Kodak Swears It's Not Giving Up On That Digital Super 8 Camera

Last year, one of the coolest things we saw at CES was a mock-up of Kodak's digital Super 8 camera that recorded to actual Super 8 film. We were supposed to get more details in autumn, and the camera was supposed to come out in spring. And then spring came and went and we heard nothing.

All Images: Christina Warren/Gizmodo

But Kodak promises (really truly), that the digital Super 8 is actually real and is actually going to ship. At CES, the company is even showing off working prototypes, with the goal of having limited edition models out in May.

Just like last year, the concept remains incredibly cool. You have a fully analogue film camera that records to Kodak Super 8 cartridges, but with an LCD monitor, an SD card (for recording audio with an external mic) and even an HDMI port for people that want to monitor footage on the big screen.

So what was the hold-up? Kodak promised me it wasn't about manufacturing delays, but that as they heard feedback from potential users, they wanted to add in more features. One of those features is a new scroll wheel that lets you easily choose what speed you want to record you film in the camera and a trigger button on the top for users who want to record while moving quickly. The LCD screen is larger too.

The plan for getting your analogue footage back from Kodak remains the same. You'll send your film cartridges for Kodak and tell them what speed you want it processed. They will digitise it and send it back to you in a resolution and format that you can use in your favourite editing software.

Kodak also announced that it is reviving its colour-reversal Ektachrome film for photograph and motion picture. The new Ektachrome film will work in the new Super 8 camera.

One thing that has changed from last year is the price. The first model that is promised to ship is a special limited edition. It will be limited to about 2000 units and will cost $US2000 ($2744). That's way more than the $US400-$750 ($549-$1029) promised last year. The non-special edition will be available "cheaper", but I very much get the sense that it will cost you an arm and a leg. Though exactly how many limbs remains to be seen - Australian pricing and availability has not been announced.

Seeing a working unit makes me more convinced this product will actually ship, but I'm not holding my breath on that May release target.


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Comments

    Excuse my ignorance, but can someone explain the point of recording digitally to film, rather than just directly to film? Is it just so you can have a digital copy as well as the film? because I would have thought you could just use your phone, or other equally convenient device for that. Haters, please don't hate.

    Last edited 08/01/17 12:45 pm

      From watching behind the scenes on many movies. A lot of directors have shifted to digital because it dramaticlly speeds up processing and editing. Previously you if you recorded in film. Youd have to wait for it to be finished, Then youd have to take the reels and digitize them so they can be edited. Digital also means footage can be sent all over the world to different studios instantly.

      It records directly to film.

      It does not record "digitally to film"

      It uses a digital sensor as the viewfinder eliminating the need for a reflex sight

    I love film but can't see the attraction (apart from fringe old school devotes). If it used 16/32 mm I could see a market but Super 8 is tiny and the lack of detail just doesn't thrill me at all.

    Kodak's bread and butter was film processing. Since the arrival of digital cameras Kodak has lost its main revenue stream. Buy using a tape that needs processing, it seems like they're clinging to life.

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