Jump to content
Kevin Mastman

Owning vs. renting cinema camera

Recommended Posts

For cinematographers working in the commercial / documentary world, is it necessary to own a complete camera package or can you get by renting what you need on a case by case basis?

If you do rent gear, do you rent it yourself and invoice the production company, or does the company handle the rentals for you?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Commercials and docs are pretty different markets ..   commercials the camera gear is usually rented in as a package.. and the cameras are mostly of the expensive type.. Alexa/Venice/ RED,s/ or film cameras.. with very expensive lenses..with large crews..

Docs I believe its better to own your own camera gear.. you make a lot more money, you know the gear is well maintained ,you know how to use it back to front, you don't have to pick it up,test and return..its available always..you can add all the accessories you want.. sensor size seems to be more important that actual manufacture these days..  I have not had a request for ⅔ inch ENG for about 6 years now.. and I doubt I ever will again.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the high-end, cinematographers rarely own their equipment, unless they're Shane Hurlbut or want to be the next Shane Hurlbut. Yes, many have some sort of camera, but they have connections with rental houses who supply pretty much everything. High-end would be anything with guaranteed distribution before being shot and enough budget for their crew to live comfortably. 

On the mid to low arena, things are very different. Many Documentary filmmakers do own their own kits, so they can be out shooting their films without assistance. They'll bring on a DP for interviews or "beauty" work, but having done post on many doc's, it appears the filmmakers themselves do quite a bit of shooting. Mid to low are shows that have a limited up front budget and most of the time, do not have a guarantee of distribution before being shot. 

You'll find many commercial DP's in the mid to low budget range also have serious stashes of equipment. Here in Los Angeles, I find most of the working commercial guys, own their own rigs because they're so busy, they don't waste time dealing with rental houses. Many have small grip trucks with everything they use and use the same camera/gaffing/grip team on all of their shows. They make money by doing A LOT of shows, sometimes two or three different clients a week. They work directly with agencies to get work and a lot of times work with the same directors. 

The difference between the high end in the commercial world and the low end is that DP's in the high end can make tens of thousands per day, so they don't need to work much to make ends meet. Where the mid to low guys are hustling non-stop to make ends meet.

I think today, unless you're a high-end guy -in which case you'd already know the answer- the answer is yes, you should have your own camera package. You are a better asset to a line producer having a rig, then dealing with rental houses. You can invoice them singularly for labor and camera package, making things way easier. Insurance covers you and your camera, vs special coverage for a rental camera, etc. There is far more paperwork to do with rentals as well. Heck, I know guys with small grip trucks who work non-stop just because they don't need to do paperwork. 

So what camera package to own for both ENG Doc work and Commercial work? The Alexa Amira would be top of my list. Get that beautiful imager with the ENG package body. Heavy yes, expensive yes, but pretty damn good camera. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

It really depends on your market sector. With the cost of documentary cameras tending to be lower than in the days of 2/3" cameras (except if you use an Arri), if makes sense to buy your camera if that's the one you mostly use. 

I used to rent 2/3" cameras because the work was a mix of Digibeta, Beta SP and DVCam, I owned the tripod, monitor and lights. I also had a deal with the rental company on the rates,

 

Edited by Brian Drysdale

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Insurance covers you and your camera, vs special coverage for a rental camera, etc.

Thanks for the detailed reply that was very helpful!  When you mention insurance, are you saying that the production company's insurance would cover the DP's camera package meaning that its unnecessary for the DP to insure their gear?  Or are you saying that since a DP would have their own insurance its not necessary for the production company to insure the gear?  

Also, one more question: Before laying down the cost of a Porsche for a camera package, is it reasonable for a DP to rent gear themselves for a job and charge that rental as a kit fee to the production, or is that overly complicated?

 

14 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

So what camera package to own for both ENG Doc work and Commercial work? The Alexa Amira would be top of my list. Get that beautiful imager with the ENG package body. Heavy yes, expensive yes, but pretty damn good camera. 

