This is the last picture my camera took.
It basically just stopped working. It’s really not a surprise. I got it 9 years ago and I’ve taken countless pictures with it. We have a lot of memories from that camera. I just didn’t expect it to be working one day and not the next. What happens? Well, the shutter doesn’t open all the way, creating photos of only the bottom portion.
Once it died, I knew I wanted to upgrade, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted. The cameras have changed so much and I wanted to take my time and make the right decision. In the meantime, I had things going on and I needed a camera. I did a little research on rental companies and decided it would be best to rent a camera to get me through until I decided which camera would fit my needs.
My previous camera was a Konica Minolta 5D. Minolta is no longer producing cameras and the technology was purchased by Sony several years ago. The good part about this is that I can still use my lenses on the Sony cameras. New technology without having to replace the lenses I currently own. Awesome.
That when I started renting a camera.
I found the Sony A77 being rented through ATS Rentals. The company offers two-day shipping, no-cost insurance and really competitive rates. I decided to give it a try for a camping trip in October 2015. I’ve rented the camera several other times since then–all from ATS.
Selecting the Equipment
I knew what I needed. I just needed the Sony A77 camera body. I added it to my cart and then the ATS website made some recommendation of lenses, memory cards and spare batteries that I might want to rent as well. I needed a memory card so I added that to my cart as well.
ATS had plenty of equipment to rent. They have video cameras, still cameras, projection equipment, lenses and audio and PA equipment. They also have all of the extras you need to get the most out of the rental.
Additionally, ATS will set the focus to manual or automatic, install the memory card and include the manual if requested.
My First Rental
My first rental was for a long weekend. The camera arrived in a large box. The camera body, battery and memory card were securely shipped in individual compartments. There was a plastic bag on top that contained my order information, return shipping label, a roll of tape to package for return and suckers. Yes, suckers! Each order I’ve received from ATS has some with some form of sweet treat in the bag.
I was so excited to try my lenses on this camera and I had the perfect opportunity as we were camping for the weekend. And of course by camping, I mean glamping.
I fired up the camera and while my husband was at a work function, the kids and I took a walk to the campground beach. Here are some pictures I took with the A77.
Aside from the amazing pictures, the camera also does HD video, which is something that my first camera did not do. Very cool stuff.
Once we were home form our trip, I downloaded the pictures to my laptop, put the camera back in the box, applied the label, taped it shut, had a sucker and mailed the camera back.
Shortly thereafter, ATS sent me a coupon code for a percentage off my rental. I used the code to rent it again for Thanksgiving and then again for Christmas. I haven’t had another need for it yet, but I’m hoping something pops up soon.
My husband is not a huge fan of renting if I don’t have a coupon code. The camera rents for $31 per day. That is pricey if you have it for any length of time. However, ATS has a neat rental policy. The camera rental period is only working days, so if you have it over a weekend, those days don’t count. Over the Christmas holiday, ATS was closed several days so those didn’t count either. Additionally, a few days before I was to receive the camera, I got a notification saying that ATS didn’t have anyone renting the camera before me and they would ship it to me two days early if I was interested–no cost.
You do need to be home to sign for the box. (Luckily, I’m friends with a UPS driver and he actually grabs the package in the morning before it hits the truck and brings it to me at work. Yeah, see, I’m pretty lucky!)
Pretty soon, I need to buy a camera because, my husband is right, at some point, it becomes silly to rent. However for now, ATS makes it easy and convenient to try out the camera and make sure this is really what I want.