2019-2020 Cinema Camera Buyers Guide

The 2019 Cinema Camera Comparison chart has landed. This year’s list includes cinema cameras ranging in price from the $5,995 Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro G2, to the $98,200 Arri Alexa LF.

All this technical information is a great resource for those looking to rent or purchase a cinema camera, but if you’re like many people, you might be wondering how much camera you can actually afford. The majority of people might not have an extra $50K+ sitting in the bank to purchase a new camera package, but camera financing options are available to creative professionals that spread that cost out over terms up to 60-months. The best part is, most of these camera equipment leasing and financing programs allow you to acquire new camera gear with little money down.

This guide is based off the 2019 camera comparison chart, and is meant to help cameramen, cinematographers, content creators, DPs, rental houses and other professionals better budget for equipment purchases. Cash is king, and financing camera gear allows businesses to conserve working capital and generate positive cash-flow through use of the equipment while keeping cash in the bank for short-term needs.

Arri Alexa LF digital cinema cameraArri Alexa LF
Cost: $98,200 (includes accessories)
Finance from $1,975/mo

The Arri Alexa LF is a large format camera featuring a slightly larger than full frame sensor and over 14-stops of dynamic range. The Alexa is well known for it’s pleasing rendering of skin tones and user friendly ProRes recording options. The Arri Alexa LF can be found at most high-end camera rental houses and rents for about $1,500/day. You can finance an Alexa LF camera package starting at about $1,975.00/mo.

Arri Alexa SXT digital cinema cameraArri Alexa SXT
Cost: $85,320 (includes accessories)
Financing starting at $1,715/mo

For those looking to shoot with anamorphic lenses, the Arri Alexa SXT features a true 4:3 imaging sensor that renders the same pleasing skin tones as the Alexa LF.  At 14.3 lbs, the SXT is slightly smaller than the Alexa LF and features optional built-in wireless video transmission. The Alexa SXT can be rented for about $1,300/day, while you can lease/finance an Alexa SXT camera starting at about $1,715.00/mo.

RED Monstro digital cinema camera systemRED Monstro (sensor)
Cost: $54,500 (DSMC2 Body Only)
Finance from $1,105/mo

The Monstro sensor is available with the new Ranger brain, or the older DSMC2 brain. The Ranger brain with Monstro sensor is a rental house only item, meaning you can’t buy directly from RED. The Monstro sensor in the DSMC2 brain starts at $54,500 and features an astonishing 17+ stops of dynamic range. The RED Monstro rents for about $1,300/day, while you can finance a RED Monstro starting at only $1,105/mo.

The rest of the cameras for 2019-2020 include 12 more very capable digital cinema cameras, including:

Arri Alexa Mini LF digital cinema camera financingArri Alexa Mini LF
Cost: $58,760 (Body Only)
Finance from $1,190/mo
Arri Alexa Mini digital cinema cameraArri Alexa Mini
Cost: $45,720 (Body Only)
Finance from $927/mo
Sony VENICE Leasing & Financing  Sony Venice
Cost: $42,000 (Body Only)
Finance from $850/mo
Panasonic Varicam Pure Digital Cinema Camera
Panasonic VariCam Pure
Cost: $48,000
Financing from $975/mo
Arri AMIRA Camera Financing Arri Amira
Cost: $35,000
Financing from $709/mo
Canon EOS C700 full frame digital cinema cameraCanon EOS C700 FF
Cost: $33,000
Financing from $669/mo
RED 8K S35 Helium digital cinema cameraRED Helium Super35 8K
Cost: $24,500 (DSMC2)
Lease/Finance from $497/mo
RED Ranger 5K S35 Gemini digital cinema cameraRED Gemini Super35 5K
Cost: $19,500 (DSMC2)
Lease/Finance from $399/mo
 Sony PXW-FS7 II digital cinema cameraSony FS7 II
Cost: $9,000
Lease/Finance from: $206/mo 
Canon EOS C300 MKII digital cinema cameraCanon EOS C300 MK II
Cost: $8,999
Lease/Finance from $210/mo
Panasonic EVA1 Digital Cinema CameraPanasonic EVA-1
Cost: $6,495
Lease/Finance from $151/mo
Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro G2 digital cinema camera financingBlackmagic URSA Mini Pro G2
Cost: $5,995
Lease/Finance from: $139/mo 

Tax Benefits of Equipment Leasing/Financing

Financing equipment purchases is a smart business move that leads to increased cash-flow and tax benefits that can lower your tax liability considerably. Via IRS Section 179, a business/freelancer can immediately depreciate 100% of their equipment purchase in the year that it is placed in service, rather than over the typical 3-5 year span. Financing the equipment allows you to take immediate advantage of the tax write-off, while paying for the equipment over time. Many rental houses and large production companies choose to finance and acquire new camera equipment at the end of this year for that very reason.

Financing Used Camera Equipment

Financing for Cooke Speed Panchro Lenses Not all camera equipment we finance is new. We’ve financed vintage cinema lenses from the 1970’s, used RED camera packages and everything in between. Many times, you can find great deals on slightly used or B-stock camera gear and accessories from equipment brokers and national re-sellers. Reputable vendors such as Just Cinema Gear and New Pro Video specialize in used cinema/broadcast gear including vintage lenses. The best part… used equipment still qualifies for immediate first year depreciation under IRS Section 179. As long as the equipment is new to YOU, your business can take full advantages of the tax benefits even when buying used camera gear.

Credit Requirements for Financing

First off, you must be a business to qualify for financing. WB Financial provides commercial financing options for businesses and creative professionals across the United States. As such, we cannot provide financing for consumers. Unsure if you’d qualify… see the quick checklist below:

  • LLC, CORP or sole proprietorship

  • If not an LLC or CORP, you  must show business income on your tax return (Schedule C)

  • Personal credit score of at least 650

  • At least 1-year time-in-business

Minimum financed amount is $5K. Get pre-approved for ZERO down (OAC) financing with terms up to 60-months. Please email Nicholas Fitch at nick@financialwb.com or contact us direct at 714-703-9400 to discuss all your camera financing options.