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Andrew Reid

Kinefinity KineRAW MINI review

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Is it any branded SSD 2.5" drive can be used?

The KineRAW cameras take standard SATA 2.5" drives, the S35's second slot can hold a notebook hard drive, like 500GB or 1TB, that you can dump the SSD to when it get full to re-use it in the field.  The main issue is that the SSD be fast enough to record all the modes to, the KineMAG are qualified not to drop frames when recording, if you use other brands of disks then they may not work all the time or may get slower with use, the KineMAG are high quality drives that have been tested through repeated record and erase cycles.  I have been using their prototype 60GB drive for more than a year and as far as I know it has not dropped any frames yet even recording [email protected] in their S8 prototype and shooting 220fps in their S8 prototype, as well as shooting both Cineform and DNG [email protected] at the same time in the S35 model.

 

But you might find some other brands of SSD that work, they kept in mind that as time goes on other brands that are fast enough will fall in price and so there will be more options, but for now, if you want them to assure you that the camera will record without glitches their disks are provided as tested and known to work right.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Once again, thanks for the incredibly detailed technical reply and for stressing the important fact that Kineraw cameras are Linux open source based, therefore customizable in their sensor/monitoring looks.

I look forward for the outcome of your calibration works.

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i like the flexibility of this camera too. Dan, i can only ask you for better turning of highlights handling. i saw cineform samples from s 35 model (asian woman in the forest against the sun) and they handle highlights in more delicate way, because uses protune cineform curve i believe. another really nice idea that i can vote for is to implement e-mount to this camera because for this mount exists a tons of inexpensive adaptors to almost any lens. e-mount not so bulletproof as pl-mount but it takes more freedom to artists and more flexibility to camera system. also if the mount will bend or erased after years of intensive usage i think those simple metal ring can be easily replaced by user.

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Quote: [Dan, i can only ask you for better turning of highlights handling. i saw cineform samples from s 35 model (asian woman in the forest against the sun) and they handle highlights in more delicate way, because uses protune cineform curve i believe.]

 

There are some issues that people seem not to understand about how the monitoring to end result matching works in the KineRAW cameras.

 

1) You cannot apply grading directly to the Cineform recordings because there is no matrix applied to the raw Bayer data (you cannot cross mask spatially separated colors).  If the 3D-LUT the camera makes are not applied, then the relative saturation of the red, green and blue will be wrong when you use a simple saturation increase in grading.  This seems to be the source of many of the complaints people have, but in fact its their NOT matching the camera monitoring that is upsetting the color balance of relative saturation of various colors.

 

2) Most people using the DNG frames seem not to be using the 3D-LUT the camera makes for matching the raw data to the monitoring so the results do not match anything you saw in the camera, and since no matching matrix was applied you get the same problems as in case #1, but this time you are grading from unbalanced red, green, and blue saturation taken from linear 12bit sensor data.

 

3) In the case #1 the data is "LOG90" encoded Cineform data giving equal weight to each stop in the brightness range, that is a wrong starting point to look at on a Rec.709 or monitor gamma monitor, you get way too much code range in the shadows making the results show too much grain and leading to heavy under-exposure (not to mention no matrix having been applied so the colors are skewed.)

 

4) If you process the DNG frames without using the 3D-LUT that converts the linear sensor data to "LOG90" data then apply the second 3D-LUT that converts the LOG90 data (same as for Cineform recordings) your results will not match anything having to do with the in camera monitoring, how could it, there is not DNG header meta-data that can exactly match the in camera curves, that is why the camera generates 3D-LUT, and so your workflow needs to be set-up to ignore the XYZ to RGB DNG tag and only interpolate to linear Gamma 1.0 greenish results, those then pass through the two mating 3D-LUT (the linear to log one is constant, the monitoring curve one mates with only the shot in the shot folder it was taken from).

