The camera equipment rental market is by no means a new industry. Getting access to camera equipment for specific commercial jobs, recreational travel needs or just to try gear before you buy has been something photographers have been able to do for many years. There are a lot of benefits to renting camera equipment, but it can also be quite expensive once you consider the additional requirements of insurance and freight to ship any gear back and forwards. Insurance can often be purchased directly from the rental company for an extra fee or overall percentage of the rental value. Freight adds extra expenses when gear needs to be shipped from a camera rental business to remote locations.
When renting equipment for commercial purposes it can still be far more cost effective to do so rather than purchasing equipment, especially if it is for a specialised task / photography style that you may not regularly do. Pricing rental equipment into a commercial job will be far cheaper than purchasing it. For either the professional or enthusiast photographer renting could be a cost effective way of ensuring you are happy with a camera product before you outlay a lot of money on expensive gear.
An interesting new platform that has recently been launched by Canon Australia – Kyōyū – aims to make Canon camera equipment accessible to all for far more reasonable prices than the current camera gear rental market. It also has the potential to allow those who own gear to monetise their own equipment by renting it those who would like to use it, either professionals or enthusiasts. This could create a new revenue stream for people who already own gear, or for those potentially interested in investing in equipment and monetising it to see a return over time.
Let’s take a look at Kyōyū from two different points of view – as an owner of camera equipment who could potentially monetise it. And as a photographer who would like to get access to gear to use for specific purposes, or to try a specific piece of equipment before they make a purchase.
Monetising camera equipment you own using Kyōyū
Purchasing camera equipment can be quite an expensive prospect, especially with any top of the line / professional equipment. As a photographer there can also be a lot of downtime where some camera equipment is not being used in between jobs, travel or other uses. Kyōyū offers a new way to potentially monetise your gear by making it available for rent through the platform. Rather than having your camera gear sit idle, the idea behind Kyōyū is to create a new revenue stream by making your Canon camera equipment available to others who require the use of it.
When you list your gear on Kyōyū, you control the pricing structure. For any gear listed and rented out through the platform an insurance policy is in place through ShareCover protecting your gear from loss or damage under some conditions. You can organise for the equipment to be picked up directly from yourself or be shipped directly to the person renting it. You arrange for the return of the gear however it is suitable for yourself and the renter. Once your gear has been returned, you will receive payment from the Kyōyū platform.
For those who already own gear this could be a great way to turn idle gear into a revenue stream. For those considering the purchase of new gear, Kyōyū could provide a return on your investment and effectively make the purchase an easier decision. For the entrepreneurs out there purchasing gear could become a great investment over time and potentially be treated as a new asset class.
Renting camera equipment to use through Kyōyū
For content developers or for those that would like to get access to try some new Canon equipment, Kyōyū could be a very cost effective way to do so. Rental prices when compared to the traditional gear rental market are cheaper on Kyōyū for identical pieces of equipment. Due to the fact equipment could already be available within your local region, turnaround times in requesting gear and having access to it could be extremely efficient. This could also negate the need for shipping and handling costs. Insurance is covered by a policy issued by Sharecover, although it is still a good idea to have an individual policy to cover any gear to are using, whether it be your own or any gear you are renting.
For professional photographers having a cost effective way to access specific gear when it is required could help reduce the costs of jobs you may be quoting for. Rather than needing to purchase equipment, or going through the traditional rental market which has higher average prices, Kyōyū could provide a new way to access equipment when it is required. For the enthusiast photographer who would either like to try a specific piece of camera gear before they buy it, or even use a specific lens or camera body when traveling, Kyōyū is again a cost effective way to access this equipment.
Just about every model of Canon camera and lens is available to be rented – from entry level crop sensor cameras all the way through to the latest model EOS R, 5D MKIV and 1DX MK II. All types of lenses within the Canon lineup are available and when compared to the traditional rental market, prices are around 33% cheaper and sometimes even more depending on the pricing set by individual who owns the gear.
Whether you are looking to get access to gear, or already own gear and would like to monetise it, Kyōyū creates a new opportunity and an entirely new type of camera gear marketplace that has never been tried before. Canon Australia have created a community that allows photographers to help other photographers, while monetising any idle gear they may own along the way. They have entered the camera gear rental market via a “sharing economy” platform. And in the process allowed the community to control the pricing structure with a whole new economy within the photography industry.