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Tips for renting video and filmmaking gear

Rental houses provide photographers and videographers with high-end gear at an affordable fee. Here's everything you need to know about renting.

Tips for renting video and filmmaking gear

At one point, almost every filmmaker, photographer, or videographer out there has come across a great career opportunity. Unfortunately, as much as their skills might match the job description, their gear might be lacking in various respects. If this hasn’t happened to, don’t rush to fill your Amazon cart with expensive lenses and cameras just yet. Instead, consider renting filmmaking gear. 

Rental houses provide photographers and videographers with high-end gear at an affordable fee. If you’ve never used camera equipment rentals before, they can seem overwhelming. 

Here are a few tips you can use when renting camera gear for your next big project.

1. Consider Who You’re Renting From

The equipment rentals industry has changed significantly over the years. Online camera rental houses have come up and are providing solutions to individuals, studios, as well as other rental houses to list their camera gear and prices in one marketplace. 

Alternatively, you can choose to physically go to a rental house. This could be because you need the equipment urgently or you’re not too sure about taking the risk of having equipment delivered to you. 

2. Plan Well in Advance 

It pays to plan ahead regardless of who you’re renting from. Outline the equipment you want to rent, make sure it’s available on the particular date you’d like to use the gear, and get the money ready if you need to save up a bit. 

Planning will save you the trouble of looking for equipment at the last minute. Lacking a viable solution might force you to actually buy the expensive equipment you require to avoid causing your client any inconveniences.

3. Try and Rent Older Gear

The thought of getting your hands on the latest camera gear can be very tempting. However, you might find that the value you get from modern equipment is the same as slightly older gear. You’ll find that cameras older by around 4 or 5 years are available at a fraction of what a modern camera goes for. This is despite the older gear potentially delivering the same value. 

This is a great way of saving money and managing your project budget. 

4. Know the Right Gear to Rent and Which You Should Buy

Having landed a big job, you might feel the need to invest in some good gear but you should not give in to that temptation. Renting should work out just right in situations when you need a few vital pieces of equipment that you won’t use as much. They could be gimbals, high-powered speedlights, or long telephoto lenses. 

5. Consider Pickup Location

Shoots with bigger budgets usually have someone on the call sheet to worry about gear pickups and returns. However, a smaller shoot project is a bit more intricate and you should be sure of how rented gear will reach you or the location of the shoot.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Renting camera gear is an awesome way of gaining access to expensive equipment. Not only do you get to gain experience of using the equipment, but your content will also look top-tier without you having to spend too much money on it. Keep in mind that if you’ve been contracted for a project, you should factor in the cost of the rented equipment into your invoice. 

The tips listed above should make it easy for you to locate and rent the camera gear you need for your next project.

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Frankie Stein is from Italy, but lives in Ingolstadt, Germany. Her hobbies are: reading about science, doing experiments, and travelling. She's been all around Europe and loves Scotland, London, and Russia. Her boyfriend is called Victor and they both love listening to The Cure, reading Byron, and gazing upon William Blake prints.

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