Kinefinity KineMAX 6K Review – Resolution That Blows Away Your Screen

kinefinity-kinemax-6k

+++ Please note. This KineMax 6K review and footage are based on a Pre Production model. We tend not to publish our LAB test results unless the camera is in its final stage. A full LAB review will be published then+++

The weatherman promised sunshine. So what. All I got was a grey windy day with some kind of natural “pro Mist filter” cast. Instead of crying my heart out and kick myself in the head for not running with the camera a day earlier, I decided to live with what I have and give it a try. After all, I had to send the camera back the next day.

This is not the first time that I’m testing a Kinefinity camera. Back in 2013 it was the KineRAW mini which made me appreciate what the relatively new to the market Chinese manufacturer is doing, supplying affordable high quality cameras to filmmakers like us.

And then came the opportunity to test the yet to be released KineMAX 6K camera and let me tell you, what a powerful piece of gear it is!

Ungraded 6K Frame Grabs:

KineMAX-3 KineMAX-5 KineMAX-2

When the package arrived at our cinema5D premises, I thought there was a mistake. The small size box made me believe we only got some accessories to the camera and not the camera itself, so to my surprise, after opening the package, there it was. Small, lightweight, robust, well made. (Almost “German build quality” sort so to speak). Also in the package there were two mounts, for PL and EF lenses.  Kinefinity developed an interchangeable mount system for their camera. Just turn the bayonet lock and change to the lens mount of your desire, depending on the lenses you have. My take was to go with 3 EF lenses. The Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8Canon 24-105mm F/4.0 IS and the Canon 70-200mm F/4.0 IS. Kinefinty’s EF adapter is an electronic one, allowing you to control Canon lenses much like the Metabones adaptors do.

10 minutes into the process of refreshing my (old) memory with the menu structure and I could easily appreciate the actual external buttons layout which allowed me to quickly change the camera settings to my desired resolution/recording format/FPS/ISO/Picture Profile/WB/SSD (activating and formatting)/Shutter speed/and IRIS.  So much easier then AJA’s CION we’ve tested just a while ago. (Try dealing with CION’s menu without reading the manual and be prepared to lose your nerves a little).

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When it comes to recording media, based on Kinefinity’s advice we had great success recording 6K into Samsung 850 PRO 256GB SSD. (Remember “de-activating” the SSD prior to taking it out of the camera slot, otherwise you might encounter error messages when connecting the SSD to your computer).

The KineMAX 6K camera has the ability to record in numerous frame sizes, recording formats resolutions and adjustable frame rates. See the complete list at the bottom of my article.

For this short video I used:

– S35 frame size
– 6K resolution (5760×2400 wide)
– KineRAW codec
– 25 FPS
– ISO 800 (native value)
– KineLOG picture profile

For the slow motion sequence: 

– S16 frame size
– 2K resolution (2880×1200 wide)
– KineRAW codec
– 75 FPS

Editing

From my experience, the current bottleneck of the workflow is the editing process.

Kinefinity supplies a cross platform (Mac/PC) free copy of their KineStation software in order to transcode the recorded 6K footage (in KineRAW or CinemaDNG formats) to Cineform RAW or Cineform RGB444.

Transcoding 256 GB of footage recorded with KineRAW codec on my Retina Macbook Pro 2013 took the following:

– To Cineform RAW (MOV), 53 minutes
– To Cineform RGB444 (MOV), 71 minutes.

Obviously transcoding to Cineform RAW (MOV) will reduce the overall “downtime” required from finishing shooting till you get to edit your footage (which is anyway challenging because of the high 6K resolution) but the real alternative should be moving into a native in-camera ProRes recording or at least ProRes transcoding and guess what, when asked about the possibility to move towards this direction the official answer we got was, “Kinefinity will add ProRes codec in KineStation or in-camera recording in the future, but there is no detailed timetable”.

Conclusion

All in all I had a very positive experience shooting with this new camera. Its build and picture quality are very promising. On the negative side, evident rolling shutter effects can be seen under certain shooting conditions.

The Kinefinity KineMAX 6K will be available to Chinese customers in April and internationally during May. For the complete camera pricing information, please head to Kinefinity site.

Last word

The KineMAX 6K a serious film-making tool and I can only hope that professionals will give it a try and seriously consider it as a valid candidate for their next project.

