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#1 ken wood

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 11:07 AM

I posted this as a reply to Tom Doolittle's post.
Maybe this idea has been tossed around before in this forum.
It's always interesting to think about the possibilities, especially when so much digital crap is comeing out every day. If we could just glue some it into what we want....


I have been thinking about the new Super8 possibilities for some time now. Most of the R&D has already been done by the Sony's and the Panasonic's of digital world. And, Nikon and Conon have done great things with the electronics in the SLR world.
It seems to me the only design work would be the packaging and software. In today's digital manufacturing climate most of this is done sitting at the computer doing cad.
I doubt that there would be a marketing problem. Just let it be known that "we have this new S8 product for sale".
I have to believe that some company out there has lots of capital but needs a product.
Ideas that come to mind
* a SLR with a Super 8 back. (Nikon has or had a SLR with a digital back)
* OEM parts from Nikon, Canon, et al to come up a new S8 using off the shelf components.
* Choose a Nikon mount or a Canon mount make everyone happy with great lens choices.
* Design a variable shutter, probably the only R&D to be done.
* Choose from scores of great new motors.
* Battery choices galore.
* Battery management from the laptop world.
* LCD coupled with TTL

I gotta have one of these.
No, we don't want it to be a cell phone too!

Cost: I'm guessing a prosumer version $2500 pro version @ $3500.
What would you pay and when would you place your order?
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#2 Matthew Buick

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 05:27 PM

I hear ya, BIG TIME.
It would be great if someone would make one, but I suppose $2500+ is too much for most to pay, but if you do it yourself please give me one. :D
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#3 Tom Doolittle

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 07:04 PM

I hear ya, BIG TIME.
It would be great if someone would make one, but I suppose $2500+ is too much for most to pay, but if you do it yourself please give me one. :D



I don't think $2500 is too much. Price something like this at or just below the prosumer camcorders and you'll have all sorts of people on the fence about using modern Super 8 for comercial production. Make it simple, robust, and geared towards the folks making TV ads and music videos and I think you'd find yourself supported by a good size niche market. The average consumer would never opt for the Super 8 camera, but someone shooting TV spots or making indie films would certainly weigh it's pros and cons against currently available video cameras before making a purchase, assuming it was well sorted and performed as well as we hope it would.

For the purchaser of such a camera, what's the worst that could happen? Super 8 film discontinued in five years? Big deal. No different than a $2500 video cam that is totally outdated in that same time period.

TD

...or are we just reinventing the Super 16 cameras already out there?

TD
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#4 Victor Mejia

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 08:04 PM

I've been thinking about the state of super8 filmmaking too and it seems to me that the next step in the (re-)evolution of super8 will have to be the manufacture of new, modern, digitized cameras. Although cameras like Beaulieu and Leicina are superb in terms of lenses, they are quite archaic when compared to the digitized features of consumer/prosumer miniDV cameras (lcd screens, timecode, adjustable viewfinders, digital counters, etc.--and this technology is CHEAP now! A super8 camera that combines digitial, modern features shouldn't cost more than $1500.
Victor
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#5 John Adolfi

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 09:21 PM

Count me in. I'll take the first one. $1500-$3500 No problem.
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#6 Chris Burke

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 09:31 PM

Count me in. I'll take the first one. $1500-$3500 No problem.




thought a lot about this very thing lately. I would suggest that the pro version have a PL mount or have it so one could be attached. This would definitely play to the hippster commercial shooter/ music "video" crowd.


I'm in.

$2000 to $3500 sounds about right



Maybe Aaton would give it a go.
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#7 Film Idaho

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 09:40 PM

Wow that would be amazing! I would be on that list as well! I think Aaton or Kodak could get the job done. Please lord please.

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#8 Matthew Buick

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 08:07 AM

Looking on it now $2500 - $3500 seems about right considering all those gadgets, imagine if ARRI of Panavision would make it. OK maybe not Panavision, getting a bit dreamy now.
But seriously, now there seems to be a market, maybe someone should make a petition for people who want one to sign and maybe share ideas for the new camera.

My Idea: Something in the camera that allows it to read simcard style chips in the cartridge instead of ASA notches, the chip could also tell you how many frames have already been used and stuff like that.

It should be aesthetically pleasing too perhaps, designed like an ARRI 416 or Digital Betacam, so it looks like what the target market are used to, or always wanted.

You can count me in, I should be able to afford it when I'm 18 (I'm 15 now).

