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It's probably been asked a billion times before, but...


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#1 Sven Adrian

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 04:17 AM

Hi everyone,
I'm planning to get my first super 8 camera and I was wondering if you guys had any recommentations.
I need a camera featuring macro and interval timer, and a friend of mine said I'd rather avoid cameras that require extra light meter batteries (like most Braun Nizo's I guess). Well, and of course it shouldn't be too pricey either.
So please enlighten me, which one should I look for: Bauer (may be the 10E), Canon (310XL), Nizo after all (801 macro, 561 macro), or something else?

Thanks alot in advance!
Cheers from Germany,

Sven

Edited by Sven Adrian, 22 February 2007 - 04:18 AM.

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#2 David W Scott

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 12:48 PM

I wouldn't recommend the 310XL. The low-light shooting ability (f/1.0) is a handy trick, but the lens is soft. Plus, it is only 18 fps, doesn't have an interval timer, won't meter most stocks correctly, and doesn't have manual exposure.

It does have Macro, but is very limited -- the viewfinder doesn't let you see the focus, so you have to measure the camera-to-subject distance using the attached handstrap as a tape measure.
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#3 Troy Warr

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 01:26 PM

Hi Sven,

I'm with David on the 310XL - I got one for the 1.0 lens, and it was cool to experiment with but I wouldn't consider it a good camera to grow and learn with.

It may be convenient if you can find a camera with no need for extra light meter batteries, but I don't think that should weight heavily on your decision. I would personally recommend using a separate light meter anyway, maybe something like a Sekonic L-398 - you can usually find a good deal on those on eBay. If you're planning to rely on the camera's meter, you can usually find zinc-air replacement batteries if the old mercury cells are no longer available. Just be careful that the camera you get hasn't had a light meter battery corroding in its compartment for the last 10 years. ;)

I owned a Nizo 116 and an S80, and I really like the Nizo brand. The cameras are built tough (mostly metal and some sturdy plastic) and are precise. The S80 had a good 8x power zoom (though a little slow at f/2.5), decent macro as I recall, a common size filter thread (49mm I think) if you want to add a close-up diopter(s), and good interval control. It also had a few filming speeds up to 54fps.
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#4 Scott Bullock

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 02:04 PM

I've experimented with as many Super 8 cameras as I've been able to get my hands on and the conclusion that I've come to is that it's almost always better to spend a little more money to go with a proven, tried and true camera. I've owned Nizos, Brauns, Sankyos, Bealieus, and many other brands that are too numerous to mention here. The cameras that I've had the most consistency with were the two high-end Canons (814 XL-S, 1014 XL-S) and the two high-end Nikons (R8 and R10). Yes, they are more expensive than most every other camera out there, but when you are holding one in your hands and are viewing the footage that you shot with them, you'll know where that extra money went. A lot of people swear by the Bealieu cameras because of their ability to switch lenses, and certainly many arguments can be made for the use of Bealieu cameras. I owned a Bealieu 4008 ZMII at one time but promptly got rid of it when I realized that the lenses on my Canon 814 XL-S and my Nikon R10 absolutely blew away the Angenieux lens that was on my Bealieu. I also had a lot of success with two different Elmo cameras that I owned, the 612S-XL and the 1012S-XL. Anyway, that's my two cents worth.
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