Renting vs Buying Camera Equipment

To Rent or Not To Rent: That is the Question

Photographers always love their gear as if it were their children. Yet no matter how much photography gear you may already have, there will always be a shiny new piece of camera equipment to pine over longingly. While it can be tempting to run out and purchase the latest and greatest, best and brightest thing on the photo and video market, you shouldn’t overlook renting versus buying equipment to try it out. Renting and buying equipment both have their respective payouts and drawbacks, which we’ll cover below.


Novice or professional, you may be thinking about renting a camera or camera equipment. Consider these factors when making a decision about renting vs. buying.

• Test Run – Renting provides you with the capability to try out several types of cameras and lenses without any commitment. This way you can test things out to see if it’s worth updating your current gear, or if you’d rather hold off to upgrade to a future model.

• Saves Money – Let’s just put it bluntly, renting equipment saves you money. Not tying up all your cash flow in purchasing brand new gear allows you to spend it on other parts of your business, or to save up and enjoy. Plus, it keeps you out of debt by preventing the need to purchase expensive equipment that will depreciate before you can get it paid off.


Retail Price Cost Per Daily Rental Number of Rentals to Reach Retail Value
Canon EOS 5DS $3,600 $195 18
Canon EOS 5D MK II $2,500 $170 15
Canon EF 24-70mm $1,800 $135 13
Canon EOS EF 300mm $6,000 $115 52
Sony A7R II $3,200 $125 25

• Just in Case
– You never know when your favorite piece of equipment is going to fail. Repairs can take weeks to complete so having a backup lets you keep working while you wait. Renting while an essential piece of your inventory is in the shop keeps you on schedule and provides necessary security to your work.• Provides Flexibility – Renting gives you access to a wider variety of unique equipment that you typically wouldn’t have the budget for. This opens doors to increase production value, leading to new job opportunities and extra stellar pieces for your portfolio.

• Pack Light – Nobody wants to lug camera equipment around when traveling. You can place a rental order and have it ready upon arrival at your destination to save you time, strain, and prevent your gear from travel damage.

• You’re Covered – In most cases, rental protection plans are better than your own insurance policy.



Before you make a big investment, try renting several pieces to weigh your options. You might find that you don’t like it as much or that it’s more cost effective to rent the camera equipment on an as need basis. This will give you piece of mind when you’re ready to purchase a camera or new lens.

Ready to give something a test run? Give us a call or read the How-to-Rent tab above.