What if Kinefinity’s KineMount became a universal cinema mount?

Is by any chance KineMount an open mount like say Micro Four Thirds is? I am guessing it is not.

KineMount with OCT-19 adapter

There is a thread over on BMCuser about possible interchangeable mounts for BMD cameras.

Got me thinking that the absolute best result would be if BMD adopted the FZ mount in future cameras. FZ mount is what is used in the Sony F3/F5/F55, which I’ve used and is an absolutely wonderful mount! You can adapt it to anything else, for instance I’ve got a rock solid Nikon F mount on my Sony PMW-F3. So it works, and FZ is an already popular mount used by many.

But Sony will never let BMD use FZ mount. Thus the very nearly almost as good option is to talk with Kinefinity and see if they’d open up KineMount for everybody to use (in many ways KineMount is like Sony FZ mount, and kinda better… as Kinefinity have a focal reducer option! Yay). As if that happened it would be tremendously good news for both companies, and a massive result to help the indy / hobbyist / low / medium budget film industry.

Be great if Kinefinity and BMD could talk together with each other to create a universal mount system which can go onto dominate the film industry in the future. As no longer would consumers have to choose between buying a Canon EF mount model or the PL version (such as happens with the C300, BMPC4K, URSA, and URSA Mini), they can have both!

It would fit very well with BMD’s corporate philosophy of have having an open system rather than a closed ecosystem you’re forced to buy into over and over again (hello RED!).

Like Tim Siddons from Blackmagic Design said 17 minutes into this interview:

So BMD appears to support open systems (such as using SSDs or CFast cards) rather than vendor lock in (like RED does!!). And this would obviously benefit Kinefinity in increasing their awareness, thus it appears to be in everybody’s best interests to make KineMount an open mount.

KineMount already has adapters read to go, and even a focal reducer! (which doesn’t even exist at all for Sony FZ mount. Being able to gain a stop of light with the KineEnhancer, and shoot effectively with a “full frame” camera, certainly helps make KineMount even more attractive over Sony FZ mount) So Blackmagic Design wouldn’t need to make adapters if they don’t want to (plus others, such as AJA and Sony already leave making adapters up to 3rd parties to do that).

I *love* that Blackmagic Design provides lots of camera choice (BMCC is available in *three* different mounts! PL/MFT/EF), but it would be so much better if the buyer didn’t have to choose and could just do all of it with the one camera!

And it means less inventory costs for BMD and the camera stores (because they’ll only need to carry one type of each camera model, & not up to 3 versions of it!), and less design costs for BMD (probably, as doesn’t need to be done 3x over for each camera version).

Obviously to make KineMount a universal mount they’d need to drop the Kinefinity branding (otherwise other brands will find it hard to join in behind it), instead of calling it KineMount perhaps just simply call it “K mount” (although that usually refers to Pentax’s DSLR mount, so “CK Mount” maybe for “Cinema K mount”??).

If this open standard is well documented then you open the door to 3rd parties quickly making active adapters like:

EF Speedbosters
EF with built-in Vari-ND
EF with electronic Vari-ND
EF-Mount active adapters

Plus all the usual “dumb” adapters that enable using vintage photo lenses like Canon FD, Minolta SR-mount, etc…

What a dream world this would be to live in!! With so many choices and possibilities.

Hopefully if these two companies unite on a common open standard then you’d see other smaller manufacturers like Apertus & AJA follow suit with KineMount on their future cameras. And if a big player like Nikon or JVC entered the large sensor cinema market then there would be a universal mount they could consider adapting!

JVC for instance would have no other option, unless they chose EF *or* PL (or created their own sub mount from scratch!). JVC does already have the GY-LS300 with a Micro Four Thirds mount which is kinda a “universal mount”, but the JVC GY-LS300 camera is not aimed at the high end, and Micro Four Thirds with adapters is not rock solid like Sony FZ or KineMount are.

And while Nikon could use their Nikon F mount if they ever entered the cinema market, this would cripple their sales as it wouldn’t be PL for the higher end (unless they make two models like the Canon C300… again, forcing the consumer to choose between the two, rather than giving them flexibility) and at the indy / low budget level many people have unfortunately gone with Canon EF lenses instead and would feel resistance to changing mount to Nikon. But this way Nikon could offer a Nikon F mount cinema camera (with a KineMount underneath) with a PL adapter, which then additionally gives people the freedom of choice to use Canon EF lenses with a 3rd Party adapter or any other lenses their heart so desires.

Hope Kinefinity and Blackmagic Design read this and start talking together about making a joint open standard for cinema camera mounts!

Look at how quickly Canon EF mount become popular and an almost “standard” with many low / mid range cinema cameras! (such as Varicam LT / Arri Alexa Mini / BMPC4K / BMCC EF / URSA / URSA Mini / Axiom / etc ). If a rock solid sub mount for cinema usage, such as KineMount, was set up as an open standard and adopted by a few manufacturers then I think it won’t take many years at all before it gets to the common usage level.

