A good shoot requires a good plan, a good location, a good subject, and good equipment. This more or less explains why we’ve put together this collection of resources for camera equipment rentals in Washington D.C. After you’ve read this, you’ll know eight of the best rentals spots in the area, so you can get your hands on whatever you need to shoot your interview series, or your wedding rehearsal dinner, or your father’s 75th birthday, and the list goes on. Read on to learn more.
1. DC Camera
2810-B Merrilee Dr. Fairfax, VA 22031
DC Camera is in the metro area, but not D.C. proper. However, their selection is really second to none on this list. DC Camera has fair-priced, high-end cinema offerings from Arri, RED, Phantom, and Sony, as well as mid to high camera offerings from Canon, Panasonic, and Sony. On the still-photography side of things, they’ve got whatever you might need, with DSLR cameras from Sony, Canon, Leica, and Nikon, as well as medium-format options from Hasselblad and others. And, as you would expect from an outfit this well equipped, they have a full range of lenses, lighting equipment, tripods, and then some. DC Camera is an hour or so outside the city center, but their equipment is well worth the drive.
1225 Eye St. NW Suite 110 Washington, DC 20005
District Camera has a small but solid lineup of DSLR and mirrorless DSLR cameras for rent. Canon, Nikon, Sony — basically what you’d expect. Their prices are fair, but you should factor in that there will be a large credit-card deposit required from you upfront as insurance. They also rent lighting, lenses, flashes, and tripods, so if you’re shooting still photography, they’ve got your bases covered. They’re a family-owned operation. That’s reason enough to go check them out.
3. F8 Rentals
529 14th St NW, Washington DC
F8’s lineup of cameras is limited, as are a few others on this list, but they do have a solid offering of DSLR cameras, as well as a few Canon video cameras that are certainly good enough for any web-based video project —though maybe too limited for any project more ambitious than that. They do, however, have a nice selection of lenses, lights, and accessories. Overall, F8 has the cameras, and accessories necessary for most projects, but their offerings skew toward the low end. If you’re looking to shoot video in 8k, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Otherwise, F8 is an excellent option for camera equipment rentals in Washington, D.C.
Borrow Lenses offers one of the most comprehensive and affordable selections of digital cameras and camera equipment around. They’ll deliver directly to your home or business — or you can choose to pick it up at a local UPS store if you’d prefer. One thing to keep in mind before you rent: the company has a 3-day minimum rental requirement. Other than that, the value is difficult to beat.
Borrow Lenses is always running a variety of sales for new renters, as well as offering well-thought-out bundle packages to help you save by bundling things you’re likely to rent together anyway.
Additionally, they fully support all of their products, so if you have any issues at all, give them a call, and they’ll sort it out for you. It does bear stating explicitly that Borrow Lenses is not a local company. Still, go ahead and check them out just to get an idea on prices; it could help you make a better decision down the line.
KitSplit isn’t exactly local either, though it is in a sense. KitSplit allows you to rent other people’s gear, and the prices are very fair, and because it pulls from the entire D.C. creative community, KitSplit usually has the greatest variety of equipment at the best prices. And because it’s a marketplace, you don’t just get one price per piece of equipment. You can compare prices, compare deals, and really feel like you’ve rented smart. Plus, you’ll know you’re renting from a fellow creative — a member of the family, so to speak. KitSplit also makes the insurance side of things super easy, which will save you time and money.
6. Pro Photo
2000 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington DC 20006
Pro Photo rents only digital photography equipment, no video. They’ve got a solid lineup of Nikons and Canons that are more than enough to handle any shoot, along with a smart selection of lenses, lighting, stands, backdrops, and so on. Like others on this list, they will require a credit card for an equipment deposit, which is released upon return of the equipment. You can rent equipment for one week for the price of 3 days, two weeks for the price of 6 days, and so on. They prefer to start a rental transaction over the phone, but walk-ins are fine too. Pro Photo’s staff have a reputation for being knowledgeable and helpful. Give them a call.
Wouldn’t it be great if somehow you could book a space and gear at the same time? Well, we’ve got you covered. Many Peerspace hosts offer gear rentals, and some even offer bundles discounts when you rent the gear and location at the same time. The equipment is usually geared toward the space — that is, you’ll find DSLR cameras in locations where still photography is most common, and video cameras are more commonly available through studios and sound stages. Next time you search the Peerspace marketplace, keep a look out for hosts who rent their own equipment. It’ll save you time and money.
There are all sorts of reasons to be interested in camera equipment rentals, whether you are an amateur looking to get stunning pictures of your daughter’s sweet sixteen party or a film professional who shoots sneaker ads during the day and short films on the weekend. Renting equipment can free up you and your project, allow you new ways to capture your inspiration on film. Or it can allow you to shoot one event like a professional, and then hang your camera up and get back to your real life. With your exceptional taste and eye, the perfect equipment, and the ideal location, something special is bound to happen.