Casual photography has been on the rise in recent years due in part to the convenience and availability of smartphones. But if you’ve been wanting to up your photography game, the cost of something like a $2,000 full-frame camera may not be in the budget. If you don’t mind owning, consider renting: several companies are looking to loosen the tight grip smartphones have on the photography market by offering rentals of various digital camera models and accessories, including lenses. Camera rentals are commonplace for professionals, but the service is making its way to regular consumers.
Advances in mobile technology over the last few years have helped smartphones and photo-related apps push traditional digital cameras into the background. Companies such as LensRentals and BorrowLenses have been pushing back by offering rentals of professional cameras and gear for modest rates, and more rental companies continue to emerge.
One such company is Lumoid, a California-based rental company that hopes to appeal to a wide range of shooters including wedding or partygoers, new parents, photo hobbyists, and sightseers. Lumoid offers various models like Canon’s EOS 6D, 5D Mark III, and Rebel T5i, Nikon’s D800 and D610, and other models from Fujifilm, Sony, and Leica.
Lumoid’s prices differ depending on the desired gear. Certain camera bodies and lenses can cost up to $30 a day, but you can also rent complete kits that include a camera body and two different lenses. Lumoid is also a try-to-buy site that offers discounts of up to 30 percent on post-rental items, giving renters greater incentive to purchase gear they have already tested.
Photojojo, a notable retailer of photo accessories, has announced that they, too, will be joining the rental business. Unlike other companies, Photojojo plans to rent out a wider variety of gear including camera drones, high-speed cameras, Polaroid and 3D cameras, and Google Glass. Photojojo started as a newsletter for the photo community before becoming a vendor of specialty photo accessories for digital cameras and smartphones alike; moving into camera rental and offering niche products positions this company to reestablish itself as a photography resource. Pricing for Photojojo has yet to be determined, and pick up of rental items will only be available at their San Francisco office. Rentals will start May 15 after signing up as a beta user on their site.