Thread: WHICH IS THE BEST USED CAMERA INVESTMENT UNDER $10000 ? -Newbie

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  1. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Takor Arrey View Post
    Hi everyone, I have a liking for cinematography and videography, and currently looking to invest under $10,000 in a decent, USED professional camera package, that I can learn how to operate very well and potentially rent out and make some money, or getting small gigs with it.


    So my questions regarding the cameras below are as follows:

    1) what would be a better buy in your professional opinion based on these camera packages and why?

    2) What will be a good step below these camera's in terms of quality and lifetime value?

    3) Are these prices reasonable?

    4) Which of these will you grab off the shelf?

    5) Is there a better option that I am not aware of?



    First, I found a Sony F5 package for $6500, ready to shoot with 4K upgrade and viewfinder. Lenses extra. Under 400hrs.

    Also, a Canon C300MK 2 package selling for $8000

    Next, the Red Epic M X ready to shoot package for $9500 shipped.

    Then, Arri Alexa EV / Alexa Classic (with high speed license) selling for about $8500, with memory and about 1300hr. No batteries.

    Sony Fs7 MK1 selling for about $6000, with hand grip, viewfinder and batteries. No lens, no memory.

    Finally, a PMW F55 package, ready to shoot for $10000.


    Your opinions will be greatly appreciated as I am looking to pull the trigger within the coming week. Thanks

    Ps, I am new to the forum.
    RED Epic MX is a waste of money. It's an old, noisy, sensor, and there's nothing that it does than something like a Blackmagic 6K would not do better.

    C300 Mk II is probably cheaper to shoot overall due to more variety of codecs, autofocus, etc.
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  2. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Tiemann View Post
    If you want to learn to operate a camera very well, you need to be on shoots that provide real opportunity to learn and critically evaluate.
    I'm going to second what Michael says-- I think that gaining experience with a good team is the best way to develop skills. You can watch lots of videos on how to light an interview or build a DIY dolly, but often what makes someone good is knowing how to quickly address a task/problem in a dynamic environment, and knowing how to work as part of a team.
    Of course, lots of people come up making skateboard videos with their friends or whatever, and there's nothing wrong with that-- it's just that you may be a little lost on a professional set accomplishing something new, where it's not about creative instinct but correct execution.

    And it really does help to work with these various cameras in professional settings, as it helps you understand what the differences actually are. I'd hands-down choose the used Alexa if it were just about the image; after some AC work on Alexa shoots, however, I'd pass on the models available for under $10k, because I think you need at least a small crew to shoot with anything but the Mini or the Amira. You also need to spend some real money on a tripod and batteries and things like that. (I'd also agree that you want the open gate and plus models, if rental is going to be important.)

    As for camera choice, I myself went back and forth some years back before purchasing a Sony FS7 over a Scarlet MX. The Sony has its quirks, but you can shoot with it virtually out of the box, the few accessories you do need are much cheaper, and it's a standard in corporate and doc work. And I think the Sony image in s-log3 is great. (For higher end narrative or commercial stuff, a RED or Alexa rental makes sense-- but I might consider owning certain Blackmagic cameras for narrative.) The FS7 has been a solid choice as an owner-operator camera: easy to use with no special accessories on everything from a web series with a small crew to doc-style event coverage, A-camera on interviews with an A73 B-cam to B-Cam on interviews with an Alexa as A-cam.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd probably set aside banking on rental income unless you want to do the research to determine what will work in your market. Instead, maybe I'd think about what I hope to get out of a "next level" camera: an opportunity to work in a log format or a raw codec? A better form factor for working in documentary? An image that I like better for narrative work? Something that lets me use PL-mount lenses? A brand name that I hope will help me get gigs-- which I will base on my research about the kind of gigs available in my marketplace?

    The answer might be to get a Blackmagic that will let me work in log/raw formats, and hang onto the rest of the cash until I've spent some time as part of a crew.
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  3. #13  
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    I would wait a couple months see what Komodo looks like .
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  4. #14  
    I’m thinking a Komodo all kitted out in a basic ready to shoot package with an RF lens or two could be under $10K. That said, the use market has not been kind to sellers’ camera values lately and good cameras are selling for super cheap. There could potentially be a lot of value had by picking up a used something or other. Really does not matter which brand of camera we’re talking about, they’ve all taken a huge hit over the past year or so.
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  5. #15  
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    I'm not sure a Komodo will be available to the public for at least another year based on RED's track record.

