Mirrorless Cameras were the Hot Ticket Rental in 2017

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

While everyone has been marveling over the Nikon D850 (and justifiably so), or the latest RED Monstro, according to ShareGrid, the most popular item for filmmakers are mirrorless cameras. And the Sony a7SII leads the pack.

Popular because they are affordable to both buy and rent, the Sony a7SII gives users the ability to create an ancillary rental income without a huge investment, and affordable enough to rent so that filmmakers are trying out mirrorless before they buy.  The full frame sensor also adds uncompressed, internal 14 bit Raw recording and extreme low light capability, which is great for overnight on location shoots.

Second only to the a7SII was the Panasonic GH5, which outperformed Sony in the LensRentals year end report. Together these two cameras accounted for 1.3 times the rental volume than their DSLR competitors, the Canon 5D Mk. IV, Mk. III and the new Nikon D850.

Mirrorless cameras are also racking up one award after another, as FStoppers gave the Sony a9 its camera of the year award for 2017, while DPReview sided with the Sony a7RIII as product of the year. By contrast through, readers preferred the Nikon D850, and we agree. As an all around workhorse camera, it’s hard not to be tempted by the siren song of Nikon’s latest flagship DSLR. From 10 fps burst in both regular and silent modes, to it’s 4K video, it’s simply a beast.

Nikon D850

What I find interesting is that while readers are jonsin to get their hands on the D850, DPReview’s reader’s poll doesn’t bear that out in comparison to the Sharegrid data.  Course, the D850 came later in 2017, so it didn’t enjoy as long of a runway for rentals as the Sony or Panasonic. But even if you fact that in, DSLRs seem to be fading from the run and gun crowd in favor of smaller, lightweight models that can outperform them.

Other interesting insights from the ShareGrid data indicate that virtual reality and 360° cameras were a yawner in 2017. While camera manufacturers really want it to be the next big thing, as we predicted here, it’s more going the way of 3D, as a flash in the pan. The ShareGrid indicates that VR accounted for less than .002% of rentals last year.

Even GoPro knows that pure VR is a dud, which is why they’ve been developing OverCapture to take 360 video as a source medium that can then give editors plenty of options in post to create various 2D angles from the 360 degree spectrum. Unfortunately, the feature wasn’t ready when GoPro launched the Fusion, so that may have impacted sales during the holiday season.

The DJI Ronin also seems to be winning the gimbal war against Freefly, at least in the rental theater of operations. The Sharegrid data indicates that the Ronin line gets eight times more rentals than the gimbal that started it all.  That’s interesting and likely comes from the original Ronin costing far less than the MoVI M5, which would translate to at a lower rental cost. However, with the Ronin 2, that price differential has about evaporated when compared to the MōVI Pro which has added a 3 second self balancing feature, so it’ll be interesting to see if Freefly can close the gap in 2018.

Hat Tip – NFS

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About James DeRuvo 327 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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