We talk an awful lot about cameras here on No Film School. Why? Because new cameras are absurdly exciting. However, there's one camera company that might make some of the most intriguing and cost-effective cameras on the market, yet it's a company that we rarely mention. I'm talking of course about Kinefinity, the Chinese company whose cinema cameras offer many of the features and aesthetics of RED's cameras at a fraction of the cost. The folks at HDVideoshop in Berlin recently went out and shot with the KineMINI 4K, and shared some excellent footage, BTS, and workflow solutions for this unique camera.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the impressive specs of this camera, here's a quick recap.
- 4K RAW In-Camera Recording
- 100fps@1080p(RAW) / 96fps@2K(RAW)
- Multiple Codecs: CinemaDNG, CineformRAW, ProRes, H.264,…
- sensor crop function
- 13 stops dynamic range
- 3D multicam-sync function
- Built-in 2.5” SSD Slot
- HDMI & SDI video output
- Exchangeable lens mount system
- Only 1,9 kg body weight
These days, it's hard to imagine a camera with those kinds of specs costing anywhere under $15k. That's why it's utterly amazing that the KineMINI 4K body comes in at $3500, while the Pro Pack, which contains a boatload of accessories, comes in at $6300.
Now let's get to some of the footage and BTS videos from MJIT Berlin. First, here's a quick rough cut of a piece that they threw together with the KiniMINI. Just as a heads up, I don't believe this footage has been color corrected yet (at least I hope not), so there are definitely a few shots where the color is a bit wonky, for lack of a better way to put it.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Gnvc-t2-88
For those of you who think the ungraded footage looks awful (it definitely pushes towards cyan in the midtones for some reason), here are a few more KineMINI 4K clips from HDVideoShop, but this time you can see some basic grades on the footage.
Now let's take a look at a few quick making-of videos that have even more RAW ungraded footage interspersed throughout them.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfhEDxlZSh4
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRRUR08ekKU
At this point, you might be wondering about this camera's RAW workflow. Like most of the RAW camera manufacturers today, Kinefinity has its own RAW transcoding utility called Kinestation, which according to the following video, is absurdly simple to use.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCKqrt8sEhw
I'm not entirely sure what to make of the Kinestation software, considering it looks to have zero control over output codec, metadata entry, LUT application, or anything along those lines. According to the Kinefinity website, the current version of the software (which is in beta) only supports the output of Cineform RGB 4:4:4 quicktime files, which should be an incredibly robust proxy format that you can use before color correcting and mastering from the RAW files.
Ultimately, it's hard not to be a bit skeptical about Kinefinity's cameras, especially considering the high-end feature set, the almost too-good-to-be-true pricing, and the fact that there's not much in terms of real-world testing, footage, or reviews on the internet. However, these cameras present a tremendous bargain, and if you're one of those people who like to adopt cameras early in their development, then it might be worth it to jump on over to Kinefinity's site and check out some of their offerings, as most of them are available for purchase right now.
What do you guys think of the KineMINI footage and workflow? Let's hear your thoughts about this unique camera and company down in the comments!