Many film transfer companies typically set up a device where the Super 8 film plays in real time on a modern projector and then captured on a digital camcorder for DVD transfer. This isn't a perfect method because the quality level of the transfer will be lessened considerably. The reason is because the film isn't receiving a digital scanning process that can enhance details. When transferring a Super 8 film going back 40 years, you're going to want to see those movies looking as if they were just filmed yesterday.
Other times, companies take your Super 8 films and utilize a computer to capture each frame individually. A digital camcorder then captures each frame for a slight improvement in picture quality. This isn't necessarily the best procedure either if you want the highest definition. These two procedures are much cheaper, however, and can work well enough if you're on a budget.
Motion picture scanners have been around for several decades with the ability to scan at standard definition rates on up to 1080p. The scanners are portable machines that enable you to roll your films for playback rather than using projectors. These devices scan each and every frame of your film so the quality is considerably upgraded when transferred to DVD. It's a good middle option for those who don't want to pay top price while still getting quality.
Today, these scanners are still around for purchase (particularly from Digital Film Technology), though professional film scanners are usually the common purchaser.
DataCine High-Def Scanners
This registered name puts out scanners that finally give your Super 8 films a high-definition shine not available with any other method. You can get up to 2k and 4k scans here, despite costing a little more. For many, it's well worth it when you can see details on the film you never noticed before.
These work just like the above motion picture scanners, except the DataCine scanners scan at a slower rate for higher resolution. They also have a stabilizer to help steady the film for the best possible scan of each image.
If you just found a collection of Super 8 family movies you want scanned to DVD, we can do them for you in high-definition here at Click-Scan-Share. With affordable rates, we have a proven track record of bringing the best quality transfers to all your older media, from slides to video.
Contact us for information about our rates on scanning old 8mm film formats. Don't let those films deteriorate any further than they likely already have after 50 years.