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Financing a New Camera


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#1 Tristan Noelle

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 03:22 PM

Due to a stroke of good luck, I may be able to purchase a camera by the end of the year.  Right now I'm looking at a RED Scarlet-W package.  The idea is to be an owner/operator and shoot personal spec projects.  Admittedly I'm pretty ignorant on this topic of actually financing one. 

 

Does anyone have any experience with RED's (and others) leasing process, and does it mean you don't technically own the camera? Or pros and cons for other routes like a bank loan, a retailer, etc.?  If you could relate your experience and any advice I'd appreciate it.  Thanks.

 

Tristan


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#2 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 07:13 PM

I've heard that every RED camera has a fan in it? That is a huge deal breaker for me if I'm spending over 10k. Are you able to get your hands on an Arri HD body?


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 07:45 PM

What are you talking about? ARRI Alexa cameras have fans in them too, including the Mini. See:

http://www.arri.com/...upgrade-xt-fan/


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#4 timHealy

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 07:51 PM

Don't buy cameras. the technology changes too much unless you can rent it everyday. Buy great lenses.

 

Just my 2 cents

 

Tim


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#5 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 07:51 PM

As far as I know all the current camera,s have fans.. Sony ,Arri,Canon etc ?


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#6 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 08:04 PM

Don't buy cameras. the technology changes too much unless you can rent it everyday. Buy great lenses.

 

Just my 2 cents

 

Tim

Tim.. I read this alot.. but to be honest.. I have found it to be the opposite, over about nearly 20 years of owning camera,s..   there will always be a new camera for sure,your timing can be bad, and yes they change alot faster these days.. but owning your own camera will always make you money, alot more than your day rate ..

I never rent mine out and certainly don't work everyday.. plus you have a camera set up to your liking and most importantly you know that its works !.. I would advise to buy a camera,after due diligence .. and good lenses.. all tax deductible and they will make you plenty of money.

 

The other thing is that the camera,s are alot cheaper these days... half the price or less.. 

 

Even for people shooting features.. their own camera can be used as B or C camera,s..


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 09 November 2016 - 08:16 PM.

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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 08:51 PM

owning your own camera will always make you money, alot more than your day rate ..

 

This is true in certain circumstances.

 

There is a big chunk of filmmaking (where I work, or used to work) where a camera is something you give away for free to get the job.

 

If you can get value-divided-by-thirty for any item reasonably reliably, it's a no-brainer. The problem is whether you can, and often you can't.

 

P


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#8 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 09:55 PM

Ive never heard of giving away a camera for free.! .  for sure it has allowed me to do deals with prod co,s.. and not be stuck with a hard rental cost.. thats always been a plus of owning all your own gear.. from lights, dollies to green screens.. well and knowing they all work and you don't have to drive around town picking stuff up,taking back..  which is also work time..

 

Each to their own of course..  but for your standard jobbing freelance camera person.. owning gear has to be finically an advantage .. if camera,s start changing every 3 months it would be a different story.. but even if you change every 3 years.. which Ive been recently !.. as they cost so much less now.. its still worth it.. infact you almost have to, as actual day rates,without gear... have plummeted massively since the 80,s.. when you count in inflation.. as they the same now or less as the early 80,s !!


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 09 November 2016 - 09:56 PM.

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#9 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 10:09 PM

As far as I know all the current camera,s have fans.. Sony ,Arri,Canon etc ?

Sorry my language was lazy. Isn't RED's stuff notoriously noisy compared to the competition? Of the RED vs Sony stuff I've used Sony was dead silent by comparison. Isn't Arri known for superior heat sinks thus leading to their (expensive) bodies requiring less exertion from the fan (less noise)?


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#10 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 10:13 PM

Red cameras are extremely noisy compared to the competition, but they can easily be set to be silent when shooting. It's only between takes that they sound like someone brought a hairdryer on set.


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#11 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 10:22 PM

Red cameras are extremely noisy compared to the competition, but they can easily be set to be silent when shooting. It's only between takes that they sound like someone brought a hairdryer on set.

I went with that notion going in, I guess I was in the act of recording so frequently that it caused errors, which I assumed were overheating because after an hour the error would go away.