This is probably an unpopular opinion but I actually find the form factor and button interface of the Amira quite cumbersome in any kind of fast paced documentary setting in which lighting and action is unpredictable and inconsistent.  With a camera like the C300mkii with nice glass, I find that the access to control wheels, many mappable buttons, and relatively light weight gives me speed and versatility that outweighs the improvement in image quality of the Alexa.  The 3 position toggle switches on the Amira were a nice idea, but if I want to go to a setting in between those 3 positions, I have to go into the menu and change it, which takes too much time.  Maybe I'm overthinking it :).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Kevin Mastman said:

Thanks for the detailed reply that was very helpful!  When you mention insurance, are you saying that the production company's insurance would cover the DP's camera package meaning that its unnecessary for the DP to insure their gear?  Or are you saying that since a DP would have their own insurance its not necessary for the production company to insure the gear?  

So think of it a different way. A production company "hires" a cinematographer with gear. So yea, many companies won't need to insure the DP's package. This saves them a lot of money AND time to pay the DP to deal with the rental house. 

 

3 hours ago, Kevin Mastman said:

Also, one more question: Before laying down the cost of a Porsche for a camera package, is it reasonable for a DP to rent gear themselves for a job and charge that rental as a kit fee to the production, or is that overly complicated?

Yes, it's labor + kit in most cases.

3 hours ago, Kevin Mastman said:

 

This is probably an unpopular opinion but I actually find the form factor and button interface of the Amira quite cumbersome in any kind of fast paced documentary setting in which lighting and action is unpredictable and inconsistent.  With a camera like the C300mkii with nice glass, I find that the access to control wheels, many mappable buttons, and relatively light weight gives me speed and versatility that outweighs the improvement in image quality of the Alexa.  The 3 position toggle switches on the Amira were a nice idea, but if I want to go to a setting in between those 3 positions, I have to go into the menu and change it, which takes too much time.  Maybe I'm overthinking it :).  

I've done quite a bit of work with the Amira, it's no Sony or Panasonic ENG camera, that's for sure. However, it looks just like the Alexa, so you can shoot b-roll with an Alexa and interviews with Amira and you've perfect matching images. Now this is the high end, but if the question is "owning" a package, It's a really good camera to own. 

I'm not much of a Canon C series fan. I don't see the purpose of holding a camera out in front of you all day and when you add a zoom lens, it's pretty cumbersome even with a shoulder rig. I don't like the XAVC codec, even though it works nicely with Avid, it doesn't work nicely with anything else really (I use it a lot). I don't like Canon's menu system either and I think the camera over-all is very outdated in the way it functions. 

The problem is, if you're going to rent yourself AND a camera, you should be looking at something people want. I mean, a Sony Venice MAY be an option, but it expensive. I don't think anyone wants the EVA-1 or Sony F5/F55, they sit at rental houses. Red is out of the question for Documentary work, it's too much of a pain to deal with. 2/3'rds imager cameras are worthless for professional commercial work. So it's a real tossup! 

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know people who are very busy with F5 & F55 or the C300 cameras, I notice RED cameras being used BBC natural history docs pretty often, while other high end docs use Arri cameras.  It really depends on your local market and the type of work you do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

o what camera package to own for both ENG Doc work and Commercial work? The Alexa Amira would be top of my list.

The Amira is $40,000. A Canon C200 - a Netflix approved camera - is $10,000. Buying the Amira as a camera for documentaries is against all business sanity unless you can show that the camera will provide a spectacular amount of extra revenue.

Quote

I'm not much of a Canon C series fan. I don't see the purpose of holding a camera out in front of you all day and when you add a zoom lens, it's pretty cumbersome even with a shoulder rig.

The camera you're trying to sell weighs, what, THREE TIMES as much as a C200 and you're talking about "cumbersome"...? Ok...

Quote

I don't like the XAVC codec, even though it works nicely with Avid, it doesn't work nicely with anything else really (I use it a lot). I don't like Canon's menu system either and I think the camera over-all is very outdated in the way it functions

 

So you don't like the C-series for subjective reasons. Fine. But why is that a reason for someone else - who is buying the camera for them, not for you - to spend four times the amount of cash???

And that's before considering that C200 has the world's best autofocus, which can be bloody useful for documentary work. And the whacking great reduction in weight.

Quote

However, it looks just like the Alexa, so you can shoot b-roll with an Alexa and interviews with Amira and you've perfect matching images.

