4K too small? Let the battle of 6K video commence!


posted Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 2:49 PM EDT


While megapixels may no longer be the name of the game with still photography, it looks like the video market is still battling things out on the fields of filesize. Red's Epic Dragon fired the first shots for 6K video (and won applause for its image quality)—but now a Chinese manufacturer called Kinefinity is going to make the 6K KineMAX & 4K KineMINI RAW Cameras.

The site is obviously in Chinese, so we're relying on information gathered from other publications, who seem to have parsed what the capabilities of these cameras are. The 6K KineMAX seems particularly impressive, mostly because its pre-order price appears to be something around the $3,000 mark, an order of magnitude less than the Red Epic Dragon. Here's what it's expected to be able to do, via NoFilmSchool:

  • 5760 x 3240 Super 35 CMOS Sensor
  • PL, Nikon, Canon EF, B4 Mount Options
  • 12-bit 6K up to 30fps
  • 4K High Speed Mode/3K 30fps/2K 100 fps
  • Cropped Modes: 4K 50fps/3K 60fps/2K 100fps
  • 1080p and 720p options as well
  • 800 Native ISO
  • 14 Stops of Dynamic Range at 6K
  • 16 Stops at Pixel-Binned 3K Resolution
  • Uncompressed CinemaDNG 6K to Two KineMAG
  • Compressed Cineform RAW to One KineMAG
  • Two SDI & Two HDMI Ports
  • Phantom Powered XLR/USB/Headpone Ports
  • OLPF designed to work with both 6K and crop/scaled modes
  • Price: Unknown, but Pre-Order is around $3,000

The KineMINI:

  • 4K Super 35mm CMOS Sensor (same sensor as original MINI)
  • PL, Nikon, Canon EF, B4 Mount Options
  • 12-bit 4K/ 14-bit 2K
  • 4K Uncompressed or Compressed CinemaDNG
  • 2K Cineform RAW
  • 4K RAW up to 30fps
  • 2K up to 96fps
  • 1080p up to 100fps
  • 13 Stops of Dynamic Range in 2K (Possibly less in 4K)
  • HDMI and SDI
  • 2 USB 3.0 Ports
  • Built in WiFi
  • Price: Body Only a little over $3,000, and packages range from a barebones a little under $4,000 to full package a little under $6,000

Those prices are pretty fantastic, but as always, there are caveats. For one, all the images appear to be CGI renderings, not the actual units themselves. So that gives us some pause as to when and if we'll see the real thing. There's also the fact that since this is a Chinese company, with a Chinese language site, who knows if it'll spread to other markets. You'll also need to use a piece of software called KineStation to transcode the Raw video files from the cameras.

But even with all those caveats, if this company manages to make a 6K cinema camera, with a base price of $3,000? That's an incredible feat of engineering.