Build Battery Packs
Record Your Sounds
VNF Film and Filters
Super 8mm Links
Super 8 in PC Mag!
Kodak's S8mm Site
Ode to Regular 8mm
Cyber Film School
Stats & Translation
PROFILE - November 2003
OK, why would I dare suggest that the Canon 1014XLS may not be as good as the lower 814XLS model? My reasons: weight, handling, and value. The 814XLS can be had for a significant discount to the 1014, typically a couple of hundred dollars less. Expect to pay about $300 for a top-flight 814XLS while its big brother commands $500 or more. As far as the lens goes, the 7-56mm focal length is superb – sharp, and very natural colors. Fast, too, with a f1.4 opening. Macro is available past the wide angle end of the zoom. Handling is somewhat easier than the 1014 due to the smaller lens. The 1014XLS has the 6.5mm-65mm lens in case you did not know that.
I was lucky enough to come across two original Canon lens adapters made specifically for this camera a short while after acquiring it. The lens adapters are made for a 67mm filter ring. The 814XLS has a 62mm filter thread. Fortunately, Canon made a 62-67mm filter adapter that is designed for use with these lenses. The wide angle adapter offers focus-free filming and converts the 7mm lens to an incredible 4.5mm. Wow! The only camera that comes close to this is the Elmo Super-Wide, which I have profiled here. The 1.4X telephoto adapter converts the 56mm lens on the 814XLS to 78.4mm in length. A tripod is mandatory due to the extra weight added from the lens and the sheer length of the zoom. Unlike the wide angle adapter, this lens attachment requires precise focusing ability. Luckily, the camera makes this very easy with its super bright viewfinder and precision split-image focusing.
Operation of the camera is very silent though in a quiet room the noise will make it onto the soundtrack. However, in most situations, this should not be a problem. Running on 6AA batteries in the handgrip, this camera represents the height of design in the late 1970’s to early 80’s. Had super 8 continued through the 80’s, this camera would have held its design for a long time. The design is very modern, choice of color excellent, and the lens coatings are awesome. The electronic options are incredible. Breifly, they include options that allow you to shoot picture only, sound only, sound & picture, a self timer, and an intervalometer.
Perhaps most important, this camera offers TWO shutter speeds. One for indoor XL situations and the other for fast action brightly lit scenes. The shutter varies between 150 degrees and 220 degrees. This is a huge help if you happen to use TRI-X film for soft, low-light shooting and then you find you would like to expose it on a bright sunny day. With the two shutter settings, you have no risk of being caught with the wrong film on hand. Finally, you have a single camera that can shoot equally well inside your home and out at the local race track during the day. Images in both cases should be fantastic if you set the shutter correctly! Also, on the film door side of the camera there is a dial to compensate for ASA settings. Very handy with the introduction of new filmstocks from Kodak (like the new 100ASA Plus-X B&W film).
For those techies
out there, this camera also
offers a sync-output connection so you can set the exact film
rate of this camera if necessary for your project. Single frame,
18, 24, and slow-motion 54fps are all available. The camera has
a two speed electric zoom though even the slowest setting is too
You can also set the zoom to manual - I like that feature. The
camera allows iris fades in either direction (fade to white or to
the variable shutter allows you to fade out the scene with the
shutter instead of the aperture. Also featured are both 10 and 20
self-filming modes and the intervalometer offers settings of 1,
5, 20 and 60 seconds between exposures. One of my favorite features
is the button that locks the aperture at
stress how important this feature is to maintaining a professional
look to your films. Of course, you can also preset the aperture
to any setting you wish and there is the usual full-automatic
My results from
this camera have been awesome. The rendering of blues on the ocean
and in the sky is excellent. Skin tones are very natural and pleasant.
I used this camera at the local drag strip and circle track and the
cars seemed to leap right out at you in all their fine detail. You
will not be disappointed with the detail this camera gives to your
films. Film registration was fine with no noticeable jitters or other
anomalies. If you happen to pick this camera up (in near-new condition)
online, plan to bid up into the high 200’s - anything under
$300 for a fine condition example with instruction book (you will
need it) would be a reasonable price. $400+ if the Canon lens adapters
Happy Film Shooting!