Digital Creative Blog Articles

Next Level Movie Film Scans

Advent Digitizing announces up to "4K" Frame-By-Frame Home Movie Film Scans

By Steve Puffenberger on
Topics: Movie Film
Next Level Movie Film Scans

Advent Digitizing is proud to announce the addition of a RetroScan Mark II film transfer machine. This unique, made-in-USA, device transfers 8mm, Super 8mm and 16mm movie film at up to 2K resolution in real time, frame-by-frame, without a traditional projector mechanism.

It’s a copystand for movie film.

And coming in 2023, an upgrade will enable full "4K*" scans for maximum data capture.

Instead of a typical projector mechanism which stops a frame of film in front of the lens 15, 18 or 24 times a second, this machine features an optical sensor that triggers a high speed camera to take a full size photo of each frame of film as it smoothly passes by. Nothing drags on the surface area of the film. There are no sprockets or claws that pull the film through the gate. There’s no risk of jamming or breakage from torn sprocket holes, bad splices or damaged film. There is no film gate that can collect dust, and no sharp film paths that can scratch film. And there's no synchronization issues between the film frame rate and video.

In short, this machine is more gentle to your precioius film than any other film transfer device - which is why we bought it.

It shoots frame-by-frame, meaning there’s a digital photo made of each frame of film. Those frames are exported to a "source" video file, and then transcoded to a "release" file delivered on a flash drive or portable hard drive. With some frame-by-frame systems you get faster-than-normal speed when it’s played back at video’s 30 frames per second. Not so here. We set the frame rate at the exact speed the camera shot it, so you get true motion, as it was filmed.

Because there is no gate, we can uniquely expand the field of view to capture ALL of the image on the film.  Most Regular 8 and Super 8 cameras recorded an image area beyond what you see when you project it with a standard projector, or when it’s captured in a 4:3 format. We can capture in 16:9 HD format and see a lot of picture that’s normally cropped off. Below is a raw frame from Regular 8mm footage in 16:9. The 4:3 crop is indicated by the yellow dashed line. When finished we'll apply a little crop to hide the sprocket hole, yielding a much more pleasant look on a widescreen TV.

And if your film has sound, no problem. We can transfer optical sound from 16mm and Super 8mm, and magnetic stripe sound on Super 8. You get high quality HD or 2K footage along with synchronized sound.

As with all of Advent Digitizing transfers, you get an MP4 video file of each reel that can be played on your favorite media player or TV, or uploaded to your favorite video sharing service. And we can provide you with the source files if you would like to edit in the future or be prepared for the next modern codec. The source files are HUGE, and now we have AVI, MOV or individual JPEG image options. The only extra cost for the source files is for the extra storage required - but even that can be free if you supply your own drive.

Do your films have sound? We can handle Super 8mm or 16mm sound films. The "Box" outfits can't. Learn more here.

When you’re ready for the next level of 8mm, Super 8 mm or 16mm home movie film transfers, Advent Digitizing is the place to go.

Get a free quote now!

*"4K" capture scans the movie film's 4:3 aspect frames at the vertical resolution of a UHD-4K video frame (3840x2160 pixels). We can place the 4:3 picture in a 4K UHD frame at full resolution with pillarbox black bars on the sides of the 4K frame.