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How to Convert Old Family Films to Digital Formats

How to Convert Old Family Films to Digital Formats

Most of us have fond memories of our mom or dad with the video camera out during our birthday parties, playing in the park or during a family gathering. These old home movies can be a great way to reminisce and think back to the good days.

Unfortunately, over time, these films will often deteriorate and may eventually be hardly watchable. While you can slow film decay, stopping altogether is a different story.

But don’t worry, there are ways to keep these memories alive, such as converting the videos to digital formats. Performing a 8mm transfer to a DVD format can help you relive these old family memories for years and years to come without worry of deterioration. But how can you do it?

This article is going to go over some tips and methods to safely and effectively convert old family films to more modern digital formats.

Leave it to the Professionals

While it is possible to do this conversion yourself, it is often a better idea to leave it in the hands of professionals. They can ensure the job gets done right and the conversion is successful. Many of these companies, either small local businesses or chains, have years of experience digitizing film.

If you try to do it yourself with no experience, you could end up ruining or damaging the film, and losing the memories forever. In addition to often doing a better job, working with professionals is a lot easier. You won’t need to do anything except take your films to the store and give them to the company for them to convert. 

Sure, they will come with a cost, but you can’t put a price on making sure your childhood memories are safe and secure forever. The process can take a while, but at least you will have peace of mind that the conversion is taking place in good hands with years of experience handling this sort of thing.

Get the Right Equipment

How to Convert Old Family Films to Digital Formats

If you have decided you want to do the conversion yourself, you need to ensure you have the right equipment. Generally, there are two different ways you can do this conversion DIY-style. The first is to buy a film-to-video converter and it will record files to a memory card as the film runs. These vary in cost, but can often be over $100. You will also need a computer and the necessary cables, as well.

The other method is to actually use a digital video camera to record the film playing on a screen or surface. For this, you will need a film projector to project the film, a white wall or screen to play it on, and a video camera to record it.

The quality will depend on your camera quality, the lighting, if the camera moves at all, and a variety of other factors. The entire process can be tricky, but having the right gear and doing things the right way can certainly help.

Give Yourself Some Time

Whichever method you consider and equipment you use, you need to ensure you give yourself ample time to get this done. In most cases, the time it takes to convert will equal the amount of video you are converting. So if you have 20 hours of family film footage you want to convert, it will take you 20 hours, not counting the set up time or dealing with potential issues and errors.

If you mess something up in the process or it is not converting properly, you will often need to start over. So this certainly isn’t a quick process (whether you do it yourself or leave it to a professional), but it can make sure your precious memories live on forever.

Converting old family films to digital will ensure you never lose these previous memories. We hope this blog post has helped you to understand just how to do that.

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