Capturing Super 8 With The Amazing Red One Camera
By James Grahame
Our resident retrofood critic Giles Perkins has revealed a "pre-prototype" of what could turn out to be an amazing Super 8mm video transfer system. Matthew Greene is hard at work pairing the Red One Camera with the surprisingly affordable MovieStuff Video Workprinter. The result should be high-resolution single frame capture at up to 30 frames per second. The Red One supports resolutions up to 4K (4092 horizontal pixels), far outstripping the resolution and bit depth of Blu-ray hi-def video (and 8mm film, for that matter).
The MovieStuff Workprinter is a film projector modified to offer frame-by-frame digital capture. Unlike companies who recommend projecting film on the wall and videotaping the result, Moviestuff's equipment digitizes each movie frame sequentially using a digital camcorder connected to a Windows or Macintosh computer. Over 1000 units have been shipped, with prices starting at a mere $1395.
WorkPrinter owners usually mate their equipment with a decent standard definition prosumer camcorder, but Matthew Greene has chosen to integrate the Red One HD camera, which offers cinematic quality at a starting price of under $20,000 - a mere fraction of the price of comparable high-end digital cinema cameras. The Red One is capable of significantly outstripping the resolving power of Super 8 film, enabling HD transfer that captures the magical look and grain of Super 8.
I can't wait to see footage captured with this setup, which brilliantly combines technologies developed four decades apart.
Red One and Super 8mm at last! [onSuper8.org]