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Client requests F900- Any tips on "selling them" on HDX-900?

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George Griswold
Client requests F900- Any tips on "selling them" on HDX-900?
on Jun 4, 2008 at 10:15:28 am

Hello Panasonic folks,

I have owned a Panasonic HDX-900 for a year and a half and have had great results and acceptance by clients who want to use this camera. I have primarily a "shoot and ship" freelance business and have had an easy time of using the HDX-900 to mesh with almost every request to use with other cameras they may have used before.
In the last month I have gotten requests for the XDCAM and the F900 Sonys. The cross pitch for the using the HDX has been easier for the XDCAM since I can claim a better compression scheme and that I have profiled my camera using a Chroma Du Monde chart by DSC Labs. The F900 is a harder one and wondered if anybody had some strategies to share. One reason I choose the HDX was the 720/ 1080 ability and for the most part it has paid off. I get into a bit of a bind since the 1080i in the HDX900 is a cross conversion and I can't claim equal results to the Sony F900 (a beautiful camera-- too pricey for the demand here) .
Obviously none of us want to own a F900, HDX-900 AND one of the new XDCAMs-- simply too expensive. What do you do when you get a call for a camera you don't own? Rent or blow off the job? As far as I can gather no big rental houses have the XDCAMs right now.
Just looking to see what other freelancers are doing. What I tell potential customers now is that with the cost and selection of cameras they need to decide what output format they want and use the camera that they can find in each local market-- I am in New Orleans and there is an F900 available here, but no XDCAM. How about your markets?

The big frustration here is that the national cable channel that asked for the F900 had used me with the HDX-900 several times in the last year and I can only surmise that the F900 is the flavor of the month-- I know they have tried everything from the Z1U on up in the last few months... Jeesh!

Thank you,
George

George Griswold
http://www.videonow.info
New Orleans, Louisiana


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john sharaf
Re: Client requests F900- Any tips on "selling them" on HDX-900?
on Jun 4, 2008 at 3:23:36 pm

George,

What happened to the dictum that "the client is always right?"

As far as "switching" what they want, if they specify HDCAM, that's usually what they want. It's because all their other elements are in that format or they own the deck to digitize it, or even some other illogical reason.

If they ask for Varicam, the switch to HDX900 is a no brainer, or vis versa. Sometimes I'm able to switch a Digibeta request to a high def format or even to XDCAM/IMX50, but the premise of your query is the reason I have both F900R and Varicams; yes in a large market you have to be able to supply what the customer wants. I believe that in regional markets like where you live there is more flexibility, as the other camera or format may not exist or be available because of limited resources, then your offer makes more sense, but you are obviously aware that the quality of the X900, with its' million pixel imager is not that of the F900R with twice as many pixels and a fatter recording format.

I'm afraid that there will be many HD formats in play for the foreseeable future and freelance owner/operators will have to decide how many cameras they'll maintain in their kit to service their client bases' requirements. Fortunately the lenses, monitors, test sets, da's, etc. are all interchangeable, so the only extra part is the additional camera body, and if it seems like it will last/be in favor for three or more years then it's quite possible to profit with owning it, but as you know, it's still a risky and expensive proposition.

JS



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Robin Probyn
Re: Client requests F900- Any tips on "selling them" on HDX-900?
on Jun 5, 2008 at 5:10:58 am

So with all the different HD formats that look like they will be around for a while,do you see a situation where a freelancer who has spent the big bucks for one of the formats.. HDCAM/HDX900/ or XDCAM PDW700 for example... will have to say well if you want me,this is my camera,and you will have to rent a player... ofcourse this would put camera people in more remote area,s in a good place as they have less competition....

But it sounds like this is a repeat client and they want George as much as they want the F900? bit of a risk ofcourse.. but except for people that can afford 2 or 3... 2/3 inch chip top end HD camera,s.. the one camera people might have to start sticking their necks out for the format they have bought into,and rely .... hope :) that its also their own skill thats part of the clients choice.. not just the format...



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George Griswold
Re: Client requested F900 will use HDX-900 after all
on Jun 5, 2008 at 10:06:45 am

Quick Update-
After tracing up the chain of command it seems that someone had a shoot with the F900 and was so pleased that it became the new choice of camera. The F900 makes wonderful HD pictures as John points out, but after some explanations they agreed to use the HDX-900 as they had before. Being in a smaller market has encouraged customers to be a bit more flexible in situations where their shoots are stand-alone mode-- this shoot was not being edited into an all F900 show for instance. Robin was right-- it is always important to market your skills, not just the gear and it made the difference this time.

Over time I would consider buying another 2/3" HD camera when the selection stabilizes in the next 12-30 months. From the research I have done the Sony 2/3" XDCAM may gain traction. I have have gotten two calls for XDCAM in the last month. For now the HDX-900 is serving me and nearly all my clients very well.
If I get a call for the F900 I can refer the shoot to another freelancer here who owns one (or rent his)--- the arrangement works because he does not own a HDX-900 so the work flows the other way too.


George Griswold
http://www.videonow.info
New Orleans, Louisiana


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Robin Probyn
Re: Client requested F900 will use HDX-900 after all
on Jun 5, 2008 at 10:29:46 am

Glad it worked out... classic case.. some high up decides to like the look of one camera... and it then becomes set in stone.. power to the freelancers haha!

I havnt bought an HD camera yet... should have got the HDX900 a year ago at least,now feel I should wait to see how the PDW700 takes off.. if it doesnt I,ll be running up the road to buy the HDX900 ..

Nice camera... but I think the Sony view finder is much better in general ... just the ordinary BW one.



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Ernie Santella
Re: Client requested F900 will use HDX-900 after all
on Jun 5, 2008 at 10:57:53 pm

Another easy way to sell is to tell them all they have to do is made digital SDI clone dubs of the footage. No expensive editing bay deck rental needed.

Ernie Santella
Santella Film/Video Productions
http://www.santellaproductions.com


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Kris A. Wotipka
Re: Client requests F900- Any tips on "selling them" on HDX-900?
on Jul 12, 2008 at 6:23:47 am

George,

Just a thought but have you thought about teaming up with Joe over at Pelican across the lake. He has a 900 that makes some beautiful images. Maybe the two of you can trade off some work.

kw
kris@wotipka.com

kris@wotipka.com
Image maker


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