In a surprise announcement at the start of CES 2016 in Las Vegas, film giant Kodak, announced their first new Super 8 Camera in 30 years, in hopes of reviving a beloved filmmaking tradition! Yes, that's right, Kodak will sell a brand new Super 8 Film camera to any celluloid aficionado, filmmaker and just about every body else for less than $800.
Of course, you may be quick to dismiss this announcement as a desperate gimmick for an ailing company, which already filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012, however Kodak's Super 8 Revival Initiative reaches far beyond the introduction of a new camera.
The company aims for a roadmap that includes a range of new film cameras, film development services, post production tools and more. According to sources, the cheapest models will be below $500!
"It is an ecosystem for film" said Jeff Clarke, Eastman Kodak Chief Executive Officer. "Following the 50th anniversary of Super 8, Kodak is providing new opportunities to enjoy and appreciate film as a medium."
Film has generated huge buzz in Hollywood recently as the chosen medium for award-winning movie directors and blockbuster movies. Now the Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative is being applauded by the industry's top directors, many of whom got their start on Super 8 film including heavyweights like Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams.
So what exactly does an analog film camera bring to filmmakers and enthusiasts in a very digital 2016, when there are some many affordable choices of digital cameras, which can create beautiful images in the right hands? Well, for once, it's that distinct film look - the organic texture and highlight rendition, that can hardly be replicated by affordable gear today.
Super 8 brings a certain kind of sentiment among video creators and Kodak are committed to offering and end-to-end solution. This means that Kodak will facilitate the processing of the film, then upload the scanned footage digitally on a cloud server and send a password to the end user so they can download their footage. All you have to do is sent the film cartridges to Kodak for processing.
The new Kodak Super 8 camera will use 50ft (15m) film cartridges, which at normal speed of 24fps will give you only about 2.5 minutes of footage, which in the digital age is too little, however considering the fact that they have to keep the footprint small, it's a compromise that leads to discipline. Shooting film is not cheap, but with an enthusiast format such as Super 8 it won't break the bank.
The camera features an old-school C-mount for mounting a variety of lenses, but it will come with a 6mm f1.2 prime and an option for a 6-48mm zoom lens. The camera is rather basic in features, as film cameras usually are - there is a 3.5" flip-out viewfinder and a built-in light meter. The camera features an internal battery, which can be charged via USB and a SD card port for audio recording.
|FILM GAUGE||SUPER 8 ( EXTENDED MAX-8 GATE )|
|FILM LOAD||KODAK CARTRIDGES WITH 50 FT (15 M)|
|SPEED||VARIABLE SPEEDS (9, 12, 18, 24, 25 FPS) ALL WITH CRYSTAL SYNC|
|FOCAL LENGTH||FIXED / 6 MM, 1:1.2 – RICOH LENS (OPTIONAL ZOOM 8-48 MM LENS )|
|FOCUS / APERTURE||MANUAL FOCUS & IRIS|
|VIEW FINDER||3.5" DISPLAY THAT HAS A STANDARD DEFINITION VIDEO INPUT AND SUPPORTS SWIVEL +/- 45 DEGREES|
|BATTERY & CHARGER||INTEGRATED BATTERY AND CHARGER VIA STANDARD USB WALL ADAPTER|
|CONTROL PANEL / SETTINGS|
|CONTROL PANEL||VIA VIEWFINDER 3,5" TFT LCD|
|SETTINGS||VIA JOG WHEEL AS USER INTERFACE|
As with anything pop culture these days, retro is in, and thanks to Kodak, the current generation of young filmmakers, who may have never had a chance to shoot film before, can very soon do so and experience the magic of celluloid.