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Old July 4th, 2006, 07:38 PM   #1
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Should I lease a Camera?

Hello Folks,

I didnt know where to post this question but I thought this would be a good start. Ok so for the past month or so I have been tempted to buy a HD or a Higher end DV Cam.
For example:

1.Panasonic AG HVX200, the lease is 328$/month


2. Canon XL2 lease for 223$/month

3. SONY HVR Z1U 242 209$/month

I just gave these cams as an example, I believe I will go with the XL2 because I want to be able to change the lenses and so forth and I aiming for a "cinematic" look to my footage.

So I just want your opinion on this please, I also apologize if my post sounds annoying, maybe you get these types of questions all the time, I just wanted to consult you @ DV.info before I make a move because there are alot of very helpful and knowledgable people on here and I respect that. Is it worth it to lease a cam? I think the disadvantage here is "I believe" it's not lease to own, because the money I would spend in those 24-36 months would be around 7000$ which is the price of a new cam!!!

Many thanks,
Joey Dee
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Old July 4th, 2006, 10:17 PM   #2
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i would not get into a 36 month lease on a XL2 .. IMO the camera world is going to be changing very quickly over the next 18months and the XL2 is going to be left behind and you'll still have another 18 months of making payments ... i usually give hand size camera's a 2 year life span ...
but i guess it all comes down to your clients .. and how much $$ you're taking in per quarter ?? the lease would be deductable ( so would buying) ... but in the end a XL2 at 223 per month for 36 is 8K .. if you bought one figure at the end of 3 years you could sell it for $1000-1500 ?? so it appears a lease is costing you a extra 3500-4000.. from where i sit i would not lease any of the camera's mentioned ...
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Old July 5th, 2006, 03:27 AM   #3
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Hi Joey - If finances are tight, have you considered buying second hand?, as Don says, the XL2 (while a nice camera) will be history soon. There is a good market for used XL2s - If you prefer the safety of a dealer, try H. Preston Media or CVP - you will get a warranty and the option to pay over a period of time. You don't say what your business is about and what it is you are wanting to achieve (other than a cinematic look), this should have a bearing on the choices you make. All the best...

Regards: Stu...
www.studioscotland.co.uk
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Old July 12th, 2006, 11:12 AM   #4
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Hey Fellas,

Thanks for the replies and sorry for the late reply as i have bene away wtching the world cup, but now im back :(

Don, you make a good point here, I think i will hold off the leasing and look into a used XL2 or Xl1. Stewart what I would like to do is make short films 10-15minutes.

1. I would the to have the ability to Interchangable Lenses
2. Wide shots 16:9
3. 24fps (cinematic look if ipossible)

I just want to continue to work and practice my skills in filmmaking. What would you suggest at this point?

regards,
Joey Dee
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Old July 13th, 2006, 05:09 AM   #5
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If you are going to stay with SD - then buying secondhand or an ex demo unit would be the way I would go... The XL is a good camera but do you really need the interchangable lens option when a wide angle adaptor would be a cheaper way to go?. The Pannasonic DVX series is also worth looking at and is a lot cheaper. In general - don't invest more than you need to in old technology, but do be careful where or who you purchase from. Money saved can be put to other items such as lighting and audio.

Kind Regards: Stu...
www.studioscotland.co.uk

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Old July 13th, 2006, 11:30 PM   #6
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Stewart,

Many thanks mate, appreciate your help! I spent a good time on your site reading about your company. I like this video: http://www.studioscotland.com/movies_events.htm

im interested in achieving that look just like the clip above, now I can tell you did some work on the lighthing. Looks great!

I going to get a 2nd hand cam, I guess I just gotta look around to see where I can find one.

Didn't quite understand this one
"The XL is a good camera but do you really need the interchangable lens option when a wide angle adaptor would be a cheaper way to go?."

What do you mean a wide angle adaptor? Does the XL have a wide angel built in 16;9??? I thought by getting a changable lense I can get the most out of the Wide Angle.

