Kodak is bringing back the Super 8 camera

Image: Steve Calcott/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND
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Vinyl records are making a comeback. So are polaroid pictures. Now, Kodak is hoping to do the same for the Super 8 camera.

The Rochester, New York-based company hasn’t sold any type of camera since 2012—despite once accounting for 90% of camera sales in the US. But at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it will unveil a prototype of a revived Super 8.

Kodak intends to market the device to film schools and hobbyists, according to the Wall Street Journal. CEO Jeff Clark told the Journal that the revived Super 8 will hit the market this autumn priced between $400 and $750.

The device won’t be fully analog. It will come with a digital viewfinder, and users who submit their film to Kodak for processing will also receive a digital copy. Still, some filmmakers could soon be ditching their digital cameras for the warm, vintage look of cheap celluloid.

Super 8 was the most popular format for recording home movies during the sixties and seventies. After the introduction of VHS, which was cheaper than film and required no processing, the format died hard, and was a relic of the past by the time digital video grew popular.

But despite discontinuing the actual cameras in 1982, Kodak continued to manufacture Super 8 film for the format’s remaining loyalists. Second-hand Super 8 cameras on eBay currently sell for between $20 and $40.

Kodak’s re-introduction of the Super 8 marks an unusual turn for the company, which is now a shell of its former self. After filing for bankruptcy four years ago, it sold off most of its units in film and photography. It stopped selling film cameras (paywall) altogether in 2004, and it now makes most of its money in digital printing for corporations.