

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