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» 8mm Forum   » 8mm Forum   » Somikon HD-XL Film Scanner & Digitizer (Super) 8mm - EU market (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Somikon HD-XL Film Scanner & Digitizer (Super) 8mm - EU market
Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted April 27, 2017 03:03 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi all,

This 1st post for my Wiki-thread is dedicated to the brand new Somikon HD-XL Film Scanner & Digitizer (Super) 8mm - EU

EDIT: as per 04/29/2017 PEARL.DE has a new shipment in stock!

Google Translated Specifications:

HD-XL film scanner for easy digitization of Super 8 and 8 mm films (switchable)
High-resolution 1/3 "CMOS sensor with 3.53 megapixels
Scan resolution: 1440 x 1080 pixels at 30 frames / sec
Stand-alone recording: saves directly to SD (HC) card up to 32 GB, no PC necessary
Recording format: MP4 video, no recording of the audio track
Automatic exposure, manual correction (-2.0 to +2.0 EV), automatic white balance
Light source: LED lighting
Built-in TFT LCD display: 6 cm / 2.4 "
USB 2.0 port for data transfer to the computer
TV output: PAL / NTSC
For Super 8 and Normal 8 film coils (adapter 8/13 mm included) reels up to 17.8 cm / 7"
Automatic stop at the end of the movie
Fast rewinding (requires about 2 minutes for 10 minutes of film)
Integrated carrying handle
Connections: TV-Out (3.5 mm jack), mini USB, slot for SD (HC) cards up to 32 GB, power supply
Supports Windows XP / Vista / 7/8 / 8.1 / 10, OS X from 10.7.3
Power supply: 12 V via 230 V power supply (cable length: 1.2 m)
Measurements: 32 x 18,5 x 11 cm, weight: 1,5 kg
Filmcanner including Film-Leerspule, Film-coil-adapters, spacer-rings for the film guide, power supply, video cable (3.5 mm jack to RCA, 150 cm), USB cable (mini USB to USB, 100 cm) and German instructions.

Hopefully my deck arrives next week, so I can start sharing my review(s) and first test footage here. I'll post all in this first post, so all info's and test results are easy accessible for everybody.

Stay tuned! [Cool]

[ April 30, 2017, 09:07 AM: Message edited by: Berend De Meyer ]

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Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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James Wilson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 230
From: Norwich, UK
Registered: Jan 2015


 - posted April 27, 2017 07:10 AM      Profile for James Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email James Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Bernard,
Looking forward to your test results,
Regards,
James.

--------------------
James Wilson

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted April 30, 2017 05:03 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just received an update for the delivery - were out of stock - of my deck. Very excited to finally test-drive it next week! [Cool]

Cheers

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Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted May 11, 2017 12:32 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi all,

I received my scanner. I did a quick OOTB scan of the oldest film reels in my collection, the wedding of my parents* in 1957, some 60! years ago. Although still not utilized the scanner to its full potentional, I must admit that I'm very pleased with this first result. As many stated elsewhere, I'm now convinced this scanner is the best bang for the (400) euro I spend on it. It may not come close to a scanner in the $4000 range, but this is way better then to let all those memories disolve into dust and - my ultimate personal goal - preserve it for all future generations to come!

I transcoded the RAW mp4 to mov for import into Final Cut Pro. I then adjusted the speed setting it to 53% (18fps(filmcamera)/30fps)(scanner output) in FCP. I used Denoiser and Magic Bullet Looks for grading and light bloom.

Here's my first result: https://youtu.be/XRD-89ZlDhE

I'm still tweaking to get the best HD output, but this test is just for reviewing the OOTB capabilities of my new scanner!

Keep you posted on any progress for this huge project - 24x 18cm / 7" reels! I'm very glad that it can receive my 18cm / 120 meter reels, so I don't have to slice them and rewind them back to smaller size reels. ;-)

Thanks for watching, I hope you'll like the result so far and of course directions/tips for an even better output is greatly appreciated!

