Kinefinity Kine RAW S35
God bless Dan Chung. He has saved me so much undue surprise by sharing news of Far Eastern product development over the past several years. Still, I guess it's fair to say that we all should have known that it was just a matter of time before the Chinese reverse-engineered an Arri Alexa, made it ugly, and brought it to market for a couple tuppence more than the Japanese "Super16" models relegated to rasterized video formats and heavy crop factors (see the Sony FS100 or the Panasonic AF100).
Presenting the Kinefinity Kine RAW S35. Proposed market price: roughly $8,000 USD. As a true 2K camera shooting DNG or Cineform RAW files to SSD drives, I took note of how the camera looks like nothing short of a mini ATX computer case with a hole drilled in it for where the lens goes. Specs quoted include HDMI and SDI video output, XLR audio inputs, and some undisclosed intervalometer functionality.
It has never been clearer to me that cinematographers in the market for the latest and greatest camera had better plan on getting all of their money's worth in very short order. For me, realistic value-earning ownership works out to about three years per camera. After that point, while cameras may certainly remain serviceable, they are going to be surpassed technologically to the point where they suffer dramatic downturns in worth in the eyes of my clients and colleagues. As filmmakers, we need to remember that this is a business, and as the tools of the trade get ever more commoditized, much of what clearly and immediately separates us from the crowd of wannabes and pretenders is constantly going away.
So, while this model is hardly ready for prime time, I would say this is a harbinger of things to come, and things to come look both exciting and, indeed, dangerous. Long live Dan Chung!