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Options abound for transferring film to DVD

By David Einstein - San Francisco Chronicle - June 29,2009

Q: I have a lot of 8mm and Super 8 movie film that I'd like to get onto DVDs. What are my options for doing that, and what do you recommend?

A: The world is full of companies that would love to help you. They include local photo stores (although they're a dying breed), and a host of Web sites - each with its own advantages.

For example, videoconversionexperts.com lets you choose the quality level of the digital copies they make (the higher the quality, the higher the cost). Homemoviedepot.com offers a flat rate of $199 for transferring as many reels of film as you can comfortably fit in one of their shipping boxes. And yesvideo.com lets you drop off your film at selected Walgreens, Costco and Rite Aid stores.

It's a good idea to comparison shop if you're going to use a Web-based provider. Not all companies can transfer all film formats (some don't do 16mm, for instance). And pricing can depend on the number of film reels or the number of feet of film - with rates anywhere from 18 cents to 60 cents a foot for a film-quality transfer.

Here's a tip: A 3-inch reel holds 50 feet of 8mm film, 4 inches holds 100 feet, 5 inches 200, 6 inches 300 and 7 inches 400.

This article appeared on page C - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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