Best Camera Package for Young DP?
Posted 26 September 2011 - 11:17 PM
Should I even invest in a system or is putting that money (I obviously don't have much) into something else a better idea?
Any comments I know will be helpful. Thanks so much.
Posted 26 September 2011 - 11:31 PM
Seriously, cameras, and especially digital cameras, are quite often a loosing investment. Unless you have a way to pay it off very quickly, that money is much better spent on food and shelter between the jobs.
If you needed to buy things, you should buy the things that every shoot will want/need-- lights. Not big lights, but those little "this is my special secret sauce light," lights which you can bring out, or a simple kit like a small Arri Softbank for those gigs when you only need 3 lights for an interview (or 4 or whatever).
If you are dead-set on buying a camera, I'd recommend keeping it cheap. For a long time the HVX was a mainstay (as was the DVX) and the HVX is still kind of a good investment for some shoots, if you can get it cheap enough. Same can be said for the EX series of cameras (which I own). A lot of people want the DSLRs now, they seem to have replaced Lens Adapters, and for the price they may be worthwhile. But, and this is it, don't forget you can't just buy the camera. Tripod, Monitors, Lenses, Matte Boxes, ways to dump the footage on set ect all add up and add up very quickly and the big problem with Video is each year there's a new "hot," camera it seems which everyone wants.
Posted 27 September 2011 - 01:31 AM
Check out http://www.lensrentals.com/ camera section and you can get an idea of rental prices for pro camera packages. You can do some calculations based on how much you're working & earning and see what would make the most sense. Unless you're working a lot, the value of your camera might depreciate before you're able to hit the break-even mark. So it doesn't always make sense to buy.
16mm cameras are going for super cheap on eBay these days but of course you have to pay for processing!
Posted 27 September 2011 - 08:50 AM
If you're shooting a lot of commercials, you could make a fair bit per day, but also renting your equipment to the production company would also work a bit. But if you won't be working all that regularly it might not be worth it in the long run. I personally prefer rentals to adapt to current technologies and think it's better off that the production/rental companies just take charge of it all.
Posted 28 September 2011 - 11:42 AM
Even if these new products don't fit your need it's likely many others will ditch their current systems, & you could buy used at a discount.
Edited by Bern Caughey, 28 September 2011 - 11:46 AM.
Posted 28 September 2011 - 10:29 PM
What you SHOULD consider purchasing at some point is a lighting and grip package. But again, what's in that depends largely on what you will be working on. Buying random lights and grip gear may not be in your best interest at all.
So again, get the jobs FIRST and RENT as you need things until you find some kind of consistency in the gear you use. If you go out and buy XYZ camera, you'll likely find yourself taking ONLY those jobs that agree to use your camera just so you can pay it off and justify the purchase. That's a silly way to approach a career, to let your gear guide the way. Instead, look for clients and/or projects that interest you and that you're qualified for and then figure the gear out afterward.