Lensrentals Has Decided to Start Renting Drones for Aerial Video and Photography

Lensrentals Has Decided to Start Renting Drones for Aerial Video and Photography

In a bit of a surprise, a blog posted today from Lensrentals explains the different options of drone systems now available for rent, including a short list of rules and tips for flying for both recreational and commercial use. While I've seen many requests online from people asking where they could rent a drone for a one-time shoot, most companies have stayed away. So is this a good idea or a bad idea?

I say that it's a bit of surprise because of the obvious high risk when it comes to flying a drone. Not just damaging the equipment, but crashing into property or even people. I don't even need to link to all of the examples of this having happened in the past few years by drone owners, so now that just about any can rent one on the cheap, do you think this will open up a lot more cases of misuse?

As far as liability goes, Lensrentals clearly states in their blog post here:

Lensrentals does not assume, and the customer indemnifies Lensrentals against any liability or claims resulting from use or malfunction of the equipment. Renter assumes all liability that may arise from use or failure of the equipment.

Renter assumes and shall bear the entire risk of damage to the equipment from any cause, except damage in the possession of the Shipper.

There are no requirements from Lensrentals to rent a drone, but they will point out that you need to hold a remote pilot certificate to fly commercially. I wrote all about taking that test here a few months ago.

As for the models available, right now they will stock the Mavic, Phantom 4 Pro, and Inspire 2. What might be of more interest to current drone owners is they also stock some batteries and filter kits, so if you need to load up for a job, this would be an way to do so.

So what do you think? Is this a bad idea? I don't think we can fault Lensrentals for stocking a product that there is a market for, so it's up to the people who pilot drones to make a responsible choice. As for me, I can only hope that people fly responsibly, but I fear this will only encourage more unqualified people to be out flying, which will just hurt the commercial industry (those of us who fly for money) in the end.

Mike Wilkinson's picture

Mike Wilkinson is an award-winning video director with his company Wilkinson Visual, currently based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Mike has been working in production for over 10 years as a shooter, editor, and producer. His passion lies in outdoor adventures, documentary filmmaking, photography, and locally-sourced food and beer.

Log in or register to post comments

As a new Part 107 holder, I hate this. It's already so hard to follow all of the regulations the FAA has in place, not to mention dealing with local authorities who are trying to regulate where you can take off and land from. All this is going to do is allow more people who don't know/care about the regulations screw it up for the rest of us who are trying to fly legally and ethically. I think they should only rent to people with a part 107.

I disagree, the price-point is so high relatively, that anyone with any business interest in mind would be wise to purchase a unit for their work.

To me the only one that makes any sense is the Inspire 2 price wise for some sort of film production, and I guarantee you that some 16 year old is not going to drop 1000+$ on a rental to go hot rod around town. Anyone paying 1000+$ on a rental is going to be extremely careful. But that only includes the x4s so I would not be surprised if they never got a single rental on it.

If you look at the Phantom 4 pro its 430$ with coverage. You can buy a spark for 500$, if you are a hobbyist why wouldn't you just buy a spark, or a used mavik?

I don't mean to sound negative, I love the rental companies and what they do, I just don't see these prices as viable. You could easily just buy a unit and sell it used months later for a fraction of the loss.

Sounds good to me. Now I'm more valuable and I can charge the client for it. Helps me make the decision on purchasing one for now.