How to Transfer 8mm to a PC

by Rianne Hill Soriano

Long before digital video cameras came out, 8mm film projectors were the means of recording live-action footage. The celluloid used for this type of film production follows the same concept of processing and printing the image like in film photography, except that the 8mm film shoots moving picture and not still photos.

Transfer old 8mm films to your PC through digitizing or importing. Do the transfer on your own and save money.

Buy a projector at a Goodwill store, or on eBay or Amazon. Set up the 8mm film projector inside a room ideal for recording a projected movie. If you are using an old projector, clean it first to avoid accumulation of dirt on the 8mm film once it's played on it.

Set up the white cloth, white board or use the white wall in your chosen room to serve as your movie screen. Remove unwanted light sources coming from the sides and corners of closed windows and doors by covering them with thick cloths or boards. This makes the room conducive for film projection similar to a regular movie theater.

Set up the video camera for the digital video recording of the 8mm film footage. Place it near the projector to get a similar angle as the original footage. Secure it on a tripod, then plug it to a nearby outlet. Using the battery may risk the recording due to used up power, especially when shooting long hours of continuous video.

Do a test playback and a test recording. Turn off the room light, then press the "Record" button on the camera. Soon after, follow this with the pressing of the film projector's "Play" button. Adjust both the projector's and the camera's height and distance to the screen. Check the focus and brightness and adjust accordingly.

Press the "Stop" button for both devices after about 20 seconds, then view the footage on the camera. Make further adjustments if necessary.

Begin the actual recording by pressing "Record" button on the camera, then the "Play" button on the projector.

Press the "Stop" button on both the projector and camera after the official recording.

Connect the camera to the PC using a USB cable for digitizing of the video.

Open a video-editing program and choose the "Capture" or "Import" button, which is usually found under the "File" menu. Confirm the capture or import process to acquire the footage. If you used a camera that already records the footage in file format, simply drag and drop or copy the files from the storage device of your camera to the PC.

Items you will need

About the Author

Rianne Hill Soriano is a freelance artist/writer/educator. Her diverse work experiences include projects in the Philippines, Korea and United States. For more than six years she has written about films, travel, food, fashion, culture and other topics on websites including Yahoo!, Yehey! and Herword. She also co-wrote a book about Asian cinema.

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