Speculation: RED Raven vs URSA Mini 4.6K vs Kinefinity Terra 6K


RED Raven, Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4.6K, and Kinefinity Terra 6K (there is also a 5K option, which gives a global shutter):

They all offer higher than 4K resolution in raw with a S35 sized sensor (although…. RED Raven barely barely squeaks in here as an option, because its max 4.5K option is only possible when shooting wide. Doing standard 16:9 and it drops down to “merely” 4K resolution, and its crop factor then ends up being closer to a Panasonic GH2 than a S35 camera! But you’re stuck with the awkward Canon EF mount with no way to speedbooster it to get a wider field of view from your lenses).

RED’s Raven and Blackmagic Design’s URSA Mini are no strangers to us if you’re followers of camera news, but Kinefinity unfortunately is unknown to many even though they’ve released many cameras over the years. And now yesterday they released the Terra 6K and Terra 5K! Here is a list of Kinefinity’s current cameras that they sell (which doesn’t include in this list their oldest models):


The Kinefinity Terra 6K has an impressive listing of specs, putting its features at near to RED Scarlet-W territory. And uses the proven Kinefinity 6K sensor which we’ve seen before with the KineMAX 6K can produce nice imagery, so hopes are high with the Terra 6K (the cheaper Terra 5K however uses a new 5K sensor which we’ve never seen anything from before).

So which of the top 3 low budget cameras with higher than 4K raw options would I likely prefer?

If you don’t factor in the price / support / brand name cred, then I’d go for a Kinefinity Terra 6K over URSA Mini 4.6K or RED Raven any day of the week.

However… in the real world those are factors to consider, thus here I go:

For brand name recognition it would rank: 1st) RED 2nd) BMD 3rd) KineFinity (“who??” Unfortunately would be a common reaction)

Customer support: 1st) RED 2nd) Blackmagic Design 3rd) Kinefinity (though the gap back to 3rd would be smaller if you’ve got a Chinese speaking partner to help smooth out the language barriers and provide a connection in China, which I do)

Price: URSA Mini 4.6K, then a Terra 6K would be roughly the same price or maybe a little more (or maybe even less, as the Terra 6K starts out more expensive but has radically cheaper media than a UM46, which would claw back the cost gap. So it depends on your personal configuration), and then finally last would be a complete RED Raven package which is about double the price of a similar UM46 kit (or even nearly 3x time the cost, once RED’s higher accessories costs are factored in). Which then simply rules out the RED Raven for me. (however, if you work in an environment where specifically RED is being requested by your clients over and over again, then swallowing the multiple times higher cost for a RED simply becomes the smart business decision to go for. Rather than buying a camera package which won’t get picked up and used)

And so I’d be left with a tight contest between UM46 or Terra 6K (cost is basically the same more or less, and arguably the support with Kinefinity isn’t “too much” worse than BMD?? Depends on your location in the world, and how much of a language barrier you’d experience personally with Chinese).

Do you go for the well known, and a bit better supported, URSA Mini? Or take a punt on the Terra 6K with its better features? (smaller size / higher frame rates / higher resolution / more mount options / focal reducer option / WiFi / radically lower power consumption / cheaper media / more input & output options / 3D sync / claimed higher dynamic range / likely better low light / etc)

I’m feeling like leaning towards the Kinefinity Terra 6K!

A video shot with the Kinefinity KineMAX 6K (same sensor as is in the new Terra 6K):

Colours of Culture Bali (by KineMAX) from Kinefinity on Vimeo.

Kinefinity has put up prices now in English (so no more needing to translate Chinese, and convert RMB to NZD/USD):

Terra 6K Body is: US$5,999
Basic package is: US$6,999
Pro Pack is: US$8,999

Looking at that it would seem either the body only with the KineBACK + KineGRIP (about US$1.5K extra), or the Terra Pro Pack are the most interesting options (as I reckon a KineBACK is pretty close to essential to have as an option for professional shooting, and the KineGRIP is just so nifty to have if you want to slim down the Terra to merely DSLR size). Then kit out the rest of what is needed from your existing gear collection. If you need extra batteries they’re cheap (as the power draw of a Terra is less than half of a RED Raven or UM46, and BP-U batteries or V mount can be sourced cheaply from eBay), and media is cheap too (as you can use off the shelf SSDs if they’re fast enough, you don’t need pricey MINI-MAGs from RED or CFast cards).

RED Raven or URSA Mini 4.6K?

