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Super 8 Recommendation?


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#1 johnny houston

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 02:24 AM

Hi Everyone, I have been searching/reading this forum, for weeks now. I will be working on a future project that I would like to use a Super 8 Camera. If anyone could please recommend a camera. I would GREATLY appreciate,the help.

Here are some features, I would like to have.

1. Power Supply (AA batteries)
2. Camera w/sound
3. Easy to find, film and process. ( I looked around and, I would have to use a shipping service)
4. Zoom option & Slow motion feature
5. Can be used in low light (in & outdoor, possibly night)
6. Auto expo with maybe manual?

Thanks in advanced any help, would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 John Young

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 07:47 AM

Hi Everyone, I have been searching/reading this forum, for weeks now. I will be working on a future project that I would like to use a Super 8 Camera. If anyone could please recommend a camera. I would GREATLY appreciate,the help.

Here are some features, I would like to have.

1. Power Supply (AA batteries)
2. Camera w/sound
3. Easy to find, film and process. ( I looked around and, I would have to use a shipping service)
4. Zoom option & Slow motion feature
5. Can be used in low light (in & outdoor, possibly night)
6. Auto expo with maybe manual?

Thanks in advanced any help, would be greatly appreciated.


1) Most Super 8 Cameras use some sort of battery, with a lot of those being Double A. The Beaulieu's do NOT use AA sized batteries.
2) If you had really been reading this forum for weeks, you would have seen the three or four posts that state that sound film is no longer made. There are people that have some sound stock, and will most likely sell it to you. I don't mean to be rude. To answer the question, just about everyone that made a super 8 camera that was of any count, has a sound model. Pick a brand, and they will have a sound model somewhere.
3) You can order film from Kodak, and Fuji. You can order film from Pro8mm with developing included in the price (I think). You can send it off and get it developed at a number of places. The Russians make such a thing as a tank from the Lomo brand that will allow you to do home development of your own film, if you want.
4) Most cameras have a zoom. Some cameras have a slow.
5) This will be dependent on your film speed, not the camera. Of course, some lenses are going to be faster than others, and thus more able to record in darker climates.
6) Most have auto exposure, and manual.

From the above requirements:

Canon 814 XL-S (Lots of features) not cheap.
Canon 1014 XL-S CANOSOUND
Nikon R 10 Super (Top of the line camera) but no sound
Nizo 1048 Sound (no slow motion)
Nizo 801 (No sound)

Now, there are cameras that will record optical sound, but I haven't seen that many for sale lately. Of course, then you need an optical sound projector. Your best bet is to record sync-sound with some sort of tape recorder or digital audio recorder. Use a head slate, and everything should be fine (as long as you film at 24fps).

Hope that helps.
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#3 johnny houston

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 01:22 PM

1) Most Super 8 Cameras use some sort of battery, with a lot of those being Double A. The Beaulieu's do NOT use AA sized batteries.
2) If you had really been reading this forum for weeks, you would have seen the three or four posts that state that sound film is no longer made. There are people that have some sound stock, and will most likely sell it to you. I don't mean to be rude. To answer the question, just about everyone that made a super 8 camera that was of any count, has a sound model. Pick a brand, and they will have a sound model somewhere.
3) You can order film from Kodak, and Fuji. You can order film from Pro8mm with developing included in the price (I think). You can send it off and get it developed at a number of places. The Russians make such a thing as a tank from the Lomo brand that will allow you to do home development of your own film, if you want.
4) Most cameras have a zoom. Some cameras have a slow.
5) This will be dependent on your film speed, not the camera. Of course, some lenses are going to be faster than others, and thus more able to record in darker climates.
6) Most have auto exposure, and manual.

From the above requirements:

Canon 814 XL-S (Lots of features) not cheap.
Canon 1014 XL-S CANOSOUND
Nikon R 10 Super (Top of the line camera) but no sound
Nizo 1048 Sound (no slow motion)
Nizo 801 (No sound)

Now, there are cameras that will record optical sound, but I haven't seen that many for sale lately. Of course, then you need an optical sound projector. Your best bet is to record sync-sound with some sort of tape recorder or digital audio recorder. Use a head slate, and everything should be fine (as long as you film at 24fps).

Hope that helps.


I didn't think your reply was rude at all. THANK YOU so much for your recommendations & advice. I will, look into the models, you have listed.
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#4 Steve Phipps

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 05:46 AM

Just add two things:

Nizo 801 (No sound)

The Nizo 801 will require a special light-meter battery, and will not operate solely on AA's. The 801 features manual exposure, but without a light-meter battery, the exposure needle does not appear.

Your best bet is to record sync-sound with some sort of tape recorder or digital audio recorder. Use a head slate, and everything should be fine (as long as you film at 24fps).

I don't like to nit-pick, and I also agree with John's nice post overall. But "sync" means something specific/special. I would modify John's post as:

"Your best bet is to record wild sound tracks with some sort of tape recorder or digital audio recorder. Use a head and tail slate."
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#5 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 11:49 AM

Hi Everyone, I have been searching/reading this forum, for weeks now. I will be working on a future project that I would like to use a Super 8 Camera. If anyone could please recommend a camera. I would GREATLY appreciate,the help.

Here are some features, I would like to have.

1. Power Supply (AA batteries)
2. Camera w/sound
3. Easy to find, film and process. ( I looked around and, I would have to use a shipping service)
4. Zoom option & Slow motion feature
5. Can be used in low light (in & outdoor, possibly night)
6. Auto expo with maybe manual?

Thanks in advanced any help, would be greatly appreciated.


2 and 3 indeed contradict each other. Sound films is rare and only available on aftermarket from old-stock and certainly will run out soon for ever. You likely will get an offer soon for really expensive old stock Ektachrome and Kodachrome with sound. About 17 and 12 years old :)

I have some Kodachromes left too. :) See what I'll do with these the next months/christmas etc.
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#6 Wooda McNiven

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 07:02 PM

If I may add my .02,

I believe the effort to procure a Sound Super 8 camera in good working order AND a sufficient supply of Super 8 sound film will be exceedingly difficult.

Super 8 sound film was discontinued a number of years ago. Yes, you can still find some, and purchase it (usually at hyper-inflated prices) but is it still any good? That's a big unknown. Can you risk that as you shoot your project?

If you must shoot sync sound, I believe shooting double system is the best route. It's more flexible and IMO will cause far less aggravation in the long run.

I am certain The Film Group (TFG) in Wethersfield CT still makes its crystal sync unit. Their website details what cameras can be used.

If this sounds like a viable approach, first research TFG site for the cameras they can work on. And then make sure that the camera you are interested in can still be worked on by repair shops such as Du-all or Spectra. Don't expect old used cameras purchased from ebay or anywhere else (other than a place like Du-all) to be in satisfactory working condition.

Good luck
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#7 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 07:31 AM

The Leicina Special and Canon 1014XLS are very good cameras I have worked with. A sound camera is likely to have a more robust motor than most MOS cameras because it is designed for the higher 24fps shooting speed. I have never worked with a crystal sync super8 camera but know that sync was a problem when we shot without one.
Remember that in a super8 camera the film transport mechanism is not in the camera but in the disposable plastic film cartridge and mechanical tolerances vary too much to assure really constant speed.
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#8 david savetsky

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 02:42 PM

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: I have kodachrome sound film in 50 and 200 ft cartridges
can rent or sell you a sound camera
film and camera guaranteed
you cant produce a sound film more economically
if interested let me know
dave
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#9 johnny houston

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 04:10 AM

Everyone Thanks for your recommendations! It looks like the way to go is a Canon 1014 xl-s.
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