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Lasse Roedtnes

"New" super-8 camera to market

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Hi All,

 

Hypnotically let’s assume the following semi-professional camera existed on the market to be put under the christmas tree this year ^_^

 

A newly designed Super-8 camera with widened gate made in aluminum that records sound in license free Ogg vorbis format 48 KHz @ 16bit stereo (CD quality) on a removable SD-CARD, film frame count information is also stored on the SD-CARD as a log file along with the audio to help aid cutting.

Featuring oscillating mirror shutter for the best optical path through the lens towards the film (no glass or filters in between lens and film) when the shutter is closed the image is projected towards an integrated CMOS camera which acts as a digital viewfinder.

The camera uses standard Kodak film cassettes, however the film is brought out of the cassette and into the widened gate with integrated pressure plate and pin registration, which completely freezes the film during exposure to make sure the bouncing never occurs which is a typical trademark of older super-8 cameras.

It features a build in light meter for easy operation.

The frame rate is programmable from 16fps to 54fps frames pr. second with crystal phase-locked-loop synchronization (Lip sync is fully achieved throughout an entire film).

Remote controllable via WiFi (the camera creates its own hotspot) and is compatible with Android, Iphone and Windows Phone.

Exchangeable lenses via C-Mount.

Viewfinder through the lens (while shutter is closed) via internal camera for use with standard external monitor such as Lilliput etc. (standard NTSC / PAL vide out format)

Phase Advance feature to increment the phase if you want to interlock the camera with a TV or florescent light for example to remove shutter bars typically seen.

The external monitor acts as both viewfinder and camera status display – it shows the following information:

  • Remaining/Elapsed: feet, frame, meter
  • Exposure control
  • Audio VU monitor
  • System parameters

The camera is firmware upgradable via USB.

It has a mono XLR microphone input with true 48V phantom power and a normal stereo jack 3.5mm line-in and also 3.5mm jack mono microphone-input, there’s also headphone output (3.5mm jack) for monitoring the sound.

Microphone gain and headphone volume is adjustable.

 

Now to the big question what are you willing to pay?

 

 

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Hypothetically rather than hypnotically I hope? :P


I often shoot side-by-side using a simple rig with a blimped Canon 1014XL-S and a Canon HV30 HDV camcorder.


In fact I have found it is even better to use a smaller 514XL-S as both cameras are of similar dimensions and have 43mm lenses that I can attach identical C-8 wides to.

So my set-up would cost less than 500 US Dollars to recreate via eBay right now and kind of does everything I need it to of a video-assist or integrated system; I can even align the field of view.

 

I can well imagine that the hypothetical camera you describe would easily cost in excess of 2,000 US Dollars.

So it's not a very cost effective solution, when you can just shoot both HD and Super 8 side-by-side. :rolleyes:

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Hi Bill

 

I guess my auto correction dictionary caught me in a bad moment it should have been hypothetically as you've already guessed.

 

By the way, if the hypothetical camera existed it would have these dimensions 185cm x 90cm x 110cm not including the lens or back mounted battery ;)

 

Hopefully this small size would hypnotize you into buying it if it became available :D

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Well , hypothetically I'd be willing to pay what it takes to bring such a camera to the market . Although I would tend to think that such a camera would be more naturally suited for RENTAL through a professional camera house , at about the same rates one would expect to rent a similar 16mm camera.

 

If we are talking about a real project here (not just a hypothetical project) you mentioned : "frame rate is programmable from 16fps to 54fps frames pr. second" but while you're at it I would suggest expanding that range from 12fps to 80fps . 80fps gets over 3x slow-motion which would be especially appreciated . (I always liked this feature on the Beaulieu 4008 ). If you could increase it to 4x at 96fps all the better (meaning that it's continuously programmable through that entire range , so slow motion could be a "mild" boost to 36fps , then up to 2x at 48fps , 54fps , 3x at 72fps , 80fps , or 4x at 96fps ). But honestly if you produced such a camera with frame rate programmable from 16 fps to 54fps that would be amazing and the top speed of 54fps would not keep me from considering the camera. I'm just saying as long as we're dreaming about such a camera why not say it could do slow-motion up to 80 or 96fps ?

