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Old September 4th, 2011, 12:16 PM   #1
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To upgrade my equipment or not?

So, I've been thinking really hard about purchasing a 5dii for my upcoming video production in December. Right now I have a 60d which I'm very happy with, and a sony NX5U that I wish I'd never bought. I always ask myself can I get the job done with what I have, and the answer is yes. But.... the question is can I get even better results by upgrading? And do I continue to let my NX5 sit around and collect dust, or do I try and get rid of it for whatever I can (while I still can)?

My reason for wanting the 5dii is for it's full frame sensor, which I feel would also really benefit me in the photos I take (cause I have to do both for my productions). My only reservation would be if I buy the 5dii this fall, and then a 5dmk3 is released soon after. That would really tick me off.

So basically, I figure I can either:
A) do nothing and let my NX5 continue to sit and depreciate in value, while I "maybe" use it for a 2nd camera on the rare occasion that I actually need a second cam.
B) Try to sell the NX5, hold the money for later and continue using just the 60d alone.
C) Try to sell the NX5 and put the money towards a 5dii to go with my 60d.
or
D) Sell off both the 60d and NX5, and switch over to just the 5dmkii.

If you were in my shoes, what makes the most sense from a business standpoint?
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Old September 4th, 2011, 01:59 PM   #2
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Re: To upgrade my equipment or not?

A couple thoughts -

For "business", you should have a backup set of gear - nothing like an "equipment malfunction" without a backup to ruin your day and your reputation.

If you're not using something, there's no reason to keep it, no matter how much you thought it was a great idea when you purchased it - the NX5 is a good camera,but if it just isn't clicking for you, SOMEONE out there will be glad to get it, and it's recent enough to still bring a decent price I believe. Not like it's not still available in the retail channel or terribly "obsolete", it's just not for "you".

New cameras and gear come along all the time, people sell their slightly used stuff at discounts because they, like you find they aren't getting the use out of it they expected, and then they may or may not put that $$ into something they believe will be better for them. hopefully after a litte reflection and research if its'a business purchase, although with depreciation (presuming you keep business records and use the writeoffs available), you have a slightly different finanacial proposition, one which SHOULD be more favorable. Buying "new" gear and selling off depreciated gear should be a different situation for a business than if you were a "hobbyist".
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Old September 5th, 2011, 06:24 AM   #3
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Re: To upgrade my equipment or not?

It really depends on the kind of work you do. The 5D will certainly give you a shallower DOF. It's a "better" still camera as well than the 60D. Do you need the better control the 5D will give you? Will DOF actually become more difficult (too shallow, too hard to control) in certain shooting situations?

The NX5U, with its small chips, is better suited for run and gun and quick setups where the ancillary gear for an HDSLR could become an impediment.

Another option for you may be either the Sony FS100 or Panasonic AF100. While neither would be "run & gun" nor match the 5D sensor size, they both may give you faster setup than HDSLR.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 12:33 AM   #4
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Re: To upgrade my equipment or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Boss View Post
If you were in my shoes, what makes the most sense from a business standpoint?
If it truly is for business the question isn't whether you could improve the image quality but whether the new purchase would increase your profitability. Only you can fully answer that and depends on a number of factors.

1. Would you be able to win jobs that you are not currently getting if you upgrade your gear?
2. Will a change in gear improve your efficiency and allow you to book more jobs?
3. What is your return period on the cost of the new equipment? And, is this the most effective use of the resources you'd spend?
4. What is your expected return on investment (ROI) of the new gear?

Those are the basic questions to answer before you can determine if it is worth uprading. The key being that any new equipment purchases should be a vehicle to increase your business income and/or profit margin.

That's at least what I'd base my decision on.

-Garrett
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Old September 6th, 2011, 07:17 AM   #5
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Re: To upgrade my equipment or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
If it truly is for business the question isn't whether you could improve the image quality but whether the new purchase would increase your profitability. ... The key being that any new equipment purchases should be a vehicle to increase your business income and/or profit margin.

...-Garrett
Just add to that, also to prevent LOSS of business to competitors who are more up-top-date or who appear to be. Appearances matter, especially when technology is one of the drivers. It doesn't matter if my 5-year old camera actually delivers images as good as the latest whiz-bang if my potential clients don't think that it does. They're going to think I'm hopelessly outdated and behind the creative curve and look for someone more cutting edge.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #6
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Re: To upgrade my equipment or not?

That's a very valid point Steve. If you're equipment is holding you back from securing jobs, even if the only reason is because of the perceived abilities by your potential clients, it is time to consider a purchase. However, depending on who your potential clients are, a camera like the NX5u could be much more impressive than a DSLR. I know when I have my full rig together with NF, monitor, matte box, and follow focus attached, people generally assume I'm filming for a TV station or a movie.

-Garrett
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Old September 9th, 2011, 04:25 PM   #7
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Re: To upgrade my equipment or not?

Thanks for all the advice. I've decided to try and sell off the NX5, as I just can't justify holding onto it when I know I don't plan to use it again. I'm gonna hold onto the 60D and I'll most likely purchase a 5d to go along with it, as I know both will complement my productions well. Time is also on my side right now, so I'll probably wait and think things over thoroughly before I make any new purchases.
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Old September 10th, 2011, 06:00 AM   #8
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Re: To upgrade my equipment or not?

One of the differences between investing in sound kit and purchasing cameras. Over the passage of time, professional level sound equipment, esp microphones and preamps, becomes ' classic' and retains its value, sometimes even appreciating (try pricing a 20 year-old Neumann U87 or a used Schoeps CMC641!) In contrast, it only takes a couple or three years for cameras, esp digital cameras, both still and video, to become merely obsolete with their value dropping essentially to zero.
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