KineRAW aka the Chinese RED

The $8,000 S35 RAW digital cinema camera

The $8,000 S35 RAW digital cinema camera

There have been posts circulating on DVXuser for a while talking about alternatives to the ALEXA and RED cameras. There seem to be two names that keep cropping up – Ikonoskop and KineRaw. Today we talk about the latter. It’s a camera that shoots RAW Cineform to non-proprietary 2.5 inch SSDs, or direct to HDD. That is a winner for me, as a Scarlet-X owner, I find it frustrating to be forced to use overpriced proprietary media. Yes, I’m looking at you RED.

Here’s a quick primer, from their site:

KineRAW-S35 is a Super35mm sized CMOS sensor camera with outstanding low light performance for HD use as well as for making DCP for projection in modern digital movie theatres where signal to noise ratio under difficult lighting conditions is very important. The useful EI/ISO range is quite wide rangefor normal noise levels and higher for somewhat higher noise levels. The sensor gives a wide dynamic range allowing shooting of contrast ratios that previous video cameras in its price range could have had real difficulty holding onto with its level of finished image quality.

A bullet point run-down of the details on the KineRAW S35:

  • Super 35mm sized CMOS sensor
  • Dual raw recording, uncompressed 12bit linear cinemaDNG (800Mbps) or 10bit log90GoPro Cineform RAW (100Mbps), uses regular 2.5 inch SSD or HDD (shoot and dump)
  • DCI 2K 1-24fps, 1080p 1-30fps, 720p 1-60fps. (Not yet finalised)
  • Interchangeable lens mount, supports PL (standard), Canon EF, Nikon F, OCT-19

The footage I’ve seen looks very filmic/analog to my eye, it could be a winner. Check it out:

<iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/35148088?color=ffffff” width=”500″ height=”281″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

The Cantonese to English translation on the website isn’t so great, I can’t seem to figure out whether the footage is slightly graded or not – they have a disclaimer saying “Edited lens test shots”. Either way, it’s looking very promising.

 

 

  1. Hi the videos on my Vimeo page shot with the prototype KineRAW-S8p ™ were graded freeish DI system and de-Bayered in my free program up for download DANCINEC.EXE ™.

    The True RAW DNG images cannot be looked at without processing as they are raw sensor data.

    To grade them I first make a TIF that is ungraded, that looks very dark, greenish, low saturation and blurred by the OLPF filter.

    The grading was done in my DANCAD87.EXE ™ program that is downloadable currently in beta-test on my web site,

    http://www.DANCAD3D.com

    That makes some *.KCC files that control the de-Bayer program DANCINEC.EXE ™ to adjust the color correction, and the sharpen and other noise filters etc. are adjusted in the de-Bayer program.

    DANCINEC.EXE ™ can make 48bpp TIF, 48bpp DPX, 30bpp DPX, CIN 30bpp, and 24bpp color BMP and 8bpp monochrome BMP.

    To make the videos I converted a output letterboxed BMP frame set from my DI system into an AVI in the free program VirtualDUB ™ and set the compression to MPEG4v2 so that Vimeo could upload it. The uncompressed AVI would be maybe 25x to 100x as big, so is not uploadable to Vimeo.

    If you want to see some uncompressed BMP frames used to make those videos you can email me at tempnulbox (at) yahoo (dot) com and put ‘Vimeo viewer wants uncompressed frames’ in the subject line.

    If you have any questions about my programs you can email me with a subject in the subject line, if you have any questions about when you can purchase a KineRAW ™ camera from Kinefinity.com ™ you can email them at their contact on their web sites,

    http://www.Kineraw.com

    http://www.Kinefinity.com

    Since the camera records 100% of the True RAW sensor data, you can process that into any file format you like, Cineform ™, Prores ™, H.264, AVI, DCP etc. You just need some image conversion software.

    The CinemaDNG workflow is supported in many products like XNVIEW, Adobe LightRoom ™, and Iridas Speed Grade ™ etc. You can google CinemaDNG to learn about more programs that support it. And you can convert DNG to anything your existing editing software may need by one or more steps in third party software. Most better NLE support DPX frames and my free de-Bayer solution DANCINEC.EXE ™ can make those in Rec.709 or Cineon ™ aka Log-C, filmLog etc.

      • kanamil
      • March 7th, 2012 7:34am

      Fantastic info to know, I may be doing a post on CinemaDNG workflow as it relates to a post-production pipeline.

      • The KineRAW-S35 ™ and KineRAW-S16 ™ models are to have BOTH CinemaDNG and Cineform ™ workflows, so you can get speed with Cineform ™ and longer record times, Cineform ™ is wavelet compression just like REDCODE ™ used in the RED ™ cameras. CinemaDNG is True RAW with all the sensor data (except the bad pixels and FPN if you remove those with the dark field masking option) so you can go any workflow you want.

