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Equipment

Most Popular Photography and Videography Rentals for 2019

As per tradition here at Lensrentals.com, at the end of the year, we go through all of our records and use that to provide the public with some insight on the industry and where it is going. Through this record-keeping, we’re able to provide some information on what is the most popular rented gear from the largest rental house in the world. Tens of thousands of pieces of gear are rented out from our inventory each month, which gives us a pretty good understanding of what the market trends are for both photography and videography. So let’s stop pandering, and look at the most popular gear rented for 2019.

 

Most Popular Photography & Videography Gear of 2019
1 Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II 11 Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III
2 Canon 5D Mark IV 12 Canon 6D Mark II
3 Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II 13 Nikon D750
4 Sony Alpha a7 III 14 Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD for Sony E
5 Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III 15 Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
6 DJI Ronin-S 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer 16 Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
7 Canon 35mm f/1.4L II 17 Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS II
8 Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS 18 Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
9 Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM 19 Canon EOS R
10 Canon 50mm f/1.2L 20 Sennheiser G3 Wireless Mic Kit – Freq A

 

If this isn’t your first year seeing this annual list (you may want to peek at our list for 20182017, and 2016), you’ve probably noticed some similarities from previous years. A few things worth noting is how the Canon 50mm f/1.2L still maintains its place on the top ten list, despite being a lens released in 2007, and generally considered a little soft for today’s standards. And while these numbers are indicative of the whole year, another important note is that the Tamron 35mm f/1.4 SP Di USD isn’t on the list, despite Roger’s findings of it being the sharpest 35mm in its class from earlier this year. The rest of the information feels fairly common from previous years, with common focal lengths like 24-70mm and 70-200mm taking the top positions.

Perhaps another interesting finding is a continuation of what we saw last year. Canon’s EOS R has found its place on the top twenty list, without Nikon Z series in sight. That is because like we mentioned last year, the Canon EOS R and EOS RP are still renting over twice as often as the Nikon Z7Nikon Z6, and Nikon Z50 series of cameras. Those numbers translate to lenses as well, with RF mount lenses renting at nearly twice the rate as the Nikon Z mount lenses. These numbers continue when looking at DSLR verse Mirrorless rentals for the year. When looking just at camera body rentals, Mirrorless and DSLR rentals are neck and neck, splitting the market almost evenly (49.78% mirrorless verse 50.22% for DSLR). To continue on topic, let’s look at the market share of rentals of lens, based on the mount and then camera bodies.

 

Market Share of Lens Rentals in 2019 by Mount
Brand This Year Last Year
Canon EF Mount 45.48% 48.85%
Sony E Mount 23.90% 22%
Nikon F Mount 14.04% 15.53%
Micro Four Thirds 7.14% 7.09%
Fuji X Mount 3.53% 3.38%
Canon RF Mount 1.29% 0.11%
PL Mount 1.24% 0.68%
Nikon Z Mount 0.79% 0.1%
Leica M Mount 0.70% 0.76%

 

 

Market Share of Camera Body Rentals in 2019
Brand This Year Last Year
Canon EF Mount 36.3% 41.03%
Sony E Mount 27.16% 26.44%
Nikon F Mount 13.09% 14.89%
Micro Four Thirds 9.23% 10.37%
Canon RF Mount 4.91% 0.65%
Fuji X Mount 4.28% 3.84%
Nikon Z Mount 2.26% 0.38%
Fuji GFX Mount 1.02% 0.51%
Leica M Mount 0.65% 0.59%

 

While Canon saw a dip in their EF mount, both on the lens and camera body rentals, they saw a pretty substantial on their RF platform. This makes sense, as the RF mount was just being introduced last fall, and has had most of Canon’s attention for the year. We expect these numbers to rise further, as Canon releases more of their lenses to the platform, and we’re interested to see how these numbers will affect Sony’s platform, which has dominated the mirrorless market for years now. Marginal growth was seen from all the other manufacturers as well, as Canon loses some of the market in the EF mount platform.  To finish up some of our numbers, let us take a look at just market share of each specific brand within our inventory – 

  

Market Share of Gear Rented by Brand in 2019
Brand This Year Last Year
Canon 35.84% 37.17%
Sony 15.37% 14.58%
Sigma 13.96% 12.96%
Nikon 9.82% 9.62%
Tamron 4.3% 3.85%
FujiFilm 4.14% 3.74%
Zeiss 3.09% 3.68%
Panasonic 3.6% 3.42%
Metabones 2.41% 2.66%
Remainder of Brands 7.47% 8.32%

 

As you may be able to tell, these numbers have sort of flatlined from recent years, as each brand find their place within the market. While Canon lost a little over a percentage point, almost every other brand has stayed pretty steady from previous years. Sigma gained a full percent, as their Art series of lenses continue to be proven as quality optics in a (usually) cheaper price point. Metabones lost a fraction of a percent as Sony continues to adapt more lenses to their E mount, and the remainder of the brands saw a small bump in numbers as more people are turning away from the outlier brands like Rokinon and Pentax.

