There are 3 basic types of 8mm to DVD transfer machines out there today. Both real-time and frame by frame use a modified projector and camcorder. A real-time 8mm film to DVD transfer runs the film at full speed (16fps for Regular 8 and 18fps for Super 8) or real-time. The film is projected onto a mirror or surface and the camcorder records that surface. You could basically setup a crude real-time transfer system at your home.
A frame by frame 8mm film to DVD process still uses a projector and camcorder but the camcorder is pointed directly at the film and the camcorder captures 1 frame at a time. A frame by frame 8mm film to DVD process will result in video that is about 20-30% better than a real-time 8mm film to DVD process.
The best 8mm film to DVD transfer is done using a professional film scanner. A professional film scanner is made with state of the art components, not a modified projector or camcorder. These scanners typically have the ability to deal with shrunk film or film with sprocket hole damage. A professional film scanner will produce video that is about 30-50% better than a frame by frame 8mm film to DVD process.
This 8mm film to DVD order form will let you compare the options and costs of each type of film transfer.