I've been in the market for a S16 camera package, and one of the options I'm seriously considering is a pre-owned Arri SR3 package. It's being sold by a reputable motion picture equipment service and resale company, and judging from photos it's cosmetically in excellent shape, however my only reservation is that it's an ex-rental.
When I started looking into cameras, I was hoping to purchase from a private owner and was very leery of considering an ex-rental. Maybe it's an unfair perception, but I just envision some ex-rentals, after having passed through so many hands, as being in questionable condition and chock-full of unpleasant surprises that will surface down the road. That said, this particular camera is an ex-rental from Panavision. Given Panavision's overall positive reputation, should this ease my concerns somewhat? Would it be safe to assume that their rental and service department did a decent job of maintaining the camera and accessories while it was under their ownership, even if it wasn't Panavision-manufactured equipment? Also, seeing as how Panavision is usually associated with its own brand of equipment, I'm curious about how often they would have actually rented out an Arri S16 camera package. There's certainly no way to know for sure, but I'm curious if they rented these cameras frequently, or if it's something that was available to their clients but spent most of its time on the shelf.
Bottom line, if you were considering a camera purchase and leery of ex-rentals, would you feel a little more comfortable buying an ex-rental knowing that it was owned and maintained by Panavision, or would you have more of a "once a rental, always a rental" mindset regardless of who owned and rented the camera? If nothing else, the reseller would also perform a tune-up and detailed check of the camera prior to sale, so that's a positive point as well.
Thanks to anyone who can weigh in on my questions!