Edited on Adobe Premiere CC 2014, Colour corrected with FilmConvert – get $30 off by using our promo code “cinema5d”
Music: https://www.musicbed.com/ MARIE HINES-In My Arms
For enhanced viewing experience, please download the 4K video from our Vimeo page. (Download/Original)

For our European followers, the camera can be purchased by clicking here

 

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Frame Size Format Resolution MAX FPS Cineform  KineRAW  CinemaDNG
S35 6K HD 5760×3240* 25  ✔
6K HD Wide 5760×2400* 30  ✔
Golden 3K 2880×1620* 25  ✔  ✔
Golden 3K Wide 2880×1200* 30  ✔  ✔
HiSpeed S35 4K HD 3840×2160 80**  ✔
4K HD Wide 3840×1716 100**  ✔
3K HD 2880×1620 80**  ✔
3K HD Wide 2880×1200 100**  ✔
2K HD 1920×1080 80**  ✔
2K HD Wide 1920×864 100**  ✔
M4/3 4.3K 4:3 Anamorphic 4320×3240* 25  ✔
4K 4:3 Anamorphic 4096×3072* 25  ✔
4K 4096×2160 30  ✔  ✔
4K Wide 4096×1716 48  ✔  ✔
4K HD 3840×2160 30  ✔  ✔
4K HD Wide 3840×1716 48  ✔  ✔
Golden 2K 2048×1080 30  ✔  ✔
Golden 2K Wide 2048×858 48  ✔  ✔
Golden 2K HD 1920×1080 30  ✔  ✔
Golden 2K HD Wide 1920×858 48  ✔  ✔
HiSpeed M4/3 2K 2048×1080 120**  ✔
2K Wide 2048×864 144**  ✔
S16 3K 3072×1620 50  ✔  ✔
3K Wide 3072×1280 60  ✔  ✔
3K HD 2880×1620 50  ✔  ✔
3K HD Wide 2880×1200 60  ✔  ✔
16mm 2K 2048×1080 80**  ✔  ✔
2K Wide 2048×860 100**  ✔  ✔
2K HD 1920×1080 80**  ✔  ✔
2K HD Wide 1920×860 100**  ✔  ✔

  Notes:

  1. * Means these resolution modes are only included in 6K RAW option;
  2. ** Means these fps modes are only included in HiSpeed option
  3. When Cineform recording, 3K HD @24fps, 2K HD @48fps or less.
  4. Frame Rate can be adjusted as 6~MAX fps, step accuracy of 0.001fps

Johnnie Behiri is a freelance documentary cameraman/editor/producer working mostly for the BBC and other respected broadcasters. He is also co-owner of cinema5d.com

Watch it on Vimeo

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BrunoSlam Compte A Rebours Reply
BrunoSlam Compte A Rebours March 30, 2015

Interesting but bad moire though….

Reply
Johnnie Behiri March 30, 2015

Hi there.

Please be kind directing me to where you see the bad moire.
The original footage is completely clean but I’m happy to re-check.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Vlad Box Rojas Reply
Vlad Box Rojas March 30, 2015

Really, I did not see neither aliasing nor moire, looks pretty “Alexa” to me. Its an interesting choice, I have been looking into these cameras for a while, however with so many choices and price ranges, it just gets more complicated. Great review.

Derek McCabe Reply
Derek McCabe March 30, 2015

I didn’t see any moire or aliasing, and I watched it twice. Footage looks wonderful.

A good section to look for detail is the scene with the pine trees in the background.

John Marchant Reply
John Marchant March 31, 2015

If you play the video in the embed rather than full screen there’s scaling related moire and aliasing. Not the cameras fault as such.

1.03 on the guy’s coat is very noticeable. Shutters on the buildings, just about any contrasty fine lines etc.

Full screen its much less significant. In the camera original I doubt its evident

Does it use an OLPF?

Thomas Walker Reply
Thomas Walker April 12, 2015

Noise in the blacks in every single shot. Not Impressed. When I first heard of this camera I was really hopeful. but looking at the image quality a few thousand dollars more for an epic seems like a way better deal.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri April 13, 2015

Hi Thomas.