 

5) You are NOT working with a RGB recording, the DNG data is the SAME no matter what monitoring table is used, other than the exposure and analog gain applied to the sensor preamps that feed the ADC, after the ADC the signals are just recorded for the most part and no changes to the camera settings have ANY impact on the results, other than the making of the 3D-LUT that are put into each shot's folder.  If you do not use those 3D-LUT, you are on your own and your results will be the same no matter which look group you use, Kine709, KineCOLOR, or KineLOG have no impact on the recorded data (other than their shortcuts that have the ISO setting force analog gain when you are NOT using the so called "expert" mode.)

 

6) Operation of the camera would be more understandable if they had buttons labeled: ANALOG GAIN, EI/ISO CURVE, K/LIGHT_TYPE

in place of making the controls clear, they have combined those functions to "simplify" the camera for the Asian market, you have to request the "expert" mode, then on the S35 you need to use the ISO and F2 buttons to set the analog gain and EI/ISO curve independently, I have not use the Mini yet to see how they implemented it there, but you need to understand what is going on to figure out how the menus impact the 3D-LUT made vs. the burned in aspects impacting the recorded data.  Their setting the analog gain above 1x for green does tend to make the highlight range shorter, it depends on where they make the origin point so that the EI/ISO number reads right for 18% gray cards, if you scale from black bias point or from code value 0 etc.

 

7) The curves I made do not clip anything, not the red, green, or blue channels because the three channels are balanced by using the analog gain.  The only way to prevent clipping as shown in the cameras 90% zebras on the raw data is to reduce the exposure or use a Cir.Pola filter to cut reflections by a stop.  No gains can be had by changing the curves, KineCOLOR is soft enough for normal uses if you set the exposure right and use EI/ISO 1280! without additional analog gain.

 

8) The amount of highlight range when analog gain for green is set to 1x depends on the EI/ISO curve used, the maximum highlight range is when you see 2560! displayed, higher speeds are not useful for 12bit data because there would not be enough data above the FPN and under 18% gray code value.  At speed 1280! the full Cineon range is filled so you get the same range about as a 35mm film scan, at 2560! I added a small shoulder curve so that NO data would be clipped.  At speeds under 1280! the sensor does not have enough highlight range to fill the "super white" Cineon data range above code value 685/1023 in DPX LOG files, you cannot compensate for that lack of highlight detail aside from controlling the contrast range of what you are pointing the camera at by using fill lighting to light the shadows so you can reduce the overall exposure to keep the highlights needed under sensor clip.

 

9) The KineCOLOR currently defaults to having the 3D-LUT output full range data, you cannot ingest those results into a Rec709 or maybe DCI P3 workflow without clipping both the highlights and shadows.  In addition the internal signals in the camera's monitoring are full range, only the output range settings reduce that for having the 3D-LUT output sub-range ITU601 limits for Rec.709 use etc.  If you shoot using KineCOLOR you can change the output range limits to ITU601 "HD limits" to avoid this issue which will then make the output of the 3D-LUT limited like the default state of Kine709 and so be able to ingest the output of the 3D-LUT (RGB) into Rec.709 workflows (if your DCI P3 workflow is also ITU601 limited, keep that in mind as well, that is do you expect the DPX frames to have a range of 64/1023 to 940/1023, because KineCOLOR has a range of 0/1023 to 1023/1023 by default with 18% midtone around 470/1023.)

 

10) Its not possable to have "softer" highlights other than what is there because the current looks do not clip the highlight data, you get everything the sensor puts out.  If the highlights are clipped in the DNG data its the result of not using the 90% raw zebras when shooting.

