Keys to Choosing Old-Film Transfer Services

By Rick Crume Premium

Consider these four factors when comparing film transfer services:

Digitization method: Ranked from lowest to highest quality, they are real-time, frame-by-frame, motion picture film scanner and DataCine film scanner.

Film types: Not all companies transfer film with sound. In addition to film, some of these companies also digitize photos, negatives, slides and videotapes.

Horizontal scanning resolution for 8mm and Super 8: A higher number is better, but 1080 is usually considered adequate resolution. These figures show the resolution before upconverting. 16mm film requires twice the resolution of 8mm film to preserve the same detail.

Output media: DVDs are good for viewing on a computer or TV, but are lower-resolution than the original film. A Blu-ray has a higher resolution, similar to the original film. Get AVI, MOV or MP4 files on a hard drive so you can edit your movies and save them for long-term preservation. 
From the October/November 2013 Family Tree Magazine