I finally pulled the trigger. After over seven years in the media world, I am now the proud owner of my own 3CCD legitimate video camera. I can't believe the list of jobs and productions that I have somehow been able to pull off through the years without actually owning a camera.
Every time I've ever had a job offer or show come up, I have always had ways of getting my hands on a camera in time for the gig. Through renting and borrowing I have dodged the bullet on this several-thousand dollar purchase for long enough. I received my Panasonic video camera in the mail this weekend.
I love it. I have shot with this camera for years, with it always being my #1 choice in the borrowing land. I've been nothing but nerdy on this blog for about a 5 week streak, so I will keep the nerd facts to a minimum today and focus on the personal joy and benefits this will bring.
Just like finding a place to live, everyone always faces the decision to either rent or buy. Either you pay a monthly rate to a landlord, or pay a monthly payment to a mortgage. The difference of course is, at the end of it all, you have something to show for it. With a landlord, he eats all the money, but with a mortgage, you've actually got a house after it all.
For years I have been renting. I have been sending my money to a "landlord" to rent my video gear from. Slowly, I have purchased items one at a time to avoid renting any longer. At this point, I have bought a lot of the external gear it takes to pull off the productions I do. However, I've never pulled the trigger on the minor, insignificant item called the camera.
Well no longer. I finally decided to move on the camera about two years ago, but was unsatisfied with the prices at the time. I am not a huge fan of running out and buying everything new. I'm a very interested used buyer, and am willing to forfeit the patience to be one. Two years ago I wanted this Panasonic 100A, but couldn't find any spectacular deals, new or used. So I waited. Well last week I found my deal. If I would have run out and bought this camera two years ago, sure it would have been awesome, but it would have run about $3500. By waiting, I found a spectacular deal.
I stumbled upon a company called "Zoompoint" on eBay for my camera purchase. They are a small company out of Nevada that buys and sells used professional video gear. What I liked about Zoompoint more than anyone else is that they knew what they were talking about. I called and spoke with Mike over the phone who had inspected the four or five 100A's they had at the time to make sure they were all in 100% working order. Over the phone he gave me personal advice on the differenced between the units they had in stock, and helped my make my decision on the best-valued camera they had.
They had a couple that were definitely used. They were a couple of years old, had some signs of use, but worked. That's Zoompoint. They're not going to sell you something that doesn't work. They're not idiots. One camera stuck out to me in particular from the other four. This camera had 2hrs of use. TWO HOURS?! The other bodies were 300+ hrs each, and this one had two. Weird. Normally I would suspect fraud or something and move on, but I trust Zoompoint.
I got my "used" (should I even call it that?) camera with 2hrs on it in on Friday, and let me tell you. There's nothing used about it. I don't know who gave this camera to Zoompoint to sell, but they didn't even take the accessories out of the plastic. The camera might as well be brand new. Oh, and forget about that $3500 price tag I mentioned earlier. My DVX100A cost me $1900.
I love Panasonic for making this camera. I love eBay for finding it for me. And most importantly I love Zoompoint Inc. for doing such a great job with the entire process. Zoompoint will definitely be getting my business in the future. There are not many companies out there that you can trust to trade used video gear like this. You get excellent gear at low rates because it's technically "used", but with Zoompoint taking care of everything, you know you're getting items that are as good as new.
Now that I've got my camera, I will be "renting" it to myself and anybody else who needs it. Before I've always had to account for the expense of renting a camera and sending the money to California. Now I will rent it from myself, making a mature business move to still keep track of expenses as well as renting to anyone else around here who needs a nice camera for a day or two. Give me a call if you do. I've rented enough gear to know how to be the guy on the other end, and look forward to providing the convenience of being local, cutting out the shipping cost altogether.