Or you can just apply a colour profile to the C200 and no one watching will know you saved $30,000...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't invest in the Amira ,great camera though it is, but heavy and battery eater.. main reason is lack of 4K.. as a freelancer, unless you have two cameras.. thats going to cut you out of many shoots.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, David Mawson said:

The Amira is $40,000. A Canon C200 - a Netflix approved camera - is $10,000. Buying the Amira as a camera for documentaries is against all business sanity unless you can show that the camera will provide a spectacular amount of extra revenue.

There is no business sanity to filmmaking.  I know many cinematographers who make a killing renting their Amira's. Also, nobody put a price on how much the package should cost. Some people have money to blow on good stuff, other people don't. Maybe if the OP put in a price range, he'd be stuck using something a lot cheaper. 

Also Netflix approved cameras only benefits people with "netflix" on their paychecks. If you make a project funded by Netflix, you are not going to be using your own camera. Netflix buys 2k content every day of the week. In fact, on two of the shows I finished, when we asked them if they cared about 4k delivery, they said 2k was fine. 

Quote

The camera you're trying to sell weighs, what, THREE TIMES as much as a C200 and you're talking about "cumbersome"...? Ok...

How are you supposed to hold any of the C series cameras with a decent zoom lens? They're so front heavy with any lens, it makes them completely impractical to use. Like the Red and Alexa mini cameras, you wind up spending gobs of money building rigs with add-on viewfinders, shoulder kits, counterbalance battery adaptors, yada yada yada. Most people spend more on the rig, than the camera body itself. At least with the Amira, there are used packages with everything included. 

Quote

So you don't like the C-series for subjective reasons. Fine. But why is that a reason for someone else - who is buying the camera for them, not for you - to spend four times the amount of cash???

All of the canon C series outside of the bulky and over-priced C700, have an incredible poor design. Canon is a still company not a video company and they still haven't figured out how to make video cameras work well. Yes, they make a great imager, but outside of that, the camera usability is poor at best. I have used them quite a bit and would rather pay less money for an arguably worse camera (blackmagic pocket 4k) if I was stuck in that form factor. Otherwise, give me a full sized camera that natively sits on your shoulder for documentary work. If you can't handle the weight, then go to a gym. 

Quote

And that's before considering that C200 has the world's best autofocus, which can be bloody useful for documentary work. And the whacking great reduction in weight.

Worlds best autofocus for video? Nobody in their right mind would use Canon EOS glass on a documentary shoot, with non-repeatable focus AND non-parfocal zoom. Without EOS glass, many of the cameras features are worthless sadly. Yes, I have shot a lot with S and L series glass from Canon on C series and 5D series cameras. I have been unimpressed every time and have literally paid for a camera myself on several shoots because I'm so dissatisfied with the canon EOS glass. Canons cinema primes are pretty darn good, but they're all manual. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

I wouldn't invest in the Amira ,great camera though it is, but heavy and battery eater.. main reason is lack of 4K.. as a freelancer, unless you have two cameras.. thats going to cut you out of many shoots.. 

In raw it's 3.8k, which means when you do the transcodes in DaVinci to Pro Res 4444 after a day's shoot, you can deliver in full 4k if you want. I've done this many times and nobody knows the difference. Saying the Amira is 4k is fine. My friends who have Amira's make a killing off them, the cameras are constantly rented because they're really good for cinematic documentary work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

In raw it's 3.8k, which means when you do the transcodes in DaVinci to Pro Res 4444 after a day's shoot, you can deliver in full 4k if you want. I've done this many times and nobody knows the difference. Saying the Amira is 4k is fine. My friends who have Amira's make a killing off them, the cameras are constantly rented because they're really good for cinematic documentary work. 

Sure but not really many doc s /corp.. shoot in RAW... must be a very small percentage.. when production say it has to be 4K they won't want to deal with RAW .. they will just ask you to get another camera or find someone else .. if its your own project or in-house .. sure .. but freelance .. passing Amira off for 4K won't fly .. and transcoding footage after a 12hr day.. no thanks 🙂 

Im not at all saying the camera is not great ..it is.. but it has always been heavy and a real battery eater .. and now these days the lack of even UHD out of the can.. really not the best choice for your one and only camera .. it will limit your work choices .. 

