Kinefinity got a good start with cinema cameras by giving them features closer to that of a RED while pricing them like a high-end mirrorless camera.
Now, with the MAVO mark2 series we are seeing that same methodology and even better overall performance. It could be one of the best affordable cinema cameras out there.
If you want to find out if it is in fact as good as it seems we can turn to ProAV TV who put together a lengthy review on the new MAVO mark2 S35. Image quality, frame rates, ISO performance, anamorphic modes, and physical design are all covered in depth here.
Starting at just about $4,000 in its base configuration that is sounding a lot more like a mirrorless camera than a cinema camera. The specs and design definitely show that it has some serious cinema chops.
Being the same size as the MAVO Edge series, the standard mark2 models will work with the same accessories and rigging. It has a common box form factor that makes it easy to build up just as you need.
One aspect that is missing from the camera compared to the more premium Edge system is an internal ND filter setup. You will need to find another solution. Kinefinity offers some mount adapters that have ND filters integrated or you can go with traditional matte box filters.
Image quality is excellent and the rendering is well handled with a log curve similar to ARRI Log C. This makes it easy to find and apply LUTs to get started. It uses a new Super 35mm CMOS sensor that can capture 6K up to 96 fps.
Even with under and overexposure things still looks very good. Clipping shows up around 4 stops overexposed, but that is very reasonable and it doesn’t fall apart like some cameras do.
Five stops is a problem like many cameras. Going underexposure you will see noise show up quickly since Kinefinity doesn’t do any internal reduction. It is easy to clean up though and Resolve made even 4 stops under very usable.
Looking at frame rates you have some options:
- Full Width DCI 6K up to 75 fps
- Full Width 6K (2.4:1) up to 96 fps
- Full Sensor 6K (3:2 Anamorphic) up to 60 fps
Cropping into DCI 4K on a Four Thirds size area of the sensor you can get even faster:
- DCI 4K up to 110 fps
- 4K (2.1:1) up to 140 fps
If you really need it there are faster options in 2K using a 16mm crop area:
- DCI 2K up to 220 fps
- 2K (2.4:1) up to 270 fps
All of this is available in ProRes up to 4444 XQ so you are getting full quality imagery at all these settings. That is a lot of data, so watch out for that.
If you compare to competing cameras the MAVO is coming is very closer but with some advantages in codec and image quality in many cases. It even clearly beats out the RED KOMODO.
High ISO Performance
Featuring a dual base ISO architecture at ISO 800 and 3200 allows for a bit of a boost in performance in low-light conditions.
In their testing, you can see a little more noise in the higher base ISO setting, though this does appear to be a solid improvement over the last generation. Performance is at least as good as many competing cameras and potentially even better.
Since the MAVO mark2 uses a 3:2 format sensor that is taller than many other Super 35mm systems it can take advantage of that height for anamorphic imaging.
The 6K Open Gate setting can be monitored with a desqueeze of 1.25x, 1.33x, 1.5x, 1.75x, 1.8x, 2.0x, 0.5x, and 0.67x. That covers practically everything.
To get even more specific you can use some lower resolution options, including a 5K 4:3 aspect and 4.8K 6:5 aspect for dialing in to your specific optics and needs.
We already mentioned that this camera is very similar to the higher-end Edge line. That makes this one of the best ecosystems around.
The lens mount is one of the best with a completely interchangeable setup. You can hook up a Sony E, PL, Canon EF, and some others with ease. Some of these can be active for better use of modern optics.
Another similarity is is media. It uses a single KineMAG Nano SSD. These are ultra-fast NVMe SSDs with some extra safety features.
These are read-only protection and RAID 5. That should keep your data safe. The built-in USB-C port makes it easy to transfer data at speeds up to 10 Gb/s.
You can pick up an empty enclosure, too, and pop in your own SSDs if you want to save some cash. You will lose those extra safety features though.
You’ll have a variety of options when it comes to powering the camera as it draws a max of 27W. A USB-C mains can accept between 11-26V to keep it powered from AC. On the back of the camera is a hybrid battery plate that’ll take either standard V-mount or BP-U style batteries
On the bottom is a pin configuration that works with their pro baseplate that takes a pair of NP-F style batteries to keep the camera running while you change the other battery packs. No need to power down, which is helpful since power-up time is lengthy at around 37 seconds.
The only nuisance is even with these power options you will have to reboot the camera when you switch SSDs at it’ll only recognize a new mag upon boot up.
Kinefinity has a few options for getting a monitor on the MAVO mark2. There are some unique ones as well as the standard SDI outputs for working with nearly any aftermarket display. There is no HDMI so you will need an SDI monitor.
The official monitors use a proprietary cable which supports power, video, and camera control. That is a nicer solution that keeps a rig a big cleaner.
While having screen control is nice the main way you are supposed to operate the camera is using the buttons on the side of the camera. The jog wheel has always been substantially improved compared to earlier models.
They do miss the side handle from the first models since it was super functional and more intuitive to use.
One thing that has remained is a quick list of your favorite settings that can be configured exactly how you want it.
Ports & I/O
Being a slightly smaller body than the Edge series means there is less room for all the ports, but there are still plenty here.
There are two XLR inputs on the top, a Wi-Fi antenna port, Genlock/timecode port, two SDI ports, and two video ports for Kinefinity’s monitors. There is an RS port for using remote controls and a headphone jack.
On the front is a 3.5mm mic jack and a 5-pin lens port. The side has a couple EXT ports which are supposed to be used for accessories in the future since they haven’t been used yet.
That is a very comprehensive set of ports.
This camera fills a unique spot in the world of cinema cameras. It’s priced closer to cameras like the C70 or FX6 but those are very different.
The RED KOMODO is closer though the RED is more expensive and isn’t quite as flexible. Looking at Blackmagic’s URSA line you are looking at some much larger cameras.
The combination of price, features, and image quality really set it apart in the market. The only potential missing feature is raw video, though there is the high-quality ProRes 4444 format.
What do you think of Kinefinity’s latest options?
[source: ProAV TV]
- Kinefinity MAVO mark2 S35 Cinema Camera (B&H)
- Kinefinity KineMAG Nano (B&H)
- Kinefinity KineMAG Nano Body (B&H)
- Kinefinity KineKIT Edge Camera Cage (B&H)
- Kinefinity KineMON 5U II Monitor (B&H)
- Kinefinity KineMON 7U Monitor Package (B&H)
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate partner and participant in B&H and Adorama Affiliate programmes, we earn a small comission from each purchase made through the affiliate links listed above at no additional cost to you.
Claim your copy of DAVINCI RESOLVE - SIMPLIFIED COURSE with 50% off! Get Instant Access!