Did you know that 8mm film was first introduced by Kodak Eastman all the way back in 1932?

At the time, it was considered a major innovation, making the cost of film more affordable, and reducing processing costs. Remarkably, in the modern digital age, you can still buy 8mm film and cameras.

Most of us, however, have moved on. But what do you do if you want to view or share your old 8mm films?

The good news is that with 8mm film transfer services, it’s possible to convert your 8mm films into digital video formats that can be stored on DVDs, USB Sticks, or in the cloud.

Read on as we take a closer look at what the 8mm film transfer process involves.

What is 8mm Film?

As you might expect from the name, 8mm film is film stock that is 8mm in width.

It was developed in order to reduce the cost of film and film development. 8mm film was designed to replace 16mm film which was the most affordable option at the time, but which was still beyond the reach of many people in terms of affordability. 16mm film was itself introduced as an alternative to the standard 35mm film, which was the most popular format for movies well into the 21st century.

There are two types of films that are 8mm in width. Standard 8mm film, known as Regular 8, and Super 8 film. Super 8 has smaller sprocket holes, so the images that it captures are a little larger than Regular 8.

Both types of films are mostly only for capturing video although in the 70s, a version of Super 8 was introduced that could also capture audio. In order to watch a film captured on 8mm or Super 8 film, you need a suitable projector and something to project the image onto.

How is 8mm Film Transferred?

There are two main methods of capturing a digital version of an 8mm film. It’s important that you understand the differences, as not all film transfer companies are able to offer frame-by-frame conversions.

Real Time

Real time transfer is the simplest option, but does not offer the best quality.

The basic method involves playing back the video onto a projector screen, and recording the film from the screen in real-time as it plays. As you might expect, recording a projected video does not offer the highest quality results. There will usually be significant degradation in the quality of the images.

This method of digitizing old video is actually something many people could do at home if they have a projector and a phone to capture the video. In fact, some smaller film transfer companies will not do much more than this, and still charge you for the service.

Other options for real time transfer include using mirrors and a camera to capture the images from a projector, or transferring the 8mm tape to VHS tape using equipment developed in the 1980s when VHS was the dominant format. This VHS tape is then converted to digital format. Going from one format to another to another means that the quality is significantly reduced.

Frame by Frame

The best way to capture 8mm video in the highest possible quality is to capture each image frame by frame.

This process involves capturing each individual frame of the roll of film one after the other. This is usually done on high-end machines that capture the images directly from the film using a CCD. A CCD is an electronic device that can capture high-quality images, and is the device that captures the images in a digital camera.

In effect, the frame-by-frame method takes a high-resolution photograph of every frame of the film. These individual frames are then combined to create a digital video file. By capturing the images directly rather than from a projector screen or VHS tape, frame-by-frame offers far superior results. It’s even the process used in Hollywood to digitize movies to this day.

If you want to transfer your 8mm film in the highest quality, then you need to find a company that offers a frame-by-frame film transfer service.


The final thing to take into account is the resolution of the digital file.

An 8mm film contains the equivalent of 700 lines of resolution in a digital file. If you capture a film at 480p resolution, which is standard definition quality, then you won’t be capturing all of the detail in the image.

If the film is captured in high definition, however, which is 1080p, then this resolution is higher than the resolution of the 8mm film, so you won’t lose any information.

Of course, even a high definition capture of a poor quality real-time image will still look poor. That’s why if you want a good-quality high definition file, you need to go for frame-by-frame capture.

Are You Looking For High-Quality 8mm Film Transfer?

If you’re looking for high-quality frame-by-frame 8mm film transfer, then you’re in the right place.

Envision Video Services can convert many popular film formats, including 8mm film, Super 8 film, 16mm film, and 9.5mm film. We will transfer your film frame by frame to ensure the highest quality reproduction. All work is done on-site by our highly trained technicians.

You can choose to have your files converted to DVD, Blu-Ray, or digital file formats such as MP4 which can be stored on a USB stick or uploaded to the cloud. It means you can stop worrying about your films deteriorating over time.

Start your order with us today.