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Why the Most Popular Rented Gear on ShareGrid Might Surprise You

When it comes to the most rented gear on ShareGrid, you might find yourself surprised with the results.

Heavy hitters from trusted brands made a strong showing in ShareGrid’s 2019 Camera Trends Report, with the Sony Alpha a7S II again taking the number one spot in the ‘Most Rented’ list. But some of the other entries in the top ten are much less predictable, and reveal some key insights.

Charting in second place is the Sennheiser ew 100 ENG G3 Wireless Kit. Forget cameras or lenses: a wireless microphone system is the second most-rented product across the ShareGrid community. The tried-and-true Sennheiser beat out some stiff competition to claim the number two overall spot for the second year running.

A quick scan through the top ten Most Rented list shows other everyday production items renting very frequently, and generating significant income for equipment owners. The Dana Dolly Kit comes in at number four, and the Matthews 40” C-Stand charts at number eight in the list.

What can we learn from this? Here are some key insights:

Production essentials never go out of fashion

No matter what camera they’re using, filmmakers will always need to record sound, handle camera movement, and rig items around their set. While cameras gain and lose popularity as newer models and formats are released, basics like microphones and grip gear stand the test of time. We wouldn’t be surprised to find these everyday items in the top ten list next year.

Inexpensive items can generate an impressive return on investment

When you’re investing in gear to rent out to other people, think strategically. Some basic production items can pay for themselves very quickly from rental income alone. The average value of rentals including the Sennheiser ew 100 ENG G3 Wireless Kit in 2019 was $100 (this includes rentals where it was packaged with other items). Given that used versions of this kit can be picked up for a few hundred dollars, that rental income adds up quickly.

Renters love equipment packages

The average rental value for items in the ShareGrid Insights report draws on data both from individual item rentals, and rentals where the item was part of a package. More and more, we’re seeing renters favoring packages of gear, which include most or all the items they need for a shoot. From the renter’s side, the advantage is obvious: you can pick up all your gear in one stop. Packages may also include discounts relative to renting individual items, so there may be a budget incentive too. As an equipment owner organizing your gear, think carefully about the items you have, what you may want to offer to coordinate with that inventory. Experiment with different ways of combining items that renters might enjoy, and see what works best. Check out this article for tips and advice on packaging your gear.

Versatile lenses perform strongly

Two Canon lenses each moved up by two places in the Most Rented chart from 2018 to 2019. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM moved up to third place, while the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM came in fifth overall. The 70-200mm has a reputation of having a fast and constant aperture, as well as offering great telephoto reach. This combination makes it ideal for both action and portrait photography. As for the 24-70mm, its ability for wide and close-up portraits, as well as its user-friendliness, makes it an ideal lens for both beginners and photography veterans. Versatile lenses, especially from trusted brands like Canon, are enduringly popular, even while other technologies change. As most filmmakers and photographers will tell you - nothing beats fast glass.

So there you have it. When you’re investing in new gear, remember the essentials. Mics, lenses, grip gear, and camera support are almost always in demand. You don’t have to spend big to make a great return. And when it comes to renting out your gear, how you present your items plays a big role in how often they rent.

Stay tuned to the blog for more analysis of the most popular rented gear on ShareGrid. 

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