Should I transfer my 8mm film to HD or Bluray?

October 20th, 2009

8mm film has about 800 to 1000 lines of resolution. DVD has 480 lines. A HD scan of your 8mm film will capture 100% of the details from the film. An 8mm film to DVD transfer will only capture about 60% of the details from your film.

But, there are different ways to perform an 8mm film HD transfer which can make a huge difference. There is a real-time HD process, a frame by frame HD process and a film scanner HD process. A real-time HD film transfer process uses a HD camcorder and records your film as it goes by in real-time (the same speed it would play on a projector). Because it uses a camcorder in a real-time fashion, this process will produce video that is about 40-50% worse than the film itself.

A frame by frame HD process still uses a HD camcorder but the equipment stops at each frame and the camcorder is used to take a picture of the frame. This produces slightly better quality than a real-time HD film transfer process.

The best process is a HD film scanning process. The film is scanned using a professional broadcast quality film scanner used by the movie studios. An HD film scanner will produce video is that about 30 to 50% better quality than a HD frame by frame process.

Can I post my 8mm film to DVD transfer on the web or youtube?

October 9th, 2009

In general, if you’ve had a 8mm film to DVD transfer done, no, ,you can’t post it on the web or utube. A DVD can only really be viewed or copied. So, instead of doing a 8mm film to DVD transfer, transfer your 8mm film to a format like AVI files. Then you can edit the AVI files and generate a web friendly format like Mpeg4.

In addition, when you transfer your 8mm film to DVD, the DVD comes out at a resolution of 480×720. It is a fixed resolution that can’t be changed. Alternatively, when you transfer your 8mm film to AVI and edit it, you can resize the resolution when you encode it to a format like Mpeg4.

So, if you are interested in a portable or online video of your film, instead of doing a film transfer of your 8mm film to DVD, transfer your 8mm film to AVI so you can edit and produce your own web friendly video. For posting video tape material, we recommend 8mm to AVI or 8mm to DVD if you don’t plan on posting it.