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FINALLY - Kodak Super 8 camera!


Goran Barac

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While this is exciting news.....I'm dismayed that KODAK didn't offer a press release and extensive advertising.  Also, after reading the Instruction Manual PDF.....sadly....and I don't know WHY.....but this new Super 8mm camera from KODAK will not record sound on the SD card at the "default" speed of 18fps.  Perhaps they can change this in their software?!

 

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it looks like at 18fps its not crystal sync, hence no audio recording at that speed. it would drift. Im guessing the motor cant run crystal outside of 24 and 25.

it would be interesting if they'd open up an sdk for the camera though so tinkerers could play with it. I suspect that would void any warranty

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Biggest issue is the SD video tap with low-brightness display. It looks the same as the prototype in that regard. I'm dismayed they build this thing and didn't address that particular issue. If it was an HD tap with 1500 nit display and focus assist, I'd be all for the price. Without those features, I'm not sure how one is going to determine focus. 

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With a C mount to pl mount adapter from Visual Products, you could use lenses like Angenieux 7-81 - of course with a lens support etc... I'm sure the transport will be good with this new camera plus a 7213 stock running through it, I would imagine it would be a very pleasing image.

200ft loads would be nice too of course. 

Edited by Giray Izcan
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25 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Biggest issue is the SD video tap with low-brightness display. It looks the same as the prototype in that regard. I'm dismayed they build this thing and didn't address that particular issue. If it was an HD tap with 1500 nit display and focus assist, I'd be all for the price. Without those features, I'm not sure how one is going to determine focus. 

Do we know for sure its an SD tap not an HD tap? manual says its a cmos sensor with HDMI output

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3 hours ago, Robin Phillips said:

Do we know for sure its an SD tap not an HD tap? manual says its a cmos sensor with HDMI output

The prototype appeared to be 480p, tho it could have been the display being crap. It looked worse than my Aaton XTR for sure and that's 480p 24. 

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There is not much left from  the original design including the pin registered transport. Apparently standard rinky dink pulldown claw. Would be interesting who actually manufactures the camera. Did they upgrade the sd video processor to actual 1080p output? Or are they upscaling the original 480p SD spec? Will it use the same audio file system as the Logmar? Many questions.  

It would be beneficial if 3rd parties improved the crappy plastic S8 "co-axial" cartridge. With a darkroom loader in conjunction with a new machined or carbon fiber cartridge. I suspect the social media "influencers" will drive a hefty percentage of the initial modest run. This could get weird regarding eco-system and accessories. Think pink Barbie collectors edition. Or maybe not. I can see Nolan and Spielberg buying one in support of the effort. But not Deakin.     

It may trigger cheap Eastern copies with the associated cheaper labour and associated massive supply chain. Maybe not. This is a fun and wacky world whereby proud owners of $25 dollar crappy Super 8 cameras straddle one side and the digital boxes with 500  lbs of attached accessories crowd on the other.

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3 minutes ago, Nicholas Kovats said:

This is a fun and wacky world whereby proud owners of $25 dollar crappy Super 8 cameras straddle one side and the digital boxes with 500  lbs of attached accessories crowd on the other.

yes the whole Super8 genre is a bit weird and by my opinion mostly economical for "home movie emulation" type of content and scenes. Of course the highest end cameras can make really good looking images but most often it costs almost the same to shoot the same stuff on 16mm if having suitable camera around. And very expensive super8 camera negates the perceived price difference even more... one could buy an working Aaton or Arri or two or three working Eclairs with the price of that kind of super8 camera so the main advantage of it would be size and weight and low weight and fast loading of the film stock needed for the shoot which can be handly when travelling or shooting weddings and such.

Actually the main market for the camera might be wedding photography type of content. explains a lot and the price is not that bad for such use. Of course one could make short films with it too but I don't believe that is the main market of it because it makes more sense to shoot short films on 16mm (whereas the wedding stuff is absolutely mandatory to get specifically on super8 for nostalgic value. same reason why Polaroids were revived and are incredibly popular for wedding use)

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3 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

Actually the main market for the camera might be wedding photography type of content. explains a lot and the price is not that bad for such use. Of course one could make short films with it too but I don't believe that is the main market of it because it makes more sense to shoot short films on 16mm (whereas the wedding stuff is absolutely mandatory to get specifically on super8 for nostalgic value. same reason why Polaroids were revived and are incredibly popular for wedding use)

another market are "cool gadgets collectors" who are interested in the video viewfinder system and new camera body designs. for them it is not necessary to have best reliability or features as long as the gadget looks super cool both on paper and on the shelf, if they will shoot one or two test rolls on it total it would already be a lot ?

It is possible to get existing super8 cameras completely overhauled and with crystal sync modification installed for little over half of the price of the Kodak camera. If the Kodak camera is relatively silent, then it might be advantageous for short film use though. video viewfinder can be useful for some shooting scenarios but for real use it is not mandatory. But we'll see how people will actually use this camera and how it performs in the real world ?

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Aapo, those cameras will still be 50+years old... things break eventually. This is a brand new camera with an orientable viewfinder essentially. Not having to stick my face behind the camera trying to shoot from some odd anggles is a big plus. I love optical viewfinders but definitely not the small s8 viewfinders so I'll take the lcd. If you make a living with this camera then it's worth it to avoid Oops my camera failed or oops something strange is going on with the footage type incidents during some paid job. I would buy one but I couldn't justify the expense as I don't make a living with a s8 camera. You know you could of course shoot something narrative with s8, to me is more interesting than hey I am s8 and extremely shaky and unperceivable footage that people find 'beautiful ' nowadays. I would like to see s8 in a narrative context where it is lit and shot as if it is 35mm and cropped properly. I would like to see if the format could be used to tell stories for a softer painterly look without distracting the audience... I would only shoot 7213 or 03.. 7219 is too overwhelming with grain on s8 - even on s16 actually - that it gets in the way of story and calls attention on the format.. I would say this camera could be used to shoot narrative, especially if they were to introduce 200ft magazines and loads... of course you would have make a blimp of some sort from a modified Pelican case or something. This is assuming you want s8 look for your film as opposed to bigger formats.

