Super-8 Cameras Still Going Strong 30 Years Later!
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Digital Video and Super-8 film have different strengths. Super-8 Film Cameras offer excellent resolution in this age of digital video even though most Super-8 cameras are all over 30 years old! Digital Video is a wonderful medium when immediate results are required. Digital Video is also used for live events, long running events, events heavy in dialogue, reality tv, and news events. However, If you want to stand out from others, learn to shoot film along with digital. You'll be blown away at how you can learn to discipline yourself into shooting efficiently and effectively.
Digital Video can be less expensive to shoot than film AFTER you have shelled out the money for the digital camera purchase. If you control the amount of footage you will be shooting by creating and sticking to a well written script, it can make just as much sense to shoot in film as it does to shoot in video.
A well executed production shot on film will probably deliver a higher overall impact than if it were shot on digital video. However, Digital video also provides filmmakers the opportunity to try and make lower budget productions that otherwise would have never been made.
It's important to remember that you can shoot on film and still edit digitally. Projects ideal for Super-8mm Film Production include Music Videos because Black & White Reversal Film such as Tri-X, Color Reversal film stocks such as Kodak Ektachrome and Fuji Velvia, and the Kodak Vision Negative Stocks are wildly popular Super-8 film stocks for Music Videos.
Spectra Film and Video, located in North Hollywood California carries Kodak Super-8mm and 16mm Film stocks and also loads Fuji Velvia and Kodak Ektachrome D in both Super-8mm and 16mm formats.
Kodachrome was retired from Kodak's offerings in 2005-2006, however Kodak Vision 200T and the 500T Negative film stocks have proven to be wonderful additions to the Kodak Super-8 Family of Film Offerings. Additional information can be found at The Kodak Super-8 Film Stock Website & 800 Toll Free Phone Number. You can also check out Kodak's Super-8 Main Page.
Additional projects ideal for the Super-8mm format include television commercials for cable or local television broadcast. If a local commercial consists primarily of a "talking head" type of commerical. I'd recommend a quiet Super-8 Camera such as the Nizo 6080, Nizo 6056, Nizo 4080, Nizo 4056, Nizo 3056,Nizo 3048, Nizo 2056, Nizo 2040, Nizo 2048, Nizo 1048 etc... However, Almost all cable commercials are shot on video because it easier to shoot as many takes as necessary versus trying to nail one perfect take early on to save on how much film is being used.
Short films that are not too heavy in dialogue (unless the Super-8 Camera used is a Quiet one) can also be shot on Super-8. Experimental Films are also an obvious choice for Super-8. Scripted Travelogues where one has an actual shot list and voice over script already written are ideal for Super-8 as well. Feature Films can prove to be a very interesting option when it comes to furthering a directing, producing, acting, camera, or writing career.
What makes Super-8mm an interesting filmmaking option is that it's ideal for shooting more actor medium shots and close-ups. By minimizing the background, the actor is featured more prominently and the background set designing and construction costs will drop as well. My companion site, Super-8mm.com focuses on how one would proceed to make a feature film and content is periodically being added. Super-8 Feature Filmmaking discussed on Super-8mm.com.
Some Super-8 cameras offer both conventional single frame animation and time-exposure single frame animation as well. Time-Exposure animation allows one to shoot in very low light situations by giving one more control over how long each frame is exposed. Not all Super-8 Camera do single frame, and not all Single Frame cameras do time exposure, but any camera that does time exposure will also do conventional single frame animation as well. The main benefit of time exposure single frame animation is it will allow one to shoot in low light situations.
MOTIVATED DIGITAL VIDEO STUDENTS should also shoot a few of their projects on Super-8 film. The experience of Shooting on Super-8 Film will enhance a digital videomakers skills over the digital video student who has never shot with film. I entered a 22 year old super-8 film in the 2006 Super-8 Film and Digital Video Festival. Over 180 entries were received, and my entry, Decoy for Terror, won an award in the experimental division. How can a 22 year old film, that was actually edited with splice tape, a film projector, and dubbed in sound, do so well? It was planning and scripting by the director/actor, Jim Jones, and good old Kodak Black and White Plus X film! Our total budget for our 13 minute film was well under a thousand dollars!
Super-8mm.net - The Many Advantages of Super-8mm Filmmaking are Revealed.
Page-1 Super-8mm Overview.
Page-2 Super-8mm Film Advantages Explored
Page-3 Super-8mm Film Production News
Page-4 Music Video Techniques.
Page-5 Labs & Transfers.
Page-6 8mm Film Subscription Magazines.
Page-7 Flicker Super-8 Shooting Strategies
Page-8 Using Polaroids.
Page-9 Super-8 Cameras.
Page-10 Super-8 Forums.
Finding Super-8 Cameras on eBay - The Pros & Cons...
You can use the eBay search function to find Super-8mm cameras. Simply type in "8mm camera" and you will get a lot of camera choices. Be careful however as 8mm video cameras will be mixed into your choices. You may be able to parse your list by looking at the column on the left side of the screen and clicking on "film cameras".
