That was our top criteria for selecting the best camera strap.
If you want to cut to the chase the Metro Camera Strap by BlackRapid scored high marks in every category and is our top pick. This strap is comfortable to wear and is fully adjustable.
Camera Strap Comparison
|63.00 x 2.50 x 0.70||15.00 x 3.00 x 1.00||0.12 x 1.54 x 50.79||8.80 x 2.10 x 0.90||1.00 x 3.50 x 8.00||4.00 x 2.00 x 6.00||2.00 x 4.00 x 10.00||16.00 x 2.80 x 1.00||1.20 x 2.70 x 8.40||2.70 x 3.30 x 6.40|
Camera Strap Buying Guide
What is a Camera Strap?
Many photographers never use the strap that automatically comes with the camera due to the fact that they are usually low quality and weak or they advertise the camera.
This is not a good idea, as having a strap with a name like Nikon or Canon on it can draw attention to you and your camera and make you stand out to those with less than respectful intentions.
You can always take the strap that comes with the camera and resell it since it is brand new and there are many that would love a new camera that are not out in the field on a regular basis. Different cameras need different straps depending on the weight of the camera.
The purpose of this guide is to provide you with the information you need to make an informed choice on which camera strap is the best for your needs.
Why Straps are Important?
Camera straps need to be made well because they have a very important job and that is to hold your camera securely when your hands are not on it. You don’t want your valuable camera hitting the ground because a cheaply made camera strap broke.
A lot of responsibility is on that strap so you need to make sure that it will protect your camera while you have it around your neck or over your shoulder. There are many different types and