 

11) I could lower the 90% white card point so that its closer to 470/1023 signal level in KineCOLOR, I suggested having a softer look group by Jihua did not want that as he thought too many choices would be confusing to people, the camera supports about 36 look groups, and only three are being used, so there should be room for more.  You cannot however get 90% white TOO close to 18% gray in the EI/ISO curve because that puts a kink in the curve that does not look good on skin tones were light is modeling the highlights and shadows, its better to have a smooth a curve as possible and to adjust the exposure and lighting when shooting to have the light or dark side of the face aligned with the 18% gray reference tick mark on the histogram display (you see a gray and white vertical line on the histogram, those are the calibrated code levels for the ADC output when you have the exposure set right and are shooting a 18% gray and 90% white card, faces should have their peak between those lines, you do set the viewfinder zoom to 800% and point the camera at the actors face to use the camera as a spot meter to adjust the shutter and iris to get the face exposure in the correct range, if things are too much under 18% gray tick mark you will end up with dark shots showing heavy noise, EVEN THOUGH THEY DO NOT LOOK DARK when you display the Cineform LOG90 without the corresponding 3D-LUT because the "raw" Cineform recordings are NOT meant to be graded from directly as they lack the correct color matrix and have the shadows expanded way too much leading to chronic underexposure and excess grain noise as well as FPN showing up later when people grade the shots several stops above the rated EI/ISO at the time of shooting.

 

I can't add highlight detail that is not within the sensor's range, the current curves don't clip anything, if there are clipping problems its probably from not mating the workflow to the output range of the 3D-LUT or the exposure was wrong or they have fiddled with something I don't know about.

 

You also need to set the monitoring path monitor range limits to 16/255 and 235/255 probably, or the camera's LCD monitor may show clipping IN THE MONITOR because HD monitors are NOT full range, I don't know how the implemented the HDMI interface but it should already be applying ITU601 limits, not that all LCD monitors can display that range anyway...

 

Additionally Kinefinity.com (sm) changed the camera's design AFTER I calibrated the look groups invalidating the color matrix settings and everything else.  Their engineer Cheng seems to have fiddled with the analog settings by adding a translation table to try to match the previous white balance, but as far as I know they have not compensated for the saturation difference in the Bayer filter dyes between the 1st generation sensor I was using, and the current production sensor (or changes to the IR glass in the OLPF filter etc.).  I will have to talk to Cheng to get him to remove the translation table so I can re-calibrate everything back to the native sensor output, hopefully he can do that, so people using the new revised look groups will probably need to upgrade the camera firmware to clear vestiges of the current issues.

 

If Cheng is scaling the 12bit data to correct the white balance, I would hope not, that could introduce histogram gaps and clipped color channels, something not going on in the prototype S35 I used for doing the calibrations, hopefully I can get some straight answers if they really want me to untangle the current issues and get the Mini's working as intended...

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I love this camera, it has such a good image and 100FPS is great too. I wanted to ask if anyone has any SSD recommendations. IM using a 256G Kingston V200+ that I bought for the BMCC. It works well with most setting but will only record short bursts at 96FPS and 100FPS. Still great I just cant spend the money they want on a kinemagright now and was looking for alternate SSD's

 

Thanks

Rob

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I love this camera, it has such a good image and 100FPS is great too. I wanted to ask if anyone has any SSD recommendations. IM using a 256G Kingston V200+ that I bought for the BMCC. It works well with most setting but will only record short bursts at 96FPS and 100FPS. Still great I just cant spend the money they want on a kinemagright now and was looking for alternate SSD's

 

Thanks

Rob

I think you will find that the price for the KineMAG are not out of line with their quality factor.  In general you may find that you will need a drive rated about 5x (or more?) the data rate being recorded, in Flash media their record rate is uneven because of a delay while the chips bank switch, although the camera has a buffer the drive needs to be fast enough to write faster than the average rate because the delay for bank switching of the flash chips in the drive causes the buffer to fill, so, the average write speed is not telling you much from the specs, it needs to be the worst case write speed probably.  KineMAG use (so I was told) high quality FLASH chips that don't slow down much with repeated read-write cycles, other drives may work when new but slow down with use and eventually not work as well, and its no savings to have the shooting cut-out in the middle of an important shot because you tried to save a few bucks, that in the end will cost you more in lost time or even an irreplaceable once in a life time shot.  In the S35 model you can dump to any speed SSD or HDD in the second drive slot, and re-use the KineMAG to save some money on the higher priced KineMAG s.