 

 

 

"The camera uses standard Kodak film cassettes, however the film is brought out of the cassette and into the widened gate with integrated pressure plate and pin registration"

 

 

 

 

Would you consider an optional 200 ft. magazine version , similar to the Wilcam W-1 http://www.super8data.com/database/cameras_list/cameras_wilcam/wilcam_w1.htm

 

post-62124-0-08529200-1374840937_thumb.jpg

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Yeah, single frame to 96fps would be great but in all honesty this hypothetical camera would probably have to be around $1,000 or less to spark my own interest. :)

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I'm assuming this is actually mm rather than cm too? ;)

By the way, if the hypothetical camera existed it would have these dimensions 185cm x 90cm x 110cm not including the lens or back mounted battery ;)

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These threads pop up every few months. it's a pipe dream. It aint happening, no matter how hard we dream.

 

Yes, only a pipe dream. (and how many pipe smokers do you see these days ? About as many as the people who still shoot Super 8mm film I would expect) .

 

 

But the pipe dreaming is kind of fun ... besides the 200 ft. magazine option (like the Wilcam W-1) the other thing I'd want to see in any new camera is a true pin registered pressure plate drive system (which Lasse Roedtnes mentions as part of his hypothetical dream camera) like the very rare Mekel VIC SP-1 Cine-8 :

 

http://www.super8data.com/database/cameras_list/cameras_vic/vic_sp1.htm

 

 

post-62124-0-98355900-1374951118_thumb.jpg

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I'd pay the same price as the current Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera...under $1000. If you produce this camera on Kickstarter....it might have a chance, and I would pledge. It sounds like a great idea. Make it with a focus on Vision 3 so it can produce the best images possible at 500T etc.

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I'd pay the same price as the current Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera...under $1000. If you produce this camera on Kickstarter....it might have a chance, and I would pledge. It sounds like a great idea. Make it with a focus on Vision 3 so it can produce the best images possible at 500T etc.

 

Agreed, though with so many Kickstarters now failing to produce an end resulting product, the though of losing a gran doesn't please me. I know plenty of people who ponied up money for something andin the end got nothing.

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Looks to me like the Digital Bolex project is coming along nicely . I don't think it's going to just be "vapourware".

 

 

http://www.digitalbolex.com/getting_ready/

 

http://www.digitalbolex.com/alive/

 

 

 

If someone credible puts up a Kickstarter to develop a New SUPER 8mm camera I'd be willing to throw some support their way. Digital Bolex is a good example of what can be done.

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joedp/the-digital-bolex-the-1st-affordable-digital-cinem

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The d16 is FAR from ready, it's been coming along nicely for 12 months, as I've been following...though I'd choose it over a BMCC for a variety of reasons, there is no RAW footage for the desired image, as the desired image has not been engineered by the sensor yet. Still Vaporware, stills are stills, not video, or the filmlike motion they are aiming for...

 

Anyway, I would support a team with it's head on it's shoulders to produce such a camera, but I'd want a completed test one already made with a short film on high quality stock PRIOR to doing so.

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Yeah, I'd support this on KS as well. Correctly marketed it could appeal to the 'hip' crowd as well, there are lots of people shooting 35mm stills lomography style. A camera which combines the modern (lcd viewfinder) with retro (super-8) could be the thing.

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The d16 is FAR from ready, it's been coming along nicely for 12 months, as I've been following...though I'd choose it over a BMCC for a variety of reasons, there is no RAW footage for the desired image, as the desired image has not been engineered by the sensor yet. Still Vaporware, stills are stills, not video, or the filmlike motion they are aiming for...

 

Anyway, I would support a team with it's head on it's shoulders to produce such a camera, but I'd want a completed test one already made with a short film on high quality stock PRIOR to doing so.

 

Yes unfortunately it is a dream that has not yet come true. My partners and I had hoped the Digital Bolex would hit by late summer and be thoroughly tested by the Fall so that we could consider it for a low budget feature we are lining up for early 2014, but at this point we have given up on it and will likely shoot it with a 5DMKIII via RAW or possibly a RED EPIC. We really have no choice. The BlackMagic just won't ship and early work on the 4K camera is the lower dynamic range is such that the first camera actually produces a more film like image.

