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The Arri Alexa seems to be the most sought after camera these days although there are many cheaper cameras on the market that can hold their own against the Alexa.
Most of these cheaper cameras provide quality images using the right lens but as soon as they leave the factory their electronics are updated making the original camera obsolete or less fashionable as most wannabe DPs like to be ‘seen’ using the latest spec model. Secondly, most these cheaper cameras are made of plastic making them unsuitable for professional use being vulnerable to damage. Before buying a camera you will have to determine the longevity of the camera, many people buy second hand due to money restraints but still expect the camera to be in perfect Working order. They are learning tools after all and will be replaced once the owner discovers that it’s not the tool for them as it doesn’t create ‘cinematic‘ movie images’ .Having swopped their camera for a newer model they then discover that’s it’s the lighting that’s falling short, not the camera. Learn lighting techniques first and then decide what camera to buy within those financial parameters is the best way to go.
The best cheap camera to buy is the Arri Alexa, they are now flooding the market, some are high mileage but still work well as some have been updated to new specs. Old models can be bought for $5,000, ex rental ofcourse but still got a few more years left in them. All Alexa’s have alloy die casting bodies and built to last. If you buy one make sure it has a service sheet which should list the modifications and upgrades. Sockets and PCBs can be replaced if faulty But if the sensor Has problems then it’s going to be a large loan from the bank. It doesn’t matter what camera you using now, you will eventually buy or rent an Alexa at some point. They are coming onto the market so grab one while you can. They are the best and are cheap!