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Taking Care of Business
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Old April 8th, 2004, 02:16 PM   #1
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Financial Question...

Okay we all know that pretty much everything in DV is extremely expensive and sometimes extremely overpriced. So, my question is, how do you folks pay for all this stuff? Is it all credit cards or do you pay cash or what? I was thinking about applying for a credit card just so I can buy a new camera, and then cancel it as soon as its paid off. Good idea or no?
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Old April 8th, 2004, 02:27 PM   #2
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Why do you need a new camera?
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Old April 8th, 2004, 02:40 PM   #3
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I'm starting to get work flow now. I need a second camera, and something better than my trv950. DVC80 is what I'm purchasing. Also, I'm gonna start shooting short movies and having only one camera is going to be a pain.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 02:44 PM   #4
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Getting in debt for something you don't need is, ofcourse, a bad idea in general. But if you have the cash on hand, paying with a credit card can speed payment (not having to wait foe a check to clear) and sometimes offer a level of "buyer protecton." Some offer to double the mnft warrenty or internet fraud.

You have to shop companies and make sure they offer what you need.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 02:49 PM   #5
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aahh okay I getcha. I dont have the cash on me. But I know that by using a credit card, I can make the monthly paymets easily. Saving up the cash and dishing it out all at one time just seems painful to me.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 03:07 PM   #6
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Watch that interest rate! Unless you can pay it off early you'll pay dearly. I don't pay the bills at my house but I know you could pay double for that camera if you paid the minimum over time.

What's the interest rate now, 28%?
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Old April 8th, 2004, 03:08 PM   #7
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Not the best.
Any camera you buy will likely be out of date before you pay down the credit card. Especially if you buy right now with several HDV cameras in the works. :(

Is this camera purchase purely for personal use or do you hope to get paying work with it ??

If it's personal use, get a low-end camera from ebay to shoot with for a while and save up to buy that killer camera when you've got most of the price saved up. Besides, HDV will be more widely available by the time you've got those funds saved.

If you're looking to get some video work, you're actually ALSO better to get a low end camera to practice with on your own. Rent a good camera when you're ready to shoot a demo, and rent again for any jobs you land. In my area pro-sumer 3CCD miniDV cams are available at $75/day ($400/wk) and Professional cameras are around $250/day ($750/wk). These costs can be rolled into the price of your services and usually even covered by requesting a deposite from the client.

Certainly something to consider, anyway.
I've just recently worked my way out from under a hefty pile of credit card debt and personally would never use one for a major purchase again. My side video gigs have more than paid for every related purchase (in fact most of the procedes last year went to paying off old credit cards :) ). I only just got a GL2 at the end of last year, purchased with money from an website development gig. Prior to that, I had an old Hi8 and little Canon ZR25. I borrowed and rented DVCPRO cameras for client shoots.

For months now, I've been drooling over the idea of getting Combustion for my compositing work, but it's a no-go until I have the money in hand. Probably still a month or two of saving up to go.

BTW: Most movie work is done with single camera shoots. Only the big big budget stuff gets multiple cameras. Working with one camera will teach you to smarter and better organized with your movie shoots. :)

Good luck.
Have fun.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 03:52 PM   #8
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I used a no-interest credit card offer to get a used Betacam deck but I made sure I had the income to pay it off before interest started kicking in.

I also use a mileage credit card for other purchases but that gets paid off in full every month to avoid interest fees.

Professional video equipment costs far too much to expect to save up before acquiring it. There's the quandry of needing equipment to earn a living to make enough money to get the equipment needed to earn a living to make enough money to get the equipment...

That's where credit is required to start the cycle. But before that you have to develop a realistic business plan to ensure success. The other option is renting the equipment needed to do the job, but that sometimes works best if you have a client who is capable of covering the overhead. For longer self-funded projects it may make more sense to acquire the equipment if total costs end up being the same -- especially if you sell the equipment afterward.

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Old April 8th, 2004, 04:53 PM   #9
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The camera will be for personal and business uses. The problem with buying a lower end camera is..well... thats the whole problem in itself, its a lowend camera. Which the whole point in buying the new camera is to upgrade from the trv950. Its just not cutting it for the stuff I want to do. DVC80 isnt all that much. I just figured it would be easier to credit it than just pay cash straight up. I dont understand how all you folks with multiple xl1s' can pay for it. Dropping 4 grand on a camera is just rediculous to me. So how do YOU guys with the multithousand dollar cameras afford/pay for it?
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Old April 8th, 2004, 05:14 PM   #10
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Small personal loans through my credit union with very low interest is how I purchased most of my equipment.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 05:16 PM   #11
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Rent.

I had over $50,000 in gear at my last "big" shoot.
That was mostly in the form of a pair of DVCPRO rigs with tapes & support gear.

Only cost me $500 to use and my post production fees to the client (which only cost me time) were many times that. The client's 1/3 downpayment alone more than covered the gear rental.

I "sold" the client using a demo video shot on the little ZR25 that featured some compositing and special effects. At the pitch meeting at the client's office where there was no TV, I pulled the ZR25 out of my pocket and showed off the video played back right on the camera's LCD. If I had shot that original demo on a more expensive camera, it wouldn't have made a single difference in that meeting. :-)

Have fun.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 05:18 PM   #12
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Dustin,
Keep in mind that for many people here the cameras and other gear are investments in their business. That is, they earn some or all of their livelihoods from the use of this equipment and they expect a financial return on that investment, as you would from any investment. In the realm of professional equipment, prosumer DV equipment is dirt cheap. A professional standard-def camera will easily cost $15,000-25,000 without a lens (add $6,000 - $22,000), viewfinder (add $1,500+), 12v battery power system (say $1,500-2,500), deck ($2,000 - $15,000+), and so on.

But viewed through the lens of a personal or family budget, this gear certainly appears rather costly when there is no firm business plan (i.e. income production) associated with its purchase. It's just like, say, a large boat. You might like to have a luxuriously appointed 50 foot yacht for your personal enjoyment. But the $3mil price tag might seem pretty steep. But if you planned to start a charter cruise business with that same yacht, the price might seem reasonable when viewed against the income it will facilitate.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 05:32 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Nick Jushchyshyn : Rent.

I had over $50,000 in gear at my last "big" shoot.
That was mostly in the form of a pair of DVCPRO rigs with tapes & support gear.

Only cost me $500 to use and my post production fees to the client (which only cost me time) were many times that. The client's 1/3 downpayment alone more than covered the gear rental.

I "sold" the client using a demo video shot on the little ZR25 that featured some compositing and special effects. At the pitch meeting at the client's office where there was no TV, I pulled the ZR25 out of my pocket and showed off the video played back right on the camera's LCD. If I had shot that original demo on a more expensive camera, it wouldn't have made a single difference in that meeting. :-)

Have fun. -->>>


Renting is a good idea, however it wouldnt work for me. I shoot everyday. I'm also traveling alot when I shoot. I need something to own and keep for myself and do what I want with.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 05:38 PM   #14
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I think Nick's real message was not a suggestion to rent. His message, as I read it, was that the real asset involved is -talent and ability-, not the camera.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 05:50 PM   #15
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Hmm. Maybe I could just sell the trv950 and deal with the single dvc80 for now. It will be tough, but if I could only use one camera, I would much much rather have the dvc80 over the trv950. Its just not cuttin it for me. I figure I can maybe get a close price if I sell all my gear along with it....

trv950
lowepro mini trekker
sony .6x WA
circular polarizer
nd8
uv
azden sgm-x mic
sony 3 watt light
2 batteries (1 stock, 1 upgraded)


How much do you think I could get out of this?
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