Converting Super 8 to a more current digital format and archiving it for the future is probably one of the most important things you can do for your family history. Something this important requires research and comparisons to ensure you are doing the best thing for you and your family. For the most part, the end quality will come from the film scanning equipment used and the restoration done after the scan. These are the two most important factors when converting Super 8 film.
Super 8 film lasts about 50-70 years but starts degrading the day it was taken. Most Super 8 film today is about 45 years old. So, converting your Super 8 before it can’t be converted is an extremely important project you want to put on the top of your list.
Super 8 was used by both amateurs and semi-professionals and is actually still used today by enthusiasts. You can still buy Super 8 film today and have it developed. It is the only amateur film format still being produced today.
Converting Super 8 to digital files, DVD and BluRay is straight forward but is not easy if you are looking for the best quality. There are several ways to convert Super 8 film. There are 2 basic types of machines used to convert Super 8 today. Non-professional and professional. That may seem obvious but companies using the non-professional machines will generally tell you they are professional machines. That’s when it gets complicated. There are a few ways to tell the difference. Non-professional machines use a camcorder and modified projector as the heart of the system. They also cost under $10,000 and they use the sprocket holes to move the film through the machines. Professional machines cost over $70,000, do not use a projector or camcorder and usually do not use the sprocket holes to move the film through the machines.
Converting Super 8 using professional machines will usually result in quality that is 50-70% better compared to non-professional machines. As Richard S mentions in his BBB review, The results are amazing. The service was prompt and the conversion exceeded my expectations and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. I highly recommend them to anyone wanting to preserve their legacy films in a digital format.”