Cheers

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Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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James Wilson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 230
From: Norwich, UK
Registered: Jan 2015


 - posted May 11, 2017 06:21 AM      Profile for James Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email James Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Bernend,

Thanks for the sample of film, it looks really good to` me.
Please can you tell me how long it took to render the speed.

Many Thanks,
James.

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James Wilson

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted May 11, 2017 09:12 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi James,

Thanks for your reply, glad you liked it! [Cool]

Rendering the speed goes along with the other render depending tweaks. When I import the to .MOV converted footage, I can adjust the speed "on the fly" without having to render the speed change to view it. I hope this answers your question?

Cheers

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Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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James Wilson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 230
From: Norwich, UK
Registered: Jan 2015


 - posted May 11, 2017 09:57 AM      Profile for James Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email James Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Berend,

That's quicker than I expected,
Thanks for the answer,
Good luck,
Rergards,
James.

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James Wilson

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Gary Sayers
Film Handler

Posts: 55
From: Worksop, UK
Registered: Aug 2016


 - posted May 11, 2017 10:53 AM      Profile for Gary Sayers     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Berend,

The footage looks very good. In fact, it's the best quality I've seen on youtube for examples of this particular scanner.

On the youtube settings, it will only allow a display at 360p. Was it scanned at 1080p but uploaded at a lower (but clearly still impressive) quality?

Also, is it possible you could upload the same footage 'as scanned' before you did any tweeks to the quality and speed?

Thanks,
Gary

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted May 12, 2017 03:42 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi guys,

Thanks for watching and glad you like the footage so far! I must admit that this footage is the best reel in the entire collection 1956-1968! It was filmed by a pro camera man/woman.

As said earlier I'm still tweaking the HD output, Youtube seems to crack the contrast in my footage. I'll upload the raw .mp4 - without any adjustments - as well. Besides that I'm going to import this footage in my Windows 10 based Power Director Suit 15 and check if the conversion can be done even better. I'm not sure my workflow in macOS Final Cut Pro 9 is correct. So stay tuned!

Keep you all posted on my next testrun in PDv15

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Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted May 13, 2017 10:12 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Gary,

I managed to upload the RAW .mp4 - only imported & exported to MP4 H264 in PDv15 to get the 1440x1080p output - to Youtube!

https://youtu.be/zvmB0e-hlVU

EDIT: you may notice that I zoomed out on the scanner before capturing showing the film edges and transport holes. The reason why is simple. In my editing software I then crop the footage to the maximum viewable area, giving me the oppertunity to maximize the field of view for editing the eventual frame crop and using the advanced image stabilzing feature of Power Director v15! [Cool]

Tomorrow I'll be able to show you the new output (HD 1080p) video from PDv15.

Cheers

[ May 13, 2017, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: Berend De Meyer ]

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Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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Gary Sayers
Film Handler

Posts: 55
From: Worksop, UK
Registered: Aug 2016


 - posted May 13, 2017 12:07 PM      Profile for Gary Sayers     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Berend,

Thanks for the new upload. It's very interesting to see the raw footage that you obtained from the scanner.

I've had a Wolverine on order for a few weeks now but I'm in two minds about swapping for the Somikon.

I'm confused with Wolverine saying that they went for 720p because at 1080p there was an issue with picture quality.

I don't see an issue with your raw footage beyond a very slight grain (which can be also seen on various Wolverine 720p uploads on youtube).

Look forward to your next upload.

Thanks,
Gary

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted May 13, 2017 03:04 PM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Gary,

Thanks for watching and of course you're most welcome!

I can't really speak for the Wolverine, simply because I never tested that deck. But for what I've seen on Youtube (720p) if I would be you, I'd reconsider and grab the Somikon. Although I'm NOT excited at all about the build-Q - to put it mildly - this deck has a very decent output for it's price. The engineers did a very lousy job on the outer specs of this scanner. The reels are very wobbly connected, resulting is scratching sounds from the film touching the reels.

