Looking for the best 16mm Film to DVD film transfer process

July 28th, 2013

Your 16mm film has up to 2K (1556 lines) of resolution. In order to get 100% of the film you need to get a 2K scan. If you just want DVD back then we would suggest a 1080p scan to ensure the DVD looks as good as it can.

Today, there are about 4 different types of 16mm film to DVD film transfer machines. At the low-end we have the real-time 16mm film to DVD machine. It uses a 16mm film projector and a camcorder. As the film plays, the images are bounced off a mirror and recorded by the camcorder. As you can imagine, this is not the best way to digitize your film. But unfortunately this is what you get when you take it to your local camera shop, Walmart, Costco or Walgreens. So, buyer beware!

At the middle-end we have a frame by frame 16mm film to DVD process. In this type of process, the same projector and camcorder are used but the camcorder is pointed right at the film in the projector. As a new frame enters the gate, a sync signal is sent to the camcorder and computer to take a picture of the frame. In this type of 16mm film to DVD process, the results are about 20-30% better than a real-time process. Yes, better than Walmart but not much.

The best 16mm film to DVD film transfer process uses a professional 16mm film scanner or Datacine machine. There are older professional scanners like Rank Cintel but these scanners use technology from the 1980s and can only scan at standard definition resolution. You’ll see a few companies saying they can scan the film at 1080 lines or even 2K or 3K but the fact is these old machines can’t get even close to HD resolution. So, again, buyer beware!

There are a handful of new high definition professional 16mm film scanners. These scanners typically cost over $150,000 each. These professional high definition film scanners provide the best possible 16mm film to DVD quality available.

So, the best 16mm film to DVD company will be using a professional high definition 16mm film scanner for you 16mm film transfer.

16mm 2K Scan

September 1st, 2011

16mm film was and still is a great film format. It was used by Hollywood for decades and some families shot their most cherished memories on 16mm film. 16mm film has between 1500 and 2000 lines of resolution. That’s a good thing. There is a tone of information on 16mm film. About 50-100% more than HD video today.

To get all that information, a 16mm 2K (2048×1556) scan is required. Although an HD scan will produce acceptable results, a 16mm 2K scan is required to truly archive the 16mm film.

That’s why our low-end Pro HD process scans the 16mm film at 2K and then down converts it to HD video. This is a trick Hollywood has been playing on us for years. They have been scanning the film at 2K or 4K and then down converting it to DVD or BluRay to produce amazing looking video. You have so much more information at 2K or 4K that you don’t loose that much visual quality when you down convert to DVD or BluRay.

A 16mm 2K scan will future proof your investment in the transfer. You’ll not only be able to create great looking DVDs or BluRays, you’ll be able to create what ever comes after BluRay. There’s nothing more irritating than spending a lot of money on your film transfer to learn that you are locked into the current format of the day.

In addition, if you are looking for a little Hollywood technology to clean up your film (scratches, dust, dirt, etc.) , we have that also at a fraction of the cost. Our dust busting technology cleans up 95% of the defects on the film.

So, we not only offer a true archiving 16mm 2K scan process but we can clean up your film like a Hollywood movie studio to give you the best possible results at a discount price.