Retro things aren’t just for moustachioed unicycle riders who play the zither anymore — they can also be for you, aspiring filmmakers! In one of the stranger yet coolest bits of tech news recently, Kodak, once the leader in film stock (you remember, they used to have a big theater in L.A. named after them), has announced a new Super-8 film camera that’s also somehow a digital one, too. It’s the melding of two worlds!
Wednesday at CES, Kodak announced the product—made in conjunction with industrial designer and Jawbone COO Yves Behar—would be a throwback to the kind of movie cameras on which kids everywhere made their own monster movies at home, including some of today’s biggest directors. But with a nod to how everything happens in the modern world in which we live now, the new camera will have a digital viewfinder, integrated microphone, and connectivity options like USB and SD card slots. BUT it’ll also require Kodak film cartridges for shooting purposes, with the ability to either “print” your movie digitally, or create an actual piece of 8mm film you can put in a projector. You know, that thing you have just lying around.
With film being on its way out for an increasing number of directors, almost all movie theaters converting to digital projectors, and the ease with which any ol’ Joe Personwithacamera can make things and immediately upload them to the internet, such Super-8 processes might seem counterintuitive. But if you’ve seen something projected on film recently, you’ll know there’s still a rich texture to the format that digital hasn’t been able to replicate.
Don’t think this’ll be a cheap hobby, though: it’s reported the cameras will cost anywhere between $450 and $700 and each film cartridge setting you back $50-$75. But, it’ll probably be cool, so what’s money?
Do you think this is a gasp at relevance for Kodak or will melding digital and film revolutionize homemade movie technology? Let us know in the comments below!
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. He might make a movie with this camera; give him ideas on Twitter!