For now I can live with it, doing a 24x 18cm reel job to secure our archive.

I'll upload the finished HD-1080p output asap!

Cheers

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Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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Gary Sayers
Film Handler

Posts: 55
From: Worksop, UK
Registered: Aug 2016


 - posted May 14, 2017 10:53 AM      Profile for Gary Sayers     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My Wolverine order actually shipped today so I am going to give that one a go, although I probably should have gone with the Somikon as you say Berend.

My thoughts are really to try and get a reasonable, flicker free, transfer of my home movies at a low cost,then wait until there is a better low cost device on the market.

I will probably sell the Wolverine when I have finished as I can't see me ever shooting 8mm again (shot both 8mm & S8mm regularly from 1975 to 2000) at the current high price of stock and processing.

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted May 14, 2017 01:33 PM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Gary,

Sure you can test the Wolverine, if oke scan all your home movies and sell it afterwards, a rather good idea.

Looking forward to your review and converted footage.

Cheers

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Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted May 21, 2017 04:20 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi all,

This issue might become the biggest dealbreaker for the upgraded Somikon.

https://youtu.be/8lUuh-BPnLY

The jumping of the film results in a scrambled image on the bottom of the RAW that can't be adjusted in post production editing software.

https://youtu.be/a8gHhvMoY8Y

Will return this unit asap for an new unit, I might just got a bad one....!

Cheers

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Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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Gary Sayers
Film Handler

Posts: 55
From: Worksop, UK
Registered: Aug 2016


 - posted May 21, 2017 12:07 PM      Profile for Gary Sayers     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Berend,

I decided to return my Wolverine, unused, to Amazon.

After looking at so many examples on youtube, I came to the conclusion that it was just not for me, even for it's relatively cheap price.

Like many on this forum, I had already tried doing transfers using a video camera pointing directly at a projected image. The results were not bad but the flicker was quite noticeable.

I've been experimenting recently with a cheap compact camera that also shoots video. Using it's full auto function, recordings begin very flickery but once it has decided on a suitable shutter speed after a few seconds, it settles down and the results are very good.

I just need to do some fiddly work with the camera to find the manual setting for the right shutter speed (there is no actual shutter speed setting, just loads of icons for 'sports', 'night time', etc). Not had the time to try to sort this yet.

So I decided that I would rather do transfers this way and not have to worry about all the messing with a computer afterwards.

Gary

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3350
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted May 21, 2017 02:54 PM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Gary what projector are you using? If it doesn't have variable speed adjustment it's next to impossible to get flicker-free captures with just camera settings.

--------------------
Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Gary Sayers
Film Handler

Posts: 55
From: Worksop, UK
Registered: Aug 2016


 - posted May 21, 2017 03:23 PM      Profile for Gary Sayers     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Janice,

I used my 42 year old Eumig Mark S 810D projector and a Nikon Coolpix L30 compact camera.

As you rightly say, without a variable speed control on the projector, getting a flicker free picture is near impossible and believe me I've tried over the years!

But using this set up it did look very good (the best I've ever obtained, anyway - in terms of flicker). I was only messing with all the different cameras and phones in our house one afternoon and I've not done a proper transfer yet.

I'm currently sorting out a room to have a permanent set-up for some major archiving of film, photos and video. I'll try and do a test in the next few days and upload it to youtube.

Gary

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 4860
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted May 21, 2017 03:42 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I use a Bolex 18-5 for video transfer. This is a fixed 18fps projector and the flicker is very noticeable - until I slow the shutter speed on my Sony camcorder, when the flicker is all but gone.

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Barbara Strohl
Film Handler

Posts: 44
From: Hamilton, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2016


 - posted May 24, 2017 12:19 PM      Profile for Barbara Strohl   Email Barbara Strohl   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My Wolverine broke after a bunch (40 some) of 3inch reels.
Something broke with the uptake tensioner. I didn't open it up because I am sending it back.
My decision was because I haven't had it long, I bought it direct, and postage to CA isn't much.
When I spoke to them they were keen to get my machine back because they haven't had this issue before and I got one of the first of the newest batch.

