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Mitch Gross

Kinetta

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The Kinetta website is now properly open with some .pdf download info. The camera debuts at NAB today so more info should be available shortly. The next wave of HD.

 

www.kinetta.com

 

Disclosure: I'm not an employee of Kinetta, etc. but I've been talking with the designers for more than a year about this camera system and I may beta-test one later this year.

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I read the brochure at 3am on Saturday when I discovered I could enter the site. It's obviously a well researched and cutting edge product and seems like it might be exactly what I will need. However, it's now the 19th and I still have two overwhelming questions.

 

How much will it cost and when will it be available?

 

And a few follow up questions:

 

Will it come with a lense? How much are additional mags? Does it have a firewire output? How is the exposure controlled? What is the microphone used - does that come with the base camera? Are there any sample files available (in RAW format) that could be downloaded and looked at for evaluation?

 

Thanks

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--How much will it cost and when will it be available?

 

Depending on setup and options, somewhere between $30-$50k. It's supposed to ship late summer/early fall.

 

--Will it come with a lense?

 

No, but you can buy whatever 16mm or 35mm optics suit your fancy. There's a large used market.

 

--How much are additional mags?

 

I'm guessing in the $5-$10k range.

 

--Does it have a firewire output?

 

That's an impossibly huge amount of data to try to push down Firewire, or even Firewire-2. I'm sure Jeff would have options available for you, but remember that we're talking uncompressed 4:4:4 HD, which is much more than HDCam or DVCProHD and vastly more than Mini-DV or HDV.

 

--How is the exposure controlled?

 

With the lens aperture and (electronic) shutter, just like on a film camera.

 

--What is the microphone used - does that come with the base camera?

 

No mike comes with the camera, you can use whatever you like. Did you see all those tracks?

 

--Are there any sample files available (in RAW format) that could be downloaded and looked at for evaluation?

 

I believe such things are coming soon to the website.

 

Mitch

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will Nikon/Canon/Leica/etc. still camera lens mounts also be an option? And is the image area of the sensor similar to a CineAlta, so that you would need a VERY wide PL (or other) mount lens (like a 5mm) to get wide coverage?

 

will it take standard bridge plates for rigging matte boxes and follow focus?

 

would an old c-mount lens designed for std. 16mm cover the sensor edge-to-edge?

 

very curious about this camera!

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--will Nikon/Canon/Leica/etc. still camera lens mounts also be an option?

 

Like any other PL-mount camera, I'm sure the mount could be swapped or adapters used. Since the cameras will be one-offs anyway, you could easily order one in Nikon or whatever mount. Same as the A-Minima.

 

--And is the image area of the sensor similar to a CineAlta, so that you would need a VERY wide PL (or other) mount lens (like a 5mm) to get wide coverage?

 

The camera is "sensor-agnostic" meaning that you can swap out various sensors depending on your needs and what's available in the market. Here's a note from Jeff when asked what's in the prototype he's showing at NAB:

 

 

"We're showing it with a Rockwell CMOS sensor, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 5

microns each -- so it's a 2/3" sensor -- meaning 16mm optics cover very

nicely -- even lenses like the 7-56 Canon and 5.9 Angenieux. We also

are working with two Kodak CCDs, one of which is 2K x 2K.

 

However, the camera is sensor and resolution agnostic -- we can

accomodate any CCD or CMOS sensor up to sixteen megapixels and 35mm

cine aperture format -- which we hope to have next year."

 

So in it's current size you can think of the field of view as the same as 2/3" video which is just a little bit smaller than 16mm. But as Jeff note, 35mm-sized sensors may be available in the near future.

 

--will it take standard bridge plates for rigging matte boxes and follow focus?

 

Absolutely.

 

--would an old c-mount lens designed for std. 16mm cover the sensor edge-to-edge?

 

16mm format lenses will cover, but I can't tell you how good an old c-mount lens will be. You'd need an adapter that would allow a c-mount lens to decend deep into the PL-mount cavity. Since c-mount has such a short flange depth I don't know if there is clearance in there. But Jeff famously loves his Switar 10mm so I'm sure he designed the camera to handle it!

 

--very curious about this camera!

 

You're not the only one.

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--Does it have a firewire output? 

 

That's an impossibly huge amount of data to try to push down Firewire, or even Firewire-2.  I'm sure Jeff would have options available for you, but remember that we're talking uncompressed 4:4:4 HD, which is much more than HDCam or DVCProHD and vastly more than Mini-DV or HDV.

 

I wasn't expecting a firewire stream. My question should have been, "How does the data from the mag get to the computer?"

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Hm... Another question. How is the audio input? 12 tracks is great, but wouldn't that require 12 inputs? What are the inputs?

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Hi,

 

Apparently to get the data out of the mags, they operate as a serial ATA master, which means you can plug a hundred-quid hard drive into it and have it spool off the images. There are two major advantages to this: first, no production should ever need more than two mags to shoot continuously (and probably no more than one, assuming you don't generally turn over for 110 minutes a day) since if the SATA implementation is even vaguely competent, it'll take much less time than that to empty them out again. Second, you then end up with a hard disk full of DPX images, which are only a bit of simple conversion software away from being ingested into the processing or edit app of your choice, from Adobe Premiere up. I don't know what the filesystem on the drive will be, forgot to ask, but this potentially makes Kinetta footage much easier to handle than any HD tape format with their requirements for $50,000 VTRs. However I'm sure that the postproduction world will manage to make it all horribly expensive somehow.

