Chinon Bellami HD-1 camera transports you back to the Super 8 era

It's about time you forced yourself back into those bell-bottoms
Chinon Bellami HD-1

That's a beautiful Geiger counter. Beautiful? Yes? Ionising radiation detector? No. That, young friend, is the Chinon Bellami HD-1 digital video camera.

Crikey. Why does it look so, er… Old? Retro? Classy? Because it's based on Japanese company Chinon's original Super 8 film camera from the 70s.

Isn't that when men had long hair and smelled of patchouli? Yup. Er, not that we're old enough to remember. Presumably, like us, you're too youthful to have lived through the era of Super 8 film, glam rock and the Three-Day Week. Would you like us to explain more?

Sure granddad, go ahead.Sigh. Super 8 film launched in the mid-sixties; the 8mm film format had smaller perforations than 8mm film, allowing for a larger film area (and therefore better image quality). Since it came in cartridges, it was much easier to load than 16mm film, and proved to be hugely popular with amateur film-makers.

A generation of directors got their start shooting on Super 8, including the likes of James Cameron, Tim Burton and JJ Abrams (who paid tribute to the vintage film stock with his appropriately-titled film Super 8).

So this is a new Super 8 camera, then?Nope. This dinky HD camera pays tribute to the old pistol-grip Super 8 cameras, but its innards are all modern.

Chinon Bellami HD-1

How modern are we talking, here? It's all-digital: inside, you get a 1/3in 2.1MP MOS sensor with 12x digital zoom, 187MB memory, a 0.47in 1.44MP viewfinder and electric image stabilisation. The Bellami also packs a hot shoe and HDMI and USB ports, plus support for SD/SDHC/SDXC cards up to 128GB. Lens-wise, it comes with a Chinon 4.2mm f/1.2 6-group 7-element D-mount lens; adapters for, CS and M42 lenses are in the works.

So it looks retro, but shoots digital? Yup. There are six different shooting modes, plus – inevitably, given its hipster-baiting looks – standard, black and white and sepia settings.

What about the price? Is that stuck in the 70s too? Sadly, we no longer live in the days when you could buy a Mars bar for 2p. The Bellami HD-1 costs ¥89,250 (RM2825) – and you'll have to budget for a trip to Japan, as it's only available there.

[Source: Akihabara News via Designboom]

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