8mm to dvd questions

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    • #37249

      I am not really sure where this question belongs, but I will try anyhow.

      I am trying to transfer from old 8mm film using an old Canon S400 variable speed projector. I am able to get rid of a lot of the flicker, but it seems like I am losing a lot of color and detail of the film. The detail is there when I project onto my screen, but when I tape onto my camcorder..it loses a lot.

      Any advice on shutter speed, how far away to put the camera.. or anything, anything would be helpful!

      I’ve already gone through one projector belt (which seems to be the same belt size as a water pump which I found at my local retail discount store..go figure) and a bulb. I don’t have much hair left..I am about to give up.

      I am using a Canon ZR60 camcorder. Is that the problem?

    • #164953

      I have encountered the same problem. After months and months of trying to fix this, I farmed the work out to a production house that specializes in this type of transfer. If you are totally committed to this then the only solution is to buy or rent an Elmo machine or similar. I paid these guys about $400 to transfer a ton of 8mm stuff to digital tape and then I edited it the way I wanted it. Well worth the price to preserve a life time of memories. BTW I don’t work for these guys.


      Good luck,


    • #164954

      I did thisonce a couple years back with a Sony Handycam (DCR-DVD201). For the most part I was pleased with the final results, but I ignorantly recorded in “half dv” (because I wanted torecord as much as possible on the mini DVDs) which resulted in a somewhat blurry final product. So that would be my first bit of advice, check your camera to make sure you are capturing “full DV”. I did a little research on your camera to see if this scenario was a possible cause, but I didn’t find anything conclusive.

      I would also look to see if your camera has a “Sharpness” option, and try adjusting that. However, I would assume based on your post that this “loss of detail and color” has not been an issue for you with general usage.

      You didn’t mention how you are verifying the quality of the capture. Could you share with us the method you are using?

      Somewhat related to the previous statement… if you are verifying your results in a video editing application, ensure that you are previewing the footage in the best quality possible. For example, Sony Vegas allows for previewing in “draft”, “preview”, “good”, and “best” (poorest quality to best quality respectively), and all my stuff would look like complete junk if I only previewed it in “draft”.


    • #164955

      I recently tried playing with that. Mine also lost some color and detail, I used a sharpness & color correction filter when I edited the moves and it helped some. But I could never get it to look like the film. To get the full resolution and color I think you will end up having to get sent out. The good transfer companies to frame by frame transfers. So there is no chance of flicker the shot right to a camera or the film is actually scanned.

      Here is how mine turned out. The youtube version is more grainy and has less quality than the original.

    • #164956

      As much as it seems there should be a way, there isn’t. Your first idea of adjusting film speed to minimize flicker illustrates the essence of the problem. Assuming you can somehow work out turning 18fps 8mm into 30fps video, you still have the problem of exposure. One thing that can help is setting your camcorder shutter speed and iris manually, since on auto-exposure, the camcorder is dealing with no light half the time & bright light the other half. But like other responders, I have to tell you that a film chain is required.

      There is no way around it. But a great deal matters on how the film is handled and how the film chain is adjusted. I have friends that are perfectly happy with the transfers done at the drug store. But I’m harder to please. If you have lots of film to transfer, you may want to tray out several vendors before picking one. I know I’m much happier going to a small production company, even though the cost isn’t even close to what drugstores charge. It just depends on how critical you are. Lots & lots of times, inexpensive is quite adequate.

      Good luck with your production.

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