 

Phil

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I noticed that the viewfinder is of organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), newer than LCD, consuming less power. That's nice, but does this viewfinder resolve (no pun intended) the problem of electronic viewfinders on high-definition camcorders -- the problem of trying to focus with a viewfinder whose resolution is one tenth of the resolution of the recorded image?

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Hm... Another question. How is the audio input? 12 tracks is great, but wouldn't that require 12 inputs? What are the inputs?

The fiberoptic link runs signal both ways. So the camera is connected to a breakout box into which you can connect your field monitor as well as have the sound mixer plug his gear into.

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I noticed that the viewfinder is of organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), newer than LCD, consuming less power. That's nice, but does this viewfinder resolve (no pun intended) the problem of electronic viewfinders on high-definition camcorders -- the problem of trying to focus with a viewfinder whose resolution is one tenth of the resolution of the recorded image?

The viewfinder is full resolution to the installed chip. There are also supposed to be various user functions for zooming in to read critical focus on so physically small a screen.

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Do you (Mitch) or anyone know how kinetta is planning to distribute their cameras? You mentioned they are one-off's. Does this mean it's all direct order from the factory or will there be dealers?

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Do you (Mitch) or anyone know how kinetta is planning to distribute their cameras? You mentioned they are one-off's. Does this mean it's all direct order from the factory or will there be dealers?

I believe that is still undecided at this point. Let's face it, even Arriflexes, Aatons and Panaflexes are all "one-offs." It's not like these special use machines are flying off a production line like your average sedan.

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Wow. I had to register here just to say how amazing I think that camera is. Genius. If I had a lot of extra cash to buy one (I don't,) I'd probably spend all my waking hours collecting footage with it, bringing it back to Final Cut Pro for offline edits.

 

This is very good news. I wish Jeff Kreines the very best of luck with this project, and it's future.

 

 

Best,

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16mm format lenses will cover, but I can't tell you how good an old c-mount lens will be. You'd need an adapter that would allow a c-mount lens to decend deep into the PL-mount cavity. Since c-mount has such a short flange depth I don't know if there is clearance in there. But Jeff famously loves his Switar 10mm so I'm sure he designed the camera to handle it!

hmm, a C-mount Switar 10mm will go into the adaptor for Bolex' own bayo mount which is not too different from PL in this respect.

 

Also the10mm RX has rfd for the prism, so despite short flange depth it may be workable.

 

-Sam

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I've been following the discussion of the Kinetta on a couple boards (some which discuss whether it is even close to being ready or not and doubting it's Fall release date).

 

I would absolutely love to get my hands on a few seconds of full rez sample footage to examine.

 

Anyone know when we will be hearing from Kinetta again?

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Jeff Kreines has accepted a challenge from DP Geoff Boyle to have the camera ready in a certain time frame or Boyle gets one free, so there seems to be some confidence at Kinetta.

 

But right now they're busy building a scanner for the Library of Congress.

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Jeff Kreines has accepted a challenge from DP Geoff Boyle to have the camera ready in a certain time frame or Boyle gets one free, so there seems to be some confidence at Kinetta.

 

But right now they're busy building a scanner for the Library of Congress.

Can you share the date of the challenge? I realize I'm a nosey parker - I was hoping to know all things come NAB and feel I know only a couple things.

 

It's a shame to have caught a little bit of the positive buzz on the camera around NAB and to find out they're now doing other things.

 

I'm looking down the road about 3 months and wondering if there will be a viable solution for shooting a couple independent features here - thus my urgency of curiousity. Only one can afford 35mm - but if the Kinetta is good enough - all of them could use this system instead and things would be grande.

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I would never plan on using this system for a feature this summer. There's just no way things will be ready. Even if the camera were there (big if), what are you going to edit with. How will you even view the material? How will you store all that vast data? THis is a ground up system, so the camera is just one step in the path. Perhaps you should consider Super-16.

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I would never plan on using this system for a feature this summer..... [edit].... Perhaps you should consider Super-16.

Was actually looking at more September. My thinknig was that I would transfer the data nightly to storage drives and during the next day's shoot those would be proxied to movie jpg for editing in final cut (with an appropriate filtering via after effects to create reasonable approximations of the colors). Once the cut was set, we would simply do a step by step color correction of the final material taking it into regular HD space - or - if something better was available by then, we'd use that instead.

 

Once I have raw data on a drive, I can make it work.

 

Super 16 is actually a possibility we are considering. S16 to HD to film (the HD intermediate process so we can play a lot with the look of the movie). I saw 16mm done this way though once and it looked awful. Fotokem doesn't even show this on their reel anymore because they say the results vary too much. You think this is a viable option?

 

I had this pipe dream prior to NAB that HDV was going to come ot at 50 kbs and not 25 and that might be a nearly viable video option - that didn't happen. I think i'd rather shoot dv than hdv frankly. But the kinetta seems to be the perfect solution - though vaporware at the moment.

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The offer I made was that I would extend Kinetta the same challenge that I issued RCA many years ago when they introduced their CCD camera, or rather didn't.

 

That offer was to buy a camera on the spot with a 6 month delivery deadline, after that deadline expired the price of the camera would drop by 10% per month until after 10 months late it was free and they then started paying me 10% per month until they deliverd.

 

RCA refused the offer, a good thing for them as they never delivered, Kinetta accepted.

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