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Hi Matt,

 

I know there's been alot of other posts on this forum about people wanting to produce a new super-8 camera - and it just goes to show that's alot of interest but in order to actually make one is a completely different and extremely difficult/expensive ball game - I know all about this - however never loose faith, think what would have happened if NASA had that attitude when they talked about going to the moon "just another pipe dream - aint going to happen" :P - sometimes all it takes is someone to be proven wrong and perhaps that could be you :)

 

Zachariah:

This is "not just, yet, another digital camera" like the Blackmagic this is true film camera with digital viewfinder so it cannot really be compared - the cost of this type of camera is substancially higher because of all the mechanics which goes into it.

 

And yes it does have a "Super Duper-8 / Max-8 widened gate ;)

 

David:

This camera does infact have a true pin registered pressure plate which mechanically interlocks the film during each frame exposure - the pressure plate in the film casette is not used, just like the Merkel camera you have shown a picture of.

 

Regarding the 200ft film option this is not possible as the camera is designed for the standard kodak casette only so all the mechanics including the camera casing would have to be altered which would not only delay it further but also cost a fortune.

 

When talking about frame rates the hardware phase locked loop (electronics) can pretty much support anything from 1fps to 500fps with a precision better than 0.1 fps increments - the motor and batteries on the otherhand cannot - I've done lab tests running it at about 80fps to stress test the mechanics this is doable however it's only possible by driving the motor above its specified maximum voltage so from a warranty risk assesment perspective this would be "no go" - we could consider doing special firmwares which did allow this but with a reduced warrenty or alternate motor configuration.

 

By the way what are the typical rates for camera rental?

 

Heikki:

Terve!, unfortunatly kickstarter is not an option for non US, GB citizens so it would have to be Indiegogo or similar if it came to that.

 

-----

 

I'm still hoping more people would add feedback as to the feature set, price point and wanted features - especially firmware features.

 

Take care

/Lasse

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David:

This camera does infact have a true pin registered pressure plate which mechanically interlocks the film during each frame exposure - the pressure plate in the film casette is not used, just like the Merkel camera you have shown a picture of.

 

Regarding the 200ft film option this is not possible as the camera is designed for the standard kodak casette only so all the mechanics including the camera casing would have to be altered which would not only delay it further but also cost a fortune.

 

When talking about frame rates the hardware phase locked loop (electronics) can pretty much support anything from 1fps to 500fps with a precision better than 0.1 fps increments - the motor and batteries on the otherhand cannot - I've done lab tests running it at about 80fps to stress test the mechanics this is doable however it's only possible by driving the motor above its specified maximum voltage so from a warranty risk assesment perspective this would be "no go" - we could consider doing special firmwares which did allow this but with a reduced warrenty or alternate motor configuration.

 

 

 

All the features you list in your first post would be on my List . First on my list would be the pin-registered pressure plate . Second would be the ability to use standard C-mount primes and zooms. If it were "self-blimped" (QUIET) that would be a big plus.

 

The lack of a 200 ft. magazine would not concern me . I just thought I'd throw that up there as a possiblity since you were asking .

 

Similarly, the upper limit of 54fps for the slow-motion would be fine. I just thought I'd ask if 80fps or 96fps would be possible . I understand the issues with over-taxing the motor and battery supply at the higher frame rates . (even with my old Nikon R8 I'd only use the 54fps in short bursts, usually not more than 15 or 20 ft. Never tried shooting a whole cartridge at 54fps continuously. If I recall correctly the Nikon manual warned against running it in 54fps mode continuously for an extended time.) Would a compromise of 60fps be feasible ? (scanned and interpolated to 2x at 120 fps that would be 5x 24fps slow-motion ! Although I'm not sure if the interpolation would affect the sharpness of the slow-motion footage too much ?)

 

On the low-end of the frame rate I'd prefer 12fps to 16fps, if possible.

 

 

 

So , in your response you refer to running stress tests at 80fps , so am I right to think you have a working prototype already made ?

