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Buying vs. Renting a Video Equipment: Why Renting Makes Sense

  High-quality filming gear can be expensive, whether you are…
a person holding a camera


High-quality filming gear can be expensive, whether you are a budding videographer right out of film school, a self-taught novice with an interest film, or an experienced professional. Luckily, the emergence of lens rental companies in the past decade has made it possible for individuals to access affordable filming equipment.

The ultimate decision between hiring vs buying video equipment can only be determined by your film production goals. However, if you have considered renting cameras, lenses, tripods, or other film and video equipment but need more info about how the rental process works, where to rent from, or if the rental route is the best route for you, here are some reasons why hiring rental equipment might be the best option for you.

1. Hiring video production equipment is cost-effective.

High-quality camera lenses and shooting accessories can cost thousands of dollars. Many view purchasing this equipment as an investment in their passion or work, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have the funds to support their endeavors.

Besides, even if you can afford to buy quality filming gear of your own, tech manufacturers are always looking for ways to improve their gear and lenses. There is always something new in the market: a newer drone model, a sharper and faster lens, new shooting formats to adapt to, and more. Leasing a new piece of equipment allows you to test big-ticket gear and lenses at a friendly price. Renting makes even more financial sense if this is the equipment you will not use often.


2. Rental houses are widely available.

Many camera stores now dabble as lens rental houses, shipping equipment far and wide. Some even ship to international locations. A fully-fledged rental house will take insurance for their equipment against their replacement value and factor this charge into their cost estimate, while some will share the insurance cost with the renter. Keep this in mind while you look around for a the most convenient camera rental house.

Rental houses like BorrowLenses offer lens rentals from reputable manufacturers like Sony, Canon, and Nikon. Through their website, you can search for equipment by using various optimized filters such as brand, focal range, aperture, camera mount, and more to help you choose the best gear for your project. They have a variety of rental equipment to choose from, all available to rent for up to 90 days. They also have a wide variety of available lenses: telephoto, cine, standard, and wide-angle lenses, to name a few. Their lens rentals come with packed with a lens hood, lens caps, and filter to ensure that the rental equipment is handled with the highest level of care.


3. Hiring equipment allows for more aesthetic flexibility.

Committing to a piece of equipment can limit you, especially when you’re looking to diversify your skillset. While purchasing a camera of your own is a great investment, it is only a single piece of equipment. This can be a limiting factor when you are looking to diversify and improve your craft. For instance, if you are skilled at portrait photography you may be used to working with the entry-level Canon Rebel series DSLR camera. But by renting a wide-angle lens and a Nikon hot-shoe flashgun you can also work towards improving your skillset and gaining a better understanding of working with artificial light.


4. You can hire video equipment and buy it later.

Hiring a camera can influence your buying choices, especially when you are looking to upgrade from your current equipment. Hiring video equipment can help you narrow down your choices and choose gear that best fits your filming use and function. Most rental houses offer a rent-to-own period that allows you to use your rented equipment in a variety of settings. This way you can test the gear in a variety of lighting and with many different subjects.