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Old October 29th, 2003, 08:20 PM   #1
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Which Hobby is More Expensive, Videography or Photography?

I used to think that those with photography as a hobby had the most expensive obsession. As purists, they insist on film. And not only do they own top grade cameras like Leica, but they own multiple cameras, and more than one brand or size. The lenses and filters can easily run over 10 grand. Throw in the cost of a darkroom, accessories, lighting, tripod, etc., and you are talking big bucks.

Most of us in this forum chose videography as our hobby or profession. OK, the video camera (Pana DVX100) is only 3 grand, and there's only one of them in my bag. The PD150 belongs to a pal. But now that I have a better camcorder, what's to stop me from buying:

1. A better tripod
2. Anton Bauer stasis shoulder support
3. AB battery system and charger
4. Temperature matched lighting
5. Better filters
6. Pro-quality mics
7. Sooped up editing system
8. Steadicam system
9. Dollies, tracks, and all that stuff

This is at least 9 grand over the cost of the camcorder. So who is a bigger nut, the photographer or the videographer? I could shoot training films for the next two years and still not be able to pay off the equipment. Not unless a disaster falls in my lap, and I'm the only person with a camcorder at the scene of a newsworthy event. My luck, the batteries will be dead.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 09:07 PM   #2
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Been there, done that.

Videography is more expensive than still photography by a long shot.

I have about $60,000 in equipment (replacement value, I didn't spend that much because some of it was used) acquired over the past 8 years. Even that is hard to pay for with video jobs.

Makes one understand why there really cannot be any $500 weddings, doesn't it?
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Old October 29th, 2003, 09:48 PM   #3
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I'd be betting that most of the wives don't know this. Now just how would you explain to a spouse that a microphone costs $700 ,a mixer costs $1000 or a piece of colored glass 4" by 4" is worth over $200.

Still photography was cheaper but not as much fun.

I'd be wondering about what some of us tell the better half when fedex come a knocking. here in Canada they want the sales tax on delivery and that's 15%
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Old October 30th, 2003, 01:52 AM   #4
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Interesting question, but the logical answer is video equipment. I mean, they don't even make a $6,500 USD tripod for still photography. But there are considerably more advanced amateurs or semi professional photographers, spending considerably more dollars on their equipment.

I can go to almost any major photographic hot spot (Yellowstone, Florida, Smoky Mountains, etc.) and see 20+ still photographers with $5,000+ lenses on $3,000+ bodies, on $1,500+ tripods and a camera bag full of lenses and accessories worth $3,000+. At the same time I see relatively few videographers, maybe one to two and their equipment is worth a few thousand dollars.

I think there are many times more still photography enthusiasts willing to spend $10,000 plus dollars on equipment than there are video enthusiasts willing to spend the same.
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Old October 30th, 2003, 02:02 AM   #5
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Well, I guess the attitude to this question solely depends on personal priority.
For my case - I'm long-term still photography fan shooting over 7 years but just recently (having history of about 4-5 months) got hooked to video.
I took a plunge and invested into GS100 (yeah, still consumer cam, but for my needs anything more expensive can hardly be justified), perhaps in some future (when will have enough to invest into learning videography and editing) will invest into good external mike, but I'm sure it will still keep lower profile caomparative to my photo investments, even though they are still quite moderate:
Canon EOS-3 + 28-70/2.8L + 70-200/2.8L + 550EX + good tripod, monopod, accesories, bags, + high quality film scanner ...total estimated approaching 4k$ (though cam and lenses purchased used in Mint condition).

So I guess this issue is personal, and as Jeff stated correctly, I personally, given additional finincial abilities would invets into still photography (some additional lenses, may be body) rather then additonal video cam or expesive accessories that are not must.

Alex
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Old October 30th, 2003, 02:05 AM   #6
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I do both. For me the cost is about the same because neither my SLR system nor my video equipment amounts to very much. But I think that really getting into video can cost more than really getting into photography. With photography, you can get away with a good, used camera and 1 good used lens. Include a couple of filters, a flash and a bag---it won't break the bank. A camera that is 35 years old will still take great pictures, but a cam that's 35 years old? With videography, quality (and demands) have improved over the years---and what are we going to do with our cams when TVs go HD? (Trashcan)
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Old October 30th, 2003, 02:31 AM   #7
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Good observation about cameras, Frank. Until just recently still cameras could have lasted a lifetime. But the digital revolution in still photography is forcing people to at least think about upgrading bodies every few years.

