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8mm to digital
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:22 AM
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Default 8mm to digital

Is it readily possible to convert 8mm film (and maybe later on super-8mm film) to a digital copy (computer file, DVD)?

So far what I've seen is shoot the movie on a wall and tape it. That's not for me and I see plenty of companies that do this (for a price).
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:34 AM
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Well, I am NOT an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but other than "shoot on a wall and tape it" the only real option I can see would be to scan the film directly. There do exist what are called "motion picture film scanners" and some models can do 8mm and Super-8mm, but these are quite simply NOT in the home-videographer's budget; a quick google search showed them as being well north of $10,000 US.

Alternately, I'm sure there are companies out there that possess these scanners and offer film conversions to the public, but considering the price of the hardware I'd imagine the services are expensive as well.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:36 AM
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Here's a list explaining conversion options.

I would try to find a company that will scan the film rather than video tape it against a wall.

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Old 12-16-2010, 03:06 AM
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I dunno what equipment you do have, nor have I even used 8mm (haven't even seen the film :P)

If you can play it on something with RCA or S-Video out, you can get video capture devices that connect to your PC via USB. I've got one, for recording VHS (well, anything with rca/s-video out) etc to PC.
Or xbox footage
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:45 AM
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Quoth ApolloSZ View Post
I dunno what equipment you do have, nor have I even used 8mm (haven't even seen the film :P)

If you can play it on something with RCA or S-Video out, you can get video capture devices that connect to your PC via USB. I've got one, for recording VHS (well, anything with rca/s-video out) etc to PC.
Or xbox footage
Most 8mm projectors today pre-date RCA (I think Super-8 started ot be used in the 1960's, 8mm was used until then) plus I don't think there is a way it could have RCA jacks. I do have one of those converters you're talking about (I think it's the Dazzle?). It works great for VHS to digital (just takes a long time!!).

Most of the systems I've seen play the video though a series of lenses that flip the image horizontally and then you take a camcorder and point it to the other side where you record the actual movie.

The "all in one" ones are even this, just more complicated.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8mm_film

My whole concern about this is that I'm looking to purchase some old films (I've found one of Rin Tin Tin from the 1920's) and I'd love to convert them to digital but I'd rather do it myself because I want to have as little risk to the film as possible.

Dave - I've seen those systems too, but I've also seen ones from $1300 and up (you supply the camera) and $3000 and up for all-included. That's still a lot more expensive for a hobbyist, maybe something for the future.
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:15 PM
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I'd think you'd have the least risk going with a reputable company that's used to handling such things, rather than trying to do it yourself.
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:57 AM
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That's very true. There's an 8mm I want on eBay and it's $50 for the 3 reels. I also found one that *might* have what I want that is much cheaper - maybe I'll sue that one to practice.

I have also bought a splicer and I am bidding on a 8mm film editor / personal viewer.

I think it's time some of these films came back to the light of day.
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