I've been in the business a fair amount of time (but not nearly as long as some here). Film assistant cameraman from early 90's to 2000, Steadicam owner operator from '97 to '00, directing and producing since 2000. After I left the film world in 2000 for the jack-of-all-trades DV/directing/producing world I've been building my DP/directing reel. I like to think that it's pretty good. It's all been small-format cameras like the DVX and HD100.
For various reasons, I'd like to move up in format. I feel my reel will support it (and I wouldn't mind some feedback on that point, either). The new XDCAM HD cameras look like they're right at my level.
Throughout the years, I've heard stories of both film and video DPs partially supporting their camera purchases by doing subrents out to smaller rental houses they have relationships with. I assume this takes the bite out of lease or loan payments. I'm in Los Angeles, so there's plenty. I also expect the new XDCAMs are going to be very popular.
I've done a search on the subject and found helpful posts from John Scharf and Leo, but I'd like to hear more directly on the subject. My personal credit is not the best, so I understand I may be out of luck, but I've also gotten the idea that there are possible tricks to making it happen (tax deductions, etc).
Are you editing your own work??
An XDCAM is so specialized that I doubt you
would get a big call to do other work
for other producers. It's either a
VariCam or HDCAM if you expect to get other
shooting gigs. Otherwise I would just find
a owner/operator and cut a good deal.