The Kodak Super 8mm Up Close And Hands On

January 9th, 2016
The Kodak Super 8mm Up Close And Hands On

The Kodak Super 8mm camera has caused a bit of a stir over the last few days. The film manufacturer wound back the clock by announcing the future release of a Super 8mm film camera. We’ve got some detailed pictures of the prototype at CES 2016, thanks to our source Lior Koren-Dtown, as well a quick hands-on video.

Kodak_Super_8mm_ 03

It’s been confirmed that there will be two versions; the broad $400-750 price range is actually two price points for different models. The $400 prosumer is pictured below.

Kodak_Super_8mm_ 05 Kodak_Super_8mm_ 02 Kodak_Super_8mm_ 01

The 3-minute recording film cartridges will cost $80, including development costs. You’ll be able to send film to Kodak for processing, where it will become available for download via a cloud service.

There were a couple of interesting rumours knocking about, speculating that the Kodak Super 8mm camera could record to SD simultaneously. This is, in fact, true but not in the non-logical sense of shooting to images to both digital and film. The SD is actually reserved for audio recording (via 3.5mm input on the front).

Kodak_Super_8mm_ 07

The idea is to then sync both in post, when you have downloaded the processed film. It remains to be seen how easy this will be without a constant visually cue like a clapper.

Super 8mm film stock will be available in 4 main cartridges. One BW and 3 others for colour filming in ASA 50/200/500. Film stock also dictates white balance; T and D as pictured below depict which colour temperature you’ll be capturing.

Kodak_Super_8mm_ 09

Here’s PetaPixels hands on:

Does the Kodak Super 8mm have any Value?

So with all this hype, is Super 8mm actually any good? Short answer: by today’s standards, absolutely not. If a digital camera were to produce the same quality footage as a Super8mm is capable of, then we would probably slate it to high heaven.

However it’s the niche process and visual aesthetic (as well as the retro factor adding ‘cool points’) that many will warm to. Many high profile Directors are also applauding its educational value in bringing back a lost format to the broad modern audience.

With that said, below are some videos I’ve pulled that have been shot on Super 8mm. Check them out!

For more information, including a full spec sheet of the Kodak Super 8mm camera, check out our previous post.

Many thanks to Lior Koren from dtown for the photos!

 

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Member
January 18th, 2016

Buetiful concept I want buy as this Analog concept is legant-dr asok I

Member
January 15th, 2016

80 bucks for three minutes. Yeah, just as expensive a hobby a it was back in the day.
Think I’ll stick with an after effect.

Derek Olson
Derek Olson
Member
January 14th, 2016

The cinema5d comment section is just a bunch of trolls. It’s disgusting to read everyone’s negativity on here about anything that’s not a sony mirrorless camera.

 William Sommerwerck
William Sommerwerck
Member
January 14th, 2016
Reply to  Derek Olson

I beg your pardon! I own a 5D2, and have little interest in mirrorless cameras, of any brand.

There’s room in photography for any type of imaging, be it silver or silicon. But 80 bucks for three minutes of a sub-miniature motion-picture format suggests that someone at Kodak has been sniffing film cement.

Derek Olson
Derek Olson
Member
January 14th, 2016

Here’s you: “I” would never pay because “I” this and that and me and me and me. That’s all I hear. Everyone’s comment is the same, well based on me, I consider this a good deal or not deal. This comment section, like many others, is nothing but people complaining about the price of products. Here’s my comment. I don’t care if you can afford it or not. If you can’t, get a job on a production where you are not out of pocketing the rental cost and use it creatively for all kinds of retro effect needs. All I’m saying is, everytime I look for intelligent comments, all I see are people saying the company is charging too much money. What do you know about the film business, I’m pretty sure they are charging about as low as possible as to not lose money, and I doubt they could lower the cost and even offer the product at all. Just be happy there is some kind of film available to the average Joe in 2016 because it’s on life support as it is.

 William Sommerwerck
William Sommerwerck
Member
January 14th, 2016
Reply to  Derek Olson

I’ll tell you what I know about the film business… About 45 years ago, I worked in photographic retail sales (Stansbury in Baltimore). A Super 8 cartridge cost the same as a 24-exposure roll of 35mm slide film — less than $3. (I believe that price included processing, but don’t hold me to it.)

A 36-exposure roll of Velvia costs $11. So give me a good reason why one of these Super 8 cartridges should cost more than $15 (including processing)?

The reason for griping that Kodak is charging too much is not that “I wouldn’t pay it”, but “Why would anyone pay it?”.

As for retro effects… fine. But can’t they be achieved in post?

About a decade back, “US News & World Report” ran an article with what appeared to be faux SX-70 images. The photo editor said he’d wanted such images, and had obtained them by manipulating conventional chromes.

QED.

