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Should I buy an Amira??


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Hello all!

I've recently graduated film school and was lucky enough to land a full time commercial director job a few months after graduating. I've crunched the numbers and know I could realistically buy and own an Amira (accessories included) in the next 6 months. My only question is whether or not it's worth owning. For extra context I don't owe anything in student loans or have any debt. I've shot 2 features already both with Alexa cameras and really enjoy the workflow and color. Would love some advice from those further down the road.

thanks!

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On 7/30/2022 at 11:08 PM, Wilson Graham Skinner said:

I've shot 2 features already both with Alexa cameras and really enjoy the workflow and color.

Nice!  Can we see them?

To answer your question to the best of my knowledge... yes, I have heard of cinematographers buying a camera people are using these days and getting cinematographer jobs because of it.

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On 7/30/2022 at 9:08 PM, Wilson Graham Skinner said:

I've shot 2 features already both with Alexa cameras and really enjoy the workflow and color.

What would be your goal with this camera?  Would it be primarily for your commercial work or for low budget feature/narrative work?

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On 8/1/2022 at 10:44 PM, Justin Hayward said:

Nice!  Can we see them?

To answer your question to the best of my knowledge... yes, I have heard of cinematographers buying a camera people are using these days and getting cinematographer jobs because of it.

Thanks for the advice!

Both films are currently in post but here are some frame grabs from one I was allowed to grab stills from if you are interested.

https://imgur.com/a/jYpGI0r

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On 8/1/2022 at 10:44 PM, Dan Finlayson said:

What would be your goal with this camera?  Would it be primarily for your commercial work or for low budget feature/narrative work?

Hey Dan,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. The goal would be to own for narrative work where there might be less available budget. I'm still relatively early in my career and want to maintain a certain quality standard even when on lower budget productions and direct funds to lenses. Hope that clarifies!

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On 8/1/2022 at 6:57 PM, JB Earl said:

following...I'm curious how long these will be viable with the new ARRI35

 

Exactly my thoughts, I know the lifespan of Arri cameras is much longer than most, just unsure where things will stand now that the 35 is going to be a go to for many productions.

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Generally speaking digital cameras loose value fast. And now that there is a "true 4k" super 35 alexa, you're likely to encounter people who see that the Amira isnt that and then insist on the newest thing. And resale value will continue to drop. (Oddly the only cameras I own that have actually increased in value are the film cameras, go figure). So if you were to buy a camera, odds are either the Alexa 35 or the latest Red may make the most sense.

Now alternatively, lenses can be a great investment if you can ensure your set always works your jobs. Other support gear as well, though at some point unless you want it for personal projects or you want a full rental side hustle you may want to not go overboard there. 

That being said, I definitely get wanting to have your own camera that makes the images you like for your projects. If thats really what you're after, if you can maybe wait a little bit to see if the Amira prices fall any further (Im betting they will). Or you can get a set of glass that'll always work the shows, and pick up an older, more affordable camera that is fine for the personal/no/low budget projects. 

 

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On 8/5/2022 at 2:38 PM, Wilson Graham Skinner said:

The goal would be to own for narrative work where there might be less available budget. I'm still relatively early in my career and want to maintain a certain quality standard even when on lower budget productions and direct funds to lenses.

I see - I think this simplifies the financial side of things.  You don't need this camera to pay for itself quickly, it's a tool as a means to an end - great looking narrative films.  In the narrative world where you're using your own camera in the first place, I don't think the resolution of the Amira will be a roadblock.

I would treat it like 50-70% of whatever you spend on this camera you won't get back. You're converting that money into having a tool that allows you do the work you want to do.  If that number is an amount you feel comfortable spending, go for it.  If that number feels even a little scary, skip it.

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