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Nolab digital film cartridge turns an old Super 8 camera into a modern-day moviemaker

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     (Nolab)

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Got an old Super 8 movie camera lying around? 

Although Kodak, the format’s inventor, has stopped making film for it, a product in development, called the Nolab Digital Super 8, could bring this old-school camera back to the future, by putting a digital film cartridge that turns this old-school device into a digital one.

Of course, there’s no actual film involved. What you have is a 5-megapixel digital sensor, like the ones in digital cameras and camcorders, smartphones, etc. that records video. Compared to the 35mm format, Super 8 cartridges are larger, so there’s more room for components; a Super 8 sensor wouldn’t need to be as big as 35mm, taking less room as well. 

“Combined with a custom glass objective lens, the sensor focuses on a ground glass image plane pressed against the camera’s film gate,” the designer Hayes Urban wrote. The camera records of 720p H.264 video in 4:3 aspect ratio, and footage is stored on an SD card.

Why would you want to utilize an outdated piece of equipment? Same reasons why many people are rediscovering old analog film cameras. Besides nostalgia and novelty, a Super 8 camera was highly desired for cinematography purposes. This digital cartridge lets you use one, minus the hassle of having to develop film. You don’t necessarily get the same film-like quality as you would with actual film, but hey, if you can breathe new life into it in some fashion, why not?

The Nolab isn’t available yet, but the project’s website has details on specs and more info. If development is successful, we bet it would go the crowdfunding route via the likes of Kickstarter or Indiegogo. The Nolab brings to mind a similar project called the Digipod, where it would put a digital sensor into a 35mm film camera.