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Old September 27th, 2004, 09:14 AM   #1
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How's this camera (film yes film)

http://www.pro8mm.com/us/cam_frm.htm

I'm seriously considering switching to film for more serious projects (i.e. something I would hope would have a chance for actual theatrical release), and this is sure an attractive price. Seems too good to be true actually. I would be most concerned that it would be too loud to record dialog. I consider this a DV question, because I would still want to edit digitally.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 09:43 AM   #2
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I've looked at these, and several others have commented before.
These are rebuilt, and --In my opinion-- overpriced Beauleu film cameras. You can buy them from a couple of places at cheaper prices- beware of Ebay. The batteries are almost non-existant, but there's a fellow that does mod's for a price.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 11:42 AM   #3
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Thanks. Do you know of any reputable places to buy cameras like these? eBay gives me the willies. I do like that these cameras, which I presume are out of production, are refurbished. Presumably pro8mm is committed to keeping them serviced, and it's nice that they're keeping the things in circulation.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 01:07 PM   #4
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Marco,

A search on google will turn up some sites the resale super 8 cameras. Ebay is not too bad, I've picked up a few that are in good shape.

My advice is to try the local thrift stores and estate sales. Estate sales are especially good, as the grandparents old camera gear sat in the closet for the last thirty years, and is usually inpretty good shape.

I own half a dozen good super 8 camera, and never paid more than $35 dollars for one. You just have to know what you are looking at. Sometimes, a camera will be "Broken"... when all it needs is to have the battery terminals cleaned. But some cameras have seperate batts for their light meters, that are hard to find or out of production. Best to stick with models that run the meter and transport off the same pack. My favorite mid-range cameras are the Minolta's, the Sankyo's and the Elmo's. All solid camera that deliver good images.

I guess what I am saying, is that if you just want to try shooting a little film, pick up one of these for under fifty dollars, buy a roll and do a little experimenting.

Good luck
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Old September 28th, 2004, 01:17 PM   #5
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IMHO I would't think that a super8 film camera is going to give you a better product for theatrical releasel. You're still going to have to blow up to 16 to realease it as most places don't sceen 8mm. It is not great quality film either. Now you could shoot 16mm on their cheaper 16mm cams, but again using something like that I don't think your going to get the quality you're looking for. Those older cameras are rebuilt as someone else pointed out and they are fixed lenses. One of the major benefits to shooting film is the great optical glass lenses that are available. I would recomend you save the money you'd spend on film stock, processing costs, and a film cutter and rent or invest in a mini35 and some decent 35mm film lenses for your DV cam. Just MHO
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Old September 28th, 2004, 01:31 PM   #6
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Marco, I sent you an e-mail.
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Interesting, if true. And interesting anyway.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 01:41 PM   #7
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"...they are fixed lenses."

Are you sure about that? I thought they (the cameras offered by pro8mm) were a standard c-mount. Incidentally, can you use a c-mount lens meant for video on a film camera? I believe 2/3" chips are slightly larger than 16mm, so I wouldn't think it would vignette.

I'm actually strongly leaning towards 16mm, anamorphic if I can find the lenses.

The reason I'm starting to research this is that I have a feeling that it would be more difficult to sell a project shot on any consumer digital format. I know a few get released every year, but if you could say that you had a 16mm master, don't you think that would be a pretty strong selling point?

My plan is to shoot on 16mm, and edit digitally with a cheap telecine. If the movie gets picked up, the buyer can pay the expensive production costs needed to produce a 35mm print. Basically the Mariachi strategy, which still seems just as viable as when Robert Rodriguez did it 10 years ago. If it doesn't get picked up, well, that's life, but I think I can pull this off without mortgaging the house.

Obviously this only makes sense if you've got a really solid feature. For the next year and a half, we're going to continue to shoot most of our projects on miniDV. Depending on how the new HD cams turn out, I may change my mind.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 03:58 PM   #8
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Marco,

In terms of shooting a feature, super 8 is a no go. It will look like , well Super 8, when it is blown up. The only use for it in a feature is as an effect, or as "Super 8 footage" that is part of the story. (There's a list of super 8 footage used in features somewhere.)

Really, this sort of choice requires some serious budget considerations. Take your script and really break it down for budgeting. Don't forget to spend real money on a quality gaffer and grip package. This will be nearly the same regardless of your format. Then do your homework on local rental rates for all of your options, 35mm, 16mm, HD etc. It's important to look for and ask about deals. This summer, the company I worked for did a deal with KODAK on a feature, and bought their old 35mm stock for the price of 16mm. Big savings. Sure, the processing is a little more, but it made a huge difference in the decision.

The problem with posting the question "What format should I shoot in" really lies in the fact that only you know your budget and local rates. So don't expect someone else to crunch the numbers accurately.

Good luck.
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Old October 6th, 2004, 02:17 AM   #9
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Super 8 looks like that grainy Patterson Bigfoot footage. That's not feature film quality. You could use it for effects though as mentioned before..
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Old October 6th, 2004, 07:28 AM   #10
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Apologies for throwing up a misleading link. (I wondered where all that talk about Super 8 was coming from.) I'm only interested in the 16 mm camera at Pro8. I never considered Super 8 for theatrical release. This is a more specific link.

http://www.pro8mm.com/us/cam_frm.htm

I also came across this the other day:

http://www.cameraspro.com/super16.html

I got an e-mail from Pro8 by the way, and they said that they were also planning a Super 16 conversion for their Classic 16 camera. The Cameras Pro site has a link to a place that can do a quality telecine for footage shot with the Ultra conversion for .15 a foot.
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 08:08 AM   #11
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Add up the costs of the 16mm processing, film costs and transfer cost.

I think the package looks good but when you break down by going out and getting a deal from a lab it doesn't.

Never for example pay the rate card price. For example I use Fotokem and I think the rate price for 35mm is like .21 per foot and I pay .12 a foot.

But like someone else said before get a great dp and gaffer because it doesn't matter if you shot 35mm and it looks bad they're not going to buy it either.
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