Renting out your own camera gear? ...

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by steveOooo, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. steveOooo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Im on the market for a new camera - Sony NX5 or EX1r and have thought, rather than just sell my old Z1 camera - which perhaps could be useful for the occasional 'we want a tape at the end of the shoot' scenarios, I could rent it out instead / rather than waiting for the odd tape based job... I also have a couple small consumer cams too I could rent out.

    How feasible would this be? Where would i start? What legalities should I have, assurances and agreements? How would i post the 4kg+ camera etc.. Do you need a large selection of cams? Is it even possible by a sole / freelancer to do this?
     
  2. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    A camera rental business isn't a camera business that does rentals, it's a rental business that does cameras.
     
  3. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #3
    If your loaning it to a friend or a complete stranger? If your going the stranger root, I would ask for a certified check, fully refundable for the amount of the gear loaned out. This way if they don't return your gear your covered.

    More importantly, which camera are you leaning towards? I use a Sony NX5U awesome little camera, but I would prefer to have an EX1, esp. now with the rebates going on. (I wonder if they will announce an updated version) I got the sony because of money. Having the bigger chip helps for broadcast use. Is your working going on-air?
     
  4. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Loaning to a friend carries even more risk - they may treat it as "not theirs" and resist any requests for payment.

    If you lose a "consumer cam", what do you do? Can you get reasonably priced insurance for something that might only be worth $400? Would the cops follow it up if it went missing?

    You need to consider taking credit cards as well as checks - everybody loves the plastic.
     
  5. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #5
    If you're renting gear out, your rental agreement needs to specify a minimum amount of liability insurance carried by the renter, proven by a certificate from the underwriter at the time of rental. Establishing financial responsibility is crucial if you don't want the short end of the stick when something gets lost or damaged (and this happens a lot more often than you might think).

    I'm not sure how much success you'll have renting out consumer-level gear, though. It's so cheap these days that many rather buy a couple $700-800 cameras than rent them at $50-100/day and worry about insuring them. Generally speaking, desirable rentals are going to be high-end professional gear that's too expensive for a production to purchase and maintain.

    Another thing to consider: a lot of shooters take the "owner/operator" approach, where they rent their gear and services out to the production. That way, they're always with their gear and there's a much smaller risk of misuse and damage.
     
  6. steveOooo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Ive used a nx5 before for a old client - excellent camera, the 128gb module really adds ease and flexibility for long shoots / shooting abroad. No, most of the stuff im doing isnt going on tv - id say i mostly do events, nightclubs etc. so low light and portability is a must, I can do around 6 hours max with the z1 handheld before i get really fatiqued, especially with the wireless camera receiver digging into my hand on the strap. I hear the ex1r is a pain for handheld so im undecided.

    Im waiting for second hand nx5 to come up on fleabay to save £1k or so - im bidding on a ex1r kit (with approx £2k worth of mics, tripods etc) which is currently at £4k - my absolute limit. Im not urgent for a new camera, can see if the ex1r works for me and just sell it if i dont like it.
     
  7. Arrowk127 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #7
    Couldn't agree more. I work at a camera rental company and that is exactly what we do. Also we don't see any requests for a camera like this. Lots of requests for the Red, Alexa and other full size HD cameras.
     
  8. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #8
    I use the 128GB module and it is indeed awesome, I never have to worry about swapping cards/tapes. There are two versions of the EX1, there is the first generation EX1 and then there is newer model that replaced it, the EX1R. They changed the hand gripe because people were complaining. They made it so it swivels if that makes sense and I think they also made it more contoured for the hand.
     
  9. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    Sorry to hijack...
    The module sounds great but Sony is still charging about $800 for it - you can get four Class 6 32GB cards for a quarter of that and since the camera takes two at a time and does relay recording, you get 64 GB of space at a time, enough for more than 5 hours. If they dropped it to $400, it would be on my shopping list.
     
  10. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #10
    I'm a cameraman with my own equipment. Usually I rent out the gear along with myself, but as I got more cameras I have started to rent out the gear on its own. Sometimes through a rental house, when they are short, other times to complete strangers.
    It has worked well so far, I have my cameras insured, so that's taken care of.

    My EX-3 paid for it self after 2 years, my PAnasonic AF101 in less than a year, but RED EPIC will probably take 2-3 years.

    It's a good way to increase your income, as there is a limit to the rates you can charge for just yourself as a cameraman.

    One problem that's easy to forget, is that you have to keep buying accessories as customers wants/need them and that eats into your profits.

    You also might have to drive out on a sunday night to deliver a raincover etc as you forgot to pack it, or they forgot to order it and they need it ASAP

    In the end it makes me avilable for more kinds of work, I get to use great cameras and I can choose the right tool for the job
     
  11. Consultant, Mar 1, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012

    Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #11
    When I rent, company pre-charge credit card to see if you got enough credit.

    You should rent and see how it works. Since you haven't, you probably don't have the captital or experience to run a rental company.

    Question yourself, do you want some random person without a storefront to pre-charge $5000 on your credit card?

    Might be possible if you know lots of people who want to rent it. But probably not possible to strangers.
     

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