Many thanks,
Joey Dee
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Old July 14th, 2006, 05:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Dee
Stewart,
Didn't quite understand this one
"The XL is a good camera but do you really need the interchangable lens option when a wide angle adaptor would be a cheaper way to go?."
What do you mean a wide angle adaptor? Does the XL have a wide angel built in 16;9??? I thought by getting a changable lense I can get the most out of the Wide Angle.Many thanks,
Joey Dee

Hi Joey - Usually, the reason (there are others) why folks choose to use a camera that has an interchangable lense mount is so they can purchase/use other lenses other than the "stock one" that comes with the camera. One of the most popular lenses being wide angle (very expensive). "Because you are on a budget..." I was wondering why you have chosen the Canon XL over the DVX. The DVX is not only cheaper, it is also a great camera for doing exactly what you are looking to do. Plenty DVX 16:9 "film look" indie movies out there. If you wanted wider shots than the stock lense fitted - you can purchase a wide angle attachment that fits to the stock lense for not too much outlay (secondhand) to get those perspective shots. As you say - you are practising and learning at the moment, I take it you are not making any money from this. Have a good search on this site in the XL and DVX forums and you will get truck loads of info over the pros and cons of both cameras - but once again I would say... don't put too much money into an old technology... don't spend more than you need to, to achieve your goals at this moment in time.

All the best: Stu...
www.studioscotland.co.uk

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Old July 15th, 2006, 10:47 PM   #8
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Don't get too scared of Standard Def cameras. I own a High Def JVC HD-100 however, I'm convinced clients perceive HD as a "buzz word".

I still burn everything to Standard DVD so until everyone buys a High Def TV with a blu-Ray DVD player, it's not that big of a deal.

High Def is only a big deal to us (vidiots) because the HDV format has made HD so accessable to the common man.
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Old July 16th, 2006, 07:06 AM   #9
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There are many pros and cons to leasing, but here are the main ones:

1. You're not tied down to technology (pro) when you're done paying.

2. You don't own it when you're done paying (con).

I wouldn't consider leasing again (I just wrapped up a 3 year lease 6 months or so early with extra payments because I was so irritated with it) unless it's a much more expensive camera. And at that point, I'll rent vs. buy/lease.

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Old July 18th, 2006, 12:21 AM   #10
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I'm totally ignorant to this and infact was searching for info when I found this tread, with that in mind I have a few questions/thoughts:

I really don't understand the point of leasing anything like that period... maybe I'm not understanding this concept... if you just buy an xl2 on a credit card and could pay 200/month you would have it paid off in less than 2 years... so why would anyone want to pay MORE (minimium payment would be as low as $100/month on a CC)? With cars the benefit is that you pay a good chunk less per month than a note because they get a product of substantial value back at the end of the term (basically a long term rental of sorts).

Since there clearly HAS to be some benefits to leasing where are they at want price point does it make sense to lease? I'm VERY curious as we are looking to step up to a new camera soon... I like the JVC HD100 or something in that realm that can do dvcpro 50 (I want the increased color space :) ).
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Old July 18th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #11
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One other thing...my accountant didn't see any additional tax benefit to leasing vs. buying/financing. The leasing company said I could write the camera off and the payments or something. Just one write off and that was it.

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Old July 19th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #12
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I think the tax deal is if you purchase a camera, you are suppose to depreciate the purchase over several years, I think what would be a fair lifespan. If you lease, you can deduct the full monthly expense each month.

Not a tax expert but I think this is the way it would work.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 01:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hendrix
I think the tax deal is if you purchase a camera, you are suppose to depreciate the purchase over several years, I think what would be a fair lifespan. If you lease, you can deduct the full monthly expense each month.

Not a tax expert but I think this is the way it would work.
No, you can section 179 deduct up to $100k per year without depreciation. in previous years it was around $25k.

leases are a simple write off, Payment X 12 = your deduction for the year on Sched C for your bussiness, under the rental catagory. nobody writes off a camera over 5 years. in fact, if you can't pay off a $6k camera in a year, you should not be buying it, go rent until have enough demand to justify a purchase.If you can't book 6 days in one year, don't buy it.

generally speaking, in the video film biz, if you can't pay off most gear in under a year, don't buy it, rent when you need to. There may be a few $100k items where a 2-3 year payoff may be accetable, but again you have to have the demand there.

As for leases, they normally have a $1 buyout at the end, or 10%. and usually leases have high interest rates, but since they don't count against your credit, have other considerations if you need credit too. just be carefull

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Old July 23rd, 2006, 01:43 AM   #14
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So basically there isn't really ANY good reason to lease over purchase... except maybe poor/odd credit circiumstances and then still rental is probably the better option till that is sorted out.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 02:01 AM   #15
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if the purchase is under $100k, no, its all the same beans taxwise.

if you can do the deal on a low interest rate CC, use that, or rent. just remember, rental payments only happen when you go out & work that day, lease or CC payments happen every month regardless of if you work or not. I've got the only HD camera in town, and so far its been very hard to make it work. Some one else in a small market who has some shooting going on already paid for his camera in two months.

Steve Oakley
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