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Canon's Best Super 8 Cameras

Canon 1014 XL-S Many consider the Canon 1014 XL-S and 814 XL-S to be among the best Super 8 cameras ever made. Introduced in 1979, these were the final top-end cameras marketed by Canon before the market shifted to video in the early 1980s. Both models were similar, differing only in maximum zoom (10x for the 1014 and 8x on the 814) and a few extraneous bells and whistles on the 1014. They can record sound, although Kodak discontinued Super 8 sound cartridges in 1998.

Both cameras use a digital timing circuit that ensures that they run quite close to the indicated filming speed. This is quite a departure from traditional designs that offered not-so-perfect electro-mechanical timing. The lenses are sharp and fast (f/1.4 in both cases), and the viewfinder features excellent split-image focusing like you'd expect to find in a vintage SLR still camera.

The 1014 XL-S typically sells for $100-$200 more than its little brother, but I actually prefer the 814. The smaller lens weighs a bit less and it's not missing any absolutely necessary features.

Canon 1014 XL-S and 814 XL-S Super 8 cameras (Canon Museum)

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