December 10, 2013

Meet the Logmar Super 8, the First 8mm Camera Manufactured in over 30 Years

You heard that right. A Danish father/son company, Logmar, has designed the first new 8mm camera model to be made in 30 years. Considering the fact that we recently posted an article about Nolab's concept for a digital Super 8 cartridge that could (hypothetically) one day eliminate the need for film stock in film cameras, this may seem a little ironic. However, with that technology still in its early stages of development, the professional level Logmar Super 8 camera is very real and it's nearly available for those wanting something a more technologically advanced 8mm cam can offer.

With so many low-budget digital options, especially the newly released Digital Bolex, which abides in a similar aesthetic sensibility, the Logmar Super 8 seems like a solution to a problem that no longer exists (unless you love shooting on 8mm film and wanted a new model). However, this Super 8 camera isn't like your grandma's Super 8. It's not only built to be a solid 8mm camera, but to rival professional 16mm cameras as well.

The camera, with a widened gate made in aluminum, has several very impressive new features, one of the biggest being the inclusion of sound. An article from filmkorn lays out how the sound works (as well as the entire camera).

It will record one self-contained, lip-synchronous audio file per take, with the exact date and time of the recording stamped into the file name. After shooting, the camera or the SD card can be connected to a computer, the audio files dragged underneath the digitized film tracks in a video editor (or concatenated for dubbing them onto the soundtrack of Super 8 reels) – that’s it.

The back of the camera houses the 3.5mm stereo line input, headphone jack, 3.5mm mono microphone input, Neutrik XLR, and USB for firmware upgrades, parameter settings, and audio retrieval.

It also features a new film feeding mechanism and control unit with technology that didn't exist when Super 8 cameras were being manufactured, which the team hopes will solve some of the "bounce" issues typical of 8mm filmmaking. Lasse Roedtnes, the son of the father/son team explained this further in a thread on Cinematography.com:

The camera uses standard Kodak film cassettes, however the film is brought out of the cassette and into the widened gate with integrated pressure plate and pin registration, which completely freezes the film during exposure to make sure the bouncing never occurs which is a typical trademark of older super-8 cameras.

Lasse opted for using the Maxon D.C. motor, the same used in the Mars Rover, for the camera, which means that its precision is extremely high (while keeping motor noise low). According to filmkorn, the frame rate can be adjusted in the camera menu down to four decimal places.

Lasse lays out a few key specifications:

  • Build in light meter
  • Programmable frame rates: 16fps to 54fps, including 23.976fps for NTSC compatibility (with crystal phase-locked-loop synchronization)
  • Remote controllable via WiFi: the camera creates its own hotspot and is compatible with Android, iPhone and Windows Phone.
  • Exchangeable lenses via C-Mount
  • External monitor acts as both viewfinder and camera status display
  • Phase Advance feature: to increment the phase if you want to interlock the camera with a TV or fluorescent light for example to remove shutter bars typically seen
  • Firmware upgradable via USB
  • Runs on 7.2V video camera batteries

If things go as plented over at Logmar, the camera should be available in April 2014 at a price of $2,700 to $3,400.

So, is analog back? The answer is -- not exactly. Are indie filmmakers going to start a massive exodus back to film any time soon? Probably not. But, is a new 8mm camera about to hit the market next year for the first time in 30 years? Yes! So, it's back -- in a way. For those who love shooting with film, this is definitely an exciting development!

For a very in-depth description of the specifications of the Logmar Super 8, check out filmkorn's article. It goes into detail on everything, including the unique viewfinder, electronics, and 8mm sprocket design.

What do you think? If you prefer to shoot on film, does the Logmar Super 8 camera seem like something you'd invest in, or are you sticking with your old 8mm cams? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Links:

[via RedShark News]

Your Comment

46 Comments

I have 2 rolls of ektachrome 64 which I really meed to burn. Will be on my canon 518sv though.

What would be really nice would be a telecine unit that scanned super8 at 1920 square pixels wide.

Evrn if it were one of those lomo type devices for the iphone.

