Whether you’re an independent filmmaker looking to shoot your first feature or an amateur videographer trying to get the best shots of your child’s birthday party, finding quality equipment rentals can be difficult.
There are plenty of places that claim to have the best video equipment for rent, but not all of them are created equally.
You need a place where you’ll find everything you need at a price that won’t break your bank.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best video equipment rental options in the U.S.
We’ll show you where to go and what to expect so that you can make an informed decision about your next project.
Best Video Equipment Rental Options
What Is video equipment rental?
Video equipment rental is a service that allows you to rent expensive, specialized and often heavy production equipment for use on location or in the studio.
The main reason why filmmakers need to rent video equipment is that they will not have access to the necessary tools at all times.
Good video equipment is not cheap and cinematographers may not be able to afford it on their own.
Even if they do have their own equipment, using it on a freelance basis can be very expensive because of the time associated with it.
It is not uncommon for a filmmaker to have a busy schedule and be in need of video equipment. If so, they are going to want to utilize a video equipment rental service so they do not have to go out and purchase something every time they need it.
The need for video equipment rental has increased dramatically over the years because commercial and industrial films are now being made left, right and center.
When you know how to make money with video production, having the right equipment is essential.
The quality of your camera and editing software can make or break a project. Plus, if you’re working with multiple clients, the right gear can help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.
But investing in this type of equipment can be expensive! You’ll need to spend several thousand dollars just to get started
For example, a Canon C200 costs around $7,000.
And if you want a lightweight setup that fits in your backpack? A Panasonic GH5 will set you back more than $2,500.
There’s also the cost of accessories. For example, you’ll need filters, microphones, audio recorders, lights, and more to produce high-quality content for your clients.
Luckily for you, there’s an easier way to get started — Renting!
In this guide, we’ve rounded up the best video equipment rental options for filmmakers and content creators on a budget.
Best Video Equipment Rental Options
These are the rental house options that we believe are the best bang for your buck, overall quality, range, and reliability.
1. Adorama Rental Company
Adorama is the world’s largest independent rental house with over 10,000 products available for rent. Whether a professional photographer or amateur enthusiast, Adorama has the gear you need to make a difference.
Trying to decide between renting and purchasing?
Renting from them will save you up to 70 percent off list prices on all the equipment you need for a successful shoot. You can easily find products to rent from their product index. Or search by keyword, product name, or category. Once you’ve found the perfect product, just add it to your cart.
Select a delivery location (either your address or one of their many Adorama rental showrooms located throughout North America) and complete your order through their secure server.
To check availability at a specific location, simply enter your zip code into the location field found below the price of each product. A complete list of available locations will appear in the drop down menu.
Upon placing your order, an Adorama rental associate will contact you via telephone or email with any additional information regarding your rental order including shipping details and pickup instructions if necessary.
When it’s time to return your rental items, just drop them off at any UPS location along with their prepaid return label included with your shipment.
ShareGrid is a peer-to-peer rental marketplace for tools and equipment. They give photographers, videographers, producers, and anyone else who uses expensive gear the opportunity to rent that equipment from each other.
Rather than one person owning several items of equipment and renting it out only occasionally, ShareGrid allows people to rent out the same equipment to multiple renters. Everyone wins.
The owner earns extra income, renters get more options and often save money, and everyone gets to use the best gear available rather than settling for what’s available locally.
ShareGrid also enables rentals with flexible terms. Rental periods can be as short as an hour or as long as an entire year.
Equipment can be rented by the day or by the month. They offer free shipping both ways, so renters don’t have to worry about pickup or returning equipment in one trip.
Unlike traditional rental shops, they don’t require any contracts or deposits. On ShareGrid you pay for what you use only when you use it.
ShareGrid differs from other peer-to-peer marketplaces like NeighborGoods and Getaround in one key way; on ShareGrid not only is the equipment offered by owners, but they also provide a place to find available rentals from other renters!
Have you ever wanted to rent a camera to film your first music video, or take photos for a photo shoot, but didn’t have the money for it? Or maybe you’ve been doing photography for a while, and want to expand your portfolio.
KitSplit is an online marketplace that helps photographers and filmmakers find budget-friendly equipment rentals.
Their story began when one of their founders, Luis Von Ahn (creator of Duolingo), was looking for a photographer he could trust to shoot for his wedding. He searched around, but realized there was no easy way to connect with local photographers he could trust in his area.
His cofounder Jeff Tseng had actually partnered with Brad Bao and James Chen on two independent films, so they decided to work together and launched KitSplit!
KitSplit’s mission is to make renting gear as easy as buying on an app or booking a hotel room.
We have all these fancy cameras out there that are going unused, so why not help people use them?
They want to build an ecosystem where anyone can easily find, book, and pay for professional photo and video equipment rentals. And then get paid!
BorrowLenses is a camera equipment rental service where you can rent cameras, lighting equipment, tripods, and other photo and video gear. Their website has information on how to use each piece of equipment and lists the price for renting it.
The rental period ranges anywhere from one day to one year and there are different plans available depending on the length of time you want to rent the equipment for. BorrowLenses does not require any type of membership or special account in order to use their services.
You simply enter your zip code into the search bar at the top of the page and click on your city from the list that appears. This will bring up a list of all the items available for rent in your area.
