These Are the Most Popular Cameras & Lenses of 2018, According to Hot Gear List from LensRentals

Canon is still the king but don’t look now, Sony is closing fast. That’s the message from the annual hot gear list from LensRentals, a top source for photographers looking to rent cameras, lenses, lighting gear and video equipment.

LensRentals’ 2018 hot gear list, which shows slightly older Canon products dominating several categories but new Sony gear moving up the list, is based on the photo equipment that “proved most popular in rentals in 2018.”

“This barometer of equipment rental patterns is useful for the industry to gauge trends in adoption of new technology, camera and lens formats and change in brand share of the market,” LensRentals said in a press announcement.

Before you check out the overall rankings at the bottom of this post, which shows the Canon 5D Mark IV as the most rented camera and the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II as the most rented lens in 2018, here are some comments and observations provided by LensRentals on its 2018 data (you can read more in their blog post as well):

•  Sony's camera rental popularity decreased slightly in 2018, which could relate to many Canon and Nikon users trialing Sony’s mirrorless cameras over the last few years. Trials may have begun to fade slightly with the new mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon now available for rental, the numbers next year will be fascinating to watch for the appetite for mirrorless. Early data suggests that the EOS R system is about twice as popular as the Nikon Z camera gear.

• Canon's overall camera usage has dropped slightly, while Nikon has increased possibly as a result of the D850 that was released at the tail end of 2017. Many other camera brands witnessed growth in usage in 2018, accounting for a potential slowdown slightly in Canon rentals. The data was pulled before the general availability of the Nikon Z6 and Z7 (or Canon R) in November 2018.  

• Top two lenses has remained the same for many years, with Canon's second generation of its f2.8 24-70mm and 70-200mm, proving most popular. However, Sony has finally broken into the top three with its 24-70mm f2.8. In 2019, its worth tracking how the 70-200mm III will fair, especially given the way Sony's 70-200mm did this year, moving up from 16th to 6th on the most popular list of rented equipment. 

• Sony increased rental usage with approximately 60% of the growth was from new release lenses rather than from existing lenses being rented more. The new lenses that drove the most growth were:

- Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 OSS

- Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM

- Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS

• Panasonic's growth was all because of these 3 lenses:

- Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 X Power OIS II

- Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 X Power OIS II

- Panasonic/Leica 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH

- The 12-35 is by far the most popular Panasonic lens ever, followed by its 35-100mm as the 2nd most popular Panasonic lens to date.

• Sigma and Tamron continued mild increases to line with their quality improvements across their range of lenses.  


Most Popular Cameras of 2018 (according to rentals at LensRentals)

1. Canon 5D Mark IV

2. Canon 5D Mark III

3. Sony Alpha A7S II

4. Sony Alpha A7 III

5. Panasonic GH5

6. Sony Alpha A7R III

7. Nikon D750

8. Canon 6D Mark II

9. Nikon D850

10. Canon 6D


Most Popular Lenses of 2018 (according to rentals at LensRentals)

1. Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II

2. Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II

3. Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM

4. Canon 35mm f/1.4L II

5. Canon 50mm f/1.2L

6. Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS

7. Canon 70-200 f/2.8L

8. Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro

9. Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III

10. Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II


Most Popular NEW Photo & Video Gear of 2018 (according to rentals at LensRentals)

1. Sony Alpha A7 III

2. Zhiyun-Tech Crane-2 3-Axis Stabilizer

3. Sony Alpha A7R III

4. Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 OSS

5. Panasonic GH5S

6. Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS

7. Manfrotto MVMXPRO500 Fluid Head Monopod

8. Teradek Bolt 500 3G-SDI/HDMI Wireless Kit

9. Sennheiser AVX Digital Wireless Lavalier Pro Set

10. SlingStudio Camera Link

Read more about LensRentals 2018 hot gear list in their blog post. Read about their 2017 list here.