At the end of any speaking engagement I'm involved in, I usually offer a bit of advice which includes "Don't go into debt over this". If you're just starting out, trying to make a go at a career in photography, you need to focus on learning the craft, mastering your equipment, and trying to build your business to a point where you have a steady and somewhat consistent income. The business of photography is a constant ebb & flow, and if you don't have the intestinal fortitude to endure lean times, then it's probably not the right profession for you.
Having said that, once you've got a handle on things and you can sock a little money away for the rainy days, you may find yourself at the point where the equipment you need to grow your business is significantly more expensive than what you've used in the past. Maybe you need specialized equipment that would consume your entire savings account? Or perhaps you've decided to open a studio and need to outfit the space with enough equipment to handle any assignment that presents itself? Depending on your location, there may not be an equipment rental house within any distance that makes renting a practical option. So you're left with buying, and the need to shell out a small fortune. There are several schools of thought on this, but my decision was to keep my working capital available in the bank and lease/finance the equipment I needed to get the job done, writing off the monthly payments as a business expense. I felt that return on my investment would be greater than the cost of the new gear through it's use. I think this is the most important part, will this equipment allow me to increase my income through it's use? If the answer is no, then it's probably not a good investment. Fortunately for me, the gamble paid off and I have seen growth in my business as a result of the images created with the new gear. I won't go into detail on exactly what equipment, but it doesn't really matter. Each of us will have a different need when they reach this crossroad.
If and when you decide to finance a purchase, obviously shopping for the best price and best financing terms is important, just like buying a house or a car. Many of the big equipment manufacturers have promos throughout the year to either kick start sales on new product lines, or clear out old ones. Either way, the savings is usually significant. Currently PhaseOne and Mamiya are running a promotion on new, refurbished, and upgrade purchases which provides financing at 0%. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to know if you're on the fence with a purchase, this is the time to buy. Even if you were planning to pay cash for equipment, there's no down-side here . . . it's 0% interest (for those who may not be good at math, that's the same as cash). This allows you to keep your working capital in the bank earning interest, while slowly siphoning each month for the finance payment due.
This current promo is good through the end of the year, so you've got a little time to figure it all out. If you're planning to finance more than $25,000, the offer includes no payments for 90 days.