This is NOT the camera that Kodak is introducing. This is a Nikon R10. It is Super 8 as well.
In the early 1990's I was commissioned to make a video for a company called, TechWorks. They made computer memory products and they wanted a big, dynamic video to show at MacWorld. We used my favorite model of the moment, a bright script and a transition from grainy, black and white film to saturated BetaCam color video to tell the client's story. We had a lot of fun doing it and the video project was very well received. Even the tagline was fun: "Byte Me!" The ad agency made "Byte Me!" candy bars to give away. It was good, old school marketing.
We wanted the first half of the project to be edgy and contrasty, moving images of a beautiful girl having to work on slow computers because of the lack of affordable memory. Clocks ticked by, screens froze up and our dejected and frustrated actor slumped around and dispassionately drank a lot of coffee. Things were more upbeat in the second half; after the discovery of fast, cheap memory modules!
As the creative director I borrowed from what my film friends were doing at the time and shot the first half in black and white, Super 8 film. We shot a lot of footage with wide and tight shots of everything. We went through probably 20 x 50 foot rolls of film. We had the film developed and transferred onto video tape. We edited from the tape.
The character of the grain and tonality of the film showed through even though this project preceded HD TV by years. I'm still thrilled we shot it this way.
My memory of the R10 (which I still have) was that it worked flawlessly and, as long as you knew your way around an incident light meter you could come away with some really nice material.
We went on to other things and forgot all about trying to shoot on motion picture film after Nikon introduced video-in-our-DSLR cameras with the D90, which was quickly copied by Canon in the 5Dmk2. Well, it seems like nostalgia, hipsterism and sentiment have conspired with Kodak to try and bring back the past.
Just yesterday Kodak announced, at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show), their newest imaging device .... a Super 8 film camera. The genre has been updated a bit to include some digital video help in the finder department, along with some direct sound support, but the camera seems to be pretty bare bones otherwise and the single focal length lens on the front isn't awe inspiring.
The big issue (as always) is price. The price to buy the camera (estimated around $750) and the price to shoot (about $75 per roll for 90 seconds of shooting time --- included development and scan to digital service at Kodak) seem steep for most applications. If you are a working pro looking for an effect, on a paying project I guess that twenty rolls of film with processing will only run you about $1400 but if you are a hobbyist just plain around then it's going to cost you $$$ FOURTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!
I'm looking forward to seeing one of the cameras in the flesh. It may be interesting enough to be worthwhile. But I'm going to guess that sticking six fresh alkaline batteries in the old R10 is going to be at least as interesting and perhaps a bit more effective. I can't blame Kodak for trying and I wish them all the best in this endeavor. Maybe eventually they will get back to re-inventing digital still cameras. Here's a link to Kodak's microsite for this: THE FUTURE OF OLD SCHOOL FILM