Derek Olson
Derek Olson
Member
January 14th, 2016

I see your point, but can only surmise that the cost is so much higher because Kodak is now the only maker of motion picture film and also in far smaller quantities that in previous years, so it’s just an economies of scale thing. I’m pretty sure that even if they did produce these at a scale where they could sell at that price, no one would buy it. They could practically give it away and most consumers would still prefer digital a 100 to 1. It’s just a niche item at this point for specific projects and for demonstration purposes in the gazillion film schools that are currently robbing a generation of kids. Also, I read my previous comment and realize I sound like a dick, but I, whether it was justified or not, felt I was yelling into the ether, not you are anyone else specifically. So I apologize for my tone. Thanks.

 William Sommerwerck
William Sommerwerck
Member
January 14th, 2016
Reply to  Derek Olson

You needn’t apologize. I’m a lifelong griper/whiner/complainer, and understand where you’re coming from.

I’ve long felt that kids should be introduced to photography with a OneStep — you can see the picture right away, but (other than its closeup lens) the camera is limited in its picture-taking abilities, and the film is so expensive you have to think carefully before shooting.

Anonymous
Anonymous
Guest
January 13th, 2016

I miss shooting film. It’s been at least 5 years. I miss the smell, the latitude, and the discipline it takes to shoot on it. I’ve only shot 16mm, Super16, and Super35. I’ve never shot 8mm or Super8. I will buy one of these for sure. Can’t wait.

Kris
Kris
Member
January 13th, 2016

Education my ass. When film students weren’t borrowing from their parents they were selling their own plasma…all to buy 16mm film for their projects, then praying like hell they didn’t get a light leak, hair in the gate, etc.

Now these “high profile” directors (e.g. Nolan, Spielberg, Abrams) are telling new students that the bad old days were somehow good? That having access to cheaper tools is somehow damaging your creativity, and that students should be chasing some arty aesthetic, that’s arty (apparently) because it harks back to when they had their own heads on the guillotine splicer?

Why not go all out? Skip the digital transfer entirely and send the customers a one-light workprint and some cement, because, you know, there’s a real magic in handling the celluloid, frame-by-frame…

William Sommerwerck
William Sommerwerck
Guest
January 13th, 2016

It seems Kodak wants to duplicate the “success” of Polavision.

To paraphrase Lex Luthor: “Eighty dollars? Eighty DOLLARS? EIGHTY DOLLARS?”

As one can, in principle, grade digital movies to look like Super 8, what, exactly, is the point?

And what is it with this promotion for the latest Cohen brothers film?

I say (in all seriousness) that the development costs for this project would have been better spent on reviving Polaroid 4×5 materials, which have legitimate aesthetic and practical uses.

Arnold Finkelstein
Guest
January 13th, 2016

What does the author mean by “price point?” Does he mean price? They’re not the same thing.

Member
January 13th, 2016

I like this camera, because I am a self proclaimed film snob – I wear that proudly. I totally dig shooting on film, and I miss it – got too costly and had to send everything to LA. Film is a living breathing thing.

I saw a snipped about this camera Live from CES – the small video demo did not clearly answer the sound issue for me. It looks like sound is captured on a SDcard, and the film is captured on film of course – but in terms of sync sound – does the camera lay down a timecode somewhere – anywhere ?

While I miss film, I am not trying to work that hard in trying to sync sound. – That along can increase post production time, and bump down the quality of the sound quality of finished product. Vinyl records are coming back and film is coming back, wish I still kept all my stuff :-(

Member
January 13th, 2016

I like this camera, because I am a self proclaimed film snob – I wear that proudly

saw a snipped about this camera Live from CES – the small video demo did not clearly answer the sound issue for me. It looks like sound is captured on a SDcard, and the film is captured on film of course – but in terms of sync sound – does the camera lay down a timecode somewhere – anywhere ?

 Travis Bain
Travis Bain
Member
January 12th, 2016

Might have been pertinent to mention that that first Vimeo clip really isn’t suitable for viewing when one’s wife is nearby.

Travis Bain
Travis Bain
Guest
January 12th, 2016

Might have been pertinent to mention that that first sample video is really not recommended for viewing when one’s wife is nearby.

Member
January 11th, 2016

Cartridges are $25 in places. $80 is steep.

Eric Bogan
Eric Bogan
Member
January 11th, 2016

I don’t get it. Why? And those three videos (shot on super 8) look terrible to me. I can get that amateur/old home movie look easily in my NLE. But why would I?

Member
January 10th, 2016

The camera doesn’t go too far beyond ‘cute’ for me. There are way older super 8 cameras that I would use before this. One cool thing about 8mm and super 8mm film in the modern world is, if you ever have the capability (and money) to scan it to a 2K or 4k print, the results are absolutely stunning.

Member
January 10th, 2016

So much hate over something so innocuous. Yeah it’s a bit pricey in both hardware and media/processing, but it’s not for the likes of us. This is good signs of an industry willing to prevent a well loved physical medium from disappearing. If they can hook a younger generation into the skills of physical film it will benefit the lasting accessibility of film. I love my FS7. I also love my 16mm, don’t need this camera, but appreciate what it means for film. And I’ll applaud every step to keep those options around, including FILM Ferrania.

