8 mm film digitization: why it is worth doing it today

The digitization of films is a technique that allows to transform an analog media into a digital file. Professional laboratories can do this with scanners that acquire each frame of the film and transform them into files:

  • jpg, tiff, png for stills
  • mov or avi for moving pictures

This procedure allow people to watch the original content easily and, if the job is done properly, to freeze the quality of the photo or of video which is otherwise subject to deterioration.

Digitizing home movies

As for the videos, those who recorded VHS cassettes during the 80s and 90s, they would be very lucky if they still can play them, because the audio and the footage of tapes get damaged quickly over time.

Amateur systems like:

  • VHS
  • Video 8
  • Betamax
  • Video 2000

had poor quality and also deteriorate a lot in the years. So, to avoid losing your memories forever, it is better to hurry up and transfer your tapes to digital as soon as possible.

The 8 mm projector Vs the video recorder

One of the first job I did in the 90s was transferring films to tapes.

Doing that meant passing a good quality medium (8mm and super 8 films) into an awful but easy to play one (VHS).

This was made with an artisanal system that involved shooting the picture on the wall lighted by the 8mm projector with a camera, with huge losses of quality:

  • frame deformation
  • reduced definition
  • color distortion

Technology today has improved a lot, but some unprofessional lab still use the shoot the wall with your camera system.

The only reason why people wanted to transform their films into VHS cassettes was the ease with which they could then watch them.

I know most of young people never used a video recorder in their life, and much less a super 8 projector, but believe me playing a videotape was far more simple than:

  • taking the projector from the closet
  • lay out a white screen
  • load the film into the projector
  • watching the footage with a loud playback noise
  • buying a new expensive lamp every 10 hours of playing

So people used to agree to degrade the quality of their home movies in exchange for the convenience with which VCRs allowed the playback. The problem with that kind of transfer was that they turned an analogue medium into another analogue medium, and tapes perish much faster than films, so those who opted for that solution in the 90s today find themselves with VHS tapes that are barely playable.

But nothing is lost for those who kept the original 8mm and super 8 reels.

Digitizing home movies: why it is worth doing it today

It doesn't matter if your 8mm, super 8 or 16mm home movies were shot 40 or even 60 and more years ago.

This footage was created by an American tourist during his holidays to Italy in 1958, digitized with my professional scanner (FilmFabriek HDS+) and restored with Davinci Studio by my Lab:

I'm sure that if it wasn't for the cars, the clothes and the absence of smartphones, it would have been hard to believe that thee film quality belong to something created so many years ago.

The optical resolution of today's professional film scanning devices cannot be overcome by the next technology that will be invented, because their definition is yet higher than that of the original medium: the film. Therefore, by digitizing today, unlike what happened in the past, you will get the best you will ever have.

Only the quality of the restoration software will still increase, thanks to AI. But to start rendering, tomorrow's artificial intelligence will need the good digitization that you can already have today.

This is why it is worth sending now your home movies to a professional lab that can create a stunning video allowing you to easily

  • save
  • enjoy
  • share

your family memories.

Daniele Carrer


The price to digitize and restore your 8 mm, super 8 and 16 mm films in my laboratory is always 4 euros per minute of footage, regardless of the format or the fact that they are mute or sound.

If you want me to work on your home movies, please contact me with this form: