The Pros and Cons of Renting Camera Equipment

Have you ever feel envious when you see professional photographers with their thousand-dollars-worth of camera, lenses, and gears? You don’t have to be. They may not even spend that much on those gears. How, you ask? Renting, of course. Not all professionals photographers buy ever single piece of camera equipment they need. Sometimes, they prefer to rent.

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The Pros of Renting Camera Equipment

#1. It’s cheaper

What’s that? Your buddy, Mike, just invited to you to an Alaskan cruise with all expenses paid? That’s wonderful! You can capture tons of wonderful photos while you’re at it.  Wait, you just busted your zoom lens? No problem! You can rent a Canon 70-200 f/2.8L, which is leagues above your old glass, for up to three weeks at only $150. Don’t bother buying one. It’s $1,900 new. Just rent and enjoy the massive savings.

#2. Allows you to test new gears

New gears come to the market all the time. Unless you’re raking in cash, buying every one of them will get you broke in a snap. By renting, you can always try out the latest gear without burning too much cash. If familiarizing yourself with the latest camera and gears is important in your line of work, renting is the way to go.

#3. Always get the right tool for the job

Whether you want to shoot weddings, sports action, birds in flight, landscape, or the macro world, renting allows you to get the best possible combination of gears that fit the job.

The Cons of Renting Camera Equipment

#1. Not enough time to master the new gear

With lenses, you can snap, take a few shots, and go. There’s no steep learning curve there. It’s another story with a new camera body. People who are accustomed to Canon will need a significant amount of time to adjust to Sony’s more complicated menu layout.   

#2. Setup

When you rent a camera, all the settings are right where the previous renter left them. You will need to spend time setting the gear up to your liking. If for whatever reason, you forget to modify the settings, things could be troublesome. For instance, you prefer to save everything in JPEGs but the previous renter had set the camera to save in RAW only. 

Having the camera saving everything in RAW is just a minor inconvenience, though. You can use the online RAW conversion tool to convert it to any format you like. But when the camera only saves as 12MP image when you need 24MP images, then you’re in serious trouble. No amount of converting can recover the loss of details.

#3. You might get a lemon

Since you don’t know the maintenance history of the gear, you may end up with a lemon that will disappoint you at the worst possible moment. It’s always a good idea to rent the camera equipment a couple of days prior to the big day so you have enough time to test everything out.


Renting camera equipment has its upsides and downsides. Once you weight them both, you can make an educated decision about which route you should go. In the end, it’s your own needs and wants that matter most.

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