Most Popular Photography and Videography Products of 2018

Each year, we comb through our internal data and share some of the insight we’ve seen throughout the calendar year. As a company that rents out tens of thousands of pieces of gear each year, we think we have a pretty good idea of market trends and the most popular products within the fields of photography and videography. And as often as we can, we try to share that insight with our readers. With 2018 being our biggest rental year ever, we wanted to share with you our most rented products for 2018.


Most Popular Photography & Videography Gear of 2018
1 Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II 11 Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS
2 Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II 12 Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L
3 Canon 5D Mark IV 13 Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
4 Canon 5D Mark III 14 Zhiyun-Tech Crane-2 3-Axis Stabilizer
5 Sennheiser G3 Wireless Mic Kit -Freq A 15 Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III
6 Sony Alpha a7S II 16 Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
7 Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM 17 Panasonic GH5
8 Canon 35mm f/1.4L II 18 Sony Alpha a7R III
9 Canon 50mm f/1.2L 19 GoPro HERO6 Black
10 Sony Alpha a7 III 20 Nikon D750


If this isn’t your first year seeing this annual list (you may want to peek at our list for 2017, and 2016), you’ve probably noticed some similarities from previous years. As per usual, the top of the list is handed off to Canon, with their practical Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II, and the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II. In regards to #2 though, you may notice that it is the Mark II version, despite the Mark III coming out in August of this year. Perhaps because of the finding from Roger in his teardown of the Mark III sharing the same optics, the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II is still rented more than the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III on a scale of five to one. It’s not often to see Canon have a flop like this, but it seems people have far less interest in the new version over the tried and true old one.

Canon hasn’t just been dominating the market with their 24-70mm and 70-200mm either. In regards to their mirrorless platform, the Canon EOS R is nearly twice as popular as the Nikon Z7 in our early numbers. While Sony still leads the charge in that market, certainly we expected more from the Nikon Z7 system. These are just early numbers, as both systems only came available on October, and will be dependent on how each brand pushes their mirrorless platforms over the next couple years. Keeping on the topic of camera brands and their performance, let’s take a quick look at market shares of each brand, based on our data for 2018.


Market Share of Camera Brands Rented in 2018
Brand This Year Last Year
Canon 41.57% 44.90%
Sony 26.31% 24.67%
Nikon 15.28% 15.06%
Panasonic 9.41% 6.72%
FujiFilm 4.27% 4.65%
Leica 1.49% 1.72%
Olympus 0.95% 1.47%
Pentax 0.49% 0.60%
Hasselblad 0.22% 0.22%


Panasonic and Sony showed marginal growths this year in rentals, whereas every other brand has shown marginal falls in their shares for this year. With Panasonic and Sony’s focus on affordable video cameras along with their pro-line of systems, this isn’t much of a surprise with more and more people transition into video work alongside their typical photography stuff. Despite these growths, Canon still has a clear lead in the industry, and it will take a while before we see Sony or anyone else catch up to them. Perhaps what is more interesting is looking at these numbers for lens brands.


Market Share of Lens Brands Rented in 2018
Brand This Year Last Year
Canon 37.17% 39.95%
Sony 14.58% 12.00%
Sigma 12.96% 11.19%
Nikon 9.62% 10.37%
Tamron 3.85% 3.31%
FujiFilm 3.74% 3.71%
Zeiss 3.68% 4.35%
Panasonic 3.42% 2.57%
Metabones 2.66% 3.54%
Remainder of Brands 8.32% 9.02%


These numbers probably aren’t too surprising to those who have been following along over the last few years. Sigma has proven their place in the market, taking 3rd place in the market share, behind only Sony and Canon. Nikon has taken a small fall in lens rentals, whereas Fujifilm has stayed pretty consistent over the last year. Much of Sony’s grown comes from their new products released this year; particularly the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 OSS, Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, and Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS. The same can be said with Panasonic, and their releases of the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 X Power OIS II, Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 X Power OIS II, and Panasonic/Leica 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH

However, we still like to use this data to get a good read on where the market is heading into the future, and one way to get that insight is by looking at the new products released this year. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but this year was fairly uninteresting – from a new product standpoint. Even still, the list does show what I’ve already addressed – more people treading into the waters of video as it becomes more viable and affordable. As a result, among our most popular new products, this year was the handheld gimbal platforms from Zhiyun-Tech and DJI. (Please also note – this data is taken from the calendar cycle ending in early November, hence the Sony Alpha a7RIII, Profoto A1, and other products technically released in 2017).


Most Popular New Photo & Video Gear of 2018
1 Sony Alpha a7 III 11 Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV
2 Zhiyun-Tech Crane-2 3-Axis Stabilizer 12 SlingStudio Hub Production Kit
3 Sony Alpha a7R III 13 Insta360 Pro Spherical VR 360 8K Camera
4 Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 OSS 14 Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary for Sony E
5 Panasonic GH5S 15 Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III
6 Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS 16 Profoto A1 AirTTL-C Studio Light for Canon
7 Manfrotto MVMXPRO500 Fluid Head Monopod 17 Sachtler Ace XL Fluid Head Tripod System
8 Teradek Bolt 500 3G-SDI/HDMI Wireless Kit 18 SmallHD Thin 12-inch Micro to Micro HDMI Cable for Focus
9 Sennheiser AVX Digital Wireless Lavalier Pro Set 19 Fuji X-H1
10 SlingStudio CameraLink 20 DJI Ronin-S 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer


For easy reference, here is the most popular products from last year – 2017. For a full breakdown of how everything performed in 2017, be sure to check out the end of the year post from last year.

Most Popular Photography & Videography Gear of 2017
1 Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II 11 Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS
2 Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II 12 Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
3 Canon 5D Mark III 13 Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
4 Canon 5D Mark IV 14 Canon 85mm f/1.2L II
5 Sony Alpha a7S II 15 Canon LP-E6N Battery
6 Sony NP-FW50 Battery 16 Nikon D750
7 Canon 50mm f/1.2L 17 Sennheiser G3 Wireless Mic Kit -Freq A
8 Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM 18 Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS
9 Canon 6D 19 Canon 35mm f/1.4L II
10 Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L 20 Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III


Does any of this information surprise you? Where do you see the industry growing for next year? Feel free to add your insight in the comments below, and stay tuned for next week, when some of the staff members at share their insight on their favorite new products of 2018.



Author: Zach Sutton

I’m Zach and I’m the editor and a frequent writer here at I’m also a commercial beauty photographer in Los Angeles, CA, and offer educational workshops on photography and lighting all over North America.

Posted in Equipment
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