Edited by Robin R Probyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I don't think anyone wants the EVA-1 or Sony F5/F55, they sit at rental houses. Red is out of the question for Documentary work, it's too much of a pain to deal with

those Sony cameras are extremely versatile and have great image quality and also work perfectly as owner-operator documentary cameras for higher end productions especially if you can use the raw recorder with them when the xavc is not enough. Red also works pretty well if you can live with its quirks and even for it not being very robust for outdoor use.

 

If you are doing nature documentaries for cinema release you may be shooting almost exclusively RAW btw. You will really need that extra quality to be able to correct the lighting differences afterwards and there may be very high contrast and lots of gradients and challenging colors at times. Especially on drone and underwater footage but on normal footage as well. You will also shoot lots of high speed probably even in low light situations so there really is lots of difference .

if shooting something easy like talking heads in a studio then pretty much any compressed footage would probably be OK...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive shot with Sony F55.. NHK provided the cameras and assistants.. as a co production  .. for the BBC Bristol Natural History Unit in Japan and we didn't shoot RAW.. thats big files with a lot of footage.. 17-9 4K Slog3.cine.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

those Sony cameras are extremely versatile and have great image quality and also work perfectly as owner-operator documentary cameras for higher end productions especially if you can use the raw recorder with them when the xavc is not enough. Red also works pretty well if you can live with its quirks and even for it not being very robust for outdoor use.

I'm just basing my info on friends who own cameras here in LA and what garnishes them work and what doesn't. 

Red dragons are a dime a dozen, so owning one will not garnish work. Everyone wants Alexa Mini 4k or Healium's or Venice. Those are the 2019 camera packages that owner/operators need to have in order to get work. 

46 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

if shooting something easy like talking heads in a studio then pretty much any compressed footage would probably be OK...

Talking heads is always compressed because the subjects aren't moving, so you don't need the benefits of RAW. 

I personally rarely shoot in Raw outside of on Red cameras. I think the raw formats are too difficult for the computers to process generally, so it makes post production difficult. However, since Arri's are still the most sought after camera package, it does make sense to stick with that, even tho the camera i suggested isn't 4k native. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

There is no business sanity to filmmaking. 

Or maybe you're just not capable of it? People who actually make a living doing anything have to think about costs, whatever your fantasies are.

Quote

I know many cinematographers who make a killing renting their Amira's.

Did the OP ask about setting up as a rental house? And I suspect that you have no idea whether people are making "a killing." What you know is they are renting cameras and maybe how much an hour. But the hours rented per year and costs, no.

Quote

Also Netflix approved cameras only benefits people with "netflix" on their paychecks.

The point is that the camera meets a minimum standard, Tyler. If Netflix will approve a camera, are you really like to have a client who won't be ok with the image? (Really - this isn't rocket science..)

Quote

 

How are you supposed to hold any of the C series cameras with a decent zoom lens? They're so front heavy with any lens, it makes them completely impractical to use. Like the Red and Alexa mini cameras, you wind up spending gobs of money building rigs with add-on viewfinders, shoulder kits, counterbalance battery adaptors, yada yada yada.

 

You're talking about a $30,000 price difference. The things you're talking about about can be done for 1/10 of that. Calling a spend of $1-$3K "Gobs of money" when telling someone to buy a $40K camera goes beyond hyperbole and into hysteria.

Edited by David Mawson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say about 95% of the jobs I've done in the past 10 years have required me to provide the camera/lighting package as well as myself - as an all in deal for the client. Typically this has been for corporate, promo and music video - in the mid range.

A most of the time I've hired in and adjusted my rate to accommodate, it helps that I live close to a hire company or have been able to rent from other owner ops at a good rate. The advantages to this approach are your not tied into any camera system, I can pick the best tool the job and be more flexible. Downsides are mainly due to profit margin, I'd potentially make more money if I owned the kit in some cases. Also there is the time lost dropping off and collecting the kit.

Personally, I've avoided owning much kit beyond a super basic DLSR (canon 60D) and a small lighting package (3 x 800w open face, 1 x 650 frensel and 2 x Kino Parabeams) - I got that stuff so cheaply it was a no brainer and its good enough for low end stuff e.g talking head interviews. 

