Wolverine 8mm and Super8 Reels Movie Digitizer with 2.4" LCD (Film2Digital MovieMaker) consumer review

This unit does a reasonably good job converting film to video for the amateur user.

It only snaps 2 frames per second, so don't expect it to spool through at original film speed.

Also, you will have to run the digital file through a video editing program (I use Sony Movie Studio 12) to bring the mp4 video file's 30fps down to the original camera's 16-18 fps so everyone won't look like they're running around.

I use a .67 speed reduction in Movie Studio and it gets pretty close to original speed.

Also, for the darker exposed images, this converter's (presumably cheap) camera element has a lot (emphasis on 'lot') of digital pixel noise.

In some of the film I've converted, the pixel noise is very distracting (It looks like those time-lapse videos of bacteria colonies growing exponentially).

Since I'm converting the speed and rendering a new video file, anyway, in Movie Studio, I add a "Median" plug-in to the processing chain and fine tune (I think it was like .0247 vertical and horizontal on my program) to help clean up the pixel noise to an acceptable level.

While I'm at it, in post I'll render the image cropped into a 16:9 format (vertical black bars on left and right of video frame) so the 4:3 format won't stretch on a modern wide-screen TV.

Another minor issue is this converter's automatic white balance tends to turn some of the images an annoying shade of blue. That can be corrected a little in post processing, but would be better if the manufacturer had either made white balance user-adjustable, or simply provided an option to turn it off and white balance in post - but that might be getting away from its target market of amateur/hobbyist.

It runs the 3" reels fine, you can walk away (takes about 1/2 hour for 3") but don't go too far because there is no automatic stop.

With the 5" reels that have lot of homemade splices, you'll want to be nearby because they oft-times will jam, at which point you'll have to give the film a little tug on the output of the light table to keep it going.

The factory splices from the film developer seem to go through fine.

The light table needs to be cleaned after every reel because it will accumulate dust and dirt from the older reels and degrade image quality.

Perhaps if they designed the light element in a vertical position (instead of horizontal, underneath the film) this wouldn't be as much of a problem.

For the price I paid for this, it is otherwise a good unit and I'm glad they designed it for the hobbyist or start-up video conversion businesses.


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