Member
January 10th, 2016

Super 8 well lit and shot can look pretty sharp. This will test who are the “cinematographers”

Member
January 10th, 2016

in 30 years time, kodak will bring out a camera that is 1080p and shoots digital,
while we have all moved on to holographic shooting.
wow retro 2d images ! can’t wait kodak.

Edgard Paiva
Guest
January 10th, 2016
Daniel Remer
Guest
January 10th, 2016

Seriously!!!! and next maybe we should throw out our smartphones and go back to using those mobile brick phones from the 80’s. And while we are at it let’s bring back Telex instead of email!

Garrett Bevins
Guest
January 10th, 2016

Looks awesome for artistic statements

Member
January 10th, 2016

Can’t wait super 8 is a great film formate that I have been actively shooting for years though i am not old enough to have seen its golden age. The examples given above are pretty poor if anyones interested i started a group over at Vimeo a few years ago Super 8mm HD here is a video pulled from that group https://vimeo.com/groups/super8hd/videos/151039483

Bill Bruner
Bill Bruner
Guest
January 9th, 2016

With frame by frame digital scan, Super 8 transferred to digital can look pretty darned good – with rock solid registration: https://vimeo.com/83774924

My guess is that Kodak will use a more conventional telecine process that does not correct Super 8’s inherent registration problems.

I may decide to go back to film, but I’ll buy the stock for $34.95 from Adorama and have a specialty house do the scan – not Kodak.

Member
January 9th, 2016

This has a strong whiff of desperation to it. While Super 8 can be fun and I’ve used it from time to time for effect, I’m not sure why Kodak thinks selling a dumb downed version is a good idea. If I want to shoot super 8 I’d stick with Pro 8 in Burbank. They have great package deals (camera, stock, processing and scan) that include real super 8 cameras with more features (high speed) as well specially made 16×9 gate.

Also, you can find fully feature NIZO’s on eBay with zoom, high speed, stop motion, etc for a 1/4 the price of Kodaks Fisher Price approach to super 8.

Someone’s been hitting the pipe at Kodak.

Member
January 9th, 2016
Reply to  Tim Naylor

Forgot to mention Pro 8’s stocks which offer a much wider variety including FUJI negs, Kodak negs and reversal are 45.00 per roll, almost half of what Kodak is charging.

Member
January 11th, 2016
Reply to  Tim Naylor

Agree.

Gene Nemetz
Guest
January 9th, 2016

It has to be pointed out firstly, one cartridge of film is 2 1/2 minutes long, and costs about $25.00 to buy, and then about $25.00 to develop after use. For 60 minutes, that’s $1200.00.

Timothy Philip
Guest
January 9th, 2016
Reply to  Gene Nemetz

No shit

Clifton Schulke
Guest
January 9th, 2016

Does anyone know what res and codec the transferred digital scans will be?

Robin Mueller
Guest
January 9th, 2016

$50-$75 for the cartridges plus the cost of developing. No thank you.

Member
January 10th, 2016
Reply to  Robin Mueller

Actually the cost of developing and scanning is included in the $50-75 for the cartridge. They’re going back to the philosophy of the original Kodak Brownie.

Bert Alberts Jr.
Guest
January 9th, 2016

But will it shoot RAW and 4K, and does it have a stabi… Wait.. Wut?

Ollie Kenchington
Guest
January 9th, 2016

3 minutes of footage for $80? THREE MINUTES?! I think even Tarantino would choose digital over this nonsense.

Michael Webb
Guest
January 10th, 2016

Hipsters and artists don’t care about prices

Member
January 10th, 2016
Reply to  Michael Webb

It’s 2016, the word hipster is done. You’re dusty as hell.

Member
January 11th, 2016

And I thought Kodak Super 8 film and Kodak processing were expensive in the 60s and 70s. LOL.

Member
January 9th, 2016

Can someone just invent the Nostalgia Plugin and put an end to this…

Amir Kuro
Guest
January 9th, 2016

looks like shite. why bother?

Markus Lubenica
Guest
January 9th, 2016

Kodak already missed the digial CMOS business in the late 90s. They were arrogant and laughed about it and said film will be the future. And in the early – mid 00s the company become obsolete. I know this from lots of ex kodak managers that left the company and hired at my last employer.

Richard Bagshaw
Guest
January 9th, 2016

lets shoot on this, i’m so bored with the convenience of the digutal workflow!

Jeff Kluge
Guest
January 9th, 2016

That processing cost is absurd and will be the downfall of this concept.

Member
January 9th, 2016

do you get your film back? or do they keep it and only provide the digital copy for download?

Timothy Philip
Guest
January 9th, 2016

Pointless nice try Kodak

Member
January 11th, 2016
Reply to  Timothy Philip

Ditto.

Alessandro Arrigoni
Guest
January 9th, 2016

But why?

Member
January 11th, 2016

Exactly my question.

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