How to convert super8 or 8mm to dvd or digital

super8 mm and regular 8mm reel to reels are an optical storage technology developed starting in the 1920s that captured every frame of motion picture as a negative on an 8mm film. super8 being the newer of the two had a few improved over the previous including the ability to store sound as well and capture brighter and more clear footage without a need for a flood light.

The standard way of viewing the footage from these media was to project them on a screen or a wall in dark room.

When VHS and Beta technology were invented, many of the video reels were transferred to VHS or Beta by projecting the video on a screen and capturing the projection using a camcorder.

To this day one of the ways to capture super8 and regular 8mm is by the way of projection and capture using a camera. This method is called Real Time Telecine Transfer. many widgets have been designed to do this including a widget with mirrors inside of it that would redirect the projection from a projector directly to a camera thereby removing the need to project it on a wall.

This a cheap, quick and convenient way of super 8 mm reel to reel transfer.

Some of the negative aspects of using this method were the following:

  • because of the projectors gate, about 15% of the footage around the edges of frame is lost
  • because the frame rate of the film is not known during playback and source light frequency of projector mismatch with scanning rate of the camcorder, often you will get flickering video on the camcorder
  • image stability and smoothness is not there
  • lower resolution video because of capturing off a small screen and enlarging with another  lens
  • hot burning light bulbs that usually burn out quick and expensive to replace

The latest method available that was only available to large corporations and hollywood was a method called frame by frame scanning where by a high resolution scanner scans each frame at high resolution and using software would patch the frames together to form a continuos. 5 years ago the cost of scanning your film using frame by frame technology was prohibitive. Az Audio Visual Services, a company based in Edmonton is one of the few companies in Alberta that can offer the frame by frame scanning of super8 mm and regular 8mm silent film to a digital format at 1080p resolution.

Some of the benefits of this method of scanning is:

  • ability to capture film at high definition as high as 1080p
  • due to bright and cool light LED there is no film burning out
  • image quality is superior
  • 100% of the frame is captured
  • no chance of film damage to due to sprocket less mechanism
  • ability to capture at HD film quality or JPEG image sequences that are ideal for long term archival

Although this method is 10 times slower than real time capture, we at Az Audio Visual Services offer an honest per foot rate that includes everything from video capture to editing, DVD creation and titling. no hidden fees. We will also provide you with digital files that you can archive at no extra charge. Ask one of our reps by calling 1-888-674-1173.

We also offer free pickup and delivery and shipping within the province of Alberta.