Shoot full-frame RAW for $3k with the palm-sized KineRAW Mini


It’s a little thing called  the KineRAW Mini.   It’s from China.  It shoots 12-bit, 2k RAW, fits in the palm of your hand, and has a s35 (roughly APS-C) sized sensor.  But with an adapter, you can turn this into a full-frame monster.  More on that later.

Some basics: 2k is the current cinema standard resolution, and RAW means completely un-compressed footage.  You’re basically editing the equivalent of an uncompressed still photo, which means you can manipulate the color and exposure to amazing extremes without degrading the image.  This is the how pros shoot with REDs and Arri Alexas.  This is cinema quality.  And it’s on pre-order right now for $3,000.  (Note that this is body-only.  A full kit without lenses will be closer to $5k)

(sample clip from the KineRAW s35, the bigger brother of the KineRAW Mini.  Though different cameras, the image quality will be similar)

The really interesting part to me is that this camera is supposed to be available in KineMOUNT, which is a proprietary lens mount that can be adapted to a variety of other mounts like PL, Nikon F, and Canon EF.  And they are developing a version for Sony E-mount, the same mount used by the FS-100, FS-700, NEX-5n.

This E-mount compatibility means you can add the Metabones Speed Booster, an amazing lens adapter explained in this article, and turn that Super 35mm sensor into an effectively Full-Frame (or VistaVision) sensor. You will get the same ultra-shallow depth of field – and amazing low light performance – as other full-frame cameras like the Canon 1D C.  But the 1D C shoots compressed, 8-bit color in a 4:2:0 color space.  And it costs $12,000.

If you want to spend your spare $12k on a camera that shoots only highly compressed video, be my guest. But I’d rather spend less than half of that and get cinema-quality RAW output.  Let’s hope the KineRAW Mini lives up to its promise and forces the rest of the industry to innovate.  Smaller, better, cheaper.

You can find out lots about the other specs of the KineRAW-MINI from the Chinese company’s homepage.

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Latest Comments
  1. Matt

    Using a MetaBones adapter with this camera – or any s35 sensor sized camera – will not make the camera’s sensor Full Frame (increased field of view and narrower depth of field). The adapter actually compresses the lens’s field of view so that certain images (dependant on minimum image circle coverage of the sensor) can be reduced/compressed to make a brighter image with a wider field of view – without effecting the depth of field.

  2. Steve

    It does in fact widen the field of view. In the same way a crop sensor, like APS-C “crops” the center portion of the lens, the metabones speed booster essential compresses the optical light to fit the APS-C sensor more sensible. It is, by its very nature a focal reducer, the same way a macro tube, or extension tube, is a focal extender. Except with focal reduction, and light compression, you should, theoretically speaking, get a higher quality and sharper image. Metabones for M43! Gogogogogogo!

  3. Tony Brown

    Nice job Gents. However the viewable HD is poor to say the least, is there somewhere to download the film or maybe some frames for closer examination? Why is the grade so flat? Was that the aesthetic you intended or has something fallen away in the shoot to Vimeo process?

    Thank you

    • Brandon Li

      Hi Tony,

      I did not create the video. I agree the grade is poor. Regardless, this is no longer the most exciting thing arriving on the market. The Blackmagic Production Camera and hacked Canon 5dMKIII RAW are far more exciting options for around the same money.

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