So quoting Film Idaho, please lord please.
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#9 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 11:13 AM

Super-8 film is available from Kodak. But your best hope for new camera designs would be a camera manufacturer like Aaton, or perhaps Arriflex. As you know, both manufacturers have been active in camera innovation for the Super-16 format.
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#10 John Adolfi

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 11:44 AM

I just e-mailed Volker Bahnemann, President of Arri New York and welcomed him to the site and discussion.
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#11 Tom Doolittle

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 02:01 PM

To play the devil's advocate here:

We already have great S16 cameras on the market. S8 will never equal it in terms of picture quality, just too darn small. So what, exactly, would be the benefit of a new Super 8 camera? Would it be cost? If so, the sort of features we are thinking about would be no less expensive to to engineer and manufacture for 8mm than they currently are for a new 16mm camera. Last time I checked a new Arriflex was selling for a lot more than $3000.

Lets discuss the potential benefits of a new Super 8 camera before we get too worked up about how "cool" it would be to see one on the market. There has to be a real, quantifiable benefit to any new product, not to mention a monetary benefit to the people who would build it.

Consider these questions...

If a production (big or small) intends to use film, why would they choose 8mm over 16 or 35?

Is there (or could there be) a market for S8 images? Where might they be used? TV? Mobile phones? Commercials? Art films? Indie films?

How big IS the potential market for a new S8 cam, and of that number what percentage are likely to actually buy one?

How many rolls of film would Kodak need to sell to justify any new investments in filmstock, cartridge improvements, etc?



There are many more such questions that would need to be seriously looked at before any company would invest one dime into the development of a new camera. If we can help them answer those questions in an honest way, and make our wants and needs known to them, then perhaps someday we really will have that opportunity to spend our hard-earned $2999 on a brand-spanking new professional-level S8 cam.

TD
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#12 Victor Mejia

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 03:41 PM

To play the devil's advocate here:

We already have great S16 cameras on the market. S8 will never equal it in terms of picture quality, just too darn small. So what, exactly, would be the benefit of a new Super 8 camera? Would it be cost? If so, the sort of features we are thinking about would be no less expensive to to engineer and manufacture for 8mm than they currently are for a new 16mm camera. Last time I checked a new Arriflex was selling for a lot more than $3000.

Lets discuss the potential benefits of a new Super 8 camera before we get too worked up about how "cool" it would be to see one on the market. There has to be a real, quantifiable benefit to any new product, not to mention a monetary benefit to the people who would build it.

Consider these questions...

If a production (big or small) intends to use film, why would they choose 8mm over 16 or 35?

Is there (or could there be) a market for S8 images? Where might they be used? TV? Mobile phones? Commercials? Art films? Indie films?

How big IS the potential market for a new S8 cam, and of that number what percentage are likely to actually buy one?

How many rolls of film would Kodak need to sell to justify any new investments in filmstock, cartridge improvements, etc?
There are many more such questions that would need to be seriously looked at before any company would invest one dime into the development of a new camera. If we can help them answer those questions in an honest way, and make our wants and needs known to them, then perhaps someday we really will have that opportunity to spend our hard-earned $2999 on a brand-spanking new professional-level S8 cam.

TD


There's obviously a market for super8, otherwise Kodak and Fuji wouldn't be producing film stock in that format. If super8 is going to continue to evolve, then new cameras need to be manufactured. I just don't see how super8 will survive without new cameras. Shooting with old, used, archaic equipment will eventually kill super8 unless new cameras are manufactured.
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#13 Tom Doolittle

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 04:06 PM

There's obviously a market for super8...


I agree that there exists a market, but is it big enough to justify the enormous development costs for a brand new camera? I like to think so, but how do convince a manufacturer of that?

The old cameras will wear out, but there is a big difference between the $40 used cameras people are using today and a $3000 new camera. Somebody needs to demonstrate that enough people would buy a new camera to cover all the costs involved, or it will never get off the ground.

That Kodak and Fuji and a handful of processors are still doing business with Super 8 customers says more about the legacy of older technology than anything, meaning the gear we are using today was built well enough to last a long time. The costs associated with developing the format and the gear were absorbed long ago when 8mm was widely used by the average consumer. We are riding the tail end of that wave, and in order for there to be future developments, we (those who would like to see a new camera) need to show that we are large enough in number to support such an effort.

TD

To Aaton: How about an A-Minima with a "Super-Duper 8" gate?

