Brand new Super 8 film cameras will have digital features

Brand new Super 8 film cameras will have digital features

Analog + Digital + Cool retro design : New Super 8 cameras

The new Super 8 Cameras will be launched by Kodak this fall to become an artistic choice for the new generation of creators, top directors, indie filmmakers and those who appreciate the art and craft of classic filmmaking.

Kodak teamed up with industrial designer Yves Behar, world’s best mechanical fabricators and leading film directors to ensure that the new Kodak Super 8 camera design echoes the look and feel of the original Kodak Super 8 camera, introduced in 1965, while adding a modern sensibility and purpose. Together they created a cool retro look, with ergonomic features, comfort leather handles and metal finished in 'midnight black' and 'bone china'(white), with features that combine the classic with digital functionality.

The Super 8 is an analog film camera that has digital features: it has an integrated digital microphone and line in for external microphones that sync audio to an SD card, a digital 3.5″ viewfinder so you can see what you're going to shoot before exposing the film, video output for external monitor and digital connectivity to other devices. Check out more pictures of the cameras in the gallery below.

It comes with a C-mount Fixed 6mm 1:1.2 Ricoh lens with full manual iris and focus control (optional 6-48mm zoom lens). It will take 50ft Kodak Super 8 cartritges and can shoot in frame rates of 9, 12, 18, 24, 25 frames per second, all with crystal sync. It has an integrated battery and charger via USB, as well as a built in light meter. Full specs over here.

The filmmaking guild has encouraged the Super 8 film revival and is the chosen medium for many of them up to these days. Some of them started their careers with Super 8 films, like Christopher Nolan.

"For me, 8mm was the beginning of everything...when I think of 8mm, I think of the movies...To be the cursor or the brush, that is the question and certainly both can produce remarkable results. But doesn't the same hold true for the cinematic arts? Digital or celluloid? Vive la difference! Shouldn't both be made available for an artist to choose?" - Steven Spielberg.

"On film, there's a special magic on a set when you say 'action' and to the point that the take runs until you say 'cut,' that's a sacred time. I've always believed in the magic of movies and to me the magic is connected to film... The fact that Kodak is giving a new generation of filmmakers the opportunity to shoot on Super 8 is truly an incredible gift." - Quentin Tarantino.

"While any technology that allows for visual storytelling must be embraced, nothing beats film...The fact that Kodak is building a brand new Super 8 camera is a dream come true...this camera appears to be the perfect bridge between the efficiency of the digital world and the warmth and quality of analog." - JJ Abrams.

"Super 8 film has an immediate aesthetic voice, a familiarity that creates an emotional response in the viewer... Motion picture film creates images that are an organic extension of my dreams and imagination. It transforms light into images that are more than just representations of reality; they are images of what I'd like reality to be." - Michael Goi, Cinematography American Horror Story

"Super 8 has been an integral part of my work for 30 years. I didn't shoot it out of nostalgia or because I wanted something 'low fi' or because it reminded me of something else. I shot it, and continue to do so, because it has its own integrity, versatility, and power." - Jem Cohen, Experimental Filmmaker

"As a cinematography educator, I know our next generations of filmmakers need opportunities to shoot on film. Now, the most accessible film format, Super 8, will be available to more filmmakers through Kodak's latest camera and film initiatives. I applaud all of Kodak's efforts to keep the film in filmmaking." - Stephen Lighthill, ASC - AFI Conservatory

Kodak is offering a range of Super 8 films for high speed shooting, reduced grain in shadows for underexposure, black-and-white film and fine grain film. You may wonder how can you process those films? Kodak claims it will be a piece of cake: When you purchase film you will be buying the film, processing and digital transfer. The lab will send you your developed film back and email you a password to retrieve your digital scans from the cloud so you can edit and share in any way you choose.

It seems Kodak has it all covered: camera, audio, film and processing. Hopefully the processing become available worldwide, as the Super 8 Collective will only be available to residents of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The camera should be available by fall this year and is expected to cost less than $750 US. If you are eager to have this camera in your hands, you can sign up to reserve your Super 8 Camera and receive an email with full details when the camera becomes available.

Pros and cons of the new Super 8 camera are wide and even controversial when talking about the art of filmmaking. It is a fact that it is an option to filmmaking, but the inconvenience of the processing time, the expense of the films, and the short time of record time per reel (with a 50ft reel at 24fps will give you around 2min 30sec) are concerns that won't fit the masses. Super 8 is a great medium for filmmaking but not very affordable neither comfortable nor fast enough for a regular basis. However, it is great that Super 8 remains in filmmaking for new generations and hopefully will remain and even revived again in the future, because working with analogue has a special connection with the film creator that doesn't compare at all with digital mediums, it just is a different way of expression and art making.

Published on: April 2016
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