To view more details about an item that you’re interested in renting, click on its image or title.
This will take you to a page with specific information about this item, including a description and images, so you can see exactly what it looks like.
When you’re ready to rent an item, hit add to cart which will bring up a form where you can input your information, including your billing address and credit card number or Paypal account if you’d rather pay using this method instead.
At LensRentals, their motto is “try before you buy.” What that means is that they are able to provide access to high-quality lenses from nearly every manufacturer in the industry.
You can rent anything from wide-angle zooms like the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM all the way up through ultra telephoto superzooms like the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM.
6. Peerspace For Camera Equipment Rentals
Even though Peerspace is a relatively new company, their business model is already taking the market by storm. What they do is help customers to rent out any kind of camera equipment they may need.
Whether you are a professional photographer who needs some extra lenses or you’re a student looking to add a few more camera accessories, Peerspace has you covered.
Peerspace is designed to be the easiest rental website on the internet. They take into consideration all of the typical problems and inconveniences that come with renting from other websites and essentially remove them from their service.
You will never pay shipping fees when using this service. Instead, Peerspace handles everything for you and sends you all of the items that you need for your next photo shoot at no extra charge to you!
While their website might be easy to use, there is always an expert available if you need any advice or assistance while browsing through the site.
How Much Does Camera Rental Cost?
When it comes to renting a camera, you have two options: you can rent a new camera or rent a used one. The price of renting a new DSLR will vary depending on the model and how long you are renting it for.
If you want the best price, then you should rent an used camera because they will cost less. They go through rigorous testing, which means that they are in good condition and are ready to be used by anyone.
When looking for a good deal on a camera rental, it is crucial to do your research because there are many companies offering this service and many of them charge different prices.
You can search online for the best prices or ask your friends or colleagues who have used this service before about their experience and if they would recommend it or not.
The advantage of searching online is that you will be able to compare different services and prices so that you get the best deal possible. By comparing prices from different companies, you can narrow down your search and find the best deal available.
You might find that some companies will offer discounts if you book the camera for longer than seven days or if it is being rented for business purposes. Although the price of renting a camera might seem high at first glance, when compared with buying one outright it is much more cost efficient.
Video Gear Rental Is A Good Way To Save Money
If you are a filmmaker, video producer, or just someone who likes to make videos then chances are you will have a need for some video gear at some point. But you probably don’t want to buy all the video gear you might need, so renting video equipment is a great option.
A lot of people think that renting video equipment is an expensive way to go but if you look around the web there are plenty of companies that offer cheap video gear rental.
Online Rental Services For Video Gear
There are a lot of benefits to using online rental services over local options. The most obvious is that you can rent gear from just about anywhere in the world. You also don’t have to deal with pick-up or drop-off, and you get to use the latest gear, which you might not find at your local shop.
Here are some other benefits of online video equipment rentals:
If you’re renting expensive equipment, the cost difference between local and online rental can be dramatic.
For example, when I rented a RED Scarlet from LensRentals for a music video shoot, it was about $150 for the weekend versus around $4,000 for the week from a local rental house
That’s because I was able to rent a more recent model (the RED Epic would have been over $5,000), and I didn’t have to worry about returning it on time or dealing with any pick-ups.
Online rentals are more likely to have more up-to-date gear than your local shop.
It may not always be possible to get something like an Alexa or RED camera body (depending on what type of work you’re doing), but it’s worth checking out online before settling for something less.
What To Look For Camera Lens Rental Sites
When you need a new lens for your camera, you may not want to shell out the big bucks for a brand new one. Fortunately, there are plenty of sites that let you rent lenses – but they aren’t all created equal.
Trying to find the perfect lens can be frustrating, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. That’s why we’ve put together this list of what to look for when renting or buying a lens from one of these sites.
Image quality is always the most important factor in any lens purchase; DSLRs are extremely sensitive instruments, and every little flaw in a lens’ optics will show up in your photos.
Whether renting or buying, make sure that the images you take with the lens look sharp and detailed from edge to edge, with no blurriness or softness in the corners.
Not all lenses are made equally, so it’s important to know what type each one is before making your decision.
Lens type refers to how much of your image is captured – ranging from wide angle lenses (which capture lots of space) to telephoto lenses (which capture a close-up view).
Local Or Online Rental For Video Gear
There are two options for renters: local rental or online rental. Choosing either option can be extremely convenient, depending on your needs.
Trying gear before buying it allows you to make sure you like the feel and features of the product, and it will likely save you money in the long run.
However, if you are renting from a local vendor, you may want to buy the product outright because there will likely be fees for returning the item late or for damages that may occur during use.
Online rental shops are convenient if you don’t want to travel far from home to rent equipment.
Also, if you find that the item is not what you expected or it doesn’t work well with other equipment you have, then online rental is a good option so that you’re not out of pocket as much as if you rented locally.
Because online shops rent their products all over the country, they offer more variety than a local shop would have. You can find what you need and have it delivered right to your door. And delivery is often free with online rentals!
Is Video Gear Rental Worth It?
Video gear rental is a growing industry that gives artists and filmmakers access to high quality equipment for a fraction of the cost of purchasing the gear.
The barriers to making content are being broken down by lowering the cost of entry and having access to more tools. Video production has never been so easy for artists and filmmakers.