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Industry Trends: The Most Popular Gear Rentals of 2018

Logan Baker

One of the best resources for filmmakers right now is ShareGrid. Their platform is simple: rent gear owned by other filmmakers. They are the middleman, bringing filmmakers together so we can get our hands on the gear we need. So, whether you want to become a member and invest in some heavyweight cameras for the upcoming year, or if you’re more interested in renting gear as you need it, ShareGrid is here to help you plan accordingly with their end-of-year report.

Industry Trends: The Most Popular Gear Rentals of 2018

The results break down into rental profits, number of rentals, and rental days to recoup value, which basically just means the number of days you’d need to rent the item out to cover its cost. It’s all about determining which cameras and pieces of equipment will yield a higher return on investment. There are also graphs and lists showing where and when the gear gets rented the most (Los Angeles is the most popular, obviously). Pair this data with our Camera Rumors for 2019, and you can start determining what’s really worth your investment.

5: RED Scarlet-W Dragon 5K

Industry Trends: The Most Popular Gear Rentals of 2018 — Scarlet-W Dragon 5K

This was the biggest shock in the PremiumBeat office. We would have thought an Alexa or an URSA Mini would be more popular than the Scarlet-W Dragon. But, waddayaknow? Since this camera is almost three years old, it’s interesting to note how popular gear is once its initial value drops.

4. Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5

Industry Trends: The Most Popular Gear Rentals of 2018 — Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5

No surprise here. The GH5 has been one of the powerhouse consumer cameras of the past two years. With 4K 60p with no crop, shooters love this camera, and we can see why it’s been popular in the rental market. Not only is it relatively cheap to rent for the day, you can also pay this camera off fairly quickly if you want to purchase one. You know it’s in high demand, and certainly it will continue to be in the coming year.

I imagine the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K will probably knock this down the list. As more people get their hands on this affordable camera, expect the rental market for it to increase as well.

3. Dana Dolly Original Kit

Industry Trends: The Most Popular Gear Rentals of 2018 — Dana Dolly Original Kit

The dolly will never go out of style. The specific brands and types might, but given what a dolly can do for your shots, it will always be around in some form or another. So, it makes sense that this affordable, efficient, classic piece of equipment is not only a good item to rent but also a good investment — the “Rental Days to Recoup Value” is only 14 days. The Dana Dolly kits available on ShareGrid are perfect for any size camera (up to 120 pounds), so this is your be-all and end-all solution for whatever you’re shooting.

2. Sony PXW-FS7 XDCAM Super 35 Camera

Industry Trends: The Most Popular Gear Rentals of 2018 — Sony PXW-FS7 XDCAM Super 35 Camera

I didn’t know that the FS7 was this popular, but here we are! The camera has been out for more than 4 years, so expect its depreciating value to affect popularity and price. (However, the price for the FS7 is still listed as $7,000 right now.)

1. Sony a7Sii Mirrorless Camera

Industry Trends: The Most Popular Gear Rentals of 2018 — Sony Alpha a7S II

The Sony a7s lineup will save us all. With the a7S III on the horizon, the a7S II will increase in popularity as its price comes down. But everything that made this a popular camera in the first place will still be there. Point is, this 4K mirrorless beast is great option for anybody starting out or shooting videos on a medium- to low-sized budget. I personally own an a7S II and will continue to use it until I inevitably break it somehow (then I’ll buy an a7S III).

Check out the full list of the most popular rented gear in 2018 here.

All images via ShareGrid.

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