San Diego may not be the first Californian city that comes to mind when you think of the movie industry, but MovieMaker has ranked it as one of the top 20 cities to film in, due to its beautiful weather, diversity of environments, and supportive indie film scene. Each year, the city plays host to the San Diego International Film Festival, the Latino Film Festival, and the GI Film Festival, which works to bring the stories of veterans to the screen.
If you’re thinking of shooting a movie in San Diego, you might imagine shooting in Old Town, on the beach, or even at the San Diego Zoo. But don’t forget to check Peerspace for some offbeat location ideas you may not have considered. Regardless of where you shoot, you’ll appreciate this list of the top eight places to find camera equipment rentals in San Diego.
7475 Clairemont Mesa Blvd #400, San Diego, CA 92111
George’s Camera has been around since 1965, offering everything that you could want from a camera store, including sales, rentals, repairs, and more. Improve your technique at one of the upcoming workshops, such as one called “Nikon Night Sky Photography Seminar.” Or, get your photos printed on high-quality paper or canvas at the photo lab.
For rentals, you can choose from Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Fujifilm equipment, as well as Zeiss lenses. There aren’t a lot of options for video cameras, but still photographers will find plenty to like here, including flashes, strobes, and continuous lighting. This is a great option for camera equipment rentals in San Diego for portrait photography or an engagement shoot.
2703 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Camera Exposure calls itself a “photographer’s dream come true.” Although they don’t have a full equipment list online, they offer everything from vintage film cameras to video cameras and a range of studio lights. Visit their University City location to see what they have on hand.
Camera Exposure is run Kenneth Kahan, who has over 25 years of experience in the industry. Whether you shoot on film or digital, he’ll make sure you find the best gear for your shoot. They also offer film-processing services and darkroom accessories.
2230 Columbia St, San Diego, CA 92101
San Diego Film Equipment has all of the gear you’ll need for each department of your shoot: grip and lighting gear, cameras, sound equipment, and more. Use the website to choose your rental items and get a pricing estimate, then follow up with the office to confirm your reservation.
San Diego Film Equipment offers the RED Epic Dragon, Arri Alexa EV, and several Sony and Canon cameras. Their lighting gear features a variety of HMIs, LEDs, and tungstens, including the Arri SkyPanel, which can create a range of different color temperatures. They also offer the Arri M18, which is the strongest light you can use on a 20 amp circuit.
For an all-in-one deal, rent their fully stocked three-ton grip truck, which has a powered liftgate for easy loading and unloading.
9516 Chesapeake Drive, Suite 404, San Diego, CA 92123
VER is a nationwide company specializing in A/V equipment and lighting gear. Whether you’re staying in San Diego or touring the country, VER’s more than 20 locations make it easy to rent consistent gear packages wherever you are. Choose from HD camcorders, augmented reality cameras, film cameras, and more, as well as projectors and indoor/outdoor LED walls.
VER’s packages are best for live event recordings, such as music festivals, sporting events, or corporate presentations. Their production team can help you create your own rigging system for your venue. This way, you can capture the event from all angles.
5. Photo Monkey
2701 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Photo Monkey offers lighting, grip, and production equipment near University Heights. Although you’ll have to rent your camera elsewhere, they have all of the G&E gear your crew will need for an indoor or outdoor production. Choose from flashes, strobes, and continuous lighting, as well as generators and electric cords to power your film set. Give them a call to create a custom package and schedule a pickup.
2042 F St, San Diego, CA 92102
Motion Rental is one of the best options for 4K camera equipment rentals in San Diego. Not only do they have the latest Sony and Blackmagic cameras, they also offer lenses, monitors, audio recorders, gimbals, and other accessories. They even have a DJI Matrice 600 Hexacopter drone with a licensed pilot, so you can get some impressive aerial shots!
Motion Rental offers deliveries in the San Diego area, as well as deals for multi-day rentals: you can get a full week for the price of a three-day rental. Motion Rental can also connect you with crew members if you need a professional camera team or lighting team for your production.
7. Rent Cine
9340 Hazard Way, Suite B1, San Diego, CA 92123
Rent Cine is a rental house and studio in Kearny Mesa. In addition to the latest RED, Sony, and Blackmagic cameras, they have a fully equipped production facility with several studios for rent. Studio A has a 17’ x 25’ infinity cyclorama that is currently painted green, but it can be changed to suit the needs of your production. There’s also a lighting grid and roll-up door for easy setup.
This is a great option for camera equipment rentals in San Diego if you need studio space. Not only is power included, but you can hire a stage manager and crew, too. You’re also welcome to rent gear to take off site to your own studio or Peerspace location.
If you’re scouting locations for your production, don’t forget to check out Peerspace, an online peer-to-peer marketplace where you can find a variety of unconventional venues from local hosts. Some are already set up as photo studios, while others offer more creative, offbeat settings, like this A-frame home surrounded by greenery.
If your host doesn’t have the equipment you need on location, call up the Concierge service to see if you can add it to your booking. Have your gear conveniently delivered right to your shoot, and you won’t have to worry about picking it up on the day of your production!
San Diego is developing a reputation for being an easy alternative to Hollywood for the SoCal film industry. Why not plan your own shoot here and make use of the beautiful locations and top-notch equipment rentals that San Diego has to offer?