Ignore my poor grading skills.
Download the original pics, CC them yourself and see if you still get noise in the blacks.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Atlas Camera Support Reply
Atlas Camera Support March 30, 2015

nice

Reply
Johnnie Behiri April 1, 2015

Thank you ACS

Reply
Bart van der Gaag March 30, 2015

Looking forward to testing this camera. I think the anamorphic mode is exciting.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri April 1, 2015

Hi Bart.

Please do and it will be nice if you share your experience with us.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Critter White Reply
Critter White March 30, 2015

5,7K not 6K

2,8K not 2K

Vince Cheong Reply
Vince Cheong March 31, 2015

I guarantee you will not be able to spot the difference between a “true” 6k vs 5.7k… It’s still way more details to work with as compared to “real world” 1080p raws

George Atanassov Reply
George Atanassov March 31, 2015

Hi,

Thank you for the camera preview. Images do look wonderful. However one thing that really bugs me down is how people have a sense that you always have to shoot in the highest recording setting of these cameras. I personally own a Kinefinity 4k mini and have no issues recording for 2K footage. This will be in Cineform so it’s raw and and will need no transcoding. As far as remember the specs one should be able to shoot Cineform 4K in camera with the Max. Of course it’s good to point that Cineform raw is not supported in any editing software that I know of, meaning you won’t be able to change ISO or WB as with supported raw footage. However there is plenty of latitude and possibilities to tinker with the log or primaries in Resolve for instance.

Hope this helps.

George Atanassov Reply
George Atanassov March 31, 2015

Checked the specs again and it seems that only 3K in Cineform is possible. Back in the day they were aiming for 4K Cineform.

Ahmed Bouazzaoui Reply
Ahmed Bouazzaoui April 1, 2015

Thx for the video. Looks pretty good. However, I am in the market for my next cinema camera. How kinemax compared to Red Scarlet X. Almost in price range. Thx

Reply
Johnnie Behiri April 1, 2015

Hi Ahmed.

Wish I could help here. The ‘RED one’ was my first and last RED camera.

Thanks!

Johnnie

Ahmed Bouazzaoui Reply
Ahmed Bouazzaoui April 3, 2015

THX Johnnie. Another issue for me is that Kinefinity doesn’t have any authorized dealer in the US now !! In case of any issue with the camera you have to send it back to China!!!! Overall it’s seems a very nice camera. I will wait to see what’s gonna happen at NAB in Vegas this month before making decisions. Thx again Johnnie.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri April 3, 2015

Hi Ahmed.

I’ll communicate with Kinefinity and see if anything new regarding an authorised dealer in the US.
It’s surly an obstacle for someone who wants to purchase the camera.

Thanks

Johnnie

Ahmed Bouazzaoui Reply
Ahmed Bouazzaoui April 3, 2015

Thx Johnnie. Specially if you gonna spend $13 K or more on something fairly New to the market and have not much History on reliability, durability… like Red or even BMPC..

Alexandre Frey Reply
Alexandre Frey April 2, 2015

In all the footages ive seen of the kine cameras is that green cast. I love the potential, but the colors arent quite there yet for me.

Paul DuVilla Reply
Paul DuVilla April 2, 2015

I agree. I think that, color aside, this camera could definitely be great but I have only seen footage that looks like it has a green tint to it.

This would have been the perfect camera for the Matrix though :)

Reply
Johnnie Behiri April 2, 2015

Dear Alexandre, dear Paul.

The original footage does not have any green tint cast in it. It was my personal preference to CC the footage this way (a bit green).

Please download any of the original 3 frame grabs and let me know if you see any green tint in it.
Also, I’m happy to try sending you a short original clip so you can colour grade it yourself.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Ahmed Bouazzaoui Reply
Ahmed Bouazzaoui April 5, 2015

Hi Johnnie, I want to thank you again for all your help and support. I forgot to ask you: what is the lenses Crop factor to the sensor if any?? Thx again.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri April 7, 2015

Hi Ahmed, sorry for my late answer.
According to the manufacturer, the crop factor is 1.6 for 6K recording;

Thank you.

Johnnie

John Le Reply
John Le April 9, 2015

I was wondering what are the record times at 6K in GB?

 Christopher Wadsworth Reply
Christopher Wadsworth April 19, 2016

I downloaded some of their 6k samples from the videos and they grade beautifully. I’d say I am getting good skin tones much more easily than I am with my RAW ARW still files off of my A7RII. Very impressed!