Super 8 Film

Working With Super 8 Film Offers Creative Options in a Digital World

I have ventured on to eBay a number of times looking for good condition Super 8 film cameras over the past few years. I finally hit the “Buy It Now” button an a Canon 814 AZ in excellent condition. The camera was made from 1966 through 1972. I haven’t researched the serial number to see what year mine was manufactured.

This test was done with two cartridges of film: Kodak Vision 3 50D and 250D color negative film. The film is repackaged and sold by in Beverly Hills California. They offer package deals that combine stock, processing, and digital scanning for one price. I had the film scanned at 4k log color and overscan framing. My post processing consisted of reframing the overscan to fit an HD 1080p frame and applying a Vision 3 color negative LUT, since it is log color, and adjusting chroma and luma accordingly. All post and grading was done in FCP X. There was no correction for gate weave or noise reduction. I tried a sample clip to see how well stabilization worked and FCP X did an excellent job of correcting it. I also tried some noise reduction with NEAT and it does a good job. The results of those two tests can be seen here. (Actually, I did add some digital enhancement to the text in the form of gate weave ;)

My goal for this test was to see the capabilities and limitations of Super 8 in a digital world and whether or not it is something I want to incorporate into my commercial work and options for clients. The consensus is yes, there is a niche for it in specific situations and I’m excited to do more tests and a spec piece to showcase the potential for finished work.

Canon 814 AZ Super 8 Film Camera.
Canon 814 AZ Super 8 Film Camera.