        The KineRAW-S8 ™ is planned to just have CinemaDNG ™ but that can be converted into Cineform ™ after you download the DNG frames.

        I use 48bpp TIF in my freeish DI system, but you can go to DPX with SMPTE time code passed from the DNG meta-data to the DPX header for use in other DI systems.

        For non-frame based workflows, the DNG or Cineform ™ can be converted for use in those as well, and since the DNG are not compressed in the camera, you can avoid double compression losses, so if you go to Prores ™ for example, it is like the camera recorded in Prores ™ as far as the image quality so its similar to Arri Alexa ™ except for another step in the film handling and you keep the True RAW DNG on archive so you have the best quality data to come back to later.

        You can read more on this page:

        http://nofilmschool.com/2012/02/latest-chinese-kineraw-digital-cinema-camera/

        And on my Vimeo pages,

        you can see a video of the previous S35 model here,

        And you can see a conversion of one of the Acam dII ™ DNG to BMP by a user of my DANCINEC.EXE ™ free de-Bayer program here:

        40200001.BMO is on page,

        http://www.ikonoskop.com/forum/?action=listPosts&forumID=8&parentID=1322

        at link,

        http://www.ikonoskop.com/begood/forum_attach.php?14159711654f0f0ac899cbb8.52359071

        If you have any questions you can email Kinefinity.com (sm) at their contact on their web site.

  2. KineRAW ™ cameras to be shown at booth C12813 at NAB 2013 in Las Vegas

    ==

    Got word from Kinefinity.com (sm) that they will be going to NAB 2013 in Las Vegas (in April),

    http://www.nabshow.com/

    Quote: [Our booth number in this coming NAB is C12813.]

    So if you have wanted some ‘hands on’ time with their cameras, this will be the first time they are showing them outside China as far as I know.

    I’ve been shooting some additional test footage with both the KineRAW-S35 ™ and the prototype KineRAW-S8p ™ and may post that on my Vimeo page when I get it edited together. They are working on a demo reel for showing at NAB 2013, so if you have any suggestions of shots you would like to see you can email them and ask them to have one of their field testers shoot something like what you would like to see maybe so that when you go to NAB 2013 you can see how it turned out. They said they will have cameras there you can look over, and maybe the KineRAW-S35-mini ™ they are still working on, its a smaller version with the same high quality 100% true RAW DNG recording and S35 sensor with sub-PL mount for using a wide range of movie and still lenses, as I understand it, you can email them for detailed specs if you are interested.

    Also the MSRP and shipping should be lower for the KineRAW-S35-mini ™. So jot down booth C12813 if your going to NAB this year and say high, they have been developing these cameras for many years, and the larger KineRAW-S35 ™ has been in field testing in China (in addition to the one I got to do calibrations in the monitoring with). They said they are very busy putting cameras together to ship out, so, so far things seem to be going well for them.

    ==

    You cannot judge the quality of the images from the KineRAW-S35 ™ based on looking at some H.264 version, the raw data holds so much detail that some skill is required to blunt it enough to get compressed versions, using Cineform ™ YUV is a much better option for PC playback.

  3. I got an notice of an update here “[…] S8 Footage with breakdowns BufferprintDigg DiggI’ve posted about the KineRAW cameras in the past, and have noted the analog qualities of this RawDNG camera. A new post showcasing some […] don’t see the post? Spam?

    Anyway, I working on an new handheld KineRAW-S8p ™ video shot 1920×1440 and cropped 1920×817 for letterbox in 1920×1080 shot with a Kowa 3.5mm f/2.4 HR megapixel lens (rectilinear). The results look good so far I’m grading and processing those frames now and hope to post that in few weeks maybe if I have time to work on it.

    I got some new DNG from the second prototype of the KineRAW-S35 ™ today using the new re-designed OLPF filter and the results look good on that as well. The noise level and dynamic range of the S35 seem to be working out, makes me feel bad for Kodak ™ although fill has its own look from the dye masking layer.

    The third anamorphic demo video shot 1828×1556 with the KineRAW-S8p ™ is already up at:

    And yes, the use of standard 2.5″ SSD and HDD SATA drives makes the camera easy to use and you can get extra low cost HDD to dump shots onto in the camera’s second slot so you can re-use the SSD while you are out shooting. With 1TB 2.5″ HDD you can store quite a bit of even uncompressed DNG frames in a small lightweight disk.

    • kanamil
    • April 14th, 2012 10:10pm

    Yes, Dan – I’m loving the look of these cameras, they’re really capturing that analog feel. Not sure if it’s the highlight rolloff, or just a locked in gamma curve/LUT. Interesting things afoot.

