The past century has seen several new film formats and video technologies come to market. While many have fallen by the wayside, we’ve focused on the three significant formats still in common use today: 16mm, 8mm, and super 8 mm.
The terms “film” and “movie” are often used interchangeably, but this is not technically correct. The film itself (the actual strip of celluloid) is one element, and the movie is a complete presentation of that film.
In this blog post, we’ll go over the different film formats and how they differ.
What Are the Different Types of Film?
Films allowed many families to capture their lives and memories in a tangible format, preserving them for generations. People still have these files stored and are looking to convert these rolls to digital files.
Film transfer tools can help convert the negatives, slides, and super-eight films to digital video files. Here is how to distinguish between the three types of film and their corresponding video file formats.
It was first introduced by Kodak in 1923 and quickly became the film of choice for both amateur and professional filmmakers.
16mm is a standard size (35 mm wide) with four perforations on each side. It’s commonly used for home movies, independent films, and documentaries due to its portability and affordability.
16mm film is generally shot and projected at 24 frames per second, resulting in a smooth, cinematic look. Because of its popularity, it has been used in thousands of films over the years.
16mm Film Video File Format: MOV
Super-eight film is a smaller version of 16mm film. It was first introduced in the 1960s and uses the same perforations as regular 16mm, but is only half the width (16mm is twice as wide).
Super-eight film comes in cartridges of 50 feet, which means you have about two minutes of film per cartridge.
The video file format for super-eight is usually MPEG, MPEG or AVI.
Standard 8mm Film
Standard eight-millimeter film was first introduced in the 1930s and is even smaller than super-eight. It uses the same perforations as regular 16mm film but is only half the width (16mm is twice as wide).
Standard eight-millimeter comes in cartridges just like super-eight but only contains 25 feet of film. This means you have about one minute per cartridge, making it even more challenging to plan a shot.
Standard eight-millimeter film is usually projected at 18 frames per second, so it has a jerky look when played back in a video file.
Standard Eight Film Video File Format: AVI, WMV or MPEG-II
How To Distinguish between 16mm, 8mm, and Super 8 Film?
The easiest way to distinguish between the three types of film is by:
- Size: 16mm film is twice as wide as standard eight-millimeter, which is in turn twice as wide as super-eight.
- Number of perforations: 16mm and standard eight-millimeter have four perforations on each side, while super-eight only has two.
- Running time: standard eight-millimeter has the shortest running time, followed by super-eight and then 16mm.
- Frame rate: 16mm is shot and projected at 24 frames per second, while standard eight-millimeter is shot and projected at 18 frames per second. Super-eight is shot and projected at 24 frames per second.
If you want to get technical, other distinguishing factors include film gauge and sound recording. But, for the average person, these four points should be more than enough to tell the difference between 16mm, standard eight-millimeter, and super-eight film.
Convert Film to Digital
Now that you know the difference between 16mm, standard eight-millimeter, and super-eight film formats, you might be wondering what to do with that old box of 16mm film. Tools like Just8mm can be used for 16 mm film conversion, which will help to preserve the ories in a tangible format, preserving them for generations.