And finally, let’s present some information on our most popular new products for 2019. These numbers are pulled for products that entered our inventory in 2019. While some of these products may have been released at the end of 2018, sometimes they are in limited quantity, and not available until the first of the following year. Finally, one thing worth noting is the top of the chart with the GoPro HERO7 Black, which has already seen an update to the camera, with the release of the GoPro HERO8 Black.

 

Most Popular New Photo & Video Gear of 2019
1 GoPro HERO7 Black 11 Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L
2 Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (MFT) 12 GoPro Jaws Flex Clamp
3 Sennheiser EW 112P G4 Wireless Omni Lavalier Mic System 13 Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony E Mount T Smart Adapter V
4 Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM 14 DJI Mavic 2 Pro
5 Sony Alpha a6400 15 Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (EF)
6 Nikon Z6 16 Rode VideoMic Pro Plus On-Camera Shotgun Microphone
7 Atomos Ninja V 5-inch 4K HDMI Recorder 17 Sony Alpha a7R IV
8 DJI Osmo Pocket Gimbal 18 Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS
9 Sandisk UHS-1 microSDXC 64GB Extreme Pro U3 A2 19 Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports for Canon
10 Teradek Bolt 500 XT 3G-SDI/HDMI Wireless Kit 20 Insta360 One X Camera

 

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 Lensrentals.com share their insight on their favorite new products of 2019.

 

 

Author: Zach Sutton

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

Posted in Equipment
  • Roger Cicala

    RF

  • KeithB

    Do you count someone who rents an EF lens and EF to RF adapter as an EF rental, An RF rental or both?

  • Dmitry Anisimov

    how DSLR and MILC are almost evenly matched, but in top-20 list 11 data entries are DSLR and 6 MILC?

  • Karl Whinnery

    Thanks for the write up! I really appreciate being able to look these. I know I’ve contributed to the BMPCC4K being high up there – I own one but have rented a second multiple times for shoots. Super appreciate that I can do that.

  • Ilya Zakharevich

    Thanks, Zach!

    For people not versed in stats: what Zach said means (very roughly!) that for most of the players, the difference of 0.1% is not very significant statistically, but the difference above about 0.2% is.

  • Stephen Scharf

    Hi Zach, Thanks for the reply. Cool to hear you’ve read The Signal and the Noise. And, thanks for the reply and the additional info that provides some context. Cheers and happy holidays!

  • First, I love The Signal and the Noise. I’ve read that book twice now, and recommend it often.

    Second, I’m not able to give actual sales numbers, but I can say that it’s not a sampling error, as the data I received was really cohesive and in depth. There was a roughly 10% increase in rentals from the previous year, and I can say that ~1% increase in market change does translate to a couple thousand additional rentals.

  • Athanasius Kirchner

    As always, this list is extremely interesting, and one of the few solid data points that us laypeople get about the camera market. I’m convinced that the trends borne out here will only continue to progress – DSLR gear going down, mirrorless up, Canon first (but losing market share), Sony 2nd (gaining some) and Nikon 3rd.

    Since only enthusiasts and professionals use rentals, users of the service are already filtered in a way that CIPA numbers, for example, aren’t – your data is simply what the few people still interested in photo gear are using, and it’s fascinating to see the differences with the global shipments posted by Japan.

  • Stephen Scharf

    Hi Zach, nice data compilation. It’d be nice to have sample Ns for these data sets, so we can determine if percentage differences and year to year comparisons are “real” (as established by a proportions test) or simply due to sampling error. For example, is the 15.37% observed for Sony in 2019 vs. 14.58% in 2018 a real difference, or simply a difference due to sampling error*? Cheers and thanks.

    * – all data sets have noise, some have signals – Nate Silver, The Signal and the Noise

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