Mahakala Thangka, courtesy Marian Bond
Image courtesy of Feilding Public Library http://feilding.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/16560
Image courtesy of Feilding Public Library http://feilding.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/16671
Home » Services » Audiovisual Digital Capture » 8mm and 16mm Film Digitisation

8mm and 16mm Film Digitisation

Professional HD scanning of motion film reels

If you have old movies on film we can help you with digitisation.

In association with Film Transfer Ltd, we offer high quality scanning using a "frame-by-frame" capture system. This is an archival-quality transfer process designed to allow further post production work such as editing and colour correction.

Film Transfer utilises intermittent pull-down film scanners that scan each frame individually, locked down in a pin-registered film gate, sampling roughly 7 to 12 frames per second. With "Frame by Frame" scanning you avoid the flickering, smearing, fallout and vignetting that occurs with continuous-film telecine systems or cheap DIY home made transfers.  This means a high resolution digital image of each frame of the film is captured, with a much higher resolution and a fuller range of colours compared to continuous-film scanners.


Unlike many systems used to digitise films, Film Transfer's scanners do not rely on projection or mirrors, nor do they use consumer camcorders to capture the images. Instead, machine-vision cameras are used to capture each frame directly from the film as it passes in front of a diffused light. This is the same process used by professionals processing film archives for movie studios, television production companies, or other demanding clients.

All film undertakes a Physical and Content Assessment before being passed on to Film Transfer for digitisation.  Once approved for digitisation, films are manually cleaned and checked to ensure splices and magnetic strip (if there is a soundtrack) are capable of passing through the scanning system. At any stage in this process a film can be declared 'unfit' if decay is too pronounced or either NZMS or Flm Transfer believe the film is unable to be digitised without film conservation.

The scanner outputs the film frames into a sequence of individual pictures, using high-end data storage devices. Frames are sampled in RGB 24 or 48 bits format and high resolution up to 4000 pixels, allowing much deeper colours and better control over the movie frames to make your film look better than ever. Film Transfer can modify image colour, brightness, sharpness and contrast during acquisition and also post processing using open source software. Each scene, as a context, is controlled frame by frame, and brightness and saturation are quantified by the videoscope and can be corrected interactively

We can offer a full service of 2k and 4k DCP encoding with gamma 2.6, XYZ colourspace and 10 to 16 bits depth with an option of grading and editing ensuring that your captured recordings will look as good as they did when first shot. NZMS uses Adobe's Creative Cloud and Neat Video software for post production.

The following films can be captured:

  • 8mm film
  • 16mm film
  • Super 8mm, Super 8mm Sound

We output video files to Quicktime MOV for Archive, Prores 422 for Mezzanine and H.264 for Access.

Let us help

Contact us for more information.