Parachut.co is a new online equipment rental service, aimed at shooters wanting to try something new. Due to launch in late spring of this year, their subscription model makes it more convenient and affordable to get your hands on modern professional equipment. For only $149/month, will it shake the foundations of equipment hire as we know it? An Introduction to Parachut At first glance, it seems too good to be true. The Parachut subscription service allows you to rent the latest photography equipment to your heart’s content for just $149/month. And the best part? No late fees. That’s right; you can keep the gear for as long as you pay your subscription. For real. Parachut.co is mostly aimed at photographers and DSLR/DSLM shooters so you won’t find any URSAs, Varicams or Alexas in their catalogue. However, their current gear list shows Canon and Nikon DSLR’s of all ranges, as well as a plethora of mirrorless models (including the A7xII series from Sony) and m4/3 cameras from Panasonic and Olympus, in addition to plenty of analogue cameras. You will also find a wide array of lenses, and accessories such as flash units, different sorts of tripods, on-camera microphones, gimbals, small drones, sliders and so on. It is mind-boggling to imagine the vast quantities of kit they would need to have in stock to satisfy the demands of the many shooters who might want to get shiny new gear for a low cost and an indefinite length of time. But before you register to put in your order for that newest camera and lens combo you’ve been drooling over for the last few months, it is worth mentioning that their website hints that you will not know for certain what you get until your package shows up at your door. Wait… what? You see, in-house experts at Parachut will research your profile based on a subscription questionnaire, and put together a ‘Chut drop (“parachute” + “shoot”… see what they did there?) based on any gear you already own and the style of shooting you are interested in. You will be able to fill in a gear wish list, but how likely it is that you ever get any of the stuff on it will remain to be seen. Although the site’s initial phase will cater only to U.S residents, they claim to have plans to expand in the very near future. Parachut will also offer a very comprehensive service: shipping is included in your monthly subscription with a pre-paid return label included in every ‘Chut drop, and they will also provide different insurance options for the gear. Even though at first glance Parachut seems very innovative — and indeed offers an advantage over rental houses for shooters wanting to experiment — it seems unlikely it will pose a threat to the traditional rental model at the highest levels of professional equipment hire. The whole point of renting quality gear is the peace of mind of paying for reliable equipment, and not knowing what you are going to get is quite literally the opposite of that. But this is not to say that Parachut is completely outside the scope of professional use. Their no-contract, month-to-month subscription can make it easy and convenient to acquire gear for certain times of the year: for example, getting a small drone or gimbal ahead of a busy wedding season for a very low price. With a launch date later this season, we still don’t know exactly when parachut.co will be open for business. You can, however, reserve a spot here and fill in your questionnaire to be among their first customers, and receive $50 off your first month. You can also enter their giveaway here for the chance to win a year of Parachut for free! Could a rental model like this for you? Let us know in the comments below!Read more
Art-List.io, a new startup out of Israel, is due to release their music-licensing service next month. But with some well-established providers dominating the market, will Art-List be bringing anything new to the table? The music-licensing business has been growing steadily in recent years. Gone are expensive and often frustratingly project-inadequate CD libraries of yore, having given way to the new model of licensing on a track-by-track basis through online providers. However, although the big players in the industry have streamlined the process of finding the right music track, this ease-of-use comes at a price. Whether you go with the enhanced music discovery design of the recently relaunched Musicbed, or Premiumbeat‘s handy loop sets, the cost of a single track for personal use will come in at around $40. Prices increase drastically with more professional licenses: tracks for commercial purposes and a large audience can easily exceed the $400 mark. That’s where Art-List.io comes in. Their yearly subscription fee of $199 for unlimited, universal licensing is bound to stir things up. Considering the annual investment works out at just under $17 a month, Art-List will be ideal for independent filmmakers, as well as professionals wanting to keep a close eye on their budget, assuming that the tracks will be up to the standard of quality set by the competition. With their subscription costing less than a single professional license through the competition, the Art-List library— which currently consists of around 1000 tracks and counting—might be in high demand. There is no word yet as to whether they will offer features similar to those of the competition. But at this price point, I know I wouldn’t mind spending a little longer looking for the right track for my next project if necessary. Art-List.io will launch in late February, and you can sign up for their newsletter here to receive 5 selected songs for free! Will you be trying Art-List.io to find that next ukelele, xylophone, and tambourine masterpiece?Read more
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