To Kodak: How about 200' reels of single-perf 8mm stock to fit said Aaton?
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#14 Matthew Buick

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 04:52 PM

How about a camera manufactured more basically but incredibly well built, you buy stuff like video assist,
LCD monitors and all that fancy stuff seperately, and generally concentrate on more high quality mechanics
that will still be going strong in 50 years, rather than low life electronics, b likeut you can add them on if you
like.
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#15 Chris Burke

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 12:52 AM

I agree that there exists a market, but is it big enough to justify the enormous development costs for a brand new camera? I like to think so, but how do convince a manufacturer of that?

The old cameras will wear out, but there is a big difference between the $40 used cameras people are using today and a $3000 new camera. Somebody needs to demonstrate that enough people would buy a new camera to cover all the costs involved, or it will never get off the ground.

That Kodak and Fuji and a handful of processors are still doing business with Super 8 customers says more about the legacy of older technology than anything, meaning the gear we are using today was built well enough to last a long time. The costs associated with developing the format and the gear were absorbed long ago when 8mm was widely used by the average consumer. We are riding the tail end of that wave, and in order for there to be future developments, we (those who would like to see a new camera) need to show that we are large enough in number to support such an effort.

TD

To Aaton: How about an A-Minima with a "Super-Duper 8" gate?

To Kodak: How about 200' reels of single-perf 8mm stock to fit said Aaton?



Yes, hear hear! The camera really should come with the new Super Duper/1.58 gate. A sort of cartridge that plugged into the A-Minima or 416. 200 foot cores. Yeah.

chris
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#16 Robert Hughes

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 07:53 PM

The possibility of a new Super 8 camera has been knocked about the boards for years. It ain't gonna happen, for the following reasons:

Working used Super 8 cameras are common as dirt,

Super 8 shooters are cheap. When you can buy a good working used Beaulieu for $500 off eBay, nobody's gonna spend multi $K on a new one,

Anybody with the scratch to buy a new Super 8 camera can afford a good used S16 camera,

Super 8 always was and remains a hobbyist medium. It was never intended for serious production use, and the format can be prettified only so far (with nice German cameras & lenses, etc) before you reach the limits of its capability.
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#17 Matthew Buick

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 08:21 PM

The possibility of a new Super 8 camera has been knocked about the boards for years. It ain't gonna happen


RUBBISH

It's got to happen one day these cameras are beginning to show their age and spares are hard to come by
and expensive, as filmstocks improve over time and the cameras are so archaic people are going to want a up to date replacement, this probably will come around 2020, even professional filmakers are becoming more style consious, I mean, can you imagine in 2020, all that techno crap knocking around on the set of
a Super 8 movie and a 1979 Bauer Microcomputer on the tripod, the benchmark is rising all the time,
sure enough, the Microcomputer is a very nice camera, now, but if new Super 8's come out it's soon gonna look pretty rubbish.

Matthew Buick

Edited by Matthew Buick, 01 July 2006 - 08:22 PM.

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#18 Musclehead

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 08:51 PM

I often read these forums but only respond on rare occasion.

I honestly dont understand the emotion attached to many comments here. I primarily create moving oil paintings (www.oilandplasma.com) and shoot using 16, S8, hdv, and DV. All formats are wonderful. Its like saying what size brush do you want to use?

Super 8 has a beautiful and unique look as do other formats. Isnt it suppose to be that the story should be the primary influence?

Perhaps there is some penis or mm envy through this thread? Guys (not many women here - too bad), its not the size of the film, but how you use it.

With a current work in process, super 8 is THE best asset for my purpose Its soft, with pronounced grain and just perfect.

Mr. Mullins recent comments re: HD vs S16 are pointed and relevent. He doesn't appear to have any agenda. Its only a tool. Use the tool that fits the job. If a better tool is created, use it.
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#19 Musclehead

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 09:18 PM

btw Im not even close to being a new born on this site. Im not sure what happend but the site still recognizes my login from years ago. I guess if you dont use it you really do lose it.
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#20 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 02:12 AM

A new camera would have to address the critical failing of super8 in this 16:9 world, its aspect ratio. Either super duper 8, or a wide frame line level with the sprocket and the image from edge to edge between the sprockets. In either case, a camera alone would be useless without acompanying new transfer gates for telecine. Better still would be a new single 8 camera and droping the overy convoluted film path of the kodapack.
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