A Brand New Super 8 Movie Camera
By James Grahame
I know, it's 2014 and film is supposedly dead and buried. However, thousands of amateur and professional filmmakers still shoot Super 8 film because of its unique look. You can still buy newly manufactured film, but no new cameras have rolled off the assembly line since the early 1980s. That's a problem if you need reliable equipment for professional projects.
Danish/Norwegian company Logmar Camera plans to release a brand new professional Super 8 camera this year. It accepts standard 50 foot Super 8 film cartridges while incorporating some essential modern features such as a digital viewfinder, digital audio recording (remember, modern Super 8 film is silent), digitally controlled variable frame rate (16 to 54 fps), interchangeable lenses, wi-fi remote control and a host of other features that bridge between the film technology of the 1960s and the digital control that filmmakers expect in the 21st century.
The initial production run will be between 25 and 50 units with a target price of € 2,500. While that puts this camera out of reach for casual hobbyists, it should prove popular with motion picture rental companies in large cities and music video producers eager to integrate Super 8 footage into their workflow.
Perhaps the most appealing feature of the design is that they chose not to use the problematic plastic film gate mechanism that's incorporated into every Super 8 cartridge. Instead, the film is looped outside the cartridge and passes over a metal pressure plate behind the gate. This should dramatically improve image stability and avoid the need to resort to image stabilization tools in post production.
While there is still a lot of work to be done before the production version is released, their progress so far looks extremely promising. The next step is the unveiling of the production version at the International Filmbörse in Deidesheim, Germany on April 5-6th, 2014.