A new Super 8 camera – featuring digital support and 3D printed parts
Logmar, a family business in Aalborg (Denmark), has been working on the design of cine film cameras since 2009. After years of preparation, Logmar introduced this year the first functional production model of a new Super 8 camera, soon to hit the market.
The Logmar camera uses conventional, standardized Super 8 cartridges but otherwise boasts many of the features of a professional camera. In particular, the format’s typical defects were overcome, for example quality losses due to the pressure plate on the cartridge side of the film. In the camera by Logmar, the film is pulled out of the cartridge and runs on rolls as it would in a classic cine camera. Improvements were also made to the register pin.
The viewfinder system is similar to that of the Beaulieu camera, i.e. one looks straight through the optical lens. Additionally, Logmar integrated a mini-camera that displays the viewfinder image on an external LCD monitor. A highly precise, controllable motor and a micro-controller form the heart of the camera. A number of functions can be digitally selected. The camera can even be operated remotely through the use of a Wi-Fi antenna.
Above all, the Super 8’s lack of audio recording capability has been updated through a digital solution. Audio is coded synchronously to the film in high quality and saved on an SD card. After recording, it can be read out by a computer, edited and added to the film as a synchronous soundtrack. An interesting feature is that audio can even be recorded when the camera is not running.
The camera, or more specifically its housing, also offers a range of options in terms of mechanical compatibility. Some of the prototype’s components were made with a 3D printer. The housing features a C mount, which allows the optical lens to be changed and off-the-shelf lenses to be used. Furthermore, a large battery pack can be attached to supply energy.
Optional accessories include an external cartridge feed system that allows for the use of 60-metre rolls of film, prolonging the duration of the film by about 10 minutes when running at 24 fps.
In April 2014, Logmar officially introduced the new camera to the public at the Internationale Filmbörse trade fair in Deidesheim (Germany). However, the most exciting questions posed by the camera’s already large fan base have not yet been answered; when will it be serially produced, when will it be available to buy, and what will it cost? Logmar’s founders, Tommy Madsen and Lasse Roedtnes, revealed only that production is currently being discussed, a crowd-funding campaign is being planned and pre-sales would begin this year.
Images of the camera, technical information and a dedicated forum can be found on the Logmar website.