Should I transfer my Super 8 film to HD?

April 19th, 2010

Super 8 film has about 800 to 900 lines of resolution. A HD scan of your Super 8 film will capture 100% of the details from the film. An Super 8 film to DVD transfer will only capture about 60% (480 of 800-900 lines) of the details from your film.

But, there are different ways to perform an Super 8 film HD transfer which can make a huge difference. There is a real-time HD process, a frame by frame HD process and a professional 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. Because it uses a projector and 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 and projector but it 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 Super 8 HD process uses a professional motion picture film scanner. The film is scanned using equipment like 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.

If you are looking for the very best quality film transfer, look for a film transfer company that uses a motion picture film scanner to scan your Super 8 film.