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Super 8 Film Movie Cameras

First manufactured by Kodak in 1965, Super 8 film movie cameras used the Super 8mm motion picture format, replacing the Standard 8mm film format and included film, cameras and projectors .

Super 8mm film cartridges

The first Super 8 cameras were formatted to film at 18 frames per second, but later increased to speeds of 24 seconds per frame. Super 8 film cameras did not need to use Super 8mm film as other film stocks were available that were compatible.

Older 8mm film cameras used film cartridges of 50ft in length, but Kodak produced a 200ft film cartridge as well as sound cartridges but these were discontinued. The development of film cartridges eliminated the need to thread film onto spools. There was no jamming, they were easy to insert and the entire film could be filmed without any interruptions.

The cartridge gave information to the camera about the speed (ASA) of the film, filter information for black and white and precision notices were set on the edge of the cartridge which activated mechanical and in some case electronic switches that were present in most Super8 cameras.

Sound and vision

The original Super 8 film releases were silent but in 1973, sound on a film was released. To produce sound, there was a magnetic soundtrack that was available in larger cartridges that the original to include the sound recording head in the film path.

The Super 8 film camera delivered great image quality and revolutionised the amateur film market. It was cheaper and more convenient than previous movie cameras, but the number of frames on a film was limited, approximately 3 minutes, and the footage was strong in colour but sometimes grainy.

The new Super 8 camera

In January 2016, Kodak announced that it was bringing back the Super 8 film camera. The new version includes digital capabilities combined with analogue features. A new 3.5" digital viewfinder is used for framing shots which are captured on Super 8 Kodak 8mm film in cartridges containing 50ft of film.

A fixed 6mm Ricoh lens, or a 6-48mm zoom lens is available, is on the front of the camera. Other features include a jog wheel user interface, built-in light meter, cartridge detection, exposure control, manual speed/iris setting and battery charging via a USB wall adapter. An LCD display flips out for framing shots and on the rear of the camera are inputs and outputs for audio, a mini-HDMI port, an SD card slot to record audio and a built-in battery that can record 12-15 film cartridges.

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