Costco recently made changes to their photo center services when they transitioned to Shutterfly on January 28, 2023. This means the premium film transfer services they used to offer are no longer available.
To help Costco Members who may be affected by these recent changes, we put together a list of the best film conversion alternatives so you can make the best choice for your film reels.
Costco was a great place to turn film into high-quality digital copies, so that you could easily share, preserve, and enjoy them for years to come.
For over 20 years, Capture has learned everything there is to know about film transfer options, so we put together all the pros and cons of each alternative to Costco including film scanners, transfer kits, and other options for your film memories.
Whether you never had a Costco Membership, want to compare Costco’s service with other options, or just want to find a new service for 2023 and beyond, we’re here to help.
What was Costco Film Transfer Service?
Before the recent changes, Costco could convert your 8 mm film, Super 8 film, and 16 mm film into digital copies designed to last a lifetime.
They offered the option to receive a digital download, DVD, or USB flash drive copy of your home movie film, which meant easier sharing and preserved memories.
In addition to simple film transfer to DVD, Costco could also enhance the colors, so you got a brighter, clearer picture to bring your memories to life.
When Costco offered this service on their dedicated website, CostcoDVD.com, they charged $19.99 for the first 150 feet of film and $0.13 per foot after that. However, that website and the services it offered are no longer available.
How to Choose the Best Alternative to Costco Film Transfer Service?
Each of the film transfer DIY and service options below offers a different set of pros and cons.
Before deciding, there are some things you should keep in my when searching for the best way to turn your film reels into digital files.
We recommend asking these three questions:
- Can the alternative handle your film size and number of reels?
- What digital formats do they offer?
- Do they offer a quality guarantee that meets or exceeds Costco’s 90-day money-back guarantee?
Type of Film
Not all film transfer devices and services can accept all types of film. While most options will accept Super 8, 16 mm, and 8 mm film, it is important to double-check before spending any money. In addition, some equipment and services may also be able to convert your VHS tapes, photographs, Betamax videotapes, film negatives, and more.
Digital Format Selections
Different options will produce different versions of your home videos. For example, some will only transfer onto a hard drive or cloud storage as an Mp4 file while other alternatives will be able to produce a DVD copy or USB version of your camcorder and projector home movies.
Safety and Security for Film Reels
Since your old film contains your memories, legacy, and priceless moments, you want to choose a service or DIY options that ensure the film does not get damaged. While most services offer security and guarantees, a few are known to lose or damage analog media as well. In addition, doing it yourself on a machine means you are liable if you lose access to your precious memories.
Make sure to look for quality that matches the Costco film-to-DVD transfer review feedback for your priceless memories. The best alternatives will not only preserve your film reels, but produce high-quality digital copies designed to last a lifetime. Plus, superior services go above and beyond with film splicing, cleaning, and other services.
5 Alternatives to Costco Film Transfer Service
You want the absolute best for your film memories, so we've compiled all the most recent information and pros and cons for each of the alternative options.
Capture Film Transfer Service
You may not have heard about Capture, but we’re the company that fulfilled Costco’s film transfer services for the past 15 years. While we also work with other brands like Walmart, CVS, and Sam’s Club, many Costco customers don’t recognize our name.
That’s because the brand seen on CostcoDVD.com was YesVideo, Capture’s parent company.
If you are looking for the exact services and pricing offered by Costco, then you’re in luck because Capture offers the same deals at csb.capture.com.
However, you can also access a different pricing structure and expanded digitization services including our patented touchless photo album scanning, at Capture.com.
Whichever option you choose, you will receive the same professional expertise, 100% satisfaction guarantee, and less than 30-day turnaround time.
Here’s a chart to simplify the pricing structures since they are a little different:
Pricing for Digital Download Only
$28.99 for the first 100 feet of film ($0.25 for each additional foot)
Pricing for DVD Copies
$6.99 for 1 DVD (up to 1,600 feet per disc) in addition to digital download pricing
$19.99 total for the first 150 feet of film ($0.13 per foot after the first 150) and includes 2 DVDs
Pricing for USB Copy of entire order
$14.99 in addition to digital download pricing
$24.99 for the first 150 feet of film ($0.13 per foot after the first 150 feet)
Pricing for DVD + USB
Digital download + $14.99 + $6.99 per DVD disc
$29.99 total for first 150 feet of film ($0.13 per foot after the first 150) and includes 2 DVDs and 1 USB
Capture’s revolutionary tracking and security system means you can have peace of mind knowing where your precious memories are at every step of the process. We also offer original audio, cleaning, splicing, enhanced colors, and scratch reduction as needed for your film memories.
Plus, if you have other analog media you want to convert to digital format, Capture can probably take care of it. For example, our videotape transfer service can accept VHS, VHC-C, S-VHS, Betamax, MiniDV, DVC, and much more.
- Professional quality results and support
- Results in less than 30 days (including transit)
- Barcode tracking, 24-hour monitoring, and unparalleled security every step of the way
- Offers 60-day MemoryCloud backup and your choice of DVD or USB flash drive
- 100% satisfaction is guaranteed, or we will reprocess your entire order for free
- Capture has backed Costco’s 90-day money back guarantee for over 15 years, a testament to our dedication to quality and satisfaction
- While we may be a little biased, it’s hard to think of any downsides to using Capture as the brand behind CostcoDVD’s film transfer services. The only minor issue is that pricing options may present a challenge and customers will have to choose the best one for their needs.
