While 8mm cameras are now obsolete, there are still a number of reasons why one might wish to own one. Collectors of vintage film equipment may wish to collect 8mm cameras for their own sake. Hobbyists may wish to use 8mm projectors to continue to make movies.
Collectors will enjoy finding different cameras from the different eras of the 8mm camera. The earliest 8mm cameras date back to the 1930s, when they became a less expensive alternative to the 16mm that predominated at the time. Those cameras have a pre-war, almost Art Deco appearance, and resemble the cameras you might have seen being used in the filming of professional movies (though they are stronger). After the Second World War, 8mm cameras became more and more common as home movie projectors. At that time, 8mm cameras became more compact, resembling more and more the still-motion cameras of the time.
In the 1960s, 8mm cameras became truly ubiquitous, though in the new format of “Super 8”. These cameras resembled almost a “camera gun”, with a hand grip on the bottom that with indentations for the fingers. Super 8 cameras are less valuable than traditional 8mm projectors, as they were so ubiquitous and generally of less quality.
Hobbyists may also enjoy the hobby of using 8mm cameras to make their own 8mm films. Of course, given the development of technology, this is not the most effective way of making movies, but hobbyists may enjoy the process of creating their own “vintage films.”
The tricky part of a hobby of making 8mm films is that the cameras are now out-of-date, which can provide difficulty in finding and developing the film stock. Nonetheless, 8mm film is still produced, though you may need to hunt around a little bit. This film can then be double-threaded in the camera, just like the film was traditionally.
You will also likely need to develop your own 8mm film, though this is a part of the fun of the hobby. The process of developing 8mm film is complex, and you will also need equipment in order to splice the 8mm into its two halves. Of course, this process is part of the fun of the hobby of making 8mm film!