Video interview: Kineraw S35 – The Chinese digital cinema camera

By site editor Dan Chung:

Dslrnewsshooter interview: Kineraw S35 digital cinema camera from China from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

It’s not too often we report on full blown Raw shooting digital cinema cameras on Dslrnewsshooter. Whilst some high end documentaries are shot on the likes of the Arri Alexa or Red, the price of these cameras usually puts them out of the range of most news and documentary shooters. This might all be about to change – Blackmagic Design have their new $2995 digital cinema camera coming out imminently and then there is also this camera – the Kinefinity KineRAW S35.

The KineRAW S35 digital cinema camera

The KineRAW S35 is designed in China and JH from Kinefinity was gracious enough to pay a visit to my home in Beijing with the camera for this interview. We previously reported on the prototype of this camera about a year about at the BIRTV trade show in Beijing. Since then it has gone through many changes and is much closer to being a real camera. The body has changed in design and the specifications are looking good.

The headline spec of this camera is that it has a Super35 sized sensor similar to the Arri Alexa, Sony F3, FS700 or Canon C300. It shoots in a choice or codecs – either Cineform Raw 10bit (edit – JH tells me this is now 12bit) or Cinema DNG 12bit. Recorded resolution is 2K – slightly higher than 1080P HD. Cineform is now part of GoPro so it’s interesting to see Kinefinity using the codec.

The Super35 sized CMOS sensor of the KineRAW S35
The monitor output of the KineRAW S35 on a SmallHD monitor

In my mind there are still question marks about how this camera will perform and only time will tell if it is really as capable as the paper specs promise. Image quality and reliability need to be tested. While the price may be competitive there also needs to be comprehensive global service and backup before I would consider this camera a professional tool. China does not have a history in the digital cinema camera field so I think this company still has a lot to prove.

The side display and control panel
Ports at the rear of the KineRAW S35

I have had a chance to shoot some footage on the beta camera and hope to post something shortly. In the meantime if you want to check out some sample footage then there are some available thanks to Dan Hudgins over on EOSHD.com.

Many thanks to Shan Shan Wang for shooting this video interview.

You can find out more about the camera on the KineRAW website.

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