Hello Mr. Frtize,
I agree - the equipment here (I'm outside the US) is old and the microfilm printer does not work well at all - the print outs are barely legible. I enquired whether a new microfilm printer would be purchased at my FHC as it is well over 20 years old, Canon no longer service it and spare parts are not available. I was told that a new microfilm printer would cost $20,000!
I investigated the cost of purchasing a scanner and donating it to the FHC for everyone to use (like you, I would like the microfilms electronically or at least have a good image to print from and this would be a much more economical option for the FHC and its patrons). These microfilm scanners are also very expensive - up to $10,000 in some cases.
I asked about having the microfilms digitised and was told the best way to help is to assist with their indexing project - See: https://familysearch.org/volunteer/indexing
- as this will assist them to put the films (thousands of them!) online for everyone to access easily.
The LDS are doing this as a community service. The people in the FHC are all volunteers who give their time. The microfilms are sent internationally at cost. As far as I'm aware, they don't make money from their FHC or genealogy services, so it's understandable that the regional FHCs might not have the latest technology as their budget is limited.
I wonder if there is some kind of fund we could contribute to or whether there are other options that don't require each FHC having to purchase expensive technology until all their films are digitised and indexed?
With warm regards,