Howit works

CameraLends is a peer-to-peer lending community for photographers and videographers.

Owners post unused gear to rent out to other photographers

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

Reserve

Request to reserve gear for the dates you need.

Request to rent camera equipment directly from nearby owners for the dates you need, with the price you want to pay.

Confirm

Find a renter you want to rent from

An owner will accept your reservation request which will confirm your rental.

Pick up

Agree upon a time and place to pick up/drop off the gear

Find a time and place that works for both of you — like a convenient coffee shop after work or on your way out of town.

Camera Rental

Rent cameras directly from local photographers and film makers

Over600 locations
Locations map
Frequently AskedQuestions

Getting Started

What is CameraLends?
CameraLends is a peer-to-peer lending community of trusted photographers and filmmakers across the United States. Since 2013, thousands of folks have posted unused gear to rent out to others with the assurance that we'll cover damage or loss. CameraLends is the best way to rent camera and video equipment, because renting directly from locals is faster and cheaper than traditional rental houses. Plus, there's no wait (or payment) for shipping!

  • How do I join? Easy! Send us some info about yourself and sign up to become a member. You'll instantly be signed up to rent local gear and list your own.
  • How do rentals work? It's easy!
    1. First, find the gear you need and make a request with local owners.
    2. Upon receipt, the owner will accept or decline the reservation.
    3. If accepted, confirm the rental with payment through CameraLends
    4. Receive contact information to coordinate pick-up and return.
  • Is the community safe? Definitely. Our community is made of pre-screened professionals and hobbyists who understand the value of the gear they hold. We verify the identity of every new member before their first rental is approved, requiring ID upload, mailing address, phone number, and record of professional history to ensure trust and safety for all. After each successful rental, members are peer-reviewed which appear on their public profiles. Read our Community Guidelines to learn more.
  • Where is CameraLends located? Everywhere! The CameraLends community is bound by no city. Anyone, anywhere in the United States, can sign-up and join. If there's no gear located near you, you can help us spread the #RentLocal movement by sharing CameraLends with your local community.
  • Can I rent in Canada? Yup! Although most of our rentals happen in the U.S., we do allow Canadians to list their gear and take full advantage of our protection policy. Payments and payouts are in U.S. Dollars, but we're happy to transfer funds to lenders through PayPal. If you're a lender in Canada, shoot us an email when you get your first rental and we'll transfer your profit through PayPal.
  • Can I rent drones on CameraLends? Yes! We allow owners to list their gear and receive rental requests, but we aren't liable for damages or loss of drones. All drone rentals require a refundable security deposit for the full replacement value, refunded as soon as the rental is marked complete and the rig safely returned.

Payment and insurance

  • What are the fees? Becoming a member of CameraLends is 100% free. We earn revenue to grow the service and keep the community safe through service fees, taken from Owners' rental profits. Our fees range from 10-30%, depending on our liability. If outside insurance is verified, our fee is only 10%. If you rock as a lender and earn the Star Lender badge, our fee is reduced to 15%.
  • How are payments handled? All payments and transfers to owners are made securely on CameraLends through Stripe, our payment processor. Stripe is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1, the most stringent level of certification. We hold onto the Renter's payment and disburse the majority to Owners once the rental is returned and marked complete.
  • What happens if my gear is damaged or lost? We understand accidents happen, and we know how much your gear means to you. That's why we guarantee your gear will be fully replaced and fixed in the case of damage or loss. We offer a damage waiver to Renters' that reduces their responsibility, but we'll step in regardless and next-day ship to make things right as soon as possible.
  • What prevents the Renter from just keeping the gear? Video and photo equipment is expensive, so the risk of theft is naturally there. That's why we do our best to ensure our community is peer-reviewed and pre-screened before any rental is accepted and in their hands. In the event of theft, we have the Renter's credit card information, mailing address, phone number and verified identity to follow-up with the local authorities. Either way, the Owner's gear will be fully replaced and taken care of.
  • Who covers the gear? We understand accidents happen, and we know how much your gear means to you. That's why we guarantee your gear (valued under $7500) will be fully replaced and fixed in the event of damage or loss. We offer a damage waiver to Renters' that reduces their responsibility, but we'll step in regardless and next-day ship to make things right as soon as possible.
  • What happens if my gear is damaged or lost and it's worth more than $7500? We require every rental of gear valued over $7500 to be covered by a certificate of insurance, issued by the the Renter or Owner. We accept policies by any company, but recommend these (http://blog.cameralends.com/2015/06/18/best-insurance-plans-short-term-equipment-rentals/).
  • How do I submit proof of insurance? The first step is to request the gear. If the Owner approves, our Support Team will follow up via email and request that you issue a certificate of insurance, naming the owner as Additional Insured and Loss Payee. After we've confirmed your policy is valid, we'll mark the rental confirmed and you'll pay through CameraLends to finalize the request.
  • If gear is covered by insurance, does CameraLends take a fee? For rentals covered by insurance, our fee is 10%. This payment helps us advertise your gear, process payments, verify members, confirm insurance, and hold Renter/Owner information securely.

