Forget ultrahigh-definition action cameras. Forget 360-degree video. Forget drones. Kodak is showing the camera of CES 2016, and it's a wacky metal box that lets you shoot home movies on Super 8 film. Yes, that Super 8 film.
The last time a new Super 8 camera hit the market was 1982, even though Kodak's been making the film continuously this whole time. Just as Polaroid has found success in a photography world dominated by digital, Kodak's hoping this oft-forgotten movie format might be a ticket to success with a combination of nostalgia and a fun shooting experience.
The camera itself is really nice and looks a little faux vintage without straying into kitsch. The metal body feels solid, and the film magazine door is secured with a snappy magnetic closure. There's a little fold-out digital viewfinder screen, and you can load an SD card into the back to capture audio for your home movies. The camera was designed by Yves Behar, whom you probably know from the likes of Jawbone (wearables) and August (smart home gear), and it feels very thoughtfully put together.
The Super 8 film itself comes in cartridges that contain about 3 minutes each of shooting time. There will be different varieties of cartridges, including different color profiles and black-and-white options. The idea is to pop the cartridge into the camera, shoot, send the cartridge back to Kodak, and they'll send you back the processed film as well as access to a download of your scanned film in 4K resolution. The processing service will be included in the price of the cartridges, but Kodak isn't yet saying what the film magazines will cost.
It's important to note that for now this is just a concept camera. Kodak doesn't have any working units, only nonworking prototypes. Still, representatives from Kodak assured us that not only would this camera be out sometime in the fourth quarter of 2016 with a price tag in the neighborhood of $1,000, but also that it would be just the first in a new lineup of Super 8 cameras at a variety of price points.
I almost felt guilty using Snapchat as I left the booth.