Kodak Super 8 Camera Revived – At More than 10 Times Its Original Price, Will It Finally Arrive?

Kodak Super 8 Camera Revived - At More than 10 Times Its Original Price, Will It Finally Arrive?

Seven years is a long time in the film industry. Most product lines will see more than one generational shift within such a time frame. Evolutions take place and revolutions might occur. This isn’t quite the case for the mysterious Kodak Super 8, a camera announced back In 2016 and yet to be available for purchase.

Kodak has recently launched a preorder (of sorts) for its eternally developed Super 8 camera. The dedicated website lets you sign up to purchase the camera sometime in the future. It also specifies its most notable abilities, accessories included, with some sample footage. At this point, it’s hard to say anything decisive about the chances of the Kodak Super 8 ever seeing the light of retail, but at least there’s still some spark of life to cling to.

A different kind of hybrid – what is the Kodak Super 8 camera exactly?

Some aspects have changed since its 2016 announcement, but most core features remain. The Kodak Super 8 is an analog Super 8 camera with a digital twist. It uses 50ft cartridges of Super 8 film as its only visual recording medium. Omitting the audio channel on the Super 8 film, the camera uses an extended 14:9 gate, allowing for an 11% larger image than traditional S8 cameras. On the initial model, audio was recorded on a separate SD card. The camera supported an included mic that could detach from the top handle, vacating a 3.5mm jack that would then be used by other microphones. It seems as if the new iteration omitted it completely, as Kodak mentioned nothing about it, and it is not shown in the latest images.

Kodak Super 8, 6mm f/1.2 lens and pistol grip. Image credit: Kodak

The video side of things is even more interesting. As one may guess by its name (and related hype), the Kodak Super 8 camera is an analog device. The camera can only record video on a Super 8 roll. Alas – monitoring is done through a 4″ LCD getting its feed from a sensor. Though Kodak doesn’t specify the actual procedure, the light coming through the lens is split in one way or another, enabling excellent monitoring and control. Various shooting angles are now possible once the optical viewfinder no longer poses any constraint.

Kodak Super 8 modern operating system on a “vintage” camera. Image credit: Kodak

What’s in the box

The Kodak Super 8 is bundled with a kit that will let you start shooting on arrival. It includes a pelican case, a C-mount 6mm f/1.2 lens, a pistol grip with Micro USB charging cables, a USB power adapter, a cleaning cloth, and one KODAK TRI-X Black & White Reversal Film 7266 cartridge. Seems pretty generous, but wait until you hear about the price…

Kodak Super 8 kit. Image credit: Kodak

Price and availability

As of writing, we know very little about camera availability. Should you sign up to buy the camera, you’ll be given a choice of delivery time ranging from “ASAP” to “2025”. The camera is also listed at B&H, with no further details. However, no firm deadline is set. As for the price, the initial estimate in 2016 hovered around $400. By 2018, that amount had multiplied by about 5, reaching an estimated range of $2500-$3000, and today it peaked. The KODAK Super 8 Camera MSRP is set to $5,495. At launch (2016), Kodak planned a film development and scanning service. No details about any current option, but one must take the cost of the analog workflow into consideration.

Kodak Super 8 battery and film cartridge. Image credit: Kodak

Who is it for?

Ignoring the rather steep price tag, a Super 8 camera with a modern control scheme may appeal to a relatively wide audience. The C-mount will surely help get the vintage look with a plethora of affordable optics. However, this is hardly the case with a $5,495 camera. As Kodak no longer mentions any develop/scan service and no audio recording, I could hardly recommend this camera over various other vintage options. This price range could also get you a (very) good digital set with RAW capabilities that might allow some nice analog filters in post.

Have you been waiting for the Kodak Super 8 since 2016? Do you think it will actually hit the shelves this time? And what about the price? Let us know in the comments.


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