Community tips

  • Complete your profile. Select the neighborhood you live in and share a little about yourself. Upload a profile photo and link to your professional website or portfolio.
  • Leave reviews. Create accountability and share honest feedback when you rent and lend gear. The more reviews you give, the more reviews you'll earn and the more rentals you'll receive.
  • Keep payments on CameraLends. All payments need to be made through the CameraLends website and app. Any rental that's coordinated and paid offline is not protected nor insured.
  • Meet in a public and open space. For your safety, we recommend meeting in a public location for picking up and dropping off your gear. Public transit stations, office lobbies, and local stores are safe and efficient locations to exchange gear. Never provide your actual home address and ask for ID if renting from someone for the first time.
  • Communicate quickly. It's important Renters and Owners communicate quickly with one another. If you receive a request to lend your gear, reply as soon as possible, even if you can't loan your gear at that time. Your reply times are posted on your account, and people are more likely to request gear from responsive members.
  • Be honest and transparent. Build trust. If your gear is a bit tarnished or something doesn't work, make sure to include that on your gear's profile and let the Renter know. If you can't return the gear on time or an accident happened, be sure to let the member know immediately. Accidents happen, so folks are usually forgiving and understanding. Honesty and transparency are golden :)
  • Inspect gear at time of pick-up and return. To ensure transparency and trust, we ask that both Renters and Owners inspect gear at the time of pick-up and return. If anything seems wrong with the gear, let us know (support@cameralends.com) and we'll make things right.

Owners

Listing gear

  • What gear should I list? Everything! Our most requested items are Canon, Sony, Nikon cameras and lenses, GoPros, and Blackmagics, but we have a growing demand for audio and lighting equipment too. You never know what will be requested unless you list.
  • Can I list packages and complete kits? Definitely. You can combine your gear into awesome kits like this, but we encourage you to list your gear as individual items too in case renters only need a single item. If you'd like to increase the likelihood you'll receive a request, offer the full package (along with a nice discount) and create a kit here.
  • Should I list my drone? Yes! You're free to list your drone and receive requests to rent your rig, but please know CameraLends does not cover damages or loss of drones like other rentals. To ensure your gear is protected, we charge the renter a separate security deposit, fully refunded after a rental is marked complete and the gear safely returned. The value of the deposit is the amount you set as the replacement value.
  • What prices do I set? You're free to list your gear at whatever price you'd like, but we highly recommend researching online competitors and comparing prices to local camera shops. As this is an open marketplace, you won't receive too many requests if you price too high. If you're unsure how to price, contact us (support@cameralends.com) and we're happy to help :)
  • Is there a fee to list my equipment? Listing your gear and creating an account is completely free. To help us insure your gear and run the service, a 10-30% commission is taken from your rentals' profit when you actually rent your equipment. This fee is automatically taken from the rental and you aren't charged anything. If you have a 3rd party insurance policy that covers renting your gear to others, let us know and we'll be happy to reduce our fee to 10%.
  • Is my gear REALLY protected, 100%? Yes. We guarantee your gear will be fully replaced in the event of damage or loss. If your gear is valued over $7500, we verify a certificate of insurance covers the rental and take a smaller fee (10% instead of 30%). We've had thousands of rentals since launching in 2013, and only a handful have had problems. Your gear is in safe hands, but we understand accidents happen and are here to make things right.
  • Are really expensive items covered too? You're free to list high-value items, such as RED and packages of value more than $7500, but due to the high risk, rentals will be put on hold until we can verify the Renter has their own insurance to cover damage and loss. If you receive a request that requires insurance, approve the rental and we'll follow-up with next steps via email. If you have your own insurance and it covers rentals, even better!
  • What if I want to remove an item once I list it? No problem! Navigate to your Account Dashboard and click 'remove listing'. Your gear will then be removed from your profile and our search.
  • Can I adjust my availability? In case you're going on vacation or aren't available to lend your gear, you can temporarily turn off reservation requests by setting a vacation date. You can access this through your Account Dashboard.
  • I've listed my gear but not receiving requests. What's wrong? If you've listed your gear but haven't received a request in some time, your prices may be too high. Another reason may be that your community is still growing. You can increase the likelihood of receiving a request by promoting your gear through professional networks and posting a Craigslist ad. We recommend reading our helpful promotion guide.