Video people are used to seeing (or should be) there camera investment go down the drain. The plus side is the tremendous improvements each new video camera bring to the market. I look at what a $500 video camera does today compared to $30,000 cameras ten years ago. Wow. No comparison in many ways and comparable image quality. The sound quality being limited by the cheap mics on $500 cameras.
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Old October 30th, 2003, 04:03 AM   #8
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For amateur/prosumer equipment the cost might be close - but it's no contest when you consider that videography is far more time intensive.

In the professional arena, video equipment just blows photography out of the water when it comes to cost!

Either way photographers and videographers are both nuts :-p
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Old October 30th, 2003, 06:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Either way photographers and videographers are both nuts
Yes; because with both, you point and shoot, and sometimes get into ridiculous stituations and postures just to get that shot (or that clip). And I've used every stupid comment in the book to answer those asking me, what are you shooting? Is that legal? :)
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Old October 30th, 2003, 09:08 AM   #10
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Michael, I think you're underestimating the cost of some pro photo gear. I know a local wedding pro that has probably $50,000 in his wedding camera package. Many of the pros have gone digital and a back for their medium format cameras start at around $15,000. My friend has two, uses one as a backup at weddings etc.

As far as time goes, both endeavors require considerable time and effort to pursue at a high level of competence. Photography is no less time consuming than video.
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Old October 30th, 2003, 09:33 AM   #11
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Hey Bryan...don't feel too bad. Some of us video/photo wives have a tough time explaining to our computer geek hubby why gear is so pricey. But when he went out and plunked down $5000 for a Mac laptop that pretty much ended my having to explain anything :-)

Video is definitely more expensive on the gear end of things. But because photo is so much more portable it's easier to spend gobs of $ on the back end as well as gear.

I have been a still photographer for 20+ years and in film/video for about 15 years. It all evens out some how. They are both AWESOME professions and one I wouldn't trade for anything.

Do both and enjoy it! Life is too short to do a job you can't stand. So many folks spend their whole lives trying to save for retirement. HA! I say take less salary if it means doing what you love and enjoy life now! Who cares about what you *might* get to do in retirement. Experience stuff while you are young and never retire. That's the answer! IMHO
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Old October 30th, 2003, 10:46 AM   #12
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When it comes to costs, I say spend the money in stages. You'll still spend a fortune over the years, but each outlay will be like a small bite out of your flesh. Just ask the people who get into boating, har har. My immediate priority- deciding on whether to spend the next 3 grand on a Steadicam or a Powermac G5. Ouch. Both can do a tremendous amount to make the finished product look better. This will be a tough decision. Wish my cousin worked at B&H so I could get things wholesale.

You get to live one life. Why not spend your money and time doing something fun? Consider how much money you fork over for things you don't like? Sales tax, real estate tax, cars that disappoint, insurance, bad dinners, overpriced concerts and ballgames, and so forth.
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Old October 30th, 2003, 04:33 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Donald : Michael, I think you're underestimating the cost of some pro photo gear. -->>>

Yeah I think I might have been comparing apples to oranges, I was thinking more of fashion photographers vs. professional movie makers.

In contrast - a wedding photographer vs. a wedding videographer's costs are probably more in-line with each other.

Though, I was thinking that a videographer will spend much more time after the wedding working on the material than a photographer - assuming everybody is using digital - what do you think?
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Old October 30th, 2003, 05:19 PM   #14
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Most wedding photogs ship the exposed film to a processing house and sit back and wait for the proofs to come back. When the B&G chose the prints, then the photog orders the full-sized, high-quality prints. When those are received, if the B&G are lucky, the prints are put into a photo album.
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Old October 30th, 2003, 06:08 PM   #15
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With wedding photos, you pick the good ones and give it to them, and then wait to see if they want any blow-ups. Also, large format cameras are much better for shooting weddings (and with good lighting/flash etc). A mamiya 6 with 80mm lens is just the ticket. :)
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