Keeping it simple

The slide scanning market has become increasingly competitive and the choice open to clients is vast. I and several of my competitors have discouraged people from using the cheaper home scanners because they cannot achieve results that we can get with our sophisticated, specialised gear. But we need to convey simplicity in what you are offered. The array of ‘tech speak’ can be bewildering – dpi, hi-res, jpeg, tif, MP4 and so on. With this in mind I have set about trimming down our Saturn Films 1969 website to try to make it as simple as possible for you to get the answers you want and order the product you need. Here I have precised our service

Very simply for 35mm slide and negative scans we use high resolution 4000dpi so you can view the images on computers and televisions. This is a practical resolution that will be able to archive and share. If you decide you want prints (yes we offer this service too) the images can be printed in excellent quality on up to A3 paper.

For negatives of other formats – 120, 126, 127, APS, medium and large format we scan at a suitable resolution aimed at giving you the best results. These are very much hands on scans and are charged accordingly.

For our cine and video work we scan and record at a ‘blu-ray’ standard and provide you with a DVD standard recording too. These will play on most televisions as well as computers and can easily be shared.

All of our work is edited and cleaned up so you get images that have dust, scratch reduction and also colour restoration applied as a standard.

We send you the film or photos on a usb stick mostly these days, but we can provide DVDs and Blu-Ray discs if you prefer. With the data sticks you can back up and store easily on your computers and hard drives. We do try to keep a back up here for up to two years too.

So that’s our service in a nutshell and I hope it is clear. I am always available to chat scanning on 074 1111 9419 so if you want more info or just to pick my brain that’s the number. You can always e-mail too to davidjsack@gmail.com

VHS to DVD or MP4 ?

VHS conversion services today are changing, for many years we have converted VHS tapes for transfer to dvd but less laptops are being sold with DVD players and more of our tv is being streamed.

At Saturn Films 1969 we are now producing MP4 files with all of our dvd conversions. We are offering the customer the option of having MP4 files, produced at 720p and 1080p saved to a usb stick or having their project on dvd  – and of course they can have both. We are archiving the conversions at 1080p so if customers come back needing a different format we should be able to provide it.

The question though is does this give a better picture?? At the end of the day the original material cannot be improved upon that much (read our links below) yes we can do a little bit but that VHS picture, the rough equivilent of 335 x 576 pixels, is just being reproduced as a file to play on latter day ‘smart’ televisions. I would argue though that saving at the best resolution provides some future protection as these files themselves are likely to be converted into something that is not yet on the market.

We use Matrox hardware and software for all of our video capture including VHS, Hi-8, digital-8 and Betamax, and we edit on Apple computers using Final Cut. The result is an edited movie with titles and  the option of saving in various video formats. What we do not do is a stright copy from player to disc. Although our service is not the cheapest I believe we offer value for money with  an excellent conversion package and with backup support.

Further reading:

https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/how-to/photo-video/how-convert-vhs-dvd-digital-3417308/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VHS

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2003/jan/25/comment.comment