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.