Kinefinity has released the first official footage from their new MAVO EDGE 8K camera. The MAVO EDGE is a new large-format 8K cine camera.
It features a carbon fiber camera body, 8K 3:2 full-frame CMOS imaging sensor, internal motorized full-spectrum e-ND, more industry-standard ports, and dual SSD media slots.
The short film called ‘Wake up‘ is closely related to the novel coronavirus epidemic, which is the main reason behind the shipping delay for the MAVO EDGE. The film is about the dream and reality of a girl in an isolated state due to the current epidemic. Finally, she wakes up from the chaotic state and breaks through the inner barriers through the intangible music.
‘Wake up‘ was shot by DOP Bocheng Wan and directed by Hanbei Zhang. Above you can see a BTS from the making of the short film.
Here are the director’s thoughts about the project:
In late January 2021, despite the Chinese New Year being just a few weeks away, I felt the atmosphere surrounding me was dreary. My friends and I, as incomers to Beijing, were hearing news of film productions being shut down every day, and even the graduation exhibition in my school was being suspended as the pandemic was resurging.
During that time, I was picking up lots of negative emotions from myself and my friends, because the distressing impact of the pandemic had already accumulated on us for months. By then, we felt impotent and exhausted instead of being startled by the consequences of the pandemic when it first hit the world in 2020. I believe this was the universal feeling for lots of people or incomers like us, who weren’t able to go anywhere or do anything during the Chinese New Year due to the resurgence of the virus.
At one moment, a lot of inspirations and images were flashing through my mind, and this is how I came with the idea of lives under “isolation” for the Edge project.
I wasn’t just talking about people who were physically isolated but also the psychological state of people who were experiencing social isolation. People weren’t going out and they began to store food and alcohol when the virus was resurging around them. We were awakened by the sound of phone calls and deliveries, but we kept working and studying in an enclosed space while visioning a different future through thinking, planning, and writing.
We kept living our unsettling lives after telling parents that we are ok on the phone. The entire world seemed to loiter during the pandemic. The passage of time seemed to be frozen at one point, but accelerating in the next moment. The blazing flame on the burning charcoal has become imperceptible if one does not shove it. And this was my state of mind while I was writing the story for the Edge project.
I called the shoot ‘Wake Up’. It was named intuitively and also incorporated my own wishes. I hope I can wake up from the chaotic state and have the passion to achieve my goals again. And I also wish people are able to break through their inner barriers by the intangible music in such a hard time.
Q&A with the DOP
I did a Q&A with the DOP to ask him about the short film and his experience using the MAVO EDGE.
What was the inspiration for making the short film?
I wish the director can answer your question, but my story isn’t bad either. As far as I know, the inspiration came from her observations of people who were both physically and socially isolated during the pandemic. Those people and the director herself are not originally from Beijing, and they weren’t able to travel, go out with friends, or visit families during the Chinese New Year. The director hoped to unite these people to fight against the challenges through the images of her film.
My approach to the film was that I wanted the images to be constantly moving throughout the entire film as the emotion of the story changes very often. I also wanted to show it through the use of different camera movements. In addition, I designed different styles of color tone for different scenes because the MAVO Edge 8K has the ability to work well in different lighting conditions.
What equipment did you use for this film?
‘Wake Up’ is a story about a young girl whose dream and reality has overlapped, so I decided to use a shallow depth of field to convey the feeling of obscurity. With a full frame CMOS imaging sensor, the MAVO Edge 8K was perfect for the project, because it can produce stunning images with a shallower depth of field while maintaining the same aperture compared to that of the Super35 format.
When it comes to lens selection, I chose the ARRI Signature Prime lenses for their ability to resolve high resolution images with smooth out of focus transitions. With a T1.8 Lens, I was able to achieve the shallowest depth of field without compromising the image quality.
What was your initial impression of the MAVO Edge?
Talking about the first impression, the EDGE’s look definitely came to my mind. It looked very modern to me. It has a curvier shape compared to that of the MAVO LF. I really like the size and the weight of EDGE, because it maintains a great weight ratio even after a battery and cine lens are added. The button assignment is more user-friendly, and those respective buttons are easy to use. They also added more shortcut buttons which made my life much easier. Kinefinity also increased the number of mounting holes, especially on the side of the camera, so I can put more accessories on it without having to add additional support. I liked it a lot, because I think less weight is always better for DPs.
The 8K footage from the EDGE really astounded me when I saw it on iMac 5K display. The high resolution and full frame imaging sensor produce images with unbelievable details.
How easy did you find the camera to use?
I really liked the built-in e-ND filter, because it helped me tremendously. I work with the director, who prefers to capture the actor’s every emotion in a documentary style. It would be frustrating for everyone if we weren’t able to capture the actor’s evanescent emotions because of the need to change ND filters. The EDGE’s internal motorized full-spectrum e-ND solved this problem. EDGE’s light weight also makes it very convenient to shoot with a Steadicam, gimbal or handheld.
The EDGE gave me more options when I played with resolutions, frame rate and image format in post production, which helped me to create the image quality that was as close to my vision as possible.
Have you used Kinefinity cameras in the past? If so, what improvements have you seen with the new MAVO Edge?
I have used the MAVO LF for most of my works during graduate school. The EDGE is a huge step-up in many ways when compared against compared MAVO LF. It has many improvements such as, internal e-ND filters, a carbon fiber body, better button arrangement, more standardized ports, convenient battery mount plate, and better resolution. Kinefinity also still managed to make the camera compact and light.
What do you think are the cameras key strengths?
In my opinion, I think the cameras strengths are its color science and video encoding technology. Although some cine cameras have have a lot of functionality and great specs, people won’t use them if the images they produce aren’t good. I have always liked the MAVO series, because the color science produces great images that are perfect for feature film use, and the EDGE has definitely inherited these traits.
You shot this short film in some very contrasty conditions. How did you find the dynamic range?
The EDGE performed really well in lowlight conditions, and its highlight handling and dynamic range has improved a lot if you compare it against the MAVO LF. When you shoot with ISO 800, you can set the highlight stops to 6 stops. Although its dynamic range settings are little different compared to some cine cameras, once you get used to it after doing exposure tests, it will handle most high contrast conditions.
How do you think the MAVO EDGE compares to other cameras that are similarly priced?
I’m quite confident to say that no camera with a similar price of to the MAVO Edge is able to shoot with all of Apple ProRes codecs, including ProRes4444/XQ. And everyone knows these codecs are the top if not the best in the industry.
In addition, MAVO EDGE also has a uniquely designed mount. For example, we used Kinefinity’s E-mount which has a short flange focal distance. The ability to use a wif¥de variety of different lenses increases the versatility of the camera.
Lastly, the MAVO EDGE also has the most competitive price in the 8K cine camera market, and that is why I think it is the best choice for any DP who wants to shoot an 8K Project. The MAVO EDGE also allows me to shoot 4K projects because the camera can oversample from 8K to 4K to get images with more details while keeping the same optical format and good color science.
Below you can see a full list of all of the equipment that was used on the shoot:
- MAVO Edge 8K
- Arri Signature Prime 25/29/40/47/58/95mm T1.8
- Movcam KineKIT-Edge
- Movcam Helm – Remote Stabilizing Head
- Movcam Pro-Max Camera Stabilizer System
- Movcam Wireless Follow-Focus MCS-2
- Atomos Neon Monitor 19″
- Prolycht Orion 300
- Nanlite Forza 500
The MAVO EDGE can record in the following resolutions and frame rates.
What do you think about the MAVO EDGE? Is it a camera that interests you? Let us know in the comments section below.