If you were in the hunt to rent a Panasonic GH5 for your indy film project, you probably had hard a hard time finding them. That’s because LensRentals says that these cameras were at the top of the most popularly rented gear of 2017. What else was being used this year? Lets find out.
2017 was our biggest year ever. – LensRentals Blog
LensRentals likes to break out the most popular list into overall gear and new gear. In the overall category, the leading rentals were actually lenses over cameras. The Canon 24-270 f2.8 L II topped the list, followed closely by the 70-200 f2.8L IS II. I’m guessing when you rent one, you rent both, and so, that these two walk hand in hand isn’t all that much of a shock.
But what was a surprise is that the Canon 5D Mk. III took the bronze, just edging out the newer, 4K capable Mk. IV. That camera has always had legs, but it’s surprising in a post HD world, it’s still getting that much play. If I had to guess why … I’d say two words. MAGIC LANTERN, thanks to their mining of 4K in Super35mm mode.
In fact, while falling short of citing actual sales numbers, LensRentals blogger Zach Sutton says that Sony is rapidly closing the gap with Canon, hinting that it may surpass it in the new year. Sutton also adds that Sony NP batteries are almost always in the top 10. “If nothing else, it’s a humbling reminder to us at Lensrentals.com and to everyone else that the Sony mirrorless systems still have a long way to go in terms of battery life, and at least one backup battery is almost a requirement when using the Sony systems.”
But when you get into the near gear for 2017, that’s where things begin to change. Topping the list is the Panasonic GH5, along with the Sony a6500, a9, and then some lenses including the Tamron 70-200, as well as a pair of Sigma Art lens that everyone loves to talk about. Canon gets an honorable mention with the 6D Mk. II, followed by the Olympus OM-D Mk. II. The Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K camera just missed out the top ten, but it’s still a respectable #11, up five places over 2016.
Other notable gear that was frequently rented in 2017 included the Sennheiser G3 Wireless Mic Kit, the Freefly MoVI Pro handheld bundle, the EasyRig MiniMax, and surprisingly low in the top 20 the Canon Cinema EOS C200EF, which is the only cinema grade Canon camera in the entire top 20 of either list.
Surprisingly, absent from the LensRentals list include GoPro, Drones, gimbals, or external monitor-recorders. “As you could guess if you’ve seen this type of data in the past,” Sutton writes, “a lot of our gear rented is more practical than anything else. Not much has changed from previous years.” The DJI OSMO Pro Handheld stabilizer with the Zenmuse X5 just made the top 20 list in 2016, but is noticeably absent this year.
It’ll be interesting to see how the gear list evolves in the new year with the pending LensRentals/LensProtoGo Merger. I’m guessing that we’ll see a lot of the same, but with LensProtoGo’s service oriented rental structure, the professional recommendations may adjust how the list evolves.