Digital Cameras

Kodak brings back the Super 8 movie camera, in analog/digital form

Kodak brings back the Super 8 ...
The Kodak Super 8 camera is one component of the company's just-announced Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative
The Kodak Super 8 camera is one component of the company's just-announced Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative
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The Kodak Super 8 camera will be available in two colors – midnight black and bone china (off-white, in other words)
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The Kodak Super 8 camera will be available in two colors – midnight black and bone china (off-white, in other words)
The Kodak Super 8 camera, showing off both an analog film cartridge and LCD viewfinder
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The Kodak Super 8 camera, showing off both an analog film cartridge and LCD viewfinder
The Kodak Super 8 camera features a machined-metal body with leather trim on the carrying handle and pistol grip
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The Kodak Super 8 camera features a machined-metal body with leather trim on the carrying handle and pistol grip
The Kodak Super 8 camera can shoot at frame rates of 9, 12, 18, 24 and 25 fps, has a built-in light meter, and allows for manual control of focus and aperture
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The Kodak Super 8 camera can shoot at frame rates of 9, 12, 18, 24 and 25 fps, has a built-in light meter, and allows for manual control of focus and aperture
An analog film cartridge for the Kodak Super 8 camera
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An analog film cartridge for the Kodak Super 8 camera
Ports on the rear of the Kodak Super 8 camera
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Ports on the rear of the Kodak Super 8 camera
The Kodak Super 8 camera on display at CES
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The Kodak Super 8 camera on display at CES
The Kodak Super 8 camera on display at CES
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The Kodak Super 8 camera on display at CES
The Kodak Super 8 camera is one component of the company's just-announced Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative
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The Kodak Super 8 camera is one component of the company's just-announced Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative

Fifty years ago, Kodak introduced its first Super 8mm movie camera. More recently, we've seen devices with a retro form factor and "organic" picture quality inspired by classic Super 8 cameras, but that still record on modern digital video. This week at CES, however, Kodak revealed a prototype of its first new Super 8 film camera in over 30 years. Known simply as the Kodak Super 8 camera (for now), it combines analog and digital features.

Like the Super 8 cameras of the 60s, 70s and early 80s, the Kodak camera records on cartridges that each hold 50 ft (15 m) of celluloid film – that's enough for about three minutes of footage. Users ship each cartridge off to Kodak when it's used up, where it's processed and digitally converted to video. The processed film will then be mailed back to the user, although they will also receive a passcode to retrieve the digital version of the footage from the cloud … after all, they're not likely to own an analog Super 8 projector, editing machine or splicer.

Audio can be recorded onto an onboard SD card using an included plug-in mic – this means that the sound and pictures will have to be synced up in editing. There's also a flip-out 3.5-inch LCD viewfinder that receives an SD video feed, along with ports for plugging in peripheral electronic devices such as headphones.

The Kodak Super 8 camera will be available in two colors – midnight black and bone china (off-white, in other words)
The Kodak Super 8 camera will be available in two colors – midnight black and bone china (off-white, in other words)

Created by industrial designer Yves Behar at San Francisco-based design firm FuseProject, the camera itself features a machined-metal body with leather trim on the carrying handle and add-on pistol grip, along with the ability to swap between multiple C-mount lenses (it will come with an included Ricoh 6-mm 1:1.2 lens). There will be two color choices – midnight black and bone china.

It can shoot at frame rates of 9, 12, 18, 24 and 25 fps, has a built-in light meter, and allows for manual control of focus and aperture. Additionally, a variety of film stocks will be available, so users can pick and choose based on shooting conditions or the "look" that they're going for.

The camera is one component of the company's just-announced Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative, which will reportedly also include "a range of cameras, film development services, post production tools and more."

No exact figures have been provided regarding its price. According to a Kodak rep we spoke to, however, a premium edition model should initially be available (likely late this year) for around US$1,000 or higher, with a lower-priced version following in the $400 to $700 range. In a report in the Wall Street Journal, Kodak's chief executive Jeff Clarke estimates that the film cartridges should go for $50 to $75 a pop.

Interested parties can sign up for updates, via the link below.

Source: Kodak

11 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really neat. I still think I have a 8MM projector.
Steve Smith
Why? Just, why?
RichardU
What is the point of having film?????
Brian M
Had to check the date in case it was April 1st!
butkus
A very curious idea. But it's so heavily overpriced, it'll be instantly DOA. Even The cited cart cost is double the normal retail, a very hefty surcharge for i would guess an automated telecine service. And the design doesn't remotely look it's price. It's more on par with Lomography's products or even something DIY. Adding an audio stripe would seem a more reasonable way to go instead of integrating an mp3 recorder and would possibly slightly justify the cart price. It would also make it much more complete for archival purposes.
HensleyBeuronGarlington
I don't understand why?! I don't see how this provides anything but nostalgia. Which can also be achieved with effects filters and and such.
dsiple
$50 to $75 for a three minute film cartridge is ridiculous. You can buy a cheap video camera for that. With most mobile phones you can make a better quality movie. As someone above said, "Why?"
JonathanLawrence
It is a novel, overpriced concept for self aggrandizing elitist. There are so many ways to achieve an 8mm look with digital - Heck , There's an app for that...no, really. Several in fact. This is the one I use and it is wonderful... I can get a super 8 look in 4k http://8mm.mobi/ . In few cases, like reenactments for the purist or shows like American Horror Story that use mixed media for various effects I think this camera might find a weird surge in the beginning but I am not paying 60. for three and a half minutes of film when I can buy a huge capacity SD or CF card that will record and re-record countless hours of high rez media with wide DR that I can post process CHEAP to look almost exactly the same. I still own a canon Super 8 camera (1014 XLS) and I can pick up a roll of super 8 at B&H for 20.-30. If I must ... I will watch this with great curiosity
Captain Obvious
You can get them at garage sales for two bucks.