Broadcast equipment reseller Top Teks has launched a contract hire programme for memory cards and cameras.

It hopes the scheme will encourage greater adoption of tapeless workfl ows and boost dwindling sales of tapeless cameras.

Top Teks sales director Mike Thomas said there had been a “significant decline” in highend camera sales over the past two years.

He attributed the drop to “everchanging formats” and the “unwillingness of cameramen to commit to a camera or format because their customers are not committing to a format type”.

Top Teks is offering Panasonic, Sony and Canon cameras on six or 12-month contracts to end users and hire firms, with the option to buy the camera for a guaranteed price at the end of the agreement.

Top Teks claims that under its scheme, users will get a month of hire for the usual cost of a week’s hire.

It hopes that supplying productions with P2 and SxS cards will alleviate problems associated with exchanging or downloading data in the field, which can require extra staff or result in longer days for camera operators.

“This means productions can safeguard the content by keeping it on the cards until it can be safely delivered to post, which is similar to the old tape workflow,” Thomas said.

“We can take tape budgets and apply them to media. For example, 20 P2 cards cost £270 per month [based on a 12-month minimum].”

Thomas said the response so far was “very good”, with London’s Kitroom Monkey and Progressive Broadcast Hire in Glasgow the first fi rms to sign up to the scheme.

“We’re still very much a dealer, but contract hire compliments what we do,” he added. “This offers a route to kit without longterm commitment.”