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December 14, 2023 at 5:43 am #3708designKeymaster::
Long before the era of instantaneous satisfaction brought about by digital photography and the pervasive influence of social media, memories were modestly captured on Super 8mm film. The user-friendly cartridge and battery-based format played a pivotal role in democratizing filmmaking worldwide. Since its introduction in 1965, Super 8 remained a cherished medium for amateurs, artists, and everyday households eager to immortalize diverse moments on film. Even today, its vintage grainy quality remains synonymous with the original aesthetic filter of nostalgia.
Fast forward 50 years, and the Kodak Super 8 film camera is making an official comeback, reimagined for the digital video age by Yves Behar’s multidisciplinary design studio, fuseproject.
But hold on, didn’t the new Kodak Super 8 make its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show way back in 2016? Those with a keen memory are correct; the “homage to film,” featuring a pistol grip handle, a 4-inch LCD viewing screen, and other modern updates by fuseproject, was unveiled nearly eight years ago. Over time, excitement for its return waned, with only sporadic updates from Kodak.
The revamped Super 8 is now a hybrid catering to both professional and amateur filmmakers who embrace digital workflows but crave the analog filmmaking aesthetic. This includes the characteristic sound of a film reel, the texture of the imagery, and the limited reel time associated with the format.
Unlike its predecessor, the new Super 8 captures video on film in a 1.5:1 aspect ratio, with a built-in microphone saving audio onto an SD card. Displayed through sample clips from Kodak, the camera adeptly captures the nostalgic vibe.
Yet, unlike digital capture, aspiring filmmakers must consider the cost when shooting with the Super 8 format. According to DP Review, even at a traditional 18fps, an entire film cartridge is depleted in just 3 minutes and 20 seconds. At 24fps, it’s a mere two and a half minutes per cartridge.
While the concept sounded promising, the enthusiasm waned upon learning the associated price tag. Initially touted by Kodak as costing between $400 and $750, the current reality is a $5,495 camera. This includes a 6mm F1.2 lens, a pistol grip with a trigger, and various accessories like a Pelican carrying case. Regrettably, this pricing places the Super 8 camera out of reach for many, making software filters a more accessible and affordable option for those seeking a stroll down memory lane.
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