They are great lights when they actually work. I’ve owned six 4x’s, and everyone one of them has crapped out at some point in the last year - same issues you mentioned above. I agree about turning them on only when the dimmer is all the way down, that seems to be the trick. All that being said though, this is a great deal on there lights.
Try telling your clients they suck and see if they call again. 10-15% of our work is currently vertical deliverables. Is it my favorite? No. Is it a pain to setup and deal with in post? Yes. But even though it won't replace horizontal video, it's here to stay for some type of content. I'd say take on the challenge (which it really is) and get ahead of the curve. Eventually you're just going to sound like an old man yelling for kids to get off your lawn.
4K is hardly the strandard yet. Of the 200 or so projects we delivered in the past year, only about 15 were filmed in 4K - and all of those were delivered in 1080p. Expecting a professional 4K camera for under $2000 is a little bit ridiculous - give it 3-5 years.
Remember that up until basically 2 years ago most prosumer cameras topped out at 720p60.
The C100MKI is a better option for video if that's your focus... It's cheaper than this camera and produces much better images.
We all knew this was going to come, and barely a month after they started shipping... They should have just waited and included these features in the initial release. I wish black magic wouldn't use us as beta testers for all their products.
Deposits vary from house to house - having production insurance usually waives any deposit fees, but some houses have made me leave a deposit for the amount of my insurance deductible. Once you create a decent working relationship with a rental house, they will move you to a net 30 term payment. This makes things much easier. Deposits are annoying... especially when you're trying to shoot an indie film on a shoestring budget.