It will still run and rewind as long as it doesn't need to wind the film while recording.

I didn't have a lot of the problems that people had reported before. I would not leave this running unattended for long because it would get stuck but not that it damaged the film.
My unit didn't get hot. It does have the new vents, I kept it where it gets good air flow, and I like my work room at 65F or less.
I used compressed air to clean it off if it hadn't just been running.
I cleaned every film before running. I found I had dropped frames if the film wasn't completely dry so most sat over night before running.
Most films seem to run better backwards.
It really doesn't like any bending in the films. Ironing helped.
Splices seemed to be hit or miss. Tape vs cement didn't matter. I thought I would figure out what was an issue and then something would ruin my theory.
I doubt that it mattered but I did run it in low light or the dark. This wasn't hard with other stuff I'm doing.

My biggest problem is myself. I am not willing to sacrifice ANY frames. I will not cut out damaged sections or bad cement splices. Most of the films have shrinkage, warping, bends, tears, and everything else that you can imagine. Most of these I won't let near a projector ever again. The ones in the best shape, or sometimes part of a film, I was willing to try but even that was a strain.

If you have films in good enough shape to project this should work for you.

--------------------
Barb

I'm an amateur noob. Please be gentle.

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Berend De Meyer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 140
From: Leek, The Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2017


 - posted May 25, 2017 03:37 AM      Profile for Berend De Meyer   Email Berend De Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Barb,

Thanks a lot for your review, appreciated. I really love the concept of the Wolverine and the Somikon film scanning decks, but I'm very disappointed about some of the poor engineering and execution:

1. Why not reels up to 180 meter, the distance between the two reels is only 1 cm short, as I can't imagine that the extra weight (+60mtr) will have a very negative outcome for the rotating motor used.

2. Very poor and wobbly mounting points for both reels, causing the reels to scratch the front plate

3. Higher resolution (MP) sensor for 1080p for even better RAW output quality, to have a better starting point when beginning the post-process.

4. Why is the scanning frame not pulling the film more downwards, to prevent the film jumping in the scanning area

As reported I'll exchange mine for a new one. Perhaps I was unlucky with the one I got.

Cheers

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Cheers | “I am an advocate of the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" modus operandi!”

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James Wilson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 230
From: Norwich, UK
Registered: Jan 2015


 - posted May 25, 2017 06:36 AM      Profile for James Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email James Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi All,

Why can't these companys test these products thoroughly instead of leaving the job to us? They must have known about the short comings. Now you've pointed them out for them lets see if they fix them!
Regards,
James.

--------------------
James Wilson

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Andrew Woodcock
Film God

Posts: 7477
From: Manchester Uk
Registered: Aug 2012


 - posted May 25, 2017 07:10 AM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
Probably not. It's all to a price and as with anything else in life, you pays your money, you take your choices.

Even very badly designed items can sell in huge quantities so long as they are cheap enough. People are just desperate to just get something that will do a particular job, whether that's a power tool whose motor won't last 12 months, a fridge that can set on fire or in this particular case a scanner that seemingly comes with huge compromises.

[ May 25, 2017, 09:05 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Woodcock ]

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"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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James Wilson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 230
From: Norwich, UK
Registered: Jan 2015


 - posted May 25, 2017 08:19 AM      Profile for James Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email James Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well Andrew,
if thats the general opinion I think they will keep turning out inferior goods.

--------------------
James Wilson

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Andrew Woodcock
Film God

Posts: 7477
From: Manchester Uk
Registered: Aug 2012


 - posted May 25, 2017 09:13 AM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
Sadly it is a fact now in this modern day era so far as consumer goods are concerned over all.

Price over Quality sadly,..otherwise everyone doing this activity would be buying a Tobin machine.

 -

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"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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