I think there is some sensible advice here and is certainly well intentioned. I can only tell you from my personal experience over 23 years as a DP. I bought my first film camera 20 years ago. Did I make money on it? No. But it allowed me to build clientele and get valuable experience in how this all works (insurance, maintenance, caring for a valuable asset,etc). Also agree the sticker price is just the starting point. Factor in taxes, insurance, repairs, accessories, and most importantly lenses which are often more than the camera body itself.
Do I think rushing out to buy a Helium 8k or Alexa XT with no clients and no reputation is a good idea?? Definitely not. I echo you do not want Clients who are hiring you because you own X,Y,Z camera. You want clients that hire you for your skillset and track record. If you can get to this point its very likely you can dictate to your clients what gear you prefer to get best results.
Longwinded response but I'm not as anti owning a camera as I think there are hidden investments that can't be monetized. I know this aimed at lower end budgeted productions largely but do these clients then have a budget for a checkout day? There is nothing worse than figuring out new camera gear onset while talent is waiting. Do you have right step down rings, rod length, correct follow focus pitch, etc? If you are an up and coming DP how do you practice and learn your craft if you don't have a camera at your disposal constantly? I agree don't go out and max a credit card to buy the hot camera if you don't already have the work. However a modest investment may pay dividends down the line. I currently don't even know exactly how many camera and lenses we own (its always changing) but I can tell you the first one was the biggest and scariest step.