CameraLends: AirBnB Meets Filmmaking Gear

by Hugh Brownstone1 Comment

When noted economist Robert Reich asserts that “the new ‘sharing economy’ is really about sharing the scraps” he’s talking about companies like AirBnB, Uber… and now maybe newcomer CameraLends. But for filmmakers and photographers on a tight budget, is this a bad thing?

This is a pretty interesting idea: CameraLends is an organized, peer-to-peer photo and filmmaking equipment rental site. In exchange for promoting what you’ve got to rent (or are looking to rent) and for reducing the risk of faulty, lost or damaged equipment, CameraLends takes a cut.

The premise is essentially the same as AirBnB – and while AirBnB began as a kind of “Craigslist meets couch-surfing,” it has blossomed into a dramatically larger, more sophisticated and varied portfolio of properties around the world.

Which is not to write that AirBnB hasn’t had its fair share of problems, from lapses in its screening process early on to local governments and industry groups clamoring recently for both tax revenue and tighter regulations.

It’s still early days for CameraLends (currently in beta), and I imagine they’ll go through their own teething problems like any other startup – including, in this case, quickly learning what gear can stand up to the rigor of semi-daily use along with many different users. [bctt tweet=”Equipment rental meets AirBnB at CameraLends”]

But with this written, I suspect they’re tapping into a niche below that which is served by current rental houses, and depending on CameraLends’ pricing and screening, they may be onto something.

We’ll see – and in the meantime, we wish them success!

CameraLends – How it Works

Via CameraLends:

Owners post unused gear to rent out to other photographers

You can rent gear directly from local photographers, faster and cheaper than traditional means.



CameraLends FAQs

What happens if my gear is damaged or stolen?

From our Terms of Service:
CameraLends will replace the good for the lender …
We will fully cover your gear, even if a renter doesn't purchase insurance. Photographers tend to be very careful people, but we're all human and we all make mistakes. As soon as you discover damage from a rental, contact [email protected] and we'll do what it takes to make you happy. Your gear makes this service possible, and we respect that.

How much of the rental rate will I get?

70% of the total reservation cost, paid out thru Paypal. Please note that if the buyer pays extra for the protection plan, you will not receive that amount; you will be paid the same amount whether or not your renter chooses to purchase the protection plan. Note: this has been updated on 2/18/2014; previously the lender's cut was 90%.

Check out the rest of CameraLends FAQs here.

(cover photo credit: snap from CameraLends)


  1. Thanks for the write-up!

    It’s really exciting to see our community grow as it has. We have a terrific group of freelancers, part-timers, and students enjoying the convenience of next day rentals, earning and saving money, all while sharing their gear and passion with others. We fully insure your equipment, so if you have any gear, big or small, please help us grow and share with a friend  🙂

    P.S. Check out our VDAY special and save $20! Only 3 days left

Leave a Comment