Nolab wants to revive old Super 8 cameras with its digital film cassette

by Felix Esser

posted Monday, December 9, 2013 at 2:10 PM EDT


In the past, many attempts have been made at digitalizing old analog photographic gear. First, there was the (e)film by Silicon Film, which was first announced in 1998 and aimed at putting a digital sensor into a 35mm film cartridge. Unfortunately, at that time, technology was nowhere near at being able to realize such a venture, and consequently the company went bust in 2001. Earlier this year, another attemp was stareted at creating a digital film cassette to fit into any analog 35mm camera. The project called DigiPod saw a couple of first prototypes, but failed to be financed via the crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo.

Now, there's a new attempt at creating such a device, albeit this time it's for Super 8 cameras. The project is called Nolab‒quite fittingly, as we find. And this time, it might actually work. What differentiates Nolab from all previous attempts is that it doesn't simply try and put a digital sensor behind an analog shutter. Rather, the Nolab digital Super 8 cassette sports a little digital camera, complete with a custom-made sensor and lens, which records the incoming images off a matte screen and saves them on an SD card as a 720p H.264 video.


Currently, the project is still in early development phase, but according to its creator, a prototype is already in the making. If this project should actually see the light of day, it would be the first successful attempt at creating a digital film cartridge. And with today's technology, we're pretty certain it will. Unfortunately, there's no time frame mentioned, so all we can do is wait and see what happens next. In the meantime, you can check out the project's website here.