Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

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Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by kuparikettu » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:11 pm

As we all know, from time to time there are discussions about a new super-8 camera and would it be nice if it had this and that feature..
Well, now there is a new discussion on Cinematography.com on a "hypothetical" super-8 camera, which would have these following features:
A newly designed Super-8 camera with widened gate made in aluminum that records sound in license free Ogg vorbis format 48 KHz @ 16bit stereo (CD quality) on a removable SD-CARD, film frame count information is also stored on the SD-CARD as a log file along with the audio to help aid cutting.

Featuring oscillating mirror shutter for the best optical path through the lens towards the film (no glass or filters in between lens and film) when the shutter is closed the image is projected towards an integrated CMOS camera which acts as a digital viewfinder.

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.

It features a build in light meter for easy operation.

The frame rate is programmable from 16fps to 54fps frames pr. second with crystal phase-locked-loop synchronization (Lip sync is fully achieved throughout an entire film).

Remote controllable via WiFi (the camera creates its own hotspot) and is compatible with Android, Iphone and Windows Phone.

Exchangeable lenses via C-Mount.

Viewfinder through the lens (while shutter is closed) via internal camera for use with standard external monitor such as Lilliput etc. (standard NTSC / PAL vide out format)

Phase Advance feature to increment the phase if you want to interlock the camera with a TV or florescent light for example to remove shutter bars typically seen.

The external monitor acts as both viewfinder and camera status display – it shows the following information:
Remaining/Elapsed: feet, frame, meter
Exposure control
Audio VU monitor
System parameters

The camera is firmware upgradable via USB.

It has a mono XLR microphone input with true 48V phantom power and a normal stereo jack 3.5mm line-in and also 3.5mm jack mono microphone-input, there’s also headphone output (3.5mm jack) for monitoring the sound.

Microphone gain and headphone volume is adjustable.
What decidedly is different between this topic and the earlier messages is that the opening poster seems to have done some R&D:
This camera does infact have a true pin registered pressure plate which mechanically interlocks the film during each frame exposure - the pressure plate in the film casette is not used, just like the Merkel camera you have shown a picture of.

Regarding the 200ft film option this is not possible as the camera is designed for the standard kodak casette only so all the mechanics including the camera casing would have to be altered which would not only delay it further but also cost a fortune.

When talking about frame rates the hardware phase locked loop (electronics) can pretty much support anything from 1fps to 500fps with a precision better than 0.1 fps increments - the motor and batteries on the otherhand cannot - I've done lab tests running it at about 80fps to stress test the mechanics this is doable however it's only possible by driving the motor above its specified maximum voltage so from a warranty risk assesment perspective this would be "no go" - we could consider doing special firmwares which did allow this but with a reduced warrenty or alternate motor configuration.
The poster is asking about which features would be important for you. For the original topic, please see http://www.cinematography.com/index.php ... =60409&hl=

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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by nikonr10 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:24 am

You can talk all you want and even maybe dream what you want will never happen ? super 8 film making is over 45 years old ,
abit like girl you never got ! SO many good camera out there use them ! is that not what's it about ,
And if only it has this or that ,

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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by BAC » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:33 am

It seems to me that the only new film cameras that actually make it into production these days are cheap plastic Lomo cameras that are not designed to take good pictures. I have a feeling if a new Super 8 camera came out that's what it would be. Like nikonr10 said, there is a glut of old high quality cameras out there, why do we need something new that will cost 10 or 20 times what you can get used. The same goes for any film format, 35mm, medium format, large format, Polaroid, etc.

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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by Tscan » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:37 am

If i win one of those $150 million powerball/megaball jackpots someday then i will open a factory that makes new super 8 cameras, film stocks, ect... no offense but the topic has been played out declared dead. Ikonoscop contemplated a new DS8 camera many years ago now and it never happened. I don't even think S16 cameras are still being made. Pretty soon, you'll be able to get one for way less than what a hypothetical new S8 camera would cost.
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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by super8man » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:28 am

Does anyone remember the end of Ferris Bueller's Day Off? It's like that.

Hey I love cameras as much or more than MOST people. There are so many options these days to combine both digital imagery and old school cine lenses that I fail to understand the need for a true film-only super 8 camera. It's the story, not the media. A good story will sell no matter what media is used. However, like Samsung's 3D tv "fad" (feel free to laugh out loud, it's OK), this too shall pass. But yeah, I am still laughing over the fad that everyone thought 3D would come roaring back...um, yeah. It's like that.

Reminds me of the singing frog in the box. It comes around and around...and around...
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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by carllooper » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:46 am

I'd buy such a camera. For sure. No issue. How much would I pay?

In the late seventies (or was it early eighties) I purchased a brand new Canon 1014 XLS for about $1000.

In todays prices that would be about $3500 according to this link:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 531AAVr5Zf

Would I pay that? Depends on how well the camera was made. If it was well made I'd certainly consider it.

