Super 8 is a motion picture film format launched by Kodak in 1965 for amateur cinema. With the same width as 8mm film but with smaller perforations, this new format has a 36% larger print area. The image measures 5.69 × 4.22 mm, a ratio of 1.35:1 (close to the 4/3 format of conventional television).
Super 8 was the format most used by amateur filmmakers, and for good reason: it was much more common, accessible and less expensive than other formats (16 mm, for example). In 2020, equipment and magazines are still available on the Internet.
This film format is sold in plastic magazines that allow the film to be loaded into the camera body in daylight. The magazines contain 15 meters of film, which is equivalent to a shooting time of about 2 min 40 s when the camera is running at 24 frames per second or 3 min 30 s at 18 frames per second. In the past, there were film magazines containing 60 meters of film, which was equivalent to a shooting time of about 13 min 30 s when the camera was shooting at 24 frames per second or 15 min 20 s at 18 frames per second.
A notch system on the magazine provides information about the film sensitivity, allowing the camera to adjust itself automatically. This is a significant practical improvement, as the magazine can be loaded in broad daylight, does not need to be turned over in the middle of shooting, and can even be removed without any loss other than the few frames in the window.
On the other hand, this loader has a few shortcomings: a less good film guide than for 8 mm because of the plastic press incorporated in the loader and the coaxial position of the two reels ; a near impossibility to rewind for overprinting or reverse effects.