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Large Format in a small camera body

At NAB 2018: Kinefinity, the Chinese camera maker, showed off their entire camera line-up with a special emphasis on the brand new MAVO and MAVO LF (LF means Large Format as in Full-Frame). Both cameras were present on the convention floor but only one was available to for pixel peeping. Nevertheless, these two cameras are based on the same image process platform, color processing architecture, and whole new CMOS image sensors to achieve super low-noise, high dynamic range. The big difference between the two new cameras is the fact according to Kinefinity the MAVO LF with large-format sensor provides cleaner images, wider viewing angles, shallower depth of field, and more immersive presence for cinematographers.

Both of Kinefinity’s MAVO and MAVO LF can shoot 6K wide 66fps, 4K wide 100fps slo-mo. Both cameras can reach more than 14 stops of dynamic range. The MAVO and MAVO LF also can record three kinds of codecs, ProRes up to 444XQ and ProRes 444.  As for raw recording, the MAVO and MAVO LF can shoot KineRAW, KRW2.0 as compressed RAW has compression ratio from 2:1~10:1. To work with Davinci Resolve, MAVO can record cinema DNG now, and the compression ratio can be set to 3:1, 5:1, or 7:1.

MAVO and MAVO LF both are tiny camera bodies. How does Kinefinity keep their cameras so small? It’s through the doubled processing ability and more encoding ability and both cameras are compatible with most TERRA accessories. After inserting a wireless card (DarkTower platform) into the new KineBACK-W, MAVO and MAVO LF turn into a wireless camera: wireless video transmission and wireless lens control system (support Movcam), which greatly simplifies the connection between the camera and the accessories, improves reliability and durability significantly.



S35 MAVO employs S35 CMOS image sensor, 3:2 aspect ratio, 24x16mm, resolution up to 6016×4016, perfectly matches S35 lenses, or APS-C and full-frame lenses. The S35′s anamorphic lenses also work with MAVO’s 6:5 or 4:3 modes perfectly. At the S35 format, you can shoot 6K up to 50fps; for 6K Wide up to 66fps. In crop mode, 4K Wide is up to 100fps!


MAVO LF employs a full-frame CMOS image sensor, physical size as 36x24mm, the resolution is over 6K: 6016×4016. Compared to the S35 format sensor, the large format CMOS sensor is 2.25 times larger, the exposure area is bigger, the single pixel pitch is larger, the SNR is better, then the picture is cleaner. In addition, large format offers a wider perspective, shallower depth of field and more immersive presence. You can use not only cinema lenses designed for a large format like MAVO Prime, CP3, Cooke S7i, Arri Signature Prime, but also a large number of existing full-frame still camera lenses.

With the advanced CMOS sensor process technology, the CMOS sensor has lower noise level, roughly equivalent to half of TERRA 6K noise, so as to obtain higher sensitivity. Although the base ISO is 800, the noise remains still low at 1600, 2560, and 3200. If the rendering output is 4K or 2K resolution, the ISO can be even higher, and the output is still sharp and clean.

MAVO LF works with a whole-new full-frame CMOS image sensor. The large pixel pitch with latest CMOS process tech, provides high sensitivity and best low-light performance. Its base ISO is 1600. The noise level remains very low at ISO 2560, 3200, 5120.The ISO can be even higher if the rendering output is downsampled to 4K or 2K.



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Brian Hallett, is an award winning cameraman, editor, and producer. He has shot everything from Network broadcast news, promotional image campaigns, music videos, short films, and documentaries. Check out his reel at hallett-brian.com