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#12 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 11:19 PM

Sorry my language was lazy. Isn't RED's stuff notoriously noisy compared to the competition? Of the RED vs Sony stuff I've used Sony was dead silent by comparison. Isn't Arri known for superior heat sinks thus leading to their (expensive) bodies requiring less exertion from the fan (less noise)?

 

 

Yes from my very limited experience of RED,s.. and from what every audio guy has told me. the RED cam,s do seem to be noisier than others.. Sony have setting for Auto (it comes on when the camera gets to certain temp).. off completely.. and off in REC ..  its very quite as is the Arri in my experience ..


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#13 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 11:33 PM

What is the highest end digital cinema camera out right now that comes... completely fanless? I know the BMPCC is one but its form factor gives me a headache.


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#14 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 11:38 PM

I always ask the same questions when people are spending potentially ten's of thousands on camera equipment...

Do you have a way to make the money back in your first two years of ownership?

Why do you need the best of the best? Why not settle for something a lot cheaper?

The camera body and RED accessories are only a very small portion of the over-all cost. Tripod (support), follow focus, mattebox, media, monitoring and lenses are very expensive. Buying a high-end camera body and accessories, doesn't mean you can magically make great images. It also doesn't magically give you a job as EVERYONE has a 4k cinema camera somewhere. So you don't magically have an upper hand when bidding on potential jobs, you're just "another" RED owner.

For your own personal stuff, doesn't a $20,000 camera package and $40,000 worth of accessories and lenses, sound like quite a bit of money? I spent $3k for a kit that doesn't "look" much worse when streaming online, which is what everyone does now a days anyway.

If you aren't a professional cameraman traveling the world, shooting for other people, there really is no point to owning such high-end equipment in my opinion. There are so many incredible low-cost cameras on the market today and frankly, RED cine is the last place I'd head to with the kind of competition available.

So think about these things before making a decision. It's of course your own financial decision, but I've seen people get burnt on high-stake loans for equipment, it can get very expensive for no reason. Fun toy yes, but worth it? Up to you.
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#15 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 12:08 AM

I always ask the same questions when people are spending potentially ten's of thousands on camera equipment...

Do you have a way to make the money back in your first two years of ownership?

Why do you need the best of the best? Why not settle for something a lot cheaper?

The camera body and RED accessories are only a very small portion of the over-all cost. Tripod (support), follow focus, mattebox, media, monitoring and lenses are very expensive. Buying a high-end camera body and accessories, doesn't mean you can magically make great images. It also doesn't magically give you a job as EVERYONE has a 4k cinema camera somewhere. So you don't magically have an upper hand when bidding on potential jobs, you're just "another" RED owner.

For your own personal stuff, doesn't a $20,000 camera package and $40,000 worth of accessories and lenses, sound like quite a bit of money? I spent $3k for a kit that doesn't "look" much worse when streaming online, which is what everyone does now a days anyway.

If you aren't a professional cameraman traveling the world, shooting for other people, there really is no point to owning such high-end equipment in my opinion. There are so many incredible low-cost cameras on the market today and frankly, RED cine is the last place I'd head to with the kind of competition available.

So think about these things before making a decision. It's of course your own financial decision, but I've seen people get burnt on high-stake loans for equipment, it can get very expensive for no reason. Fun toy yes, but worth it? Up to you.

 

 

Yes totally agree.. for personal use .. these days.. where prosumer gear is of such high quality .. no need to spend out on RED,s.. Amira or even Fs7..  let alone the lenses..  I thought the OP was asking from the professional cameraman ..buying gear V,s renting.. point of view..

 

Macks.. I dont know the answer to that question.. to some extent I guess it will depend on the processing power of the camera.. so i wouldn't go for a camera which might be hobbled in processing power.. just to not have a fan.. I know what you mean .. my first camera to have a fan was the PMW500.. and it worried me a bit.. but I never had any problems with it ..or the F5.. so far.. and its never been any problem audio wise.. even with the most grumpy sound guy :)

 

PS the C300II seems to be a fan less camera :)


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 10 November 2016 - 12:11 AM.