 

I'd definitely be interested in supporting a crowd-sourcing effort (Indie GoGo or whatever) for something like this. Good luck to you in this effort !

 

 

.

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By the way what are the typical rates for camera rental?

 

Terve Lasse!

 

Here in Finland the list prices for 16mm and super-8 film camera rentals are following (EUR, price / day, price / week, VAT 24% + insurance 5% is added to these):

Arriflex 416 275/1100

Arriflex 16 SR3 250/1000

Arriflex 16 SR3 Adv 200/800

Arriflex 16 SR2 150/600

Aaton A-Minima 130/520

Super-8: Canon 814 XL-S 45/180

 

For comparison, both Arri Alexa and Red Epic-X are 900/3600 and Red Scarlet-X is 600/2400

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I'd buy such a camera. For sure. No issue. How much would I pay?

In the late seventies (or was it early eighties) I purchased a brand new Canon 1014 XLS for about $1000.

In todays prices that would be about $3500 according to this link:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 531AAVr5Zf

Would I pay that? Depends on how well the camera was made. If it was well made I'd certainly consider it. No problem.

C

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Hi David et. al.

 

First things first - 12-16fps frame rate is not unrealistic to make - we havent enabled this in the firmware at the moment simply because we havent tested that range - upgrading from 58 to 60fps is the same thing we would have to test it first but I wouldnt expect this not to work - the difficult part is that we have to run an entire film at that frame rate and measure an abundance of things to make sure the film is in sync at all times/loads - and yes the camera is very quite, this was one of the key design goals.

 

There's an almost fully functional prototype(*) with the featureset described in my original post (otherwise it didn't make sense to ask right ^_^) we are currently in the process of filming demo video's with it as well as finalizing the firmware - and believe me there's a truck load of firmware in this thing eventhough the camera itself is mostly mechanical.

 

More info to come

 

(*)=Almost being that we do not have any phone apps ready at the moment, WIFI is working however.

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I'd add to the specs, that some sort of registration mark be printed on the film, ie. at the time of exposure, for example, a little cross hair, in between the sprocket holes. This would be invaluable during film to digital transfer. Instead of relying on sprocket holes as a registration method, the film to digital transfer can use the printed cross hair as a registration mark. The camera can use some sort of micro-lensed laser diode aimed at the area between the sprockets to record the cross hair. The recorded cross hair will effectively establish the exact relationship between the image and the camera, regardless of where the film happens to land on each frame. The transfer locks on to cross hair rather than the sprocket. In other words the function of the sprocket holes in the film would be purely for transport of the film in the camera. The result of this very simple addition would be a completely rock steady result in a digital transfer.

 

Carl

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Pin registration would be a must.

 

Single, 12, 18, 24, 30 & 48 would be great frame rates.

 

I don't know how much I like the idea of not having an eye-cup. Would there be a video tap/connection for a much larger monitor?

 

One of 8mm's biggest drawbacks is the fixed lens so if that was dealt with, my eyes would go wide.

 

Lastly, quiet quiet quiet. Super8 cameras are so damned loud. How would that be dealt with, if at all?

 

If this is an actual could happen product and not a pipe dream, I may pee myself.

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I'd add to the specs, that some sort of registration mark be printed on the film ...

 

Note that while the purpose of this is exactly the same as pin registration, it would allow film-to-digital transfer systems, or indeed live projector systems to be a lot more relaxed (ie. cheaper) in terms of re-registration. A pin registered camera is only providing for half the job if there isn't a correpsonding pin registered, or laser registered projector / transfer to complete the task. With a printed registration mark, software can take over the task of registering a frame. In many cases software already does take over such a task (ie. image stabilisation software) but it has to do a considerable a amount of work to carry that out. With a known registration mark the simplest of algorithms can do the job.

 

But in any case this is not a replacement for pin registration but rather in addition. Perhaps a more general purpose programmable optical encoder on the sprocket edge is the idea, allowing for not only registration marks, but any other useful information (timecode, etc). Can always put it a few frames ahead or behind the frame being exposed so as to avoid interfering with the lens/mirror/film/gate assembly.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper

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