Digital Cameras

Retro-digital video camera channels the spirit of Super 8

Retro-digital video camera cha...
The Fragment 8, alongside some genuine 8mm movie cameras from days gone by
The Fragment 8, alongside some genuine 8mm movie cameras from days gone by
View 5 Images
The Fragment 8, seen here without its turret lenses
1/5
The Fragment 8, seen here without its turret lenses
The Fragment 8's main body weighs a claimed 250 g (8.8 oz)
2/5
The Fragment 8's main body weighs a claimed 250 g (8.8 oz)
Like a real Super 8 camera, the Fragment 8 incorporates an optical (non-electronic) viewfinder – it additionally has a threaded tripod-mount hole on the bottom
3/5
Like a real Super 8 camera, the Fragment 8 incorporates an optical (non-electronic) viewfinder – it additionally has a threaded tripod-mount hole on the bottom
The Fragment 8, alongside some genuine 8mm movie cameras from days gone by
4/5
The Fragment 8, alongside some genuine 8mm movie cameras from days gone by
The Fragment 8 utilizes a 1/3-inch CCD image sensor
5/5
The Fragment 8 utilizes a 1/3-inch CCD image sensor
View gallery - 5 images

Super 8mm home movie cameras could only shoot three minutes of film at a time, and the footage was grainy and flickery. If you think those are good qualities (and many people do), then you might be interested in the new Fragment 8 retro digital video camera.

Created by Hong Kong startup the Lofty Factory, the Fragment 8 can record up to two minutes of 720p video in one go. As it does so, it makes a totally nonfunctional whirring sound, simulating the motor of an old-school Super 8 camera.

The footage is subsequently output via a USB port in either MP4 or GIF format, for immediate online sharing. That certainly beats waiting a week or two for analog Super 8 film to be sent off for processing.

Like a real Super 8 camera, the Fragment 8 incorporates an optical (non-electronic) viewfinder – it additionally has a threaded tripod-mount hole on the bottom
Like a real Super 8 camera, the Fragment 8 incorporates an optical (non-electronic) viewfinder – it additionally has a threaded tripod-mount hole on the bottom

Depending on how authentically flickery they want their footage to look, users can choose to shoot at frame rates of either nine or 24 frames-per-second. The camera is also claimed to replicate the graininess and "faded color tones" that were characteristic of the original film.

Appearance-wise, the boxy aluminum/ABS/leather-finished Fragment 8 certainly looks like an early 8mm camera. It even has a turret lens setup, although instead of offering users three different focal lengths, the three rotating lenses provide a star filter, a multiple-image kaleidoscope effect, and a smeary-edged "radial filter."

The turret is removable, so the camera can also be used with just a single regular lens in place. It has a 17-mm mount, so users can swap in different lenses as they see fit.

The Fragment 8, seen here without its turret lenses
The Fragment 8, seen here without its turret lenses

Power is provided by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack (the spring-winding handle on the side of the camera is presumably just for show). There's currently no word on runtime per charge.

Should you be interested, the Fragment 8 will soon be the subject of a Kickstarter campaign – you can check to see if it's up, via the "Source" link below. A pledge of US$78 will get you one, when and if they reach production. There's a bit of footage that was shot with the camera, in the following video.

For other takes on the idea of a digital equivalent of a Super 8 camera, check out the Digital Harinezumi 2++ or the Lumenati CS1. And should you be interested in a semi-digital camera that shoots on actual Super 8 film … well, that would be the simply-named Kodak Super 8 Camera.

Source: Lofty Factory

Fragment 8 Retro Camera Video

View gallery - 5 images
1 comment
IvanWashington
how reductive. god bless 'em and the people who want "artistically" derezzed video as a nostalgic throwback. i do wish they had thrown a bone to us modernists who prefer 60 frame video without the de-rezzing.