December 10, 2013 at 8:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Paul Russell

Sure looks romantic... in the rear view mirror!
2:30 @ 24fps? and you thought SD cards were a pain?
Editing analog with glue or tape!?
Yes I kept my Canon 1014xls as a memento and a paperweight. Maybe a digital Super8 cartridge will find its way inside if it's it goes into production. But I still have Super 8 I haven't edited from the 80s! - Why would you ever spend that kind of money on hardware like this? (unless of course you are an artist /justified!)

December 10, 2013 at 8:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Taras D

Who would spend the money? Probably film enthusiasts and camera rental houses. Professionally Super 8 is still used today for music videos, commercials, PSA's, short films, weddings, and occasionally features.

December 10, 2013 at 11:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Filmfan

True, but if that's the case then I would recommend going 16 or 35 mm - I don't see this making much sense other than a novelty or catering to a specific nostalgia for certain artists. No legitimate artist shot 8 back then without admitting regret of not being able to shoot 16.
Also, all those unicorns, I mean people, you referenced using super 8 now are unlikely to spend almost $3,500 for a super 8 with wi-fi. But of course that is just my opinion. (really I'm not trolling - just adding levity)

December 11, 2013 at 2:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Taras D

You hit the nail right on the head. Super 8 naturally gives a nostalgic look, or even a gritty feel, depending on what you do with it.. The people who made "True Blood" used it for the opening sequence and I know " Argo" had some Super 8 sequences in the beginning. Although it wasn't shot entirely wit the format " Super 8" had some portions shot with it as well( the credit sequence comes to mind). Pro8.com has a whole list of productions that have used it.

I wouldn't sneer entirely at weddings, it's a multi- billion dollar industry and a simple google search will show you people offer super 8 for those who want it.

December 11, 2013 at 6:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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filmfan

and I hope you know Super 8 wasn't shot on Super 8! (ok, now I'm trolling!)

December 11, 2013 at 2:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Taras D

Weddings shot on Super 8 today? I can't believe that! I'm calling out your information source here. The couple would be divorced by the time the reels were back from processing!

December 11, 2013 at 3:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Taras D

This company seems to be doing pretty well. There are probably a lot more too

https://vimeo.com/hellosuper8/videos

December 11, 2013 at 12:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John

Joe Simon is one who comes to mind that I know offers Super 8. It's not at all to my taste, but apparently there are couples who love it.
Why anyone would want their historical moment captured in a format that harks back to the years when your parents were getting married is beyond me, but to each his own...

December 12, 2013 at 11:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brian

Artists will use this – people who value aesthetics over technical issues.

To cite a parallel, there is a small resurgence of electronic music producers (myself included) going back to 8-track and 4-track reel to reel tape recording, vintage studio equipment and archaic sync technology instead of all signing all dancing fully integrated digital workstations. Why? Because it sounds different.

December 11, 2013 at 5:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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yes, it sounds different.
(trying myself to integrate my old mci jh-24..)

but we all know the real reason.

digital is evil and must be destroyed!!

December 11, 2013 at 12:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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ruben huizenga

I'd like to buy your Canon 1014XLS paperweight for ten bucks plus shipping.

December 12, 2013 at 5:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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For sure it's going to be a paperweight in your hands. Not everyone can shoot with one of those. You need to know what you are doing. Good luck with your t2i filmmaker!

January 7, 2016 at 4:52AM

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Ruben arce
Student
504

I have never shot on film, but I would really like to! I might just pick up one of these myself.

December 10, 2013 at 9:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Edward Ornelas

Bring on the digital cartridge instead with Aaton Delta'esque CCD sensor (that looks very Kodak-y).

December 10, 2013 at 11:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Natt

Talk about romantic ideas. Who has skin in the game in your digital scenario? What we'll end up with is hype that could lead to super-8 film being discontinued, followed by the discontinuance of support for the digital version, rendering the cameras and the format parentless.

December 12, 2013 at 5:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Does this come with its own home projector? Like the one from the opening of the "Wonder Years"?

