Would You Rather Have a House? Or a RED Camera?

When it comes to making investments, there are lots of routes you can go. In this case, the choice is between either a house, a low-risk investment for stability, or a RED Camera, a high-risk investment in yourself and your career. Which would you choose?

This isn't purely a hypothetical question. Not long ago, YouTuber Matthew Paquette was faced with this very decision. He could either buy a house and live there with all of his friends or buy a RED camera and pursue his dream of becoming a filmmaker. I know, personally, I would have gone with the RED Scarlet W, but having a house has never been on my own personal list of wants and needs in my life plan.

On one hand, a house brings stability and a place to call your own. On the other hand, a RED camera is shiny! Kidding, but in actuality, with a RED camera you can not only charge more, but you can rent it out to other productions, have more flexibility in post, and just sort of look the part. A lot of people underestimate just how powerful the optics of filmmaking can be. With the new Canon EOS R5, you can record in 8K raw; however, you are still filming with a DSLR-style camera, so to your client, you may still just be "a person with a camera" and not "a real filmmaker"

What do you think of this video? Would you choose the house? Or the RED?

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Alexander Petrenko's picture

If a house is investment property, which is supposed to generate income, then comparison makes sense.

Deleted Account's picture

The days of real estate being a safe investment are long gone.

Deleted Account's picture

I'm sure it's still a good investment for people attuned to the vagaries of the market. I was referring to the average couple who could rely on values steadily increasing ahead of inflation, being rewarded with something upon which they could build their retirement.

Leopold Bloom's picture

Neither nor in my case.
A house causes too much work, a red camera would simply gather dust as I don't do video.

J M's picture

.......... How do I delete someone else's article? This is silly.

jim hughes's picture

Let me think for 2 nanoseconds. House.

Dominic Deacon's picture

The image thing is a bit silly. You advertise yourself not your gear. If you're working for low money for a low end client it's not expected to be bringing in the high end gear. For upper end clients ask them what camera they want. They'll have the money for camera rental and you get the gear that is appropriate to the shoot.

Cameras are moving forward so fast at the moment that whatever you buy it will be outdated in six months anyway. A house is a house.

Charles J's picture

Didn't watch the video. House.

Felix C's picture

But then you have filmmakers like Joseph Hutson, who at 18 or 19, bought a Red with money lent by his parents, paid them back within 6 months, and has done very well ever since. If you have the passion, then a Red will not be the limiting factor as a tool, it will be you. A R5 would be a limiting factor because of the heat issue.

Manny Moka's picture

Yeeeeaaaaa but that was also about 10 years ago when having a RED actually set you apart. Now that all this new video tech is out and the accessibility of high quality video is becoming really common, making that kind of purchase doesn't make too much sense unless you really just want to go for it.

Joseph is the homie but it's not going to work for everybody. Plus beside that he's just a really dope DOP period.

Daniel Bayer's picture

Does it make economic sense? Of all the productions companies and freelancers we hire in our ad agency, almost none of them have their own equipment when it comes to RED, it is a rental in most cases and we add that to the clients budget.

Also renting to others seems risk when it's your own camera. How insurance works in this case?

16mm Camera's picture

Buy a house, rent a camera...this is how you profit. Especially when your "clients don't pay red rates". He should have known that going in. Also a house 10 years ago is worth double now just on average.

Most of the high end DP's I know always rent, because each production calls for different variables. It's nice to own a high end camera like this, but it's a massive business risk if you can't fill the work.

Plus, you get to actually LIVE in your home so that's always a nice way to enjoy your investment 24/7 year after year as it doubles in value while you sleep, poop, entertain and study.