Skip to main content

Lens Rentals zooms in on the most popular cameras of the year

2018 brought a handful of new cameras to market, but which ones were the most popular? Lens Rentals recently shared its annual breakdown, which tracks the rentals over a one-year period. It showed growth for Panasonic and Sony, while other brands saw marginal declines in the percentage of rentals, including the most-rented brand, Canon. The data tracks rentals on the platform from November 2017 to November 2018.

Canon leads three of the different lists, with the brand in the top four spots for the most popular photo and video gear overall for the year. The list is lead by the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II and Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, despite a newer version of the telephoto lens launching in August. The Canon 5D Mark IV and 5D Mark III also top the list. Canon’s 35mm f/1.4L II, 50mm f/1.2L, 70-200mm f/2.8L, 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro, 16-35mm f/2.8L III, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II also made the overall list.

With so many lenses and cameras on the top 20 list, Canon was the most-rented brand on Lens Rentals in 2018, with more than 41 percent. That’s a decline, however, from last year’s more than 44 percent.

Sony, the second most-rented brand on the list jumped a bit from about 24 percent last year to 26 percent this year. The a7S II, FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM, a7 III, FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS, and Sony a7R III all made the top 20 list. Sony also had the second-highest share of in rentals considering only the lenses, after Canon and followed by Sigma, Nikon, Tamron, Fujifilm, and Zeiss.

Lens Rentals data puts Nikon as the third-most-rented brand at 15.28 percent — nearly identical to the 15.06 percent share last year. Just the Nikon D750 made the top 20 list and the brand sat as the fourth-most-rented lens brand behind Sigma.

Nikon and Canon’s new full-frame mirrorless cameras only had a month after being released to be included in the data, which means the bodies didn’t make the top lists. Lens Rentals, did say, however, that the less-expensive EOS R was twice as popular as the Nikon Z7 in rentals.

Panasonic was the fourth most popular brand in the rental data, jumping up by nearly three percent to a 9.41 percent share. The Panasonic GH5 was the 17th-most-rented item for the 2018 data. Fujifilm, Leica, Olympus, Pentax, and Hasselblad rounded up the remaining list of top brands.

Excluding the gear launched before November 2017, the list looks a bit different, lead by the Sony a7 III, the Zhiyun-Tech Crane stabilizer, the Sony a7R III, the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 OSS and the Panasonic GH5S. Other cameras on the list include the Sony RX10 IV, Insta 360 Pro, and Fujifilm X-H1.

The Lens Rentals data offers some insight into industry trends, but rental trends and actual retail trends may differ some. Many photographers and videographers will rent an expensive, high-end lens on a per-project basis, while some rent before deciding which one to buy. The complete list of the most-rented products is available from the Lens Rentals blog.

Editors' Recommendations

Hillary K. Grigonis
Hillary never planned on becoming a photographer—and then she was handed a camera at her first writing job and she's been…
The $600 Panasonic Lumix S 20-60mm is a unique, affordable zoom
panasonic lumix s 20 60mm announced 2 60 mm

Panasonic's newest full-frame lens, its cheapest yet, may help the S series gain traction with non-professional photographers. The Lumix S 20-60mm F/3.5-5.6 costs $600, less than half the price of the next cheapest Panasonic lens. It is available for pre-order now and will ship in July.

While a fairly basic lens, it is still a pretty big deal. Affordable lenses for the S series have have been hard to come by. When Panasonic launched the S series in 2018, it had the advantage of already having several compatible lenses on the market thanks to Panasonic's adoption of the Leica L mount. But being a luxury brand, those existing Leica lenses weren't exactly affordable, and Panasonic's own initial lenses for the system also targeted the high end of the market.

Read more
What really determines your camera’s resolution? We asked an expert
Fujifilm GFX 100 review

For new and aspiring photographers, resolution is simultaneously the most easily understood and most misunderstood aspect of a camera. Most people know that it has something to do with megapixels -- a number that's clearly stated in the specs and on the box -- and that more megapixels equals more resolution.

This isn't false, but it's not the full story.

Read more
See how Fujifilm’s popular X100 camera has changed over the years
fujifilm x100v announced with new lens 4k video lifestyle 1

Ever since the original model appeared in 2011, Fujifilm’s X100 camera has become hugely popular with street photographers around the world.

Its superb lens, compact size, solid build, and -- importantly for street shooters -- near-silent leaf shutter, make it a top choice for photographers keen to capture scenes of everyday life. The Japanese camera maker recently launched the X100V, marking the fifth update in nine years. Digital Trends recently compared the latest model with its predecessor, the X100F, to see if it’s worth upgrading.

Read more