You will probably prefer a "Super-8mm camera" versus a regular 8, single-8 or double-8 camera simply because Super-8mm cameras are not as old, generally have more filming options on them, and incorporate pre-loaded film cartridges. Single-8 cameras (which are also pre-loaded), Regular 8mm and double 8mm do have their loyal users as well.
These are the names of some of some the most popular Super-8 cameras ever made, Canon, Elmo, Nizo, Eumig, Minolta, Nikon, Beaulieu, Bauer, Braun, Cosina, Chinon, Leicina, Moviflex, Nalcom, Sankyo, Vivitar, Yashica, Argus, Bell & Howell, Bolex, Focal, Kinoflex, Pathe, and there are other brands I have missed.
If you have questions about a specific Super-8 camera model, you may get a more detailed answer on our Super-8 Filmmaking in the Digital Age Forum. You can also find more information about that super-8 forum on the next page. Another Super-8 forum to check out is Cinematography dot com
BEWARE!!! Practically all Super-8 Cameras have not been manufactured in over 30 years, so when you bid on a Super-8 camera on Ebay, you are bidding on a Super camera that could be described as "new in box" and still be over 30 years old! However, many of my 30 plus year old Super-8 cameras still work fine. It is strongly recommended that a Super-8 Repair place do at the very least a cleaning and relubing of the Super-8 motors. It is possible to pulverize a Super-8 camera motor by using the camera to pull film through when the camera motors are dry.
If you are storing Super-8 cameras, REMOVE ALL BATTERIES to prevent battery corrosion from occurring.
If the camera you own makes loud squealing or screeching sounds, it is in need of lubrication. Please do not try lubricating the camera yourself. Internet Searches for Super-8 repair facilities are always an option. Ask the seller if they can give you a repair or service recommendation. Bolex in Switzerland still services both Bolex and Eumig 16mm and Super-8mm cameras. Spectra Film and Video, located in North Hollywood, California, also repairs certain brands of Super-8 cameras.
Probably 1/2 of the Super-8 Cameras sold on ebay may have some type of problem that needs either repair or just general servicing. It's up to you to try your Super-8 Camera as soon as you receive it to make sure the camera is up to the specifications as described by the seller. Sometimes sellers sell a camera "as is" or "did not know how to turn it on" as a way to avoid talking about the actual condition of the camera. Sometimes it is better that the seller not try and test the camera because they really don't know what they are doing and could accidentally damage the camera through misuse.
I have written a Super-8 shipping guide on Ebay that you may want to check out. Shipping Super-8 Cameras
Most Super-8 cameras sell for between $10.00 to $200.00 dollars. The upper high end Super-8 cameras will sell for between $150 to $750 dollars, an incredible bargain when compared to a prosumer 3 chip digital camera that becomes obsolete every 2-5 years. An even bigger bargain when you factor in that a Super-8 Camera bought in 1980 can still produce film images that are broadcast worthy!
Using a Super-8 Camera as a directors viewfinder is a real plus when you need several people to be on the same visual page for an upcoming production. Both Digital Still Cameras and Super-8 cameras can be used when reviewing a location site with your crew. Walk through your shoot location and discuss your shot selections with your Director of Photography, and CONFIRM those decisions by viewing the image through a super-8 viewfinder. A Super-8mm Viewfinder is not electronic, so what you see is exactly what the image actually looks like. Simply Frame the shot the way you want it, and then share your viewfinder with the Cinematographer, sound person, set designer, make-up person and whomever else you feel would benefit.
Unlike Digital viewfinders, Super-8mm viewfinder images look real to life, because they are optical rather than electronic. Super-8mm camera / viewfinders work whether or not the camera has battery power! Digital Still cameras should also be considered because they do offer color viewfinders and you can "instantly" record images for review at a later time. Nowadays the advantage of a Digital Still Camera is the ability to instantly send imagery over the internet. Many Super-8mm Cameras have a look and style that sets them apart from digital video cameras. Eventually, that Super-8mm camera being used as a directors viewfinder may seduce you into putting a Super-8 film cartridge into it and giving it a test drive.
For a comprehensive LIST of Super-8 cameras, check out Super-8 info about "The List". Or go directly to the Super-8 Camera List. Over 1,300 Super-8 Cameras.
FOR AN INDEPTH OVERVIEW OF SEVERAL POPULAR SUPER-8 CAMERAS, CHECK OUT Look up in the Sky, it's Super-8 Man!!!
Super-8mm.com - Super-8mm Low Budget Feature Filmmaking Techniques.
Page-1 Super-8 Links, Overview & Methods.
Page-2 Super-8 Guerilla Filmmaking.
Page-3 Indoor & Outdoor Locations.
Page-4 Super-8mm Film Stock Strategies.
Page-5 Super-8 Production News & Notes.
Page-6 A Good SoundTrack Can Make Your Film.
Page-7 Using Quiet Super-8 Cameras.
Page-8 Best Script Concepts for Super-8mm.
Page-9 Acquiring Same Model Super-8 Cameras.
Page-10 One Stop Super-8 Film Labs.