Will 8mm Film to DVD transfer allow me to print pictures of frames?

January 27th, 2010

Generally, an 8mm film to DVD transfer will only allow you to watch the DVD or copy the DVD. The video on a DVD is highly compressed. In addition, video on DVD is only 480×720. If you multiple this out, you get 0.34 Megapixels (MP). This means that each frame of video is only 1/3 of a MP. Today’s digital cameras are shooting at 15 to 20 MP per picture. So, 1/3 of one MP is not near enough resolution.

In order to get a decent picture from film you need to transfer the 8mm film to HD video and bring into a video editor. HD video will be 1920×1080 or a frame size of about 1.5 MP. This is about 6 times better quality than a frame from a 8mm film to DVD transfer. You should be able to get decent 4×6 pictures provided the film frame you choose is clear and in focus.

So, if you are looking to print some pictures of your film, have your 8mm film transferred to a HD or 2K (1556 lines) video. Don’t transfer your 8mm film to DVD unless you just want to be able to view it or make copies of it.