An 8mm transfer machine transfers 8 millimeter film to digital format. There are numerous types of 8mm transfer machines available on the market, and some companies specialized in their use, largely serving clients who wish to digitize home movies.
Types of 8mm transfer machines include real-time transfer machines, frame-by-frame transfer machines, and professional motion picture film scanners. Real-time transfer machines make use of modified projector technology and a standard definition camera to capture the image recorded on 8mm film through a lens. This approach offers quick results but does not always deliver the best quality.
Frame-by-frame transfer machines use the same mechanism as a real-time transfer machine but synchronize the film's transfer using a computer to individually capture each frame of the film. This is significantly slower and more expensive than real-time transfer but offers higher quality results.
A professional motion picture film scanner offers very high quality results for digitizing film, being constructed from state-of-the-art components designed for high fidelity film conversion. This type of 8mm transfer machine scans individual frames of film rather than photographing them. The drawback to this technology is that it is much slower and much more expensive than other options available to individuals who wish to digitize 8mm film.