I had avoided upgrading because its a slippery slope resulting in expensive cameras and in the past I haven't done enough shoot days to make it worthwhile.

However I have been considering getting a better camera, because I've just signed a contract with a client that requires more regular work and more shoot days. I could keep hiring in but it becomes a pain. When margins are tight is a bind having expensive hire rates. Also the BMP4K is swaying me, because it would good enough in terms of quality to fulfil my upcoming contract and the cash outlay isn't that much, renting is less cost efficient. But this is entirely on changing circumstances and only really down to one specific contract. To be honest its really dependant on your own personal circumstances. The daily hire rate on a BMP4k in my neck of the woods is about £75 per day, so I'd only need to shoot for 15 days and its cheaper to buy. 

- what work are you getting? 

- Are you being asked to provide kit?

- Where are you based and what rental options are there. Its less of a problem to rent if the hire company is 30 mins away Vs 4 hours.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, David Mawson said:

Or maybe you're just not capable of it? People who actually make a living doing anything have to think about costs, whatever your fantasies are.

It's called an equipment loan. If you have consistent clients, spending $40k on a camera is nothing. You can make that back in a jiff. Heck, the income I make off my film cameras is pretty darn good, thanks to repeat customers. If I had an Alexa mini 4k, I'd have no problem paying it back in a year or two. I've thought many times of doing it, but nobody will give me a loan because I'm a freelancer. 😞

Quote

Did the OP ask about setting up as a rental house? And I suspect that you have no idea whether people are making "a killing." What you know is they are renting cameras and maybe how much an hour. But the hours rented per year and costs, no.

You don't need to setup as a rental house. You just need make friends with rental houses who don't have the camera you have and allow them to offer it. Then, whenever you want it, you simply call them and go pick it up. If you're busy with the camera, than you won't need to do that. However, most people aren't THAT busy with their cameras. As long as they're paying the loan every month from rentals, they're fine. Amira's drag in around $700/day, which means if it rents two days a month, you've got the loan paid every month. 

All that matters is your day rate with camera or your rental rate. 

Quote

The point is that the camera meets a minimum standard, Tyler. If Netflix will approve a camera, are you really like to have a client who won't be ok with the image? (Really - this isn't rocket science..)

I don't understand why Netflix is even brought up. Again, anyone shooting for Netflix is not going to be using their own equipment, even if they OWN their own equipment. It's not worth the risk, they will simply rent something. 

The Arri Alexa is the #1 digital cinema camera. In fact, in 2019 there are still dozens of shows being shot on the XT and the Amira is just a re-packaged version of that camera. So I don't know why a client wouldn't be happy with the image. 

Quote

You're talking about a $30,000 price difference. The things you're talking about about can be done for 1/10 of that. Calling a spend of $1-$3K "Gobs of money" when telling someone to buy a $40K camera goes beyond hyperbole and into hysteria.

Here is how it work, if you have the same camera EVERYONE ELSE HAS, why would anyone use YOU? The Canon C series cameras have flooded the market, they are literally everywhere and as a consequence, their rental value is basically nothing. Few years ago when we were prepping for a feature, we had the option to pay for Red Dragon's, or the rental house would give us FREE C300MKII's because and I quote "if you rent lenses from us, we will give you free bodies because nobody rents them". So if you buy a C200 (which is arguably a worse camera than the C300MKII), you may be able to get $150/day for it, IF you had a client that has no money. However, do you really want to work with a client who has no money? If your camera package is a high-end, then you have weeded out all of those low-end clients. 

Amira.thumb.png.13e763006bfb548412d66851305b676c.png

1161410528_C200rental.thumb.png.fb2887c5028c72e61b1c42130bb889b5.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

It's called an equipment loan. If you have consistent clients, spending $40k on a camera is nothing. You can make that back in a jiff.

Yes, you can. But that's not the same as will. You didn't ask if the OP had such clients - and the chances are that if he was at that stage (which most people don't reach) then he wouldn't be asking for your advice.

Again, common sense, Tyler, common sense...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, David Mawson said:

Yes, you can. But that's not the same as will. You didn't ask if the OP had such clients - and the chances are that if he was at that stage (which most people don't reach) then he wouldn't be asking for your advice.

Again, common sense, Tyler, common sense...

