The Kinefinity KineMAX 6k camera has been shipping to customers and now we have a look at the first slow motion video images produced by this behemoth of a camera. The hardware as of now can produce 4k footage at 100fps and 3k at 150fps both with a sensor crop and while the image has some slight moire and aliasing it is nothing that will impact image quality greatly. It is not as good as the RAW 4k or 3k modes but it does allow for fast frame rates on an already very affordable professional tool. A package with the KineMAX 6k capable body, Canon EF mount and the Slow Motion Package comes in at just under 10k US or $9,997.00. Of course you will still have to buy SSD media to store those mammoth frame sizes.
As you can see the size of a 6k frame is hard to comprehend to HD shooters. You can fit 9 1080p full HD frames into a single 6k frame. You will reach new levels of detail with this camera, that as of recently was only available with a RED Dragon camera. However the price of entry is much lower with Kinefinity and the Chinese company will probably start carving a niche in cinema production quickly with these prices. If you need 6k RAW imaging and high frame rates at 4k and 3k at $10k US budget this is the camera for you.
The quality is all around fantastic in 6k and the dynamic range in slow motion is about 14 stops. The resolution is not dumbed down by an intermediate codec as the camera records regular frame rates and slow motion as RAW data to the SSD drive. Be assured that storage will burn a hole in your pocket with this camera so save your keepers in ProRes or Cineform once you have an edit and delete the masters to save space. However if you need the RAW be sure to have a few disk arrays at your disposal.
While the Slow motion footage shows some Moire and Aliasing it is hardly a problem for the footage as shown in the samples. It will be present on heavily detailed surfaces but most cameras have these artifacts at higher frame rates. While it is no excuse, we feel that the quality is production grade and clients will hardly notice the slight decrease in resolution at high frame rates. Just don’t go shoot furry creatures or heavily tiled rooftops at high frame rates, the artifacts might show up.
There is no question that this is a high end camera that produces outstanding imagery; while it does so at a reduced price it does not feel to be an inferior piece of gear. The quality of hardware and software is ready to go neck and neck with other more expensive options. In the end the consumer wins as a price war might develop. RED and ARRI should re-examine their pricing models as the Chinese have delivered a huge blow in margins. While hardware is not everything a savings of 2/3rds on a camera body is so significant that a production house will be hard pressed to justify the higher priced but more established brands.
We are impressed by what Kinefinity has done and it looks to be just the beginning as they are probably working on even higher power hardware. The rate of progress in the camera world is relentless and the KineMAX 6k is another example of what can be done with clever engineering and a vision.
For more information about the Kinefinity brand and the KineMAX 6k camera visit: http://www.kinefinity.com