November 19, 2014

The First 8mm Camera Made in over 30 Years Will Be Released in December

Last December we talked about the Logmar 8mm, the first 8mm camera to be manufactured in over 30 years, when it was in its earlier stages of development. Well -- now, she's all grown up and has found herself a suitor.

And who's the lucky fella? 8mm and 16mm film specialists Pro8mm, who are the exclusive North American distributors of Denmark-based Logmar Camera Solutions' Super 8 camera, and they're saying that it'll be available at the end of December. 

A few months ago, Logmar gave a special open house and demonstration at Pro8mm in Burbank, and the day's festivities can be seen in the video below.

If you missed our original post, you might be wondering what all the hubbub's about -- it's just an 8mm film camera after all. You can find a number of them at pretty much every second-hand store for less than $5 -- $15 if they're not broken. (I literally use mine as a paperweight.) Well, the Logmar 8mm film camera is very, very special, not only because it's the first to be manufactured since the 80s, but because it contains tons of technology that didn't exist for 8mm cams 30 years ago -- like sound. Here are some of the key features of the Logmar from Pro8mm's website.

Features

  • Digital viewfinder
  • Variable speed
  • Audio recording on SD
  • Filming history on SD
  • Simple operation
  • Direct film path
  • C-Mount
  • USB upgradeable
  • WIFI remote controllable
  • Video out
  • Advanced trigger options
  • Customizable Feature button
  • NFC Ready
  • Light meter Ready
  • Aluminum body
  • True 48V phantom power
  • Timelapse support
  • Phase advance support
  • 1 year warranty

I'm a huge lover of the vintage aesthetic of 8mm and 16mm film, and the fact that the Logmar has audio recording capabilities makes it all the more attractive to professional filmmakers, especially since its XLR inputs give you the option to use studio grade microphones. So in the end, you get an 8mm camera that is far superior technologically to its predecessors, but still produces that beautiful vintage look. And if you want to know just how beautiful that look can be through the eyes of the Logmar, Friedemann Wachsmuth of filmkorn has shared some test footage he shot on a prototype using a Schneider Optivaron 1.8/6-66mm lens on Kodak Vision 3 50D Film. 

https://vimeo.com/87243287

I unfortunately wasn't able to speak with the lead on the Logmar project over at Pro8mm, but I was told that it should be available by the end of December and will cost somewhere around $5,000 -- quite a bit more expensive than the original $2,700 to $3,400 range they reported last year. 

Be sure to check out Pro8mm to learn more.     

Your Comment

15 Comments

But it is 4k, right?...

I enjoyed shooting 8mm. I wonder if they are also trying to cover 16mm format.

November 21, 2014 at 2:20AM, Edited November 21, 2:20AM

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Edgar More
All
1204

I like this camera. Hopefully there's a way in camera to crop out those fuzzy/rounded edges.

November 21, 2014 at 7:07AM

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K W
388

Oh my. I realize there would be the very very rare instance in which someone's vision would be specific to these extremely narrow aesthetic and it would be wondrous. But for those of us who had to transition between the painful, arduous and outrageously expense 16mm and super 8mm world of the ninnies. This is utterly ridiculous and a hideous testament to the power of misguided nostalgia.
Almost infuriating.

November 21, 2014 at 9:27AM

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sheldon norton
Indie Filmmaker \ In-house Producer at Rogers Comm
83

Uhhh...is that Vision 5203 that's been sitting in the trunk of someone's car since 1997? And I'm assuming that all the dirt and hair and crap in the "gate" is some sort of (ridiculous) effect applied in post, ja?

November 21, 2014 at 9:48AM

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Correction: 8mm cameras 60 years ago did not have sound. But all of those made in the 70's (late 60's) forward had sound which was recorded magnetically on the film strip. In fact some of the most advance 8mm cameras (brands like Canon,Minolta or Beaulieu) not only had sound but also Crystal sync so you could record with an external Nagra recorder and sync up in post. It is an interesting proposition to hybrid up two great technologies, what puzzles me is why their test film is so scratched up.

November 21, 2014 at 9:55AM

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VladBox
Creative
81

What about the film? Is Kodak still making 8mm?

November 21, 2014 at 10:13AM, Edited November 21, 10:13AM

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Why not just add an 8mm effect or filter in post..?? I'm not sold

November 21, 2014 at 10:17AM

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Renée, you might want to edit the article...this is a Super-8 camera. 8mm & Super-8 and different and incompatible formats. People mistakenly refer to the Zapruder film as "super-8"...this is incorrect b/c super-8 wasn't invented until a couple years later. Super -8 has perfs that are oriented differently to allow for a bigger image play.

November 21, 2014 at 12:17PM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2255

"are", not "and"...

November 21, 2014 at 12:18PM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2255

"are" not "and"... And image "plane", not "play". Sorry...damned phone. I wish we could edit comments...

November 21, 2014 at 12:19PM, Edited November 21, 12:19PM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2255

Obviously an elaborate HOAX................

November 21, 2014 at 8:00PM, Edited November 21, 8:00PM

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Colin Slater
Director
93

Let me get this straight. A super 8 camera $5000 vs a (for example) Canon C100 MkII $5499+ a Canon 50mm f1.8 $125 for starters, or any other one of the hundreds of lenses made for an EF mount.
Super 8 film, processing and scan, $118/ 2min:30 sec.
To get what? A film look? Am I missing something?
I was deep into super 8 filmmaking over 40 yrs. ago. As a matter of fact, I was in the process of developing a vertical flatbed editing console, Patent # 4136936, when the betamax revolution began and put an end to my efforts.
Why would anyone, except maybe for nostalgic reasons, want to step back over 40yrs. in time and spend $0.78/ sec just to shoot and get to the point of editing.
What would your shooting ratio be.
I can get up to 2hrs. on a $60 SD card and review it right away.
Please, someone tell me. What is the point of this camera!

November 23, 2014 at 7:02AM, Edited November 23, 7:02AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1011

Agreed. I wonder if anyone is nostalgic for that 1/4" mini tape reel tape recorder with the bottle cap microphone? How about waffle irons that can be used on a coal stove?
And a bottle full of leeches for when you are sick? A quill pen with an inkwell? Spats? Celluloid collars? And don't forget the kerosene lamps.

November 24, 2014 at 5:34PM

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bobspez
Retired unix sys admin
182

I am sorry but I just don't see the point. The sample footage from above is so soft I would not want to use it as dream sequence video in a short for a local film festival. With the alternatives out there for the $5000 price of this camera it is just ridiculous. How much and how long does it take to send out 8mm film to be processed these days?

November 23, 2014 at 5:50PM

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I think the real thing people are trying to capture with this nostalgia is the experience of older films. What's missing is the amazing and unique characters that films were based on. Today we have way too many recycled plots and unlikeable characters. People don't have the deep connection to a film they used to. The grainy film look isn't going to provide that.

November 26, 2014 at 10:47PM, Edited November 26, 10:47PM

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Ryan Gudmunson
Recreational Filmmaker
633