Total Score: 9/10
As the brand behind CostcoDVD's digitization service, Capture is the best choice for the same quality services, especially considering we are temporarily offering the same exact deals!
While there may be some pricing challenges depending on what options you want, Capture's quality and security features, including a multi-million-dollar system, fast turnaround time, and satisfaction guarantee, make it a reliable and trustworthy choice to preserve your priceless memories.
Film Scanner Equipment
A film transfer machine is the best way to transfer your film on your own. It can effectively convert your home movies into digital format. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, some of the highest-quality options don’t work with all film types. For example, the Kodak Scanza does not work for 16 mm film but will do fine with Super 8 and 8mm film. Not only that, but these machines can get very expensive, as much as $400 or more.
While some options are more affordable, like the Wolverine Titan 8-in-1 High-Resolution Film to Digital Converter at around $149 on Amazon, they still may not accept all film types. Furthermore, the more affordable options that can work for all three film types are often difficult to use, especially if you are looking for the best results for your wonderful memories.
- Good quality results
- Works with most computers
- Very time-consuming because film scanners only digitize frame-by-frame
- Requires some technical knowledge
- Hard to find machines that accommodate 16mm sprockets
Total Score: 6/10
We like this option for tech-savvy users who have plenty of time on their hands, but the price and time it takes to use them effectively lower the overall score.
Record Film While Playing
One method for 16 mm or 8mm film transfer is to record it yourself at home using a camcorder or digital camera (or even a smartphone!). You will need a film projector for this option and the quality will be very poor. If you need one, you can rent a film projector from Got Memories for $45 to $75.
However, there are some benefits to this transfer method as well. It’s convenient, easy, affordable, and makes your home movies easy to share, save, and view on any device. One thing you do have to consider is that since you aren’t really converting the film into a full video, the outcome can display glares, produce outside noises, and appear jittery. This is especially true because of the difference between modern camera framerates and film format framerates.
- Affordable (as long as you already have a digital camera)
- Produces shareable digital files to save on a hard drive, SD card, or a cloud storage option
- Easy and convenient to do yourself
- Poor quality that looks jittery, shows glares, and may contain outside noise
- Time-consuming because it converts at the normal playback speed
- You must have a dark, clear, and silent environment to record
- You need a reel-to-reel projector
Total Score: 2/10
Stay away from this option unless you are simply trying to save film before it completely degrades. The results are poor, time-consuming, and of lower quality than the original film.
Online Film Transfer Kits
These are kits or boxes that you can fill with your film reels, send to the company, and have your memories professionally accepted for USB, digital, or DVD transfer. Because these companies use professional equipment and specialize in converting home movies, you can expect great quality. However, different companies still offer different results, so it’s always a good idea to check out the review.
One of the most popular brands is iMemories. They send a protective box, waterproof bags, and bubble wrap to protect your reels during transit. One of their best features is an easy-to-use app to track your order and view your memories after the film-to-digital process is complete. However, compared with other services, they are a little pricier starting at $29.99 for every 50 feet of movie film.
Another common option is Legacybox because they are well-known, convenient, and produce superb quality results for your film. Like iMemories, reviews aren’t always positive and indicate that LegacyBox may not handle your film reels as much as the reviewers would like. Legacybox is also expensive, costing $59.99 for only 2 film reels and as much as $559.99 for 20 reels.
- Professional results
- Different digital format options available like DVD transfer, USB, and digital download
- Some companies may not treat your memories with exceptional care
- Can be very expensive for your film collection
- Could take 10 to 12 weeks for processing
- Results can vary (and some may not enhance color or clarity)
Total Score: 7/10
This option is great when it comes to professional results and overall convenience because you may never have to leave your home, but they can get very expensive and we urge you to check the reviews before selecting the specific service.
You can check out other retailers that have a photo center including Walmart, Sam’s Club, and CVS. While Costco doesn’t offer services fulfilled by YesVideo anymore, many other retailers still do. One advantage is that you will not need a membership with some of these like you would if you went with Costco for the last 15 years.
Some options, like Walmart and CVS, even offer drop-off and pick-up options
One thing to consider is that the pricing for film transfer from these locations is that it depends entirely on the retailer’s structure. If possible, we suggest going directly through YesVideo, Capture, or another specialized film transfer service for faster processing, affordable prices, and dedicated customer support.
Still, if you prefer doing business locally, then this is a solid option for convenience, in-person interaction, customer service, and warranties or guarantees.
- Likely fulfilled by YesVideo (parent company of Capture) for professional outcomes
- Reputable customer support
- Local convenience
- CVS and Walmart offer in-store drop off and pick up options
- Pricing depends on the company you choose
- Processing times may vary depending on how busy they are
- Not every retail location has a photo center
Total Score: 5/10
This option is definitely good for professional high-quality results, but we recommend going with a specialty company for film transfer because of the higher fees and possible delays.
What is the Best Alternative to Costco Film Transfer Service?
While Costco film transfer services were a great choice for over 15 years, they no longer offer these services. There are still plenty of alternatives to choose from that offer benefits and downsides for your memories.
If you’re looking for deals similar to what Costco used to offer, visit the Capture website created specifically for Costco fans: csb.capture.com. You can also compare our services to digital converters and other online services.
We may be biased, but we think our services provide the most value and security for your film reels. If you want to learn more about Capture, we’re here to answer any questions or concerns you have.