December 11, 2013 at 12:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

I think this is pretty awesome as I still have my Bealieu Super 8mm and an Eclair ACL 16mm. I'm glad they didn't just do some digital imitation super 8mm. 16mm definitely has it's own look as well, which is why I think the digital super 16mm are kind of off target since it doesn't give you that organic grain. But 8mm, that quite a bit tougher than 16mm to emulate on the computer, so just stick to film please if you want that look.

With that said, I'm sure glad for my modern digital super 35mm cameras mainly because I really hated loading and unloading film. I did a few 1 man crew 16mm docs and the workflow is so tough without a crew. I guess that applies more to 16mm than 8mm since Super 8 was in cartridge form.

December 11, 2013 at 1:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene Sung

film and digital images are made in completely different ways…film with light and emulsion…try both and keep film and digital competitive and evolving..I'm in film school in Los Angeles and we found ourselves on sets shooting on film..since then we bought a 35mm camera..that was 200,000 and haven't stopped shooting with it.. the dps here prefer film..it adds a value to a project and a stunning image that will last for many years…and it is cheaper than digital when you are shooting for broadcast t.v. (BREAKING BAD(35MM)BOARDWALK EMPIRE(SUPER16MM) you do have the up front cost..but save a lot on the post…and for me and my buddies film is a discipline that makes you a pro..and if it's important we shoot on film (a big job or for our show reel..it's been the greatest experience for us)
the digital (video) business honors kodak film with it's sincere attempt at imitation but film is so much better cheaper and fast…you shape the image in the camera and that's it…MAGIC! OH THE SMELL OF CELLULOID IN THE MORNING..

December 11, 2013 at 4:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DIO

Shooting on film doesn't make you more "Professional", you're work ethic and skill do. I went to a film school that taught only on film with one course in Digital. That reel did nothing for me except put me in debt. In the 4 years since graduation I've worked on features (2D and 3D), Commercials, Music Videos and T.V. broadcast. Not once as an AC, DP or Operator did I ever work on FILM. It never even came up as an option to the production or producers. Don't get me wrong I learned a lot, picked up some discipline, but in the real world no one cares about that. The only thing that I still use from film school is my light meter and most people just laugh. When ever I measure for focus and pull out a DoF chart on my phone, people laugh. I use a radar based focus tool and pull it on camera or wirelessly. Not once have I had a complaint. When not shooting or AC'ng I provide other services like DIT and onset LUT's or color correction. I can't do that with film nor would I entertain opening up a film lab to make that extra income.

I get that FILM is an aesthetic choice at this point, but lets all be quite honest, you can't pay your bills with that. And producers are looking to cut out as much cost as possible on set. I can only imagine working on a budget shoot with film and the producer feeding us pizza from the "big 3". No thanks, leave the pizza for film school students. I'll continue to hone my craft in a digital realm for the foreseeable future, and on the off chance that I do snag a FILM job I would be proud and ready to do my job, as a "PROFESSIONAL".

December 11, 2013 at 2:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jorge Cayon

Your in a different niche. Your niche is lower budgeted productions. But below you is an even cheaper niche in which creative people figure out how to use film for their music videos, skate board videos, weddings, even low budget horror films.

It's a shame this camera won't do time-exposure. Shooting time-exposure on Super-8 is such a great experience because one can actually look through the viewfinder while the frame is being exposed, something not easily done on either a 16mm or 35mm. Not even sure if it is effectively done in digital in terms of seeing the shot while frame is being exposed.

December 12, 2013 at 5:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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you're, not your..

December 12, 2013 at 5:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Who are you referring to as being lower budget? I wouldn't call two major USA Network shows low budget. 3 VMA winning videos this year alone low budget. A massive 3D movie that grossed over $500 million low budget. I'm not trying to toot my horn here, bud. But to tell someone they are lower budget because they don't shoot film is asinine.

