Azure Kinect DK recorder

This article covers how you can use the k4arecorder command-line utility to record data streams from the sensor SDK to a file.


Azure Kinect recorder doesn't record audio.

Recorder options

The k4arecorder has various command-line arguments to specify the output file and recording modes.

Recordings are stored in the Matroska .mkv format. The recording uses multiple video tracks for color and depth, and also additional information such as camera calibration and metadata.

k4arecorder [options] output.mkv

  -h, --help              Prints this help
  --list                  List the currently connected K4A devices
  --device                Specify the device index to use (default: 0)
  -l, --record-length     Limit the recording to N seconds (default: infinite)
  -c, --color-mode        Set the color sensor mode (default: 1080p), Available options:
                            3072p, 2160p, 1536p, 1440p, 1080p, 720p, 720p_NV12, 720p_YUY2, OFF
  -d, --depth-mode        Set the depth sensor mode (default: NFOV_UNBINNED), Available options:
  --depth-delay           Set the time offset between color and depth frames in microseconds (default: 0)
                            A negative value means depth frames will arrive before color frames.
                            The delay must be less than 1 frame period.
  -r, --rate              Set the camera frame rate in Frames per Second
                            Default is the maximum rate supported by the camera modes.
                            Available options: 30, 15, 5
  --imu                   Set the IMU recording mode (ON, OFF, default: ON)
  --external-sync         Set the external sync mode (Master, Subordinate, Standalone default: Standalone)
  --sync-delay            Set the external sync delay off the master camera in microseconds (default: 0)
                            This setting is only valid if the camera is in Subordinate mode.
  -e, --exposure-control  Set manual exposure value (-11 to 1) for the RGB camera (default: auto exposure)

Record files

Example 1. Record Depth NFOV unbinned (640x576) mode, RGB 1080p at 30 fps with IMU. Press the CTRL-C keys to stop recording.

k4arecorder.exe output.mkv

Example 2. Record WFOV non-binned (1MP), RGB 3072p at 15 fps without IMU, for 10 seconds.

k4arecorder.exe -d WFOV_UNBINNED -c 3072p -r 15 -l 10 --imu OFF output.mkv

Example 3. Record WFOV 2x2 binned at 30 fps for 5 seconds, and save to output.mkv.

k4arecorder.exe -d WFOV_2X2BINNED -c OFF --imu OFF -l 5 output.mkv


You can use Azure Kinect Viewer to configure RGB camera controls before recording (e.g. to set manual white balance).

Verify recording

You can open the output .mkv file with Azure Kinect Viewer.

To extract tracks or view file info, tools such as mkvinfo are available as part of the MKVToolNix toolkit.

Next steps

Using recorder with external synchronized units