I should preface this post by saying that I don't normally do a lot of gear rental. I have in the past, but not a lot as of late.
So, I recently rented some video gear for a big event shoot over a weekend. Specifically, I rented a Sony RX10ii camera and a DJI Ronin.
I rented the Sony camera for it's 4k shooting and super slow motion capabilities. I wanted to rent the DJI Ronin-M but BorrowLenses was out of stock on it, so I went with it's big brother, the Ronin.
The first thing I learned, was to make sure to get the right gear.
The Ronin was too big for the Sony. Honestly, the Sony was really just too small for the Ronin! In hindsight, I probably should have either rented another system, or gone with a GoPro style stabilizer instead. It wasn't a total waste of money, but I could have gotten a lot more awesome shots with a better paired set up.
The second thing I learned, was to really, really understand the gear you're renting before you get it in the mail!
Turned out the Sony camera requires like the fastest possible SD card out there. I have bunches of memory cards, but none of them fit the bill. So I went to the store and bought what I thought was the right card. It wasn't. And you know, stores don't really like to take back opened electronics stuff...so add that card to my bunches of memory cards! :) So I made a special trip to the next town over (we live in Small Town USA with no Best Buy) to buy the RIGHT card. Not a huge biggie, but it took up valuable time I could have spent playing with and learning the camera. Which by the way, I had only ever touched for the first time several hours prior when it arrived.
The 3rd thing I learnt, was to be realistic for crying out loud.
I had grand visions and ideas for the day of shooting. And with most any kind of event shoot, there will be things that don't work out, and take time, and junk. That day it happened to be our wifi, or lack thereof, and a really weak cellular data signal. So a lot of my time was spent working on that whole situation. I did get some super cool shots with the combo, but not as much as I would have liked.
So what did I take away from the whole experience?
If I had it to do all over with what I know now, I'd probably still rent the Sony Camera. But I wouldn't have gotten the Ronin. It was expensive, and the shots I got didn't quite justify it. I would have got a GoPro stabilizer for much cheaper and still gotten some cool shots. And next time I'll double check what type of Media requirements the camera has. :)
Also, and sort of a bonus lesson if you're still with me reading...I do like renting new gear if I can. It's a great way to try out new stuff before you buy it. And if you can work it out to have the client cover the expense then even better. I didn't this time, but there's a good reason for it. I now really want to add the Ronin-M to my arsenal, and the Sony is up there too! The Slo-mo is just too cool!
All in all, it was still a success of a shoot day, just a little more stressful, for no good reason.