Producers choose to shoot on Epics and Alexa because to them it is easier, faster and saves costs which they can later move around to other departments. Just because people shoot digital doesn't mean it is low budget. Although this sometimes is the case. Look at Skyfall, shot on Alexa and cost over $150 million to make. Film is an aesthetic choice at this point and is actually more expensive than shooting on digital, especially when shooting 35mm. The FedEx bill alone to mail out rushes and dailies would grow into the thousands. That doesn't even factor in lab fees for processing and syncing. Now that Kodak is the only manufacturer to make film, RIP FujiFilm, there is no competition in that market and will only raise prices to justify their costs.

Times change and so does technology. You can either adapt or die like the actors who refused to speak when recorded sound came to the industry.

December 12, 2013 at 9:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jorge Cayon

Except that you can get an excellent Super 16 rig for around that price used....

December 11, 2013 at 9:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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You can, but if you have a need for that kind of gear and want something that isn't 30+ years old, It could be well worth he purchase. Truthfully, I'd like to see them make stuff in a larger gage, like super 16 or even 35mm.

December 11, 2013 at 3:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Bolex16

I love this!
the limitations of small gauge film make it useful for certain types of story telling,
but the limitations of old cameras can be annoying as hell!
(-inconsistent filming speed, dim viewfinders, crappy build quality..)
bring it on!

December 11, 2013 at 12:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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ruben huizenga

Digital 'cartridges' are a joke. Basically, an iPhone image. Never mind that it would be impossible to make that work with old Super8 cameras.

Meanwhile this camera is a reality. It will rival 16mm cameras in regards to features and 8mm is readily available to purchase, shoot, develop and transfer. I shoot 8mm all the time and will be first in line for this baby. Nothing cane fake the 8mm look and with 50D and 200T 8mm stocks you can shoot footage that looks like 16mm from the 90's.

Film needs little niche markets such as this to continue to survive.

December 11, 2013 at 12:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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The Rising

Love this. This is the power of the new manufactoring econmy. Something for everyone. Niche needs are met at a very high level. These guys rock. I want to rent this camera for sure.

December 11, 2013 at 2:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Matthew

"Logmar, HAS designed" not have. Logmar is the name of a singular company, therefore it's a singular noun and gets a singular verb.

December 11, 2013 at 4:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Bobby

I'm really excited about this! Film stock is evolving constantly, and the new Vision3 negatives look incredible in Super 8. I've been working a lot with them and you can manipulate so many different looks out of them. Super 8 is also capable of a lot more creative concepts than digital cameras, since you are in full control of a frame by frame physical image. If I see one more Canon 7D music video this year, with the same bland look and the same 2 camera techniques implemented, i'm going to scream. My super 8 cameras are the best, but I want this for wide screen aspect, sound sync, and rock steady images. If anyone wants to see what Super 8 today is really about, go to my website: www.silentfilmworks.com

December 11, 2013 at 4:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I`m so excited at this camera which will surely be a mega success, just like all the other manufacturers of film cameras...wait...not ONE new 35 or 16mm camera sold worldwide since 2009??? fuji stopped production of cine film stock???? film labs are going bancrupt or just out of business?????

December 12, 2013 at 9:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mariano

They don't need to sell them or the in numbers like the X-box or Canon Rebel. Just 100 or so within a niche that will spend the money. And they will. What most people don't know is that Super 8 has been changing for the better in many ways, and this is just one more benefit. Film services have been be on the decline, but merely downsizing in a different age. The strong holds and DIY technology will continue to provide a choice in analog acquisition. And i'm happy to embrace something totally different in a world where everything is starting to look exactly the same.

December 12, 2013 at 3:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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a few people hating on Super8 here but seriously it's still pretty popular on opening title sequences on TV shoes:
Millenium, True Blood, American Horror Story, Persons of Interest it has a look you just can't quite replicate.
I think the idea of this camera is pointless you can buy a decent canon super8 camera for around $20 on ebay they all work they're like Polaroid cameras very rock solid, the motion film cartridges are still available for around $10-$15 some even come with process-paid.
As great as it looks it's expensive with 3mins footage costing around $100 so unless HBO or SHO are paying you for an opening sequence then it's pricey - oh that $100 goes like this: cartridge, process/development telecine to .MOV etc.

