A New Super 8 Movie Camera!?
By James Grahame
It looks like the world is going to see the first new Super 8 movie camera design in over 20 years. Kinda. Super 8 magazine smallformat reports that Swedish manufacturer Ikonoskop is planning a Double Super 8 version of their compact and affordable A-Cam SP-16 Super 16mm model.
The A-Cam DS8 will offer the same features as its Super 16mm brother, including interchangeable C-Mount lenses (the camera ships with a wide-angle f/1.5 9mm Kinoptic lens), parallel viewfinder, 100 ft film capacity, and microprocessor-synchronized frame rates between 6 and 37.5 frames per second. The camera weighs a mere 1.5 kg complete with lens, batteries and film.
Double Super 8 (DS8) is a hybrid format that uses 16mm wide film to capture Super 8 sized frames. One half of the film is exposed, the reels are flipped, and the other half is shot. The 16mm strip is cut into two 8mm-wide reels after processing.
DS8 has a few major advantages: A 16mm film transport is far more stable than the sometimes jittery plastic Kodak Super 8 cartridge, and the format is far more economical than 16mm since it offers 10 minutes of shooting time per 100 ft reel, versus only 2:46 while shooting 16mm. The processed film has exactly the same dimensions as Super 8, so it is compatible with all Super 8 projectors and video transfer devices.
The main downside is that relatively few film stocks are available in the format, although the word on the street is that at least one small retailer has begun offering Kodak's beautiful Ektachrome 100D reversal film.
Leif Bystrom of Ikonoskop AB in Stockholm has announced that the company needs orders for at least 25 DS8 cameras for the project to make financial sense. As a result, they will build the model if 25 potential customers are willing to make a € 1000 deposit. The DS8 version will carry a list price of € 5,200 (the same as the SP-16) but customers who pre-order will be receive a € 1000 discount.
This looks like a fascinating camera for shooting music videos and indie films. If you're interested in acquiring one of these exclusive devices, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Early adopter for the A-Cam DS8."