It may have taken Kodak the better part of a decade, but its new Super 8 camera is starting to arrive on store shelves.
If you’re curious what to expect from Kodak’s new take on a classic film camera, B&H published a quick five and a half minute video that manages to cram in all there is to know about the Super 8 as well as shows a ton of examples of footage shot with it and what it looks like to use it — information that was scarce in Kodak’s launch announcement last year.
The camera is a fascinating blend of new and old technology. While it still shoots to standard Super 8 film cartridges (including VISION 3, EKTACHROME, and TRI-X and each cartridge contains 50 feet of film, or about three minutes of footage, depending on the frame rate) it also sports a microSD card slot to record audio.
Additionally, it features a vari-angle LCD to access the menu and it also doubles as a viewfinder, allowing filmmakers to pre-visualize shots and see exactly what they’re filming (it works with or without film rolling).
“The viewfinder is based on an integrated video assist system, which means the image coming through the lens is bypassed and then projected onto a frosted ground glass,” B&H explains. “Then [it is] captured with an internal CMOS camera that gets displayed on the LCD. As a result, you’re actually able to see the image and compose your shots via the LCD screen even when there is no film in the camera.”
When not being used as a viewfinder, the LCD can be used to adjust camera settings as well as display a lot of useful information, such as film counter (in feet), scene counter, cartridge number, film type, frame rate, battery status, light meter, volume meter, audio input type, and the status of the microSD card.
Looping back around to the audio recording capability, the Super 8 is designed to sync at 24 and 25 frames per second and to record, filmmakers will need to use either the 3.5mm line in or the 3.5mm mic in. Audio is saved as a .wav file.
The included battery is removable and can keep the camera running for about 10 cartridges, or about 36,000 frames. The battery can be recharged by using the included USB power adapter and microUSB cable and takes about 3.5 hours to go from empty to full.
While it’s a lovely meshing of old and new tech, the Kodak Super 8 Camera isn’t easy to get and it doesn’t come cheap. It’s only available on a wait list (at the time of publication) and will run filmmakers a hefty $5,495 — and that’s before adding in the cost of film cartridges and processing.
Image credits: Kodak