Next Camera?

As a freelance cameraman, being an owner/operator is very beneficial not only to me, but to my clients.  When shooting with my own gear, I know the ins and out of every piece of kit.  When I show up for a commercial, or corporate video shoot with my gear, I know that I have everything I need to get the job done.  I also know that it works.  

Many times in this industry, renting is the only option.  Some cameras lights, and equipment are just too expensive or large to own.  I don't mind renting, but it is nice to avoid the hassle of showing up at a rental house the day before a shoot to check out gear. 

There are so many cameras on the market today, that it is hard for a freelancer to make a decision on the next camera investment.  I find myself having the same conversion over and over again with my colleagues over which camera system to invest in.  With the influx of so many large sensor video cameras, it's hard to choose one.  

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I did work with a great camera and lens combination this week though.  It was the Sony PMW-F3 with an Angenieux Optimo DP 16-42mm T2.8 zoom lens.  The wide angle is a useful focal length for that camera, due to the Super 35 sized sensor.  The glass weighs under 5lbs which makes it a good choice for handheld work.  Optically, it produces perfect images.  I would love to own that camera body, and if I hit the lottery, the lense too.  The only question is, can I justify the investment?  Typically it hasn't been the camera that gets me the work, it's my previous work that helps me to get jobs. 

This camera talk reminds me about my opinions on Zacuto's latest Great Camera Shoot Out.  I was never much of a fan of the RED camera system, but to my surprise, the image that I liked the best ended up being the RED Epic.  I will have to do more research on that camera…anyone have any thoughts?