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:
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/46219535
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?