S8mm Adventures
    Camera Basics
    Build Battery Packs
    Record Your Sounds
    Backwinding Film
    VNF Film and Filters
    Super 8mm Links

    Cheap Ideas
    Product Profile
    Light Metering
    Video Transfers

External Reference
    Super 8 in PC Mag!
    Kodak's S8mm Site
    Ode to Regular 8mm
    Cyber Film School

Stats & Translation
    Who's Looking?

Oct '99:Read about the Bauer XL307 and XL305! Nov '99:Read about the GAF 805M! Dec '99:Read about the Eumig Nautica!

Y2K:Read about the Eumig Viennette Submarine! Jul '00:Read about the MR9 Bttery Adapter! Sep '03:Read about the Bauer 715XLS!

Oct '03:Dynamic duo - the Bauer Royal C and the Bauer C8 Makro Nov '03:The Canon 814XLS Dec '03:The Elmo Super Wide

Jan '04:The Yashica Sound 50XL Macro! Feb '04:The Bauer Royal 8E Makro Mar '04:The Bauer Royal 8E Makro


PRODUCT PROFILE - October 1999
The Practical Bauer S-305XL

Recently, I picked up a brand new Bauer S-305XL Sound camera from a camera store in Vancouver. It was found in the back - long forgotten - and sold at the bargain price of $150CDN. Still in the box with its original leather case, microphone, earphone, and instruction booklets. A wonderful find in a very unexpected place.

The camera is finished in a medium brown and black plastic. Depsite this, it feels very durable and business-like. The f1.4 8.5-42.5mm lens is incredibly sharp. Just looking through the viewfinder is enough to convince you of this camera's fine craftsmanship and heritage.

The Bauer S-307XL - virtually identical to the XL305.

The camera offers macro filming with a slip collar on the zoom ring, power zoom, and manual override of the aperture setting. The viewfinder has a film running indicator, sound-level indicator, bright red (illuminated) f-stop indicator, and split-circle focusing. There are provisions for remote microphones, earpiece, single, 18 and 40 fps film speeds. There is also a tungsten/daylight switch on the side. An interesting aside, the camera runs only when film is in the chamber (silent or sound). Overall, this model has a very professional feel to it and performs as you would expect from a camera of this caliber. Back in it's heyday, it sold for over $700US!


  • F1.4 lens is very bright and sharp.
  • 5X zoom ratio is adequate for most shooting conditions.
  • Macro filming capabilities.
  • Automatic fade-in/fade-out.
  • Backlight compensation button.
  • Single frame, 18 and 40fps.
  • Runs very silent with more noise coming from the film cartridge than from the mechanics.
  • Well balanced design with the 90-degree rotating handle.
  • Filter threads are 48mm for easy fit to common filters.
  • Bright f-stop and viewfinder - excellent for low-light use.
  • Lightweight design will not fatigue your arms or shoulder when carry this for long periods.
  • Fantastic frequency response with no audible clicks when starting and stopping film shots.


  • No longer available for purchase.
  • Sound film is discontinued.
  • No 24fps setting.
  • Manual setting of f-stop is somewhat inconvenient - you must read the setting then point the camera to a darker or lighter subject and turn the dial to lock in the original f-stop. Detracts from spontaneous filming situations.

So far, I have put 15 rolls of super 8 film through this camera. Eight sound cartridges, five K-40 and two Plus-X silent cartridges. In all cases I was very pleased with the results. This camera gives you the confidence that everything will go fine on your shoot. "When I absolutely have to get the shot I use this camera" is my motto. What about my "Beaulieu"s you ask? Well, let's just say sometimes they need tweaking.

I regularly use a 0.6X wide-angle adapter on this camera. It converts the lens to a 5.1mm work of art! The added weight of the lens is offset by the excellent forward-pointing handle. Another reason to get a camera of this syle. Cameras where the grip is more akin to a pistol grip become very front heavy when you put on an auxillary lens such as this. Incredible wide angle scenes not-before possible fall easily within the 5.1mm view and add a new dimensions to your movies.

The later Bauer models (along with the old-style Bauer C Royale 8E and 10E) are superbly crafted precision electronic instruments. You will enjoy using them and find you think less about the camera and more about your subject. Avoid the early models of the Bauer line - the C1, C1M and C2's (they are silver and black in color)- as they tend to have broken light meters and have few settings for manual control. The newer models are typically brown or dark blue.

Overall, this camera is a perfect choice for those intending to purchase only one Super 8mm camera for regular use. While I have not yet seen one on Ebay, there have been other similar models that show up. The Bauer XL209 and the XL107 are two such cameras that will give you similar features and performance results. Bauer had many lines of Super 8mm cameras in the "Glory Days" including the XL107, XL109, XL205, XL207, XL209, XL305, XL307 and the incredible duo: the A-512 and the XL715. These are the cameras to watch for. With a Bauer in hand, you will never be left in the dark.

Now get out there and shoot some film!

Super 8 Man, Michael Nyberg

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