Most helpful critical review
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Converting old film reels to digital for backup?
on December 11, 2012
I purchased this product because I located some decades old super 8 and 8 mm film reels in my attic and wanted to get them into a format that could be more easily viewed than a projector with bulbs that blow so fast. I also intend to edit and add still photos taken through the years after putting the videos into chronological order and sharing with family. I researched having a company do it, but the cost of $8 per 50' of film and having over 3,000 feet made that too costly. Plus many of the companies will not give you raw footage, they want to add music, menus, and/or other templates and then they own the copyright of your material because of their compilation. Many also offered to "keep a copy of your submission in case you lost or damaged your copies for them to easily send you another."
I will not give up copyright to a company who will not just give me the raw footage (or for any other reason, it is not theirs). I will do my own editing. I also do not want anyone keeping "archival" copies of my works 'just in case.'
So research led me to this product to use to convert myself.
The item arrives with a card that helps to align it. I set the device on the paper to ensure I had the exact alignment called for to achieve the best possible results.
Following the setup template in that manner, setting up the projector to direct the output into the mirror was easy. Had to use several empty DVD cases to raise my small camera to a height to allow getting a straight shot of the playing image.
That all went well. It was even possible to watch the projector on this screen like a small TV screen. For that purpose, this device performed well. it works well as a viewing screen if you do not have a large one.
The biggest problem I saw didn't come to light until I started to play the recorded files on my computer.
Using the mirror to put the image on the backside of the screen is clever, but it has a nasty side effect. If you have any bright spots in your film playing, they are not noticeable to you while viewing, your camera will see every flicker of the frames passing.
Playback of the recorded video revealed BRIGHT white spots that, at times, covered 1/4 of the screen and the image flicker was horrible!
Experimenting, I found the best way to get your video recorded is to use a regular projection screen or white flat (perfectly flat for best results) sheet or paper, place your projector at least 10-20' away from the viewing screen and place your camera on a tripod slightly below the projector lens. This allows for the best head on shot (to minimize the keystone - not quick square - output on your camera). It also reduces the flickering and bright spots to a more subdued viewable and recordable output.
This item may work very well for still slides without that flicker. But I did not have good luck with it trying to record my reel film images for editing and sharing on the computer. If you just want to watch them, not record them, this device will work well for that in a smaller space than a projector screen requires.