This one goes out to all the creatives in Seattle, pushing the industry forward using your sharp eyes, talent, training, and risk-taking. No matter how large the city grows or how much it changes, you never stop hustling. And if you ever need any camera equipment for your next project, we’ve put together this time-saving guide of the top eight places providing camera equipment rentals in Seattle.
(The list is a nice mix of local and online options. We placed an emphasis on renting local, though we’d be remiss not to point out some super-affordable online options.)
1050 West Nickerson St. Seattle, WA, 98119
Northwest Camera Co. is among the most affordable local options on the list and, last we checked, they will beat any locally-advertised rental price. Northwest Camera has an extensive lineup of high-end 4k, 6k, and 8k cameras from all the known suspects (RED, Arri, and Phantom, as well as more affordable offerings from Canon, Sony, Black Magic, and Go Pro), including a wide offering of lenses. Whatever you’re looking for, they’ve likely got it: monitors, sound equipment, tripods, lights, and so much more (seriously, check out their 56-page catalogue). Northwest offers weekly pricing for the cost of 3 days and also gives discounts on large orders, both generous offerings. Their extensive product lineup and commitment to saving people money is why we put Northwest first on this list.
517 Dexter Ave. Seattle, WA 98109
Glazer’s is a Seattle staple. Established back in 1935, Glazer’s has grown right along with the city. They’re known for their knowledgeable staff and education initiatives, including their well-regarded workshops and classes. And in addition to being an excellent source for camera equipment rentals in Seattle, they do their best to stay connected to the local community of creative professionals. They have a variety of professional video equipment at fair prices — just a little more, on average, than some of the others on this list — but they do not have the higher-end Phantom, Arri, or Red offerings you might expect. Their digital photography offerings are more comprehensive, including all the staples from Nikon and Canon, in addition to a generous selection of mid-format gear from a variety of manufacturers. You can rent gear for a week for 4x the daily cost, and for the month for 12x the cost. And, just a friendly heads up, Glazer’s will require a deposit if you do not have a customer account with them.
101 Nickerson St. #500 Seattle, WA 98109
Koerner’s has a more modest collection of cameras than some of its competitors, but it hits all the right notes. They offer a nicely considered selection of mid to high-quality video equipment and a nice but limited selection of Canon and Sony DSLR mirrorless cameras. Their cameras are marginally more expensive than the most affordable options on this list, but Koerner’s more than makes up for it with expertise. Their staff prides itself on their practical knowledge — how to use the equipment to get great shots. Koerner’s is only located in the PNW, with one location here in Seattle and another in Portland, and they’re involved with many film initiatives, including assisting in the funding of two annual scholarships for film students at Portland State University. If it really matters to you to work with people who give back to the community you’re a part of, check Koerner’s out!
4. DBHE Rentals
55 South Atlantic St. Seattle, WA 98134
DBHE has a small but nicely considered cross-section of cameras and lenses at every price point. For their cinema cameras, they have affordable offerings from Black Magic and Canon, as well as higher-end offerings from RED and Phase One. Their DSLRs are limited to Canon and Sony. They have similarly on-point offerings of lenses, monitors, lights, and so on — everything you could need for even an ambitious shoot. Like others on this list, DBHE has weekly and monthly deals for their rentals. One week costs the same as 4 days. One month costs the same as 12 days. And do keep in mind that with all the local rental options, there will be either a deposit or insurance requirement. We’re sure you’re already used to that, but it bears repeating.
7400 Third Avenue South Seattle, WA 98108
Oppenheimer Cine Rental focuses on digital and film cinema cameras and other film equipment and therefore does not have a digital photography offering. However, if you’re looking to gear up for your film project, Oppenheimer’s is a good place to start. They’ve got a solid selection of good and great digital cameras, and film offerings that most of the others on this list simply don’t. Just so you know, they do not list their prices online, so you’ll need to call them for a quote.
2247 15th Ave. West, Seattle, WA 98119
Victory Studios is another cinema-focused rental outfit. Their camera offerings are about as limited as DBHE’s. Still, they’ve got you covered from the low to high end: Panasonic, Canon, and RED. The lenses and the rest of their offerings are a bit more extensive, especially their lighting. Additionally, they have studio space with green screens, and white cyclorama walls — and they make it a point to hire staff with production experience. If you like working with people who really get what you’re doing, give Victory a shot.
True, Borrow Lenses is an online service, meaning that it might not have the local credentials of the others on this list. However, as we all know, online can often mean “more affordable.” Go ahead, and check Borrow Lenses out. They’ve got everything you need for still photography and video, and they’re almost always running deals for first-time renters. The one thing to keep in mind is that there is a minimum rental requirement of three days. You have the option to have your equipment shipped to you directly, at home or at work.
Though Peerspace does not rent gear itself, many of our hosts and studios do, sometimes even offering attractive bundle pricing when you rent both studio space and equipment. So next time you go to book a new space on Peerspace for a photo or video project, look out for hosts who advertise gear rental. Not only will this save you time and stress, but it might just save you some money as well.
Equipment rentals allow you to experiment with new cameras, lenses, and lighting that is otherwise too expensive to “experiment with.” Whether you’re looking to try before you buy, or you’re trying to pad up your existing equipment for an especially ambitious project, camera equipment rentals offer a simple, affordable means of doing so. With the right equipment, you can guarantee that you’ll capture the perfect shot and create something special.