There's a limit to how many feet of film you can fit on a DVD. When 8mm film to DVD services convert home movies to digital files, more footage will take up more space on the disc. But it's a bit more complicated than that.

8mm Film to DVD Capacity Limits

A standard DVD can hold up to 2 hours of video or 4.7 GB of data. How much footage fits on a DVD depends on video quality and capture speed.

Most home movies are initially recorded at about 18 frames per second (fps). That means every second of recording takes about 18 still frames of film footage. Assuming you have us capture your home movies at the same speed, here's how many minutes of footage you'll have:

Reel DiameterFilm LengthRun Time (18 fps)
3 inches50 feet3-4 minutes
5 inches200 feet14-16 minutes
7 inches400 feet28-32 minutes

Since 400 feet of film equals roughly 30 minutes of digital video, you can fit about 1600 feet of film on a standard two-hour DVD. That's more than 30 three-inch reels, which is the most common 8mm film reel size.

Adjusting Capture Speed and Video Quality to Fit More Footage

You can increase capture speed or reduce file quality to fit more footage on DVD. We don't recommend these techniques, though. It's tough to enjoy a home movie that looks much faster or less sharp than the original when you watch it.

Of course, you'll need to convert film to DVD if your only playback option is a DVD player. But if your main concern is fitting every home movie on the same device, consider a USB flash drive or external hard drive instead. It'll be much easier to add more films to your collection later on.