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Bad experience with BorrowLenses.com. They will blame your software for their bad equipment.

Started Mar 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Bad experience with BorrowLenses.com. They will blame your software for their bad equipment.
Mar 19, 2013

I was working on a project and wanted a high end Canon camera to take pictures. I have an ok camera, wrote software for Canon cameras using the manufacturers SDK, and tested it for many weeks without problem. The higher end camera would give me a larger field of view.
I found BorrowLenses.com and they seemed very helpful so I rented a Canon 5D Mark III and lens from them for the week. The cost was about $400 for the rental. Within minutes of connecting their camera to my computer it threw a communication error. I figured maybe it was a bug, lose cable connection...etc. I was able to get the camera working but every so often it would throw an error. My first mistake was not immediately contacting the company and sending it back. I was on a deadline and couldn't get replacement equipment, so I figured I would just deal with it. My second mistake.

I drive 2 1/2 hours to the lake that I had planned my project for. Connect up all my computer equipment and the rental camera in my boat and start the project. About 30 seconds in I get a communication error and the program stops. I reset everything and a couple minutes same thing. Every time I get the error I have to stop the boat, figure out where I was when it happened, turn around and go back, reset my equipment, and start again. I never went more than 10 minutes without the camera throwing an error. When the camera would throw the communication error I would get a corrupted image file. You can see one below. I got very frustrated, cussed the camera and cussed BorrrowLenses.com many times. I decided to swap out the camera my Canon T3i. I hooked up and everything worked perfectly. Wanting the larger field of view I switched back. The camera gave me fits constantly.

By the end of the day I was so frustrated at the camera that I didn't even want to use it anymore. So much for a week long rental. I got about 4 hours of use out of it and wanted to throw it in the lake. I immediately contact the company and told them about it. They tried to tell me I was using the wrong USB cable even though the same cable had worked flawlessly for weeks with my camera. I informed them of all the problems, tried different cables and still had the problems, documented all the details of the problem, included several corrupted images, and screen shots of the error message. I sent all that back with the camera and contact their customer support again. They said they would review the camera.

Today they said they connected the camera to a computer for a couple minutes and didn't have any problems. They blame my software and tell me the problem is with my program, even though it works fine with my camera and I have never seen that error except with their camera. They flat out said any custom software, even if it is based of the manufacturers code, is not supported and they will not issue any type of refund. Basically they told me FOAD. So screw them. This project was to kick off a major program for a non-profit that I run. Now that program has been set back and the funds to get a good start are gone.

I was using the EDSDK 2.11 for Windows, running it out of Visual Studio 2010, and using an API wrapper that someone had published a couple years ago. My program worked flawlessly with my Canon T3i. The error I got from the camera from Borrowlenses.com was "Invalid Handle" and then "Camera disconnected". Looking at the pictures below it can be clearly seen that my software worked, took the picture, and was saving it to the hard drive when the camera developed a communication issue. I was able to reproduce this at home with all the equipment just sitting on a table and no movement. I'm out $400 and will never do business with BorrowLenses.com again.

Here is what renting a camera from BorrowLenses.com will get you.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 600D (EOS Rebel T3i / EOS Kiss X5)
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