Director J.J. Abrams doesn’t shoot digital. Neither do Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan, for that matter. Film, they say, feels warmer, its grainy artifacts somehow more artistic. Film is also a major pain in the ass. It’s unforgiving and time-consuming. These are loves and lessons many filmmakers learned as pimply-faced teenagers shooting ultra-low-budget backyard versions of Stand By Me on their dads’ Super 8 video cameras. Now Kodak is souping up its classic lo-fi device with hi-fi smarts. Equal parts legacy and modernity, the new consumer Super 8 (available early next year for $750 or less) records to a film cartridge that Kodak then develops into a reel-to-reel and a digital file (processing costs are built into the film’s $75 price tag). The camera also has a flip-out viewfinder and controls to adjust film speed and exposure. In an Instagram-obsessed world, the updated Super 8 is a shrewd move for the film giant, one that positions it with a foot on either side of the adoption curve (why choose between being NASA or SpaceX when you can be both?). It also looks just about perfect; the Yves Béhar design is a piece of 1980s retro pop art brought to life. Don’t be surprised if it winds up starring in more Vines, viral videos and 30-second spots than it can possibly shoot.
This story appears in the November 2016 issue of Playboy. Subscribe