Kinefinity Goes After Blackmagic With RED-Style 2K Camera

Modular, RED Style design to offer 2K for under $6K

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Remember the Kinefinity RAW camera, that super 35 camera that offered 2.5K resolution for under $10,000? Well, there back with the MiniS35, with they say will go head-to-head with the Black Magic Cinema camera by offering 2K resolution for… twice the price? Huh?

OK, not really twice the price, since it hasn’t been finalized yet and the KineRaw is starting to sell for around $6K for the basic rig.  So it’s ever so likely that the price point will be right up against the Blackmagic Cinema’s 2K for $3K bar.  But what’s interesting about the MiniS35 is how much it resembles a RED Scarlet brain configuration.  And you can bet with China’s penchant of back engineering and flat out copying designs of… well just about everything, and offering them for less the price, that they probably used the RED Epic and Scarlet as the basis of their design decisions.

But delving under the hood, we see a lot of other similar features as well:

  • Super 35mm CMOS Sensor
  •  12-bit Uncompressed CinemaDNG (Cineform is optional to a recorder they don’t make yet)
  • 2048 x 1080 // 1920 x 1080 // 1280 x 720
  • One 2.5″ SSD Slot
  • ISO: 80-10,240 — Base of ISO 800
  • Dynamic Range: 11.5 Stops
  • Electronic Canon or Interchangeable Kinefinity Mount
  • Monitoring: 720p with 2 HDMI Outputs
  • No Fan or Phantom Power Audio
  • Optional Handgrip with Battery
  • Power Consumption: 8-10 Watts
  • No On-board Monitor or LCD

The camera itself claims a dynamic range of 11.5 stops, which isn’t comparable to the BMCCs 13 stops, but it’s close.  Then again, this is a Super35mm sensor too.   But word is that the test footage coming out of the prototypes isn’t as sharp as the BMCC either and could be a result of compromises made in downscaling from 4K-2K to keep the price down (makes me wonder if a firmware hack would bypass that).  There’s also the fact that while it offers the option to record at 72p via HDMI out, the external recorder for the Kine hasn’t even been designed yet, leaving it to rely on third party options, and who knows if they’ll even support it?  At the end of the day, it’s going to record to it’s SSD drive, and that’s really about it for now.

Now, some are thinking that instead of comparing it to the BMCC, it may be able to take on the Scarlet (minus the Dragon upgrade, mind you) as a true RAW camera for a cheaper price.  Frankly, I think it’s going to cut more into the KineRaw’s sales once it gets introduced here in the States later this year.  Either way, I don’t think Blackmagic or Jim Jannard will be losing sleep over this offering considering the camera isn’t even in production yet and won’t be available here in the States for at least a year.  Still, depending on how the footage looks when they start releasing some, even RED users may be tempted to pick one up since they missed out on the bargain RED Ones when they were cleared out late last year, and having a more or less expendable camera B for action shots wouldn’t suck.

Hat Tip – NFS

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.


  1. Leland Brun says:

    Looking for more info on the S16 and S8 models. Would like to be able to utilize motorized HD video broadcast zoom lenses as well as lenses designed for 16 mm film lenses.