What equipment to get if any...
I booked a paid corporate shoot.
This will leaves me with $800 to "invest" in equipment.
So far I have... nothing. (I will rent for the shoot).
A few things to help you guys to advise me:
I don't make a living with corporate work. I have a full time gig in as an editor and try to pick up side jobs. They happen to be corporate related but only post.
BUT I really want to pursue this field and become my own one-man-band in a few years.
SO like I said I am renting the equipment for this shoot.
What should I get with the $800-$1000?
I always wanted a DSLR but discovered it's not great for takes over 30min.
I am renting an HVX 200 but just came across an HMC40 for $600...
Even though I don't know when/if I'd ever use it again, isn't it a good cam. to have?
Or shld I get the t4i I really want?
Or buy audio equipment: Lav... Zoom?
Or just pocket the money go to Vegas for the weekend?!?! :-)
Thanks in advance
First: what's the nature of the shooting job? Sit-down interview? Facility tour? what? Make the first purchase something that will help with that shoot, plus retain value afterwards, for other uses.
I always prefer to rent the camera, myself, for a specific use, rather than own one. My first priority with funds is to get the stuff you would need for every job, the stuff it becomes too expensive to keep renting. That means a good tripod, mics and mixer, and a light kit.
800 to 1000 bucks isn't a lot. But with it, you could start buying some hard-wired lavs, a good shotgun mic, and stands/ a fishpole. You could begin to build at least a 3-light kit with some accessories.
I'm with Mark. You need to look at your long term goals and work backwards from there. What do you plan on shooting? If you are shooting interviews, you want lav mics and a light kit. If you are shooting lectures you may want a heavier tripod and XLR cord to plug into the board or a wireless lav. If you are shooting documentary stuff, maybe a shoulder rig.
A tripod is a pretty good use of that money that you know you will need and you can fit into that budget, but there are a lot of different tripods for different needs. If you want to shoot only DSLR, that is one tripod. If you want to shoot with bigger cameras and know that you may need it to support a teleprompter, that's another tripod.
My goal is one day to have my own video prod. company.
I am not crazy about it but that's where the money seems to be for the moment. Ideally I'd love to shoot/produce commercials, music videos, etc..
I like the idea of the tripod....
Lighting kit as well
but when i start to research it becomes overwhelming...
Maybe I should jump on this HMC40 I found for $600: I wouldn't have to rent a camera ($300 savings) and no headache with the P2 cards.
OK, say you got that camera now. Do you HAVE a tripod for it? Do you HAVE any lighting? Or will you need to rent them? You can own a fabulous camera, but without good lighting, the pictures may not look like you do... are you going to limit shooting to natural outdoor lighting? Shotgun audio off the camera is good to about 4-5 feet from the lens. How will you mic your clients?
You can generally rent a lot better quality camera than the same amount will buy. You can own the HMC for 600, or you can rent a RED or Alexa for perhaps half that, in some places. Then bill the client 400 and be dollars ahead on the way towards owning a much better camera, and lenses, if that's what you really want.
Rental rates as a rule of thumb are in the neighborhood of 10 percent of the purchase prices, so that if you rent something ten times, you could have owned it by then, and after the 11th time you use owned gear, it's as if the item was free. Now the rental costs you were passing on to the client, change from a cost to additional margin of profit to you... or, you could choose to pass on some savings to the client, and still make MORE money than when you rented the basic pieces each time. Ideally, you should bill enough extra so that every gig enables you to acquire one more piece from your wish list. You get stronger and more capable with each job.
Let's look at owning the camera. $600 sounds almost too good to be true; that may be half the current value of a used HMC 40. Is that complete, or does it need accessories? AC power? A tripod? External monitoring? Spare memory cards? What kind of warranty? If it breaks down during the client shoot, where do you get a spare? With rentals, generally, you have access to a spare unit, and the guarantee that what you rent is in working condition, always.
But say the camera is good, and you're just lucky. OK, so you have one camera, and it is good at certain kinds of shoots. But what if the next assignment requires different characteristics?