December 12, 2013 at 6:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Sheena Clitorius

Super8 looks like shit. Come on man.

December 12, 2013 at 10:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ben

December 28, 2014 at 1:06PM, Edited December 28, 1:06PM

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Eugenio Garcia
Photographer
78

Name a professional digital video camera that is five years old that is still in demand. That's the basic reason I think it is "assinine" to spit on film. People can pick up a 30 year old film camera and still get a spectacular result.

December 13, 2013 at 5:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I would gladly take that deal. Try finding one for under $200 on Ebay, though.

December 13, 2013 at 1:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jared

Wow...this looks great.

I'm surprised by all the haters...wow...I think they might have less hate if they actually used film.

A couple people brought up how you can get super-16 cameras for the same price...um...yeah, true...but film costs are exponential. 50' of super-8 gives you 2min30sec...50' of super-16 is 1min01sec, 50' of 3-perf super-35 is 44sec...

...and then consider that both the developing and transfering film is done by footage count (that's why it's actually called "footage")...so 16 & 35 cost exponentially more... My 1st 2 shorts and a nearly feature length film were all on super-8, transferred to various (pre-digital) video formats...

Super-8 is the affordable way to learn to shoot film. I've worked with several directors who really want to shoot film (35 or 16), and then back away eventually when they learn how expensive film is...super-8 is definitely a viable option with cameras with all the required pro-features (steady registration, crystal sync, interchangeable lenses, variable frame rates...)

December 20, 2013 at 9:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Daniel Mimura

Oh, yeah, not to mention the video tap. That's another pro feature that's super expensive and super relevant for pro film shoots.

December 20, 2013 at 10:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Daniel Mimura

HA!
$10 may cover the paperweight portion but not the memento part!

December 23, 2013 at 2:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Taras D

Does anyone realize how crappy super 8 actually looks? and16-bit audio, really? I suppose the owners of this are going to mixdown their audio on ADAT machines as well? LOL I guess the old saying still rings true. A fool and his money....

December 24, 2013 at 7:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dan

400ft of super 8 = $100

400ft of 16mm = $170

That's according to vision 3 prices on bhphoto, cheaper films are available, plus recans will drop the 16mm price substantially, much closer to super8 pricing.

Even paying full retail for 16mm, it's well worth the extra $70 to get vastly superior broadcast image quality

Not to mention a decent 16/35mm rig can be had for under $1,500 vs $3,400 for a super 8 camera

Processing won't be that much cheaper for super8 vs 16mm

Novel idea but obsolete before it's even released. If you're bent on using super 8 just grab a cheapo for $20 and use that, once the novelty wears off you can use the $3,380 saved to buy a nice 16 or 35mm rig.

December 25, 2013 at 11:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dan

Sorry, little off, long day today. 400ft would be $160 for super 8. Even more reason to avoid the format due to "cost savings" There isn't really any. 16mm is the way to go and can be done cheaply nowadays.

I'll buy one of these when desperate sellers who got suckered into the hype are trying to hock them on ebay for $100 or best offer.

December 25, 2013 at 11:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dan

I would definately by one of the Logmars if the following features were added.

1): Make an "ordinary movie-camera viewfinder" as there already is a beamsplitter in the camera (as far as I have understood). The video-tap is ok for showing the picture on a monitor under "controlled" situation, but outside in the "wilderness", in bright sun-light, videomonitor is of no use.

2): I would also like to ask the designer to make a 200ft. magazine, and take this in consideration before they start selling the camera. (400 is way too big), With this option, the ones who want it can have it. The ones who don't want/need it, can settle for the 2 mins. 30 sec. cartridge. Then this would be the perfect camera. Then I would definately buy one, or maybe even two. Even with the increased price. (Underwater-housing would make it perfect)

So Danish designers, pls. do.

Kjell Roar, Norway.

January 12, 2014 at 4:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Tony love the site and the shorts you've made, how did you time lapse on the cameras?

February 15, 2014 at 1:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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April 14, 2014 at 9:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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