Reservations

  • What happens if I don't accept a request? You're free to accept and decline any request that comes your way. If a request is unanswered, our system will automatically cancel it once the date has passed. Even if you can't accept a request, you should always reply so that the Renter is aware and able to make alternative plans. It'll also help reduce your time to reply that's publicly shown on your profile, which increases the likelihood Renters will send you a request.
  • Can I edit the dates or price once a reservation is accepted? Unfortunately our system doesn't support alternations to dates or prices once a reservation request has been made, but you're welcome to cancel the pending request and ask the Renter to make a new one. In the event that payment has already been made, let us know (support@cameralends.com) and we're happy to help :)
  • I've received a request and accepted, but the Renter has not confirmed with payment. It might be possible that the Renter's plans have changed and forgot to cancel the request. We recommend sending the Renter a message and confirming they're still interested. If a Renter has not paid prior to pick-up, your gear will not be covered by CameraLends. Please make sure a Renter has paid before handing over your gear.
  • Can I cancel a request? Yup. You or the Renter can cancel the request at anytime before payment has been made. You can cancel the request on the reservation detail page.
  • What is a 'weekend rate'? To qualify for a discounted weekend rate, the renter must pick up Friday or Saturday, and return Sunday or Monday. This means at most, it will be Friday to Monday. Any request that falls in these dates automatically qualifies for a weekend rate, which you can set per-item.

Before the rental

  • How should I prepare for the meet up? We have a helpful Pre-Reservation Checklist for your review, but here are the main points:
    • Make sure your gear is fully functional and charged.
    • Put all of your gear together in an equipment bag (optional, but highly recommended).
    • Tell the renter about anything usual and provide advice.
    • Meet the Renter in an open and secure location. Cafes and public meeting points are the safest.
    • If this is your first time lending your gear to someone, check their ID.
    • Inspect the gear with the Renter at time of pick-up and return.
  • How do I contact the Renter? You can easily communicate with the Renter via phone (we provide their phone number once a rental is confirmed with payment), but we recommend keeping messages through CameraLends. This will help us investigate if any problems arise and keep records of correspondence.
  • What if I need to cancel the request after it's been paid? Ideally this won't happen, but in the event of an emergency and you need to cancel the request, let us know (support@cameralends.com) as soon as possible.

During and after the rental

  • What if the Renter is late returning my gear? Reach out to the Renter to make sure they aren't stuck in traffic. If you're unable to reach the renter or they need to extend the rental date, let us know (support@cameralends.com) and we'll follow up.
  • The Renter cancelled 24 hours before pick-up. What now? Send us a message (support@cameralends.com) and we'll reach out to the Renter to see what happened. Don't worry, we'll still send you your share of the rental profit as an inconvenience bonus.
  • The gear was returned damaged. What do I do? Minor blemishes, scuffs, and dirt that can easily be cleaned are unfortunate, but aren't covered by CameraLends. We recommend you leave a negative review in these cases so that the Renter is not likely to rent again. If you believe the damage is beyond normal wear-and-tear, and there's visible or hidden damage, take a photo of the equipment and send it to us (support@cameralends.com) with a detailed description of the situation as soon as possible. We ask that you notify us the same day the gear is returned, as we may not cover damage that's been reported the day after a rental ends. If the gear is covered by insurance, please make all claims with the insurance provider directly. Contact us and we'll connect you.

