For decades, analog was the primary means of recording information and playback. However, as technological advances in computing and data storage became more complex and widely available, it seemed as if the analog era was at the end of its life cycle. Although the digital format has changed the way we consume media, there are still consumers that appreciate the aesthetic of analog recordings. Because of our obsession with old technology, we are continuing to see products released that cater to those markets, albeit at luxury prices.
The Super 8 film format by Kodak was a big step in amateur filmmaking. Affordable and easy to use, handheld Super 8 camcorders sparked a revolution in amateur film and home movies. However, as more high-definition formats became available, such as VHS and now digital, the Super 8 format was phased out until now.
Kodak and industrial design superstar, Yves Behar, have collaborated to create a modern Super 8 camera. Unlike Super 8 cameras before, this camera features a digital viewfinder, as well as a built-in microphone to capture audio onto an SD card. Despite the attractive retro styling, the unit itself and the cost to develop the film is still costly, between $400 to $750 and $50 to $75 respectively; this Super 8 camera is aimed towards more serious enthusiasts.
Although music can easily be streamed or downloaded, analog recordings have since become popular amongst younger generations. With actual vinyl record sales being reportedly successful, companies have since continued to design and manufacture turntables. However, audiophiles and regular vinyl enthusiasts have been enamored with the re-release of Technics’ (Panasonic) legendary SL-1200 turntable.
With most of the design carried over from the SL-1200 MK2 that made Technics the standard in turntables worldwide, the new SL-1200GAE sports new features that made what was regarded as the best turntable, even better. It may not look like much of an improvement, yet the reemergence of the Technics brand signals that the consumer vinyl market is still very well alive. However, much like the Super 8 camera from Kodak mentioned earlier, the cost of one of the SL-1200GAE will be around $4000; not much for audiophiles, but a very high entry cost to the average consumer.
Despite these examples being cost prohibitive to the average analog media enthusiast, there are still lower options to consider. These beautiful, yet expensive, models offered from once dominant brands in the consumer marketplace do signify the resurgence in analog technology.