I'd add to the specs, that some sort of registration mark be printed on the film, ie. at the time of exposure, for example, a little cross hair, in between the sprocket holes. This would be invaluable during film to digital transfer. Instead of relying on sprocket holes as a registration method, the film to digital transfer can use the printed cross hair as a registration mark. The camera can use some sort of micro-lensed laser diode aimed at the area between the sprockets to record the cross hair. The recorded cross hair will effectively establish the exact relationship between the image and the camera, regardless of where the film happens to land on each frame. The transfer locks on to cross hair rather than the sprocket. In other words the function of the sprocket holes in the film would be purely for transport of the film in the camera. The result of this very simple addition would be a completely rock steady result in a digital transfer.

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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by kuparikettu » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:00 pm

There's an almost fully functional prototype(*) with the featureset described in my original post (otherwise it didn't make sense to ask right ^_^) we are currently in the process of filming demo video's with it as well as finalizing the firmware - and believe me there's a truck load of firmware in this thing eventhough the camera itself is mostly mechanical.

(*)=Almost being that we do not have any phone apps ready at the moment, WIFI is working however.
Not bad, eh?

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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by Will2 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:39 pm

I always thought it would be great for a new camera to be developed and you would flash one frame of film with absolute time code (the actual time and day) and possibly even other slate info/meta data whenever the camera starts then have the camera also record digital audio with the same time code for later synchronization in Final Cut or Premiere. That wouldn't require any modification to the cartridge or additional expense in the film.

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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by carllooper » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:28 pm

Will2 wrote:I always thought it would be great for a new camera to be developed and you would flash one frame of film with absolute time code (the actual time and day) and possibly even other slate info/meta data whenever the camera starts then have the camera also record digital audio with the same time code for later synchronization in Final Cut or Premiere. That wouldn't require any modification to the cartridge or additional expense in the film.
Yeah - cool idea.

I'm quite excited about this project. It gets away from the ludicrous idea that some graphic designer's vision is all that's required to sell through a film camera. Instead the project has been put forward in terms of the actual physics that might be desireable. No fancy pictures are provided - and that's a refreshing start. That is the very last thing that would sell a film camera. Indeed fancy glossy pictures would suggest nothing more than a day dream. What concerns a filmmaker is not how well the camera might go with their fashion sense, but how well it is engineered. And that's how they are pitching it. That's how they should pitch it. Look and feel are important of course but it's the least important.

I mentioned this on cinematography.com, and that is if this particular project wasn't already happening (as it seems) that it will eventually happen anyway. Its a no brainer. There will always be a new generation of kids asking themselves, what is this thing called "film" and how can I start playing with it? The cool thing about Super8, compared to 16mm (35 etc) is that it's cheap convenient, lightweight and the closest a corresponding new film camera could ever get to the ease-of-use that digital offers, but with the infinitely rich benefits that film provides. If a new film camera was to be made, it makes complete and total sense (and cents) that it should start with Super8.

We all know that similar propositions have been put forward before, and not happened, but the reason the propositions continue to surface is that the central proposition itself is a very good one: a film camera for the digital age. Something the kids can feel happy with.

C
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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by S8 Booster » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:12 am

"Oh spare me please"....

Ever since I joined this forum in '98 or so I have always asked for films, shoots, "trigger happy fools" whatever, but footage to shorten.

But, there has always been "too muxh talk and too littlec action" to quote Elvis.

The last thing needed is a "new" cam.

What "we" need is film material consistance and creative film makers. Cams are there in 8 og 16. Go-shoot-film -film enthusiasts - goddammit.

Have you ever viewfinder "cropped" S8 to 16:9 on the spit? It works beautifully I guarantee.

Tested and verified.

So drop the qnnabee wizz wazz abd ceeate film please.
I am pretty sure I an capable if shootubg giid stuff with my wind up S8 Quarz or R8 Canon and easily get it synced un NLE.

Shoot please.

SOB
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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by carllooper » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:43 am

S8 Booster wrote:But, there has always been "too muxh talk and too littlec action" to quote Elvis. The last thing needed is a "new" cam.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with talk. Elvis is full of rubbish.

Image

Talk is just war by a different means. On a forum there is nothing you can do but talk. That is what forums are for. And once you think about it you'll have no choice but to agree, because the only way to disagree would be to talk.

Image

Why is the last thing we need a new camera?

If I knew how to design and build a Super8 camera I'd do it right now. Today. No problem. Indeed if this project falls through I'd seriously consider talking (yes talking) to engineering setups myself.

Talk is cheap which is precisely why you can't have enough of it. Anything and everything worth doing begins with talk even if just talking to oneself.

The divison between talk and action is purely a function of a division of labour and the politics that necessarily entails. Dirty Harry vs a corrupt State. But ultimately talk must take place between the two, even if that "talk" is by means of a gun,

Image

But that talk must take place even if it's Clint Eastwood talking to himself

Image

Or an orangutang.