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#16 Rakesh Malik

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 01:37 AM

I've heard that every RED camera has a fan in it? That is a huge deal breaker for me if I'm spending over 10k. Are you able to get your hands on an Arri HD body?

 

Some of them are surprisingly loud when they're not recording, but they're very quiet when recording. Red loaned me a Scarlet Dragon and it's moderately loud between takes, nearly silent while recording. I'm working with another production company that has an Epic Dragon, and it's astonishingly loud between takes, yet just as quite while recording.

 

The DSMC2 family is quieter from what I understand, but I haven't had a chance to play with one in an environment that wasn't louder than the fans like on the floor at NAB. :)


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#17 aapo lettinen

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 01:41 AM

What is the highest end digital cinema camera out right now that comes... completely fanless? I know the BMPCC is one but its form factor gives me a headache.

 

I don't know any higher end camera which is totally fanless but there is relatively silent models to choose from. Even the freaking FS7 has a fan and I believe the FS700 has also (these can be used with Odyssey 7Q or Atomos to record RAW so I would classify them as cinema capable based on that) 

 

Maybe something like a higher end DSLR with the Magic Lantern raw hack. but they have serious overheating problems. 

you could get a package with 422 10bit capable camera body and external recorder though which could be fanless but raw is a tough one to find.

 

Correctly set up fan cooling is not likely to cause you any problems in most shooting situations though. I personally haven't had any problems with for example FS7 in any situation. it is just vary difficult to get a convection cooling system work without making very big heatsink and people want their cameras small so it is better to use the smaller heatsink with a little help from the fan...

 

I second that it is generally not practical to purchase a higher end camera body nowadays unless you have already made sure that you will get at least 4-5 times the cost back in the first about two or three years. 

if making for example couple of documentaries at the same time it is very practical to own the basic set and you can get the money back even in couple of months so why not. 

But if making high end commercials or features where the camera set easily costs 100K+  then you better be very experienced professional already who is just substituting the rental house gear with one's own gear and charges almost the same daily fee.

 

purchasing very expensive equipment to yourself and giving it away for free is not advisable unless you won in the lottery and want to sponsor the greedy producer's movies  :ph34r:


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#18 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 02:33 AM

I just happen to have a Red Epic on my desk right now. I also happen to have a decibel meter.

:cough:

Now this is one of the "loud" RED's, but it's 62db from 1 foot away when on stand-by and it's around 52db when recording.

The Arri 435 is around 56 - 60db and it's considered an "MOS" camera. So yea, this thing is friggen' loud and I've always said it was.

The Dragon is a bit quieter, but that's because it runs dual fans at the top instead of a single fan in the bottom front. The double fans help pull air, but still sounds like an airplane taking off when you go from record to stand-by. In a room quiet enough to record critical dialog, it will be heard when recording.

The Alexa's are pretty darn quiet, they use a very efficient system of thermal transfer. The Sony FS7 and F5/55 fan is kinda of annoying on "auto" mode, because it will go up and down on it's own, but it's silent whilst recording. The Canon C series is the same way, it doesn't make a lick of noise when recording, but comes on when on stand by. Not sure what the deal is with the URSA, but I haven't ever heard it make noise. I'm gonna get my hands on one in a few weeks (again) and I'll pay more attention to noise and stuff. But anyway, I think the RED's are the worst at this because they're in such a compact little case and the heat sync simply isn't efficient enough when you add all the other ancillary electronics.
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#19 Rakesh Malik

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 03:18 AM

I think the Ursa has a liquid cooling system in it, so it doesn't need as much air circulation, and hence much less fan noise than most cinema cameras.


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#20 Stuart Allman

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 06:21 PM

Tristan,

 

In all seriousness...rent a few cameras and determine this on your own.  Don't believe everything you read in online reviews or slick ads.  I've used most of the cameras listed above except the Alexa, and I know what one works for me, my budget, and my workflow.  The fan will likely become the least of your concerns once you try a few cameras.  You're in L.A.   There's so much equipment in your city that's it's practically a free commodity - especially if you make a few friends on the forums here...

 

Don't buy on emotion.  Do the math.  It's just gear.

 

Stuart Allman

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