OP here.  I'm an in house director/DP considering going freelance.  I've had a lot of experience shooting with both Alexa's and cameras like C300ii.  I have a reel that I think speaks for itself but at the moment, not a ton of prospects for freelance clients. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, David Mawson said:

Yes, you can. But that's not the same as will. You didn't ask if the OP had such clients - and the chances are that if he was at that stage (which most people don't reach) then he wouldn't be asking for your advice.

Again, common sense, Tyler, common sense...

I got the camera loan before I had the clients and with private rentals alone, I make my loan payment back each month. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Kevin Mastman said:

OP here.  I'm an in house director/DP considering going freelance.  I've had a lot of experience shooting with both Alexa's and cameras like C300ii.  I have a reel that I think speaks for itself but at the moment, not a ton of prospects for freelance clients. 

If you have a consistent job, I would for sure not go freelance until you have at least 5 clients with consistent work. 

I started freelance with 5 clients and over time, they dwinded off as more and more companies stopped paying for high-end production. With cinematography, it maybe easier to get more consistent clients. However, many agencies have in-house directors now, who serve as line producers when they aren't directing. It's cheaper for the agency to do that AND they don't have to worry about conflicting schedules. They still hire out DP's, that's a huge business for sure. However, I believe the days of Director/DP working freelance for an agency are dwindling outside of the very top top top agencies, which generally use the same guys. The lower agencies are all in-house and the middle agencies are slowly starting to shift as well. I have many commercial director friends sitting on their asses right now because of this issue AND the fact, there is just less being shot. 

My suggestion would be to try and capture a few agencies before they make this shift and do good work so they don't shift over to in-house only. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Kevin Mastman said:

OP here.  I'm an in house director/DP considering going freelance.  I've had a lot of experience shooting with both Alexa's and cameras like C300ii.  I have a reel that I think speaks for itself but at the moment, not a ton of prospects for freelance clients. 

Well yes getting the clients is the hard part when you start off freelance.. a lot is down to luck TBH.. you can get good clients early or it takes time.. obviously you have the talent and know how.. as everyone says it really depends on your target market .. the most popular camera in the world now ,bar high end commercials / drama,s and some big budget docs ..is the Sony fs7II.. by a million miles.. this is the camera you will be asked for guaranteed ..at least 95% of the time for anything bar as stated before ..(you can substitute f5/55 too) a far second will be the C300II..  you cant make a real living these days without gear ,except the top end people who are doing the jobs where a ton of expensive  gear is hired in.. look around at all the freelance you know with a nice house and car.. they will own a ton of their own gear.. there is no other way to do it.. tax deductible ,you know it works, always there and you charge for it..  end of story .. nothing else to say.. I have spoken .. Probyns criteria is always correct..and firmly based in science and empirical logic..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/19/2019 at 8:10 PM, Kevin Mastman said:

OP here.  I'm an in house director/DP considering going freelance.  I've had a lot of experience shooting with both Alexa's and cameras like C300ii.  I have a reel that I think speaks for itself but at the moment, not a ton of prospects for freelance clients. 

Then it sounds like a terrible time to buy an expensive camera. Have you thought of going waaay down in price and buying something a Fuji XT3 or GH5s, then renting for the jobs they won't cover? Those new 400Mbs hybrids are much more capable than the last generation -

and quite a few people are ranting about the shorter post-production times they say come from using Fuji HLG. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would never own a camera these days. The time to make your investment back on it simply not enough unless it's dirt cheap. Friend of mine bought an Alexa LF last year for $120K. It's already more or less obsolete now that the Mini LF is coming out. It's hard to make $120K back in rentals in a year - that's $10K/month or rented out for at least 5 days/month. Not so easy, unless it goes on a feature (and there the discounts are so huge, you'll probably need it to be out 15-20 days/month instead of 5/month). Sure, it's rentals won't drop to 0, but they will substantially taper off with the Mini LF.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Visual Products



    CineLab



    G-Force Grips



    Ritter Battery



    Paralinx LLC



    Tai Audio



    Wooden Camera



    Just Cinema Gear



    FJS International



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    Serious Gear



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Glidecam



    Metropolis Post



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    Abel Cine


×
×
  • Create New...