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16 hours ago, Nicholas Kovats said:

There is not much left from  the original design including the pin registered transport. Apparently standard rinky dink pulldown claw. Would be interesting who actually manufactures the camera. Did they upgrade the sd video processor to actual 1080p output? Or are they upscaling the original 480p SD spec? Will it use the same audio file system as the Logmar? Many questions. 

Correct, it does not share the pin registered movement. I don't think you CAN run a pin registered movement with a standard cartridge pressure plate. I believe they are still using the same mirrored shutter design, which is why they're limited to 38fps. It's amazing to me, the Beaulieu design is so simple, it works so damn well, that nobody bothered copying it? That's what I'd use if I made a new camera. 

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2 hours ago, Giray Izcan said:

his is a brand new camera with an orientable viewfinder essentially. Not having to stick my face behind the camera trying to shoot from some odd anggles is a big plus.

You can't even see the display outside in the sun. You can't tell if it's in focus. I guess you could add a high NIT external display? But now you've got a camera bigger than a Red Komodo. What's the point? I to this day, have no idea how anyone shoots outside in the sun with a monitor, even on digital cameras. I sure as heck can't. 

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2 hours ago, Giray Izcan said:

Aapo, those cameras will still be 50+years old... things break eventually. This is a brand new camera with an orientable viewfinder essentially. Not having to stick my face behind the camera trying to shoot from some odd anggles is a big plus. I love optical viewfinders but definitely not the small s8 viewfinders so I'll take the lcd. If you make a living with this camera then it's worth it to avoid Oops my camera failed or oops something strange is going on with the footage type incidents during some paid job. I would buy one but I couldn't justify the expense as I don't make a living with a s8 camera. You know you could of course shoot something narrative with s8, to me is more interesting than hey I am s8 and extremely shaky and unperceivable footage that people find 'beautiful ' nowadays. I would like to see s8 in a narrative context where it is lit and shot as if it is 35mm and cropped properly. I would like to see if the format could be used to tell stories for a softer painterly look without distracting the audience... I would only shoot 7213 or 03.. 7219 is too overwhelming with grain on s8 - even on s16 actually - that it gets in the way of story and calls attention on the format.. I would say this camera could be used to shoot narrative, especially if they were to introduce 200ft magazines and loads... of course you would have make a blimp of some sort from a modified Pelican case or something. This is assuming you want s8 look for your film as opposed to bigger formats.

mechanical and optical parts tend to last well if they are properly maintained, or in most cases if they are NOT improperly handled all the time and just treated with respect when using them, that is all they ask... in the case of used cameras one would rebuild the crystal sync modified one from best parts taken from multiple camera bodies to get it working optimally. not cheap but still much cheaper than a 5.5k new camera and cheaper and easier to service if needed because there is reasonably priced spare parts left from the build.

anyway the video viewfinder can be useful when operating as long as one can see it clearly and focus properly.

for "professional use" I am very sceptical. Maybe a single dream or flashback scene shot on it and the rest done with a proper camera. but shooting a whole movie with it would only make sense if

- the budget is low enough so that the producers and financers don't think it is too large of an risk

- one wants to prove a point (that a camera can be used to shoot a movie no matter what camera it is. and that a movie can be chosen for a camera if wanting to shoot with a certain camera)

- one seeks marketing value from the Super8 origination as it is kind of interesting and people might watch it only for the format value

- one really likes the Super8 look just all day everyday, or alternatively the story suits the super8 look really well. in practice, however:

* One needs to choose the movie for the camera, not the other way around. So one chooses this interesting piece of gear and then makes the whole movie around the idea of forcing super8 format no matter how well it fits the original idea: one changes the movie if it does not fit the format and camera perfectly.

Can be interesting but it is kind of similar than the "vimeography" projects where one wants to show off cool camera bodies and lenses and thus just shoots SOMETHING COOL LOOKING and stitches something watchable together from the collected material

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Tyler, you could get Zacuto vf amd use it with this camera and others. I wouldn't shoot s8 because I want that usual crap home video look. I would put a nice s16 zoom or lenses in pl mount on this and rig it and shoot narrative stuff with it. People are conditioned to automatically assume s8 would have to be shot in an erratic fashion. I would love to see a well shot short on s8 that is going for a professional polished look while favoring the s8 look. S8 is a very painterly format that could be used to tell a story. But to be honest, if I spent this much money on s8, I would get the Logmar with its pin registration.

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6 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

One needs to choose the movie for the camera, not the other way around. So one chooses this interesting piece of gear and then makes the whole movie around the idea of forcing super8 format no matter how well it fits the original idea: one changes the movie if it does not fit the format and camera perfectly.

 

4 minutes ago, Giray Izcan said:

I wouldn't shoot s8 because I want that usual crap home video look. I would put a nice s16 zoom or lenses in pl mount on this and rig it and shoot narrative stuff with it. People are conditioned to automatically assume s8 would have to be shot in an erratic fashion. I would love to see a well shot short on s8 that is going for a professional polished look while favoring the s8 look. S8 is a very painterly format that could be used to tell a story. But to be honest, if I spent this much money on s8, I would get the Logmar with its pin registration.

Yes

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