Image

The art of film is not just the art of camera work, or lab work, or story telling, and so on. It's also the art of mechanical engineering - something I understand on more of a theoretical level but would love to see and know more on a practical level. Someone making a Super8 camera - how cool is that? It is no less deserving of support than someone who is shooting a film. And if they are serious (and not just having us on) then I'm a 110% behind them. And if the powers that be defeat them - then good on them for trying. Or just thinking about it.

We don't really "need" anything at all. It is what we want or desire that produces the more interesting result.

I personally don't "need" a Super8 camera. Nor does anyone else. There are, as we're taught or teach, plenty of them to find and provide with a new life. I have a perfectly working Leicina Special that does everything I would ever need (and a bunch of other Super8 cameras as well). But what I want or desire (the more I think about it) is also a new film camera: ie. one designed and built for the contemporary universe. Using contemporary mechanics. It would be a way of reworking a particular history to fit the contemporary scene. Instead of retro fitting (as much fun as that also is) it would be proto-fitting. The future as an equally rich 'history'.

This isn't an either/or thing. It is just about making new inter-connections between otherwise polarised disciplines.

But sure, in the meantime, plenty of readily available tech, film stock and orangutangs to fall in love with.

C
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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by super8man » Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:00 am

And around we go again. Nothing will happen with the horrible 1970s cartridge load. The only thing that makes sense is to shoot 16mm. I am still failing to see what super 8 brings to the table in today's terms. GoPro offers size advantage in video. Is there "really" a need for super 8 format camera? Again, why not just use 16mm. And if the film is simply going to be transferred to video (since it does not appear there is a lot of "wishing" for a new PROJECTOR), why not just go all the way and shoot REGULAR 8mm in a Bolex? For, if size of the small super 8 frame is desired, surely the size of regular 8mm must be better and it comes in a double width allowing use, if perforated correctly, of 16mm film. Regular 8mm film is smaller: win; Use standard 16mm filmstocks: win; High quality Bolex cameras readily available with proper pressure plate registration: win; and when you transfer the film to digital, you scan each frame based on the frameline of the image for rock steady registration: win.

No matter how you slice it, regular 8mm is the way to go if any talk of a new camera is going to be taken seriously.
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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by S8 Booster » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:44 am

I would believe that the existing Elmo (cant remember model name) with triple film format backs (S8, Si8, R8) including relatively big R8 mag would be THE cam.

I suspect it to be capable of 16:9 slightly modified in the gate appartment using r8 film.

Can you fill me in on the model name S8man?

Shoot......
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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by carllooper » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:31 am

super8man wrote:And around we go again. Nothing will happen with the horrible 1970s cartridge load. The only thing that makes sense is to shoot 16mm. I am still failing to see what super 8 brings to the table in today's terms. GoPro offers size advantage in video. Is there "really" a need for super 8 format camera? Again, why not just use 16mm. And if the film is simply going to be transferred to video (since it does not appear there is a lot of "wishing" for a new PROJECTOR), why not just go all the way and shoot REGULAR 8mm in a Bolex? For, if size of the small super 8 frame is desired, surely the size of regular 8mm must be better and it comes in a double width allowing use, if perforated correctly, of 16mm film. Regular 8mm film is smaller: win; Use standard 16mm filmstocks: win; High quality Bolex cameras readily available with proper pressure plate registration: win; and when you transfer the film to digital, you scan each frame based on the frameline of the image for rock steady registration: win.

No matter how you slice it, regular 8mm is the way to go if any talk of a new camera is going to be taken seriously.
Yes I guess we've all been here before, but it just seems to me that someone making a camera, whatever format, is just as interesting someone making a film. Or a piano. Or footrest. Or whatever. Why not? They seem to be well into it already, ie. not just a proposition but an evolving project. If it happens to be Super8 that's their decision. I'd be happy to see the results if it was a 2mm camera. I'm just interested in the idea of it. Someone making a camera - even if it were just a one off raw metal box.

On the other hand, Super8 has a similar appeal to that of video/digital - ie. the whole convenience thing. Obviously digital is a thousand times more convenient, but if you were to make a film camera, then the closest you could come to the convenience of digital would be a Super8 camera. The original invention of Super8 is at the same time that video is maturing. It was aimed at being as convenient as video without actually being video.

And with today's datacines, Super8 can look pretty damned good. Certainly not as good as 16mm or 35 etc, but good nevertheless and it will get better.

If news camera crews of the 1970s had the datacines of today they would have swapped to Super8 no problem. Of course if the 1970s had the datacines of today they would have also had the digital cameras of today but I'm speaking metaphysically.

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Re: Discussions about a hypothetical new S-8 camera

Post by kuparikettu » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:37 am

Not to mention that this camera is going to have its own pressure plate and is pin registered. Sure, super-8 plastic cartridge design is horrible, but this camera might be the thing that is able to circumvent the worst problems while still retaining the good things: convenience and the larger super-8 film area. Not to mention the new convenience with sound. A real gem for those wishing to either shoot home film or some run and gun documentary (Mono XLR input with phantom 48V!).

So if this isn't just a very clever joke but the real deal I certainly hope I'll find somehow the money to buy it :)

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