 

I've suggested to them to add dump to USB port support in the Mini, like the way the S8p and S35 work with their dual SATA slots, so people can empty the KineMAG in the field using a USB to SATA adapter, or just dumping to a USB thumb drive, not everyone's cup of tea, but useful where you don't have a laptop along to dump the KineMAG for re-use while shooting in the field.

 

As for the 96fps and 100fps modes, you can look at the reviews of the camera to see what maximum record time other users are getting with the KineMAG .  The maximum record time on high speed modes may not be due to the SSD speed, but rather the SATA port speed itself, or other internal bottlenecks in the data path, you can contact Kinefinity.com and ask them what maximum record time they have achieved so far, and which model of KineMAG that was achieved with to compare to the results you are getting with some other brand of SSD.

 

On the subject of clipped highlights, I forgot to mention that de-Bayer programs based on Adobe SDK or DCRAW etc. may clip all three color channels noticeably for shots made with low average exposure because of their internal AGC effects.  Such programs may clip the top 5% of pixels (etc.), but those ARE the highlight detail that people pay more for in getting a camera with good dynamic range, so its nuts to use programs that clip of the upper pixels that are withing the ADC range on the sensor.  My de-Bayer program can be setup not to clip anything, or to just clip the chroma and not the luma.  You may be able to use the free program DNG_valadate.exe from Adobe , its in their DNG development zip file, to produce a gamma 1.0 conversion of DNG to TIF to check if your normal processing workflow is clipping anything in the highlights, if that does not work my de-Bayer program is also free and can also make a gamma 1.0 conversion from DNG to TIF using the engineering processing methods for checking those sorts of losses etc.  In this case, programs like XNVIEW should probably not be used to check for losses of highlight detail as such programs may be clipping the upper highlights off and not give results that are representative of the upper limits of the recorded data in all three color channels.

 

Please keep in mind that a raw recording camera is unlike a camera that records balanced RGB data in that the results you see are NOT what the camera recorded, but are dependent on how you convert the raw recorded data INTO balanced RGB files, and also the clip limits and gamut of the monitor or projector you are using for viewing the balanced RGB files your workflow produced from the raw recordings. In many cases what is being compared is not the cameras intrinsic qualities, but the way the various workflows interpreted th raw recordings, so very different results may be obtained using the SAME camera and different workflows (and or monitors and projectors) and de-Bayer and LUT settings within the same workflow.

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tried dng converter RPP (raw photo processor) and it gives me a better and natural results in highlights than ACR. also i know that there is a MakeTiff free app from author of ColorPerfect plugin. it converts dng data to linear tiff files, maybe can be useful, but maybe not...

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Although I played with footage a long time ago and loved what I saw. I really just want to test the camera out on a shoot to see how I like it. At the very least I would love to mess around with it in a store to see how I like the handling of it.

Hopefully soon. 

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Thanks for the info!

 

I contacted them and I they state that with the kinemag they can get 16 seconds for 100fps at 720P

 

Im using the kingston 256G V200+ SSD and I get these rates at these settings

 

Ok so I did te tests, I'm using a 256G Kingston V200+ drive.

S35
720p @100fps - 6secs
720p @ 96fps - 7secs
720p @ 60fps - 40+ secs probably would stop

S35 sport
2048x1080 @ 23.98 - 18secs
1920x1080 @ 23.98 - 28secs

S16
2048x1080 @ 48fps - 7secs
1920x1080 @ 50fps - 6secs
1920x1080 @ 48fps - 8secs

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11 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Did this ever happen?!

I can't find Any info that states it now can do 4K, just the 2K it had at the start I guess. That is kind of a bummer. Still even 2K is pretty impressive stuff. But is that 2K only in the s16mm format?

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24 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

I can't find Any info that states it now can do 4K, just the 2K it had at the start I guess. That is kind of a bummer. Still even 2K is pretty impressive stuff. But is that 2K only in the s16mm format?

The KineMini has had internal 4K capability for years -- not sure what it can do externally.

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