    The question is what are you going to use the camera for? No budget, no distribution coming of age narratives or do you want to pick up actual work?

    Sony or Canon would both work for the latter, I'd forget about earning money from rentals unless you can partner with a rental house to handle logisitics and insurance.

    Given your situation though I'd start working as a PA to get some experience for a few years and buy a Blackmagic Pocket 3/4 and accessories to do personal work and learn the craft. Invest the money in education not gear, volunteer if you have to on shoots even if you have to drive hours and stay in motel.
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  6. #16  
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    The best one is the one you're going to use.
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  7. #17  
    Takor,

    1) I'd advise to get a thorough understanding which accessories you need in general to handle all or most situations on-set and then which accessories you prefer based on your own shooting style (which you may not have yet ?).

    AKS can get very expensive (same or more than the basic camera package) and sometimes hard to track down when looking on the used market. Media is one important aspect, ensure you understand the dependencies you create for yourself when pulling the trigger to go with one specific camera.

    2) If you're looking to learn, then a DSLR is cheap and will teach you plenty as you need to be very careful (it's a very "strict" tool), for a more "professional" camera (more rez, RAW, better DR, better color science) there's plenty of options and don't forget you will scrape at least 25% more out if you learn to shoot the camera specifically to it's needs. They're all different with different needs. The MX looked great in some shows (when handled properly), it looked bad in many others.

    3) If you consider to rent out you need to research the market in your specific area.

    Hope this helps.

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  8. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Morrison View Post
    The best one is the one you're going to use.
    Unless your primary goal is to rent.

    I've stopped buying stuff with the hope of renting it out. Turns out what I want isn't necessarily what others do.
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  9. #19  
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    When you already have EF glass, the BMPCC6k is a good way to go. Fully rigged (extra screen, 3 battery grips, some USB-SSD's, Cage, mic, ND-filters, etc..) for around $6k. You also get a free copy of Davinci Resolve Studio with the camera. All other options that shoot 5k+ RAW will cost you a lot more. With the $4k you saved you can get a nice zoom lens or a workstation for editing/color gradeding. It's real money...
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  10. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Deckard View Post
    Takor,

    1) I'd advise to get a thorough understanding which accessories you need in general to handle all or most situations on-set and then which accessories you prefer based on your own shooting style (which you may not have yet ?).

    AKS can get very expensive (same or more than the basic camera package) and sometimes hard to track down when looking on the used market. Media is one important aspect, ensure you understand the dependencies you create for yourself when pulling the trigger to go with one specific camera.

    2) If you're looking to learn, then a DSLR is cheap and will teach you plenty as you need to be very careful (it's a very "strict" tool), for a more "professional" camera (more rez, RAW, better DR, better color science) there's plenty of options and don't forget you will scrape at least 25% more out if you learn to shoot the camera specifically to it's needs. They're all different with different needs. The MX looked great in some shows (when handled properly), it looked bad in many others.

    3) If you consider to rent out you need to research the market in your specific area.

    Hope this helps.

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    Thanks Allen, it makes sense to understand the needed accessories for whatever camera I will choose. I am not looking to pick-up narrative work or productions with big budgets and distribution. I will most likely be shooting educational content and documentary type one man projects. The rental is just so that I can at least recoup some of my expenses. The below package would rent for about $550 a day in my area.

    Mind you that I have been on sets and worked on small sets with some complex camera setups. I am only looking too be able to make a decent living with proper tools that can shoot decent slow motion, deliver above average picture quality and manageable by one person.

    I have been looking at the Sony PMW F5/F55. I Used the BMPC before and unfortunately I can't handle the unnecessary weight of the UMP. The RED camera's are a whole different ball game for me and.

    I am considering getting a fully rigged F5 for about $6500 with the R5 recorder. Then, either get the FUJINON MK 18-55 T/2.9 and MK50-135mm T2.9 Cine Lens combination, or, ZEISS LWZ.3 21-100mm/T2.9-3.9 T*. This will be a good low profile package. My second lens option is the Schneider Optics FF Primes.
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