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Old December 3rd, 2007, 04:40 PM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 99
To buy or rent?

So I'm wondering what the majority of you guys do. Do you have so many projects that you go ahead and buy your cameras, or do you have huge projects every now and then that you just rent your cameras.

I'm sure that the cost of the camera plays in with the decision for buying/renting.

Do you buy your cameras, do you also rent them out when you're not using them?
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 09:43 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
I have always owned the gear I'm using EXCEPT for certain specialty item or thingas I normally wouldn't be using then I rent and of course the charge is built into the price to the client.
Do I rent my gear out to others? Nope, NA, NO, Not on your life, not a snowballs chance in hell, not even on my worst day ETC ETC...
You get the point. I own it and paid blood sweat and tears for it. I USE it a lot sometimes last minute stuff and frankly there are very very few I trust enough to put my gear in their hands. I have maybe 3 guys I know that I will let them a piece of gear if I know I'm not going to be using it and frankly most of the time if they need it I'm on the job with them and we're using my gear for consistancy.
BUT some guys do rent their gear out. Good for them , not for me.

Just my way of life.

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Old December 4th, 2007, 07:54 PM   #3
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Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Posts: 670
Those of us who've been fortunate enough to make a living doing fairly profitable corporate and event videography can justify owning a reasonably priced camera, since it is a business tool that should pay for itself. Beyond a certain level of production ownership becomes less practical.

If you don't have regular gigs or steady clients, by all means rent the gear. You can sometimes get a lot more production & grip for your money that way.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 12:23 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 444
Really, there are a few questions at play here - they are these:

Do you want to be a shooter/operator, or a director/creator.

Do you need to experiment, and learn from doing, or do you like to plan and execute things and get other people involved.

Owning a camera that you hire out with you, sets you up as a resource, rather than just a talent. It means that you can ALWAYS work, even on your own projects, as long as you have cash for stock.

This is generally appropriate for people who are interested in working in documentary, television/journalism etc, or who want to be constantly honing the craft of filming.

Me, I'm a producer, I produce a video if someone asks me to - normally I wouldn't be doing the shooting, and in fact I'd prefer not to be even directing it or editing it if possible - just producing. In a pinch I've had to fill all those roles, but in general I'm against doing so, because I think projects turn out better when one person isn't stretched to doing it all.

Probably also depends on your location - do you live where there is a large enough population base to support what you want to do WITHOUT having to do it all?
Craig Parkes is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

(800) 223-2500
New York, NY

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Texas Media Systems
(512) 440-1400
Austin, TX

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

(800) 323-2325
Mineola, NY

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
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