Welcome to the first part of our Kinefinity In Depth series, throughout this series, we will be covering all aspects of Kinefinity's current lineup of cameras, including reviews for each of the cameras themselves, so be sure to keep checking back for more updates. In this first episode, we're going to be looking at the Kinefinity system as a whole and its modular design.
Starting off with the camera body itself, there are currently three offerings from Kinefinity, the 'entry-level' TERRA 4K, the MAVO and Kinefinity's flagship camera, the MAVO LF. The first thing to note about all three of these cameras is that they are exactly the same size, weight and even draw the same amount of power. The body's themselves are essentially small, lightweight, square cubes which, houses the Kinemount (which we'll go into more detail on shortly), all of the controls, the SSD slot, a wifi antenna, HDMI port, headphone socket (which is hidden away at the back of the camera), DC power in (which is a two pin LEMO connection), a monaural mic for scratch audio, 3.5mm mic input, and two of Kinefinity's own monitor ports, for their Kinemon (older models of the TERRA 4K manufactured before 2019 only have one of Kinefinity's monitor port).
We'll be making a future video on the controls and menu layout of the cameras, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.
Now unlike most other cinema cameras, Kinefinitys cameras come with their own unique mount on the front which they call the Kinemount. Now, this isn't used for mounting lenses but instead mounting one of their range of lens adapters. Changing the lens mount on Kinefinity's cameras is just as simple as changing a lens, so on the same shoot, you can go from using EF, to PL lenses in a matter of seconds. There are a range of adapters available from Kinefinity, these are an EF, PL and Sony's E mount, with some other variations of each mount also available. Both the EF and PL have simple adapters available, but also versions with an electronic variable ND built into the mount. This E-ND cannot turn fully clear, however, so we recommend if you plan on picking up an adapter with built-in ND, that you also pick up the regular version too. The EF mount also has a second variation too, called the KineEnhancer. This is essentially a speed booster which can be used with either the TERRA 4K or the MAVO, allowing you to take advantage of any full frame lenses which you may have.
Sony's E-mount is the mount which is slightly different, as unlike all the other mounts, it does not pass electronic communication between the camera and the lens, as its such a small mount. But this makes Kinefinity's cameras one of the only camera systems other than Sony's own cameras of course, to be able to use E-mount lenses, which is fantastic. Some of our favourite E-mount lenses to use with Kinefinity's cameras are the Fujinon MK 18-55mm T3.1, and the Fujinon MK 50-135mm T3.1.
The first of Kinefinity's accessories is the Sidegrip. Like all of Kinefinity's modular accessories, will work on all of their current lineup. The Sidegrip has several functions, the most basic of which, is to give you something extra to hold, making it easier to shoot handheld with the camera. On the top of the Sidegip, there are a second set of controls for the camera, meaning you can access all the cameras control's whilst holding the camera with the sidegrip. The Sidegrip is also one of the ways which you can power the camera. Underneath the Sidegrip there is a battery slot for Kinefinity's GripBat's which are the small, and lightweight option to power their cameras. The GripBat design is based off of Sony's BP-U style batteries, so you will find that some other batteries will fit. However, you need to use one of Kinefinity's GripBats, as they provide a higher power draw than regular BP-U batteries, and we have had issues when trying to use other batteries.
The Kineback-W is essentially a full-blown expansion box for Kinefinity's cameras, which attaches to the back of the camera. On the Kineback there are two SDI ports, which send out 1920x1080 at 60fps. A timecode in and out port, a sync port and an extension port. On the top of the camera, there are two XLR ports, and a slot for MOVCAM's DarkTower technology, which will allow for the cameras to be controlled fully wirelessly.T Finally there two d-tap ports, and a V-Lock mount on the back, which is the second way of powering the camera. Kinefinity makes their own low profile batteries, which fit the form factor very well, but there are of course other options out there as well. We're particularly fond of pairing the cameras with SWITS PB-220Wh battery (if you want to power the camera nearly all day, along with various accessories) or SWIT's smaller Mini Vlock.
Currently, the only monitor that Kinefinity make for their cameras, which utilise Kinefinitys monitor port (which passes both power and video through to the monitor), is the Kinemon, which is a 5" 1080p, 500 nits bright monitor, which uses the monitor port on the front of the cameras, for both power, and a video signal.
All of Kinefinitys cameras use standard size SSD drives. Kinefinity makes their own SSD's for their cameras, in both 500Gb and 1Tb versions. Now, any off the shelf SSD drives will fit into the camera, however, because of the huge variation in quality of available drives out there, we can only recommend Kinefinitys own drives for use with these cameras currently, which are built especially for the cameras, and can record all formats on each camera.