Nostalgia is always in, and countless times we’ve seen relics of the past resurrected for modern-day use — vinyl, polaroids, vintage filters.
Now Eastman Kodak is bringing back an old-school film camera: the Super 8, popular for making home movies after it was launched 50 years ago. The photography pioneer, which stoppedselling digital cameras in 2012 after filing bankruptcy, is showcasing an early prototype of the Super 8 at CES.
The revived Super 8 is based on the original’s design, but it won’t be entirely analog, combining classic features with digital functionality. There will be a digital viewfinder, and users who choose Kodak for processing will receive a digital copy of their imagery in addition to an 8mm film to use in projectors, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Kodak stopped making the Super 8 in 1982, and the company wants the camera’s return to come with much more, what Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke describes as “an ecosystem for film.”
“The Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative reaches far beyond the introduction of a new camera,” Kodak said in a statement. “The company has built a roadmap that includes a range of cameras, film development services, post production tools and more.”
Several Hollywood filmmakers have already lauded the initiative, including Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and Christopher Nolan.
“The news that Kodak is enabling the next generation of filmmakers with access to an upgraded and enhanced version of the same analog technology that first made me fall in love with cinematic storytelling is unbelievably exciting,” Nolan said in a statement.
What’s ironic about Kodak’s new endeavor is that trailing behind in digital photography is partly how the company found itself in hot waters. And now it’s throwing it back to analog? We’re sure, however, that people will want to try the new Super 8, especially when Clarke tells the Wall Street Journal that the company’s targeted demographic is film schools, where students don’t always get to experiment with analog footage.
The first of the new Super 8 cameras are expected to roll out in a limited-edition version in fall 2016, and Clarke estimates the units will cost between $400 to $750. He also said to expect a cheaper version in 2017.