for his Miami and Las Vegas gallery locations than he did on his 65+. Just as a point of perspective.
It's not really a matter of what you can afford, or JUST the cost of equipment.
I known some amazingly wealthy people that would never buy a new car, or anything they didn't get a huge discount on. So it's not what you can afford.
It's all about business.
It's not the cost of production. Our productions fall into the 6 figure range, but what seems like an enormous budget can get absorbed quickly with large crews, catering, just simple things like parking. Heck in one location we had to permit through two municipalities, buy 35 parking spaces, hire a bonded valet company to move the cars from location to parking and back (and sometimes back again), so when people hear, hey they charged $_ _ _ , _ _ _. _ _ for a shoot, that may seem like it's a lavish number that allows us to buy or rent anything we desire, but in today's bottom line economy it really doesn't work that way.
We have to fairly but strongly negotiate every line item. Let me repeat this. Every line item.
Also when you take 6 figures out of your companies reserves, you need to know you'll show a real return.
Its need vs. want. Do you need it? Do you want it?
Me I fall somewhere in between in all equipment purchases. I don't like renting for a number of reasons, but I never buy something that has limited use.
Presently we're buying more HMI's and I do need many multiples of them, though at 10 grand a pop it will take a while before they show a profit on the line item "lighting package".
Do I want them? Uh sure as long as I buy right, because those are the tools I make my living with and right now I'm living in a mostly continuous lighting world.
Though I have to admit I've never looked at a purchase with the thought of "heck" I spend more that a year in insurance, or that camera is 1/2 of our client entertainment because they are totally different expenditures for totally different reasons.
Spending a lot on one item, doesn't make it right or wrong to spend on another, not in commerce.
What does make a purchase easy is if it's a direct client request like the use of a camera like the RED, or it's will definitely expand our business and art, or better yet do all of those things faster, not slower and come out with every advertised item fully tested and functioning.
Today's market doesn't allow anyone to beta test. We deliver or we disappear. There is no in between.
As far as medium format, it will get my attention again when they have real live view on camera. That's a need, not a want, but that's just me and my projects.
We just finished a multiple location campaign that all required a large amount of back lighting for effects, type placement, and look.
As always but more today we're under extreme pressure to perform in regards to time on set and variations. Our projects require multiple ethnic options, multiple cropping from 16x9, double page, vertical, tight, all in still imagery, most in motion, so time is more than of the essence, time equals budget which defines the project.
Focusing in any format with that much backlight is difficult, but having live view on camera allows me to lock the tripod down, move the cursor to the point we know will cover the subject in focus and shoot. Almost as fast as I write this.
Also a lot of our stills are used in video so we need the backgrounds to be in a continuous position, which makes live view focusing important.
With my medium format backs this is difficult and though I can shoot a fairly close frame, walk over to the tech station, adjust, shoot another, the spontaneity gets lost, the project gets slightly slower and having a billion pixels doesn't matter if the image isn't sharp.
We also have to duplicate everything in motion imagery with the RED so for us live view on camera is more than a want. I guess I can appreciate the newer medium format cameras with more megapixels, but still would like to see them at least keep up with some of the features of less expensive cameras that are on the market.
I'm sure some people feel differently.