    When you say ‘quite a bit’ of uncompressed frames, what exactly does that mean? Also, how long would a 2.5″ standard SSD be able to sustain shooting without dropping frames or locking up?

    I would love to have you do a guest post going into more technical detail on the KineRAW workflow.

  4. I guess you mean my videos on Vimeo? The look is due to several things:

    1) The sensor outputs 12 bit data and I think is rated for about 70db dynamic range by its mfg.

    2) The OLPF filter to reduce aliasing and moire.

    3) Since the exposure is manual, one can underexpose to avoid burned out highlights and not get mosquito noise in the shadows because there is no compression used.

    4) My EDR (Extended Dynamic Range) processing can help get the four color look that film has due to a residue of silver in the film as well as some stain in addition to the three dye colors. Early Technicolor ™ used a silver overlay image combined with the YCM dyes, so its something like that except that the “silver” layer can have more highlight detail than the “dye” layers. Its not the VIDEO YUV processing, so it does not look like video exactly as you would expect a sensor camera to. I have worked with film for more than 40 years both color and black and white, negative, positive and reversal, so I am trying to get that into the digital cinema camera processing through “four color” method and 3D-noise reduction using temporal processing as well as the source of 100% uncompressed 12bit sensor data so all the noise and image are available for processing from the recorded images, unlike compressed cameras that drop some of the image along with the noise before recording. To get all the image out you want to record everything and sort it out in non-real-time post processing later, not just because its too much to do in the camera but because you cannot un-do such processing if its done in the camera then compressed for recording. Best to record everything and then you have everything to work with and archive to re-process later if the processing improves or you change you mind about how it should look.

    5) I grade the True RAW data from each shot with its own unique curves fitting the lighting contrast ratio and color balance etc. My DI system is on my web site for people to help test if they want to, they can read the EULA, there is no charge at this time to make a movie or feature film with it. It has built in CC that works for frames from just about any source, IMAX ™/65mm/VistaVision ™/35mm/S16/R16/S8/R8 film scans, digital cinema cameras, HDSLR, RED ™ cameras, flat bed scanner etc.

    ==

    Right now I’m recording to 60GB KineMAG-60 ™ SSD, and even at 2592x1104x12bit@25.000fps it can shoot the “full” mag without issues or glitches as far as I know. When the mag is full (about 59GB as some space is used for 3D-LUT and thumbnail color reference etc.) the camera beeps to tell you you need to swap mags or dump to a notebook HDD in the second slot. Dump time is not bad maybe something between real time and double that depending on the speed of the notebook HDD, the faster the drive the faster the dump maybe. You can also select just some shots to dump and then delete the others, or delete some and dump all etc. So it has some in-camera editing as well as playback.

    2592x1104x1.5×24 = 103MB/s so

    59000/103 = 572s/60 = 9.4 minutes

    1000000/103 = 9708s/60 = 161m/60 = 2.6 hours

    In the S35 and S16 if you apply Cineform ™ compression at maybe 10:1 (its wavelet like REDCODE ™) you would increase the 1TB limit by 10x so maybe 26 hours on one 1TB notebook drive, perhaps, some testing will need to be done once the cameras are in field testing.

    The KineMAG-60 ™ are qualified drives, although the interface is standard, and I can record short shots even to the notebook HDD, if you purchase SSD from another source they may not be fast enough to record to without dropping out of a shot (the camera beeps and stops shooting and goes back to setup idle viewfinder mode is the buffer fills and the disk cannot keep up, so you want to use disks that are fast enough to avoid that for shooting shots up to the full disk capacity.) With Cineform ™ compressed recording mode (the S35 and S16 are to support both CinemaDNG uncompressed and Cineform ™ wavelet compressed recording) the speed requirements can be lower so you may find off-the-shelf drives that are fast enough for that depending on the compression ratio you are using.

  5. The time you can record with unqualified SSD would need to be tested, a better option would be to shoot with at least one KineMAG-60 ™ and then use the internal dump shot feature to dump to another lower cost SSD or HDD. If you use a 1TB HDD you can store quite a bit of footage probably more than you will shoot in a day with normal filmmaking length shots. I’ve been using two KineMAG-60 ™ and dumping to a 500GB notebook HDD in the second slot without issues, that gives me 20 minutes about on the two SSD, then dump to the HDD to shoot 20 more minuter etc. That way you don’t have to work about the cheep SSD getting slow with ware, the KineMAG-60 ™ have special long use FLASH chips that don’t slow down like cheep SSD might with repeated re-use, you can ask Kinefinity.com (sm) about the details of their special FLASH chips.

  6. For some reason my post about KineRAW ™ cameras being shown at NAB 2013 in April at booth C12813 came out between various posts above, you can scroll up to read it…