Owning a camera is good, in that it gives you all the time you want to master it's use, and you have it ready at any time of the day or night, should you need it, whereas rentals usually take at least a day in advance to schedule. So if spontaneity is key, maybe owning is better. But when you don't know what kind of camera is going to be required for the next gig, you either need a huge collection to be flexible... which spend most days on a shelf, depreciating.... or you can rent what you need, just when you need it.
You make total sense.
Reading you made me realize that what I do need first is a camera since I need to practice. None of the other equipment will be useful until I'm comfortable with a camera...
Now... will I ever need/use again the HMC40?... I have no idea.
Will I shoot with it for fun and cool/artsy stuff (that won't be bring any money anyway :-)... No.
The camera I want is the Canon T4i. I know I could use it for fun and for corporate jobs. But I know the limitations (29.99min, 4gb, overheating, video autofocus... etc).
Both cameras at pretty much the same price...
Thanks for letting me think aloud!
"Reading you made me realize that what I do need first is a camera since I need to practice. None of the other equipment will be useful until I'm comfortable with a camera...
Now... will I ever need/use again the HMC40?... I have no idea."
Might be something lost in translation, but my impression based on your reply is - don't take any shooting jobs yet.
[Mark Suszko] "Might be something lost in translation,"
You're right! :-) English isn't my first language so I certainly gave the impression I never worked with a camera before.
What I meant by practicing is that since this is not my main job, I don't spend enough time shooting. I believe the more time I can spend with a camera in my hands the better. So before getting any other equipment I think I should get a camera.
I have a $300 for camera rental... so this is why I am contemplating the HMC40 for $600. A $300 investment... And it comes with a Rode mic and the XLR adapter.
BUT.... the T3i or T4i are in the $400.... Hence my dilemma.
what do you think Mark?
It's well known when It comes to cameras I'm a skeptical, fuddy-duddy old fashioned guy who hates the DSLR concept. My take is by the time you add all the hardware and adapters to make it do the same things you can do with a dedicated camcorder, you've spent just as much, and got something that looks more like a fragile, science fair project than a practical shooting platform. I know they can make pretty pictures, i just don't like all the compromises they seem to come with. Now you have cameras out there with the proper, shoulder-riding form-factor, using the same sensors and optics and the DSLR's but with better audio implementation, viewfinders, etc.
If you primarily take stills but shoot occasional short video clips, get the DSLR and go crazy. If you mostly shoot legit video, get a legit form-factor camera. That's just my personal take.
Just be careful not to put the cart before the horse. If you are making a business investment with this money, it's best to know what the business is before you invest. Do you research. You can learn a lot here on the COW, but look locally and see what kind of demand there is for what you want to do. Figure out what direction you want to take, what are your goals and what kind of timeline you would like those goals to fit in. With limited resources, this plan will best help you to make smart decisions and make the limited resources stretch further. Good luck Xavier!
[Jeff Breuer] "Figure out what direction you want to take, what are your goals and what kind of timeline you would like those goals to fit in"
Thanks Jeff for an interesting input.
My timeline is...15 years...
I know it seems far but that's the way I work in life when i make major changes in a career.
I am full time decently paid editor and I love what I do.
I am just planning my "old days" since I want to be able one day to move out of LA.
So I'd like to have a video prod. comp somewhere....
Now I am doing the baby steps to be ready. And it just happened that I booked my first paid gig.
But ways to go....
alright, I went the "smart" way route: HMC40.
Smart because I know it's more suited for the paid jobs I am after.
T4i will have to wait.
And I agree about the science fair looking DSLR. Made me laugh actually cause it's so true.... and so expensive in the end.
BUt I think having to add gear after gear to the DSLR taps into the joy will all have of getting a new toy for our gear. Except that on pro vid cam, all the gear is already on the cam pretty much.
So good deal on the HMC40. 55hrs recording only. Came with a brand new Rode Videomic and the XLR adapter.$550
Alright now I have a couple hundred left... Tripods are a nightmare to choose... and so is sound gear... So/too many choices it's ridiculous!