Another Super 8 Camera Spotted in the Wild

Shoots film

by James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

As we mentioned last week, the news of Super 8s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Last week it was a digital cartridge that captures footage from an old Super 8 film camera and writes it digitally, now we have a professional grade Super 8 camera that takes the opposite tack. The Logmar Super 8 camera is far more than just an old school analogue film camera.

In fact, with the exception of using typical film exposure to capture your scenes, it’s really a digital camera at heart that just writes in an old fashion.  Here’s what’s under the hood.

Features of the Logmar Super 8 include:

  • pin registration/traditional film gate
  • crystal sync motor
  • built in sound recording
  • video tap function
  • c-mount lenses
  • updatable camera firmware

Though shooting Super 8 film, the Logmar cartridge is more like a film magazine that loops the film out to expose much like a conventional 16mm or 35mm camera.  Along with that, the Logmar has enlarged the film gate in order to expose more to the film, since the logmar records sound separately to an on board SD card.  This enables the camera to expose over areas that would’ve been traditionally reserved for on camera audio via the optical sound stripe. That extra real estate means that shooters can achieve 16:9 widescreen on the 8mm film.  Very cool.

The Logmar records audio with standard microphones and can even provide phantom power.  But the brain of the Logmar is an ARM Cortex 3 processor which manages the audio recording and can have it’s firmware updated as needed. That’s a huge plus.

The audio recorder, like the film gate are both crystal locked, which will enable them to record at the same speed and make syncing up in post a lot easier, but the design does not allow for the audio to be put onto the film since there is no optical recorder.  The video tap enables shooters to add their own LCD screens, as the Logmar doesn’t have an optical viewfinder.  So it’s not very running and gunning friendly.  But it would make a good studio cam.

The camera is powered by standard 7.2 volt camcorder batteries, and also uses C mount lenses, which means that not only can users troll eBay for some good deals on used lenses, but can also look to security cameras, where there’s some very good lenses that can be gotten for a song.

The only real downside is it’s price … the camera is expected to fetch about $2500 Euros, that’s just shy of $3500 US.  Man, I don’t know about that.  When you consider the MSRP of a Blackmagic Cinema Camera is under $2000 now, the Pocket Cinema Camera under $1,000 and DSLRs can even shoot quality video for half that price or greater, I’m not so sure that the Logmar is going to have much of a life in the student or low budget realm. Especially when film processing is equally expensive.  And you can always get that Super 8 film quality with a good plugin at After Effects.  Hell, even the iPhone rockin’ the Super8 app could hold its own.

But it is interesting that a market could conceivably support it.  You can find out more about the Logmar here.

Hat Tip – RSN

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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