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Leasing Equipment

javapop's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 04/20/2010 - 9:15pm

We are wanting to upgrade our SD digital cams, and have thought perhaps leasing may be the better route, since HD cams are changing rapidly.

Any recommendations on leasing? is it best to use a video production leasing company? I really am not too sure, and can't find much info. We are looking at (2) CanonXF300, and new tripods. probably close to 15k.


composite1's picture
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

Java,

Whether to lease or not really depends on how much paying work is coming in. If you're just wanting to test out the gear, renting for a shoot or two is a good idea. These days though camera gear changes every three minutes it seems, it's much cheaper to just buy it outright and then sell it off when you want to upgrade.

There are more than enough students and amateur filmmakers around wanting to get their hands on good used equipment that you'll be able to unload your old gear. Besides, leasing is a frickin' bill every month!

Cameras and extended warranties are cheap enough now so that the old nightmare of having to get down rigs serviced isn't what it used to be. Also, if you're in a small market area that monthly bill will haunt you when the inevitable slow times come rolling around!

Now if you're with a production house with plenty of money to throw at this kind of thing, leasing might be a reasonable option. I'm too much of a 'bottom line' guy to throw money at stuff when I see no need to do so. You guys might be looking at it with different 'glasses' than I am. My 2.5 cents worth.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 4 months 2 days ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

About the only benefit, IMHO, from leasing is that it generally does not affect your credit line. There are, I understand, exceptions to that theory nowadays.


javapop's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 04/20/2010 - 9:15pm

@composite1I appreciate the advise, we are a small mom/pop shop, so definitely live invariableincome world. I think we may try to pursue the XH-A1 level cams, even though they still use tape; they may edge us into the HD world. We were considering going to XL-2 cams at one point; but could get the HD cams for just a hair more.

We currently use standard Def XL1s cams.... most film students are looking for HD...


composite1's picture
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

Java,

Though I'm shooting 75% HD now, I've still got my old XL1s on the 'Active Duty Roster!' For straight to DVD or web distribution, it's just as viable a rig as ever. HD is great, but on the web it's kind of a gimmick. Yeah, the picture's are cleaner but everything that's shot well looks good on computer monitors these days.

However, you do want to get started learning the HD workflow which is more involved than working with DV. The primary issues of computer horsepower, long-term storage of raw and completed materials are major concerns when making the move to HD. Figuring out what camera to get is the easy part!

Since you have been shooting for a while with a prosumer rig making the move to HD camera wise won't be that tough. Obviously your budget will hold sway over what you end up getting. The XH-A1 is a good rig though I didn't opt for it when I was transitioning because Canon (still) doesn't have a dedicated VTR Deck and at the time there was limited support for their 'f' frame rate. However, they've got a couple of new rigs out that are tapeless if you're curious that are getting good reviews.

The main thing is to do proper research prior to spending any money. Getting an HD rig(s) may mean a complete overhaul of your entire setup as your current NLE system may not be up to pushing HD video. A new system may mean upgrading your NLE software or buying a whole new suite. Then there's the support gear that may need to be added to suit the new cam(s) like batteries, tripods, filters, bags and so on. Your research will give you a good idea how much of your current gear you can 'recycle' versus buying new.

As for 'most students are looking for HD' having been a filmstudent, I can safely say most don't know a good camera from a hole in the ground. Any student who's trying to get the work done will snatch up a good deal on a camera kit.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com