RED’s hot new camera just got announced, and many are drawing the natural conclusion…. RED Raven or URSA Mini 4.6K? I wondered to ask, which to go for if their body price is the same & you could pick either? (which they’re not! URSA Mini is clearly going to be many thousands cheaper to own)

Clearly the URSA Mini comes out the winner here, as I don’t think the Raven is better specced.
URSA Mini is:
a) has 4K ProRes (Raven doesn’t)
b) has XLR inputs
c) better ergonomics
d) global shutter option
e) sensor size which is a better match for the Canon EF mount (URSA Mini is a little larger than APS-C vs GH2 sized for the Raven)
f) as well as PL/B4 (and more??) mount options available instead
g) cheaper media (and rapidly getting cheaper!! You won’t see the same rate of price drops happen with RED’s media)
h) I half suspect URSA Mini will have the edge over Raven in low light (though not by a huge amount,. a stop or less). I suspect dynamic range to be close too, given how RED overstates theirs. Will have to wait for each to ship however before this can be really clear which way it falls.
i) way cheaper EVF (and better too I reckon)
j) URSA Mini doesn’t have the very heavy 13:1 compression in slow motion that the RED Raven has, instead is lossless raw from the URSA Mini.
k) better input/output options.
l) BMD wins with the higher resolution (ironically so…. as that is RED’s big obsession, resolution)
m) free copy of the industry standard DaVinci Resolve (which you’ll need to purchase if you wish to colour grade Raven’s footage with it)
n) and last but not least…. URSA Mini will ship earlier!! (yes, even with BMD’s record of always being late)

Of course the usual caveats apply with this analysis: nobody has either of these in their hands yet, so specs analysis vs real world use might be far apart!

“Dream” Camera?

Note: This post came out of a thread on Facebook, click through there for more info and context.


Answer: Arri Alexa SXT Studio of course! D’oh 😀
Except I think the SXT series is not yet shipping?

So then instead an Arri Alexa XT Studio. Otherwise, Arri Alexa Mini or Arri Alexa Amira.
Or my next choices after them, Arri Alexa 65 or then Arri Alexa XT Plus.

If getting an Arri Alexa is out of the question for whatever reason, next I’d dream of a Panasonic Varicam 35. Or after that, a Phantom Flex4K would be very dreamy to own.

Next on the list after those, Sony F65. Then Sony F55 or RED Weapon.

Anyway, you can see I’ve gone through soooo many options already (& I likely missed a few along the way), yet all of them are ultra expensive.

Thus we need to confront the fact PRICE does matter a *lot*! When choosing your next camera to own.

The cameras which I could own myself if I really stretched my finances to the max would be:
URSA Mini 4.6K, C100mk2 or Sony FS7 or maaaaaaaybe C300mk2 (but crazy Canon prices don’t appeal to me. Thus ruling both C100mk2 and C300mk2 out, but diehard Canon fans might think they’re worth a second look).
Or on the second hand market a RED Scarlet or Sony FS700 (with Odyssey for the 4K raw goodness).

That would be the short list of everything in that price bracket which is appealing, if I cast the net a little wider I’d include AJA Cion (but it appears to be very poor value for many, even after the price drop. It would need a second major price drop to be able to seriously get into contention), Sony F35 (but VERY big and heavy, and so old and expensive to maintain), and the KineFinity KineMini 4K (or maaaaaaaybe at an ultra stretch the KineMax 6K). The KineFinity cameras are *very* appealing, could even go on the initial short list, but I fear their complete lack of brand recognition could make them a hard sell to use on set and I fear what unknown difficulties there might be in dealing with a distant parent company with me being the only person in the country with one. Plus after the URSA Mini announcement KineFinity’s crazy good pricing no longer books quite as good as before.

Out of those, an URSA Mini 4.6K certainly is the most appealing, and for many weeks I had my heart and head set on getting that for sure at the end of the year. But as I said before, price does matter a *lot*….. it isn’t rational to stretch yourself to the max if you don’t have a clear plan to quickly recoup the cost.

Thus for many of us we should set our sights lower. Such as URSA Mini 4K. But I feel there are a lot of bargains to be found in the secondhand market with the older cameras, such as: Panasonic AF100 / Sony FS100 / Sony PMW-F3 / RED One (and of course the original Canon C100, or even C300, but I’m no Canon fan). And out of all of those which I listed in this paragraph, I find the Sony F3 to be the most appealing, which not at all coincidentally I just purchased and I’ll be going into further detail about the F3 in a later blog post (a photo of my Sony F3 is at the start of the blog post).

But I can say the F3 is easily far better than an AF100 or FS100, and based on my experiences shooting with a RED One I find a R1 in a practical sense to be inferior to a F3. Too early to compare with the URSA Mini 4K vs Sony F3, but the 4K sensor is the “same” as the one in the Blackmagic Design Production Camera, and I haven’t been too impressed with that (worse dynamic range and worse low light than my Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera) thus I wouldn’t be surprised if I find the PMW-F3 preferable over even the URSA Mini 4K.