By Dan Chung and Sarah Li
It had to come sooner or later. Nestled in the corner of the massive BIRTV trade show in Beijing, we found China’s answer to the multitude of Arri Alexas and Red Epics being paraded around.
This is the Kinefinity’s 2K digital cinema camera featuring a Super35 CMOS sensor, which the manufacturer hopes to bring to market for around US$8000. It offers what the manufacturer calls Dual RAW as it can record in 12 bit to either DNG, for CinemaDNG based workflows, or GoPro-Cineform RAW on removable SSD drives. The lens mount can be PL, Oct19, Nikon or Canon EOS (although possibly not with any electronic control of the lens). Support for 3D LUT look files is also promised.
Audio is handled with a pair of XLR inputs at 24-bit depth. For monitoring there is a pair of SDI ports and a single HDMI port. The camera setup and controls are accessed through a side panel with simple push buttons. A lot will depend on the sensor and the manufacturer was understandably secretive about who actually makes it, but said that its base sensitivity is 400ASA. I also was told that the final production body will be smaller.
It is designed and made by a small Beijing-based company and they already have a working prototype. Trials are apparently underway and I am hoping to see actual footage soon. Before then I can’t speak of the quality and it is still essentially vapourware.
The company itself comes from a background of making cameras for astronomy so they are not novices at camera engineering. They told me that they hope to ship a product in about six months, but whether they can actually do this is anyone’s guess.
Here’s the full technical spec: