Thanks for answering my questions.
Is $9,200 USD a satisfactory price for the new Aptus II 5?
Before you spend any money for any expensive camera (I now define expensive as anything past a 5d2) I suggest you ask yourself these questions.
1. Will it change the look of your work and result in more bookings, more profit, a prettier girlfriend?
2. Will it make your life easier, faster, do what you need . . . 100% of what you need and allow you more time to spend making images?
3. Will the dealer and manufacturer let you try the system for a full shoot, the way you shoot, the volume you shoot, the style you shoot and if it doesn't work will they take it back no questions asked?
4. Is the camera stable, 100% available for rentals (backups) in every major market, are lenses on the shelf ready for sale, is every promised or announced feature both in hardware and software delivered on time?
5. Is the software solid, fast, work with your computer system, or require new computers, new operating systems. Digital backs are 90% software and if it's fast, intuitive and stable it makes the whole process
100% easier, if it's still a work in progress then consider yourself an unpaid beta tester.
6. What is the learning curve. 1 day, 1 week, 1 month? A problematic camera can take 2 months out of your year, what is two months worth?
7. Is tech support one phone call away, do digital techs in your market know how to work the system, can you run the system by yourself if the tech gets the flu?
8. Have your clients asked you for a better file a better camera? Has anyone that will possibly pay you looked at your work and asked what camera you use?
9. Have you calculated the complete costs of camera, back, lenses, larger storage (usually double), time to make jpegs for presentation, new operating systems, probably a new computer, including backups?
If everything but the camera fails can you still work, show an image to the AD, keep on schedule and budget?
10. Will it make you happy, or will you pull your hair out in frustration? Happy is important, even can be worth the time and effort, but problems can throw you and your clients for a loop, spoil a lot of
good equity and make you think about the camera rather than the image. It's all about the content and the image and I looked at your work it's quite nice so if you think a new camera will change
your work, your life for the better go for it, if not, put the money and especailly the time in something that will move you forward.
Few if any good client will hire you for your gear, it's all about the image, your talent and how you do business.
FWIW, I've drank the Kool-Aid, sometimes the results were worth it, most of the time I'm not quite sure. I do know it takes many, many hours to learn a new system, get use to it's nuances and if that system is slow,
limiting, a work in progress, it can take what should be a good, easy, creative and profitable day and turn it into a nightmare and this isn't directed at digital backs, this is my view of the complete digital process, software to hardware,
dslr to medium format.
Also FWIW I had an Aptus 22, not heavily used that I sold after about a year and could not get more than $8,000 for it. Now granted I'm not one to spend anytime on e-baby fighting off deals to gain an extra $500 but from over $20,000 to
$8,000 was quite a drop. Remember all of this stuff, camera, computers drop in price about 1/2 the moment you turn the key (or push the shutter).
FWIW 3. Spending a lot of money on a camera made me use it, at times I probably shouldn't have but I spent the cash, talked myself into believing it was a wise investment and pixel peeped my way into be sure I did the right thing.
The old Aptus 22 file can be beautiful, can be problematic depending on subject and lighting, but only you will know if it's worth it so find a dealer that will let you test it the way you work.
11. The final question. Are you looking at the Aptus 5 just because of costs? Is the price the motivator or is the quality? If it's costs you'll probably find yourself next buying an Aptus 7 or 10 in the next few months. If the camera is problematic (not
that I'm saying the Aptus 5 is) you will find yourself going back to a dslr and regretting the time invested. Only you can answer this, but be sure, be clear, be careful.