Getting paid

  • When and how do I receive payment? After your first rental is returned, inspected with the Renter, and marked complete, you'll receive an email prompting you to connect your bank account with Stripe, our payment processor. Once your account is connected, your earnings from completed rentals will automatically be transferred to your bank. Please know it may take 2-4 days before these funds reach your bank statement due to Stripe's processing times.
  • How much of the rental profit will I receive? You'll receive 70-90% of the profit for each completed rental. More if the gear is covered by an insurance policy. Please know damage waivers are not part of your share.
  • Are my profits taxed? If you earn more than $600 in a tax year, we'll mail you a Form 1099 for that year which you can use when filing your taxes. Please consult your tax consultant to determine tax treatment.

Renters

Finding gear and making requests

  • What if I can't find any gear? We try our best to grow the CameraLends community in core metropolitan regions across the United States, but we can always do better. If we don't have what you're looking for, sign up for CameraLends and share our service with your local photography and filmmaking community. You never know just when that special gear you need will be listed.
  • I sent a request but the Owner never responded. What now? We have a wonderful community of owners, but unfortunately not everyone is accessible or able to lend their gear. We recommend making multiple requests to increase the likelihood of a successful rental. If only one lender has what you're looking for, let us know and we'll do our best to find what you're looking for (even if not on CameraLends).
  • Can I cancel a request? Yup! You or the Owner are free to cancel a request at anytime before payment has been made. You can cancel a request on the reservation detail page.
  • What does the damage waiver cover? Renters are fully responsible for damages or loss while the gear is in their possession. If you'd like to reduce your liability, we recommend purchasing a damage waiver that'll cover up to $2500. You can select this option at time of request. Please know that our damage waiver does not cover cases of theft.
  • Can I use my own insurance? Definitely. In fact, we require insurance for any rentals of gear valued over $7500. You can submit a certificate of insurance for a rental by contacting us (support@cameralends.com)

Payment

  • My request was accepted! How do I make payment? Awesome! All you need to do now is confirm with payment. Once processed, you and the Owner will receive each other's contact information to coordinate pickup. You may pay through CameraLends with your credit or debit card. Having problems? Let us know (support@cameralends.com) and we'll help you troubleshoot.
  • Can I pay with PayPal? Sorry, all payments need to be verified on CameraLends with Stripe, our payment processor. You can pay for your accepted rental on the reservation detail page with any major credit or debit card.
  • Do you have any special discounts? We run regular promotions and have discounts for photography school students across the country. Simply input the coupon code at the time of making a request and the discount will automatically be applied. Check our blog for any current promotions.

Before the rental

  • How should I prepare for the meet up? Once the rental has been paid for, thank the Owner for accepting and coordinate details for pick-up. For security, arrange to meet in a public and secure location.
  • How do I contact the Owner? You can easily communicate with the Owner via phone (we provide their phone number once a rental is confirmed with payment), but we recommend keeping messages through CameraLends. This will help us investigate if any problems arise and keep records of correspondence.
  • What if the Owner never shows? Reach out to the Owner first to make sure they aren't stuck in traffic, but if you can't reach them let us know as soon as possible. We'll give you a full refund in the event that it doesn't work out (this has never happened, but just in case).
  • I no longer need the gear. Can I cancel? You may let the Owner know that you no longer need the gear, but any cancellations made within 24 hours of the rental start date may not be refunded (unless it's a logistics issue). Cancellations made 3 days before a rental start date will be refunded in full, minus a $5 cancellation fee. If you need to cancel a rental after payment has been made, let our team know (support@cameralends.com) and we'll follow up as soon as possible.

During and after the rental

  • I picked up the gear but it's dysfunctional. What now? Be sure to inspect the gear in front of the Owner at time of meet up to ensure everything is in working order. If something's wrong with the gear, contact us (support@cameralends.com) and we'll make things right. We'll refund your rental in the event that you can't use the gear.
  • The equipment was damaged. How do I report it? We understand accidents happen. If the gear was damaged or lost in your possession, please contact us (support@cameralends.com) as soon as possible with a detailed description of the situation. Your liability will vary depending on the situation, how quick you were in letting us know, and whether or not a damage waiver was purchased.
  • What's my liability in the event of damage or loss? You are fully responsible for the gear while it's in your possession. If you purchased a damage waiver at time of making a request, it'll cover up to $2500 of any damages to fix or replace the gear. If the equipment you rented is worth more than $2500, you'll be responsible to pay for the remaining amount. We'll invoice you any outstanding amount at the end of our investigation. If the gear is worth more than $7500, you'll need to file claims with your insurance provider and the Owner directly.
  • What if I need to extend my rental period? Unfortunately our system doesn't support alternations to dates or prices once a reservation request has been made. In the event that you need to extend your reservation, let us know (support@cameralends.com) and we're happy to help :)

Insurance and Safety

We understand accidents happen, and we know how much your gear means to you. That's why we guarantee your gear will be fully replaced and fixed in the event of damage or loss. Here's more information regarding the claim process and liability.
  • How long will it take for my gear to be replaced or fixed? If your gear is damaged or lost, we’ll do our best to replace your equipment as soon as possible. If you wish to have the gear fully replaced and not fixed, we’ll send you a replacement in exchange for the damaged gear. In the few cases we’ve handled in the past, Owners have received their gear within a day or two. If your gear is covered by insurance, all claims will be made with the insurance provider and Renter directly.
  • My equipment was damaged. What should I do? (For gear valued over $7500, file claims directly with insurance provider and coordinate with Renter.)
    1. If you did not notice the damage upon inspection in front of the Renter when returned, contact them immediately and notify them of your complaint.
    2. Document the damage with photographs or video of the problem.
    3. Collect proof of ownership in the form of receipts or legal documents that refer to you as the owner.
    4. Estimate the cost of damage and submit all of the evidence above within 24 hours of return OR within 1 hour of the reported damage. Failure to submit a claim within these times may disqualify you from CameraLends protection coverage.
    5. The CameraLends team will respond ASAP and coordinate replacement or fix.
  • My equipment was stolen. What should I do?
    1. File a police report within 24 hours if the equipment is worth more than $300 and one of the following is true (if valued less than $300 and one of following true, contact CameraLends Support):
      • The renter refuses to take responsibility for the damage.
      • The renter has not returned the equipment and has been unresponsive for 24 hours.
      • The equipment was stolen from the renter during the duration of the rental.
    2. During the process of filing a police report, contact CameraLends Support with a report of the situation. Also include proof of ownership in the form of receipts or legal documents that refer to you as the owner.
    3. The CameraLends team will respond ASAP and coordinate replacement.
  • The Renter purchased a damage waiver. What does that mean? We offer a damage waiver that Renters may purchase at time of request. If purchased, the liability of the Renter will be reduced up to $2500 (with 25% deductible). Even if a damage waiver is purchased, Owners will still have their damaged or lost gear covered by CameraLends.
  • Is the community safe? Definitely. Our community is made of pre-screened professionals and hobbyists who understand the value of the gear they hold. We verify the identity of every new member before their first rental is approved, requiring mailing address, phone number, and record of professional history to ensure trust and safety for all. After each successful rental, members are peer-reviewed which appear on their public profiles. Read our Community Guidelines to learn more.
  • Certificates of Insurance We require the Renter or Owner to carry insurance for any rental of gear valued over $7500. We manually verify each policy to the reservation, and confirm the insurance covers the Owner 100%. If you are an Owner and have insurance that covers your gear when rented, let us know (support@cameralends.com) and we'll reduce our service fee to 10%. If you are a Renter and need to purchase insurance, we have some recommendations.