As easy as converting 8mm film to video seems, it is not. There are many factors that make it difficult to achieve a good quality conversion from 8mm film to digital video. First, there is the resolution of the film. 8mm film has between 800 to 1000 lines of resolution. So, your 8mm film must be scanned at 1080 lines at a minimum to get 100% of the 8mm film resolution. Second, the device or sensor being used will also determine the overall quality of the 8mm scan. The better the sensor, the better the scan quality. Third, the ability to restore either original film recording issues or issues from degradation over the decades will also contribute to the overall 8mm film to DVD quality. Lastly, the format you put the conversion on will contribute to the overall quality of the 8mm film to video conversion.
The best 8mm film scanning machines start around $75,000 and go up to $150,000. If you want the best 8mm film to DVD transfer, you need to have your film scanned by a motion picture film scanner to Datacine machine. Having your 8mm film scanned by anything less is like duplicating a photograph by video taping the photo and taking a frame out as a picture. You will only get about 40-50% of the quality that way. That's why we discourage anyone from using a real-time or frame by frame machine to convert their 8mm film to DVD or other digital video formats. The datacine machine have the best sensors and will get the best reproduction from your film. So, this is what we suggest.
With the average age of 8mm film being 60 years you have to consider restoration. Restoration can fix both original recording issues and degradation issues. For example, if the film was shot under or over exposed, an experienced 8mm film to DVD technician can improve but may not be able to fix this type of problem. Most color shifting from degradation can be fixed or improved. Color shifting is a normal aging process. Most 8mm film will color shift blue.
Lastly, format. If you choose to get your 8mm film scanned at 1080 or 1556 lines you should get back at least 1 1080p format. You wouldn't want to order just a DVD which is 480 lines. We offer many different formats for you 8mm film to video transfer. We can convert your 8mm film to DVD, AVI files, Blu-Ray, HD-AVI, ProRes 422 and DPX.
*Quality of film to DVD (8mm film to DVD, super 8 film to DVD) transfer and restoration is dependent upon condition of existing film stock; severely deteriorated original materials may be beyond the reach of even the most sophisticated restoration methods. To learn more, see our 8mm and Super 8 Pro Hollywood Restoration.