The idea of digital film, i.e. a film cartridge that sports a digital sensor, is as old as digital photography. Many attempts have been made at it, none were successful. Still, it seems there’s no giving up it seems, as there’s just been a new attempt at converting old film-based cameras to digital image recording machines. The latest one, dubbed ‘Nolab’, aims at converting Super 8 movie cameras to digital by creating a Super 8 cartridge that sports a digital camera. Sounds crazy, right? But this one actually looks like it could work.
So, why would a digital film cartridge work with Super 8? That’s easy. For one, the Super 8 format is much smaller than 35mm, which means that we don’t need to get a 35mm sensor to work within the confines of an old film camera. Then, Super 8 works with cartridges much bigger than 35mm, so there’s much more space to put all the components in. Finally, this particular concept makes use of a gound glass, from which a small digital camera records the images as a 720p H.264 video stream.
So far, the product is still in development. But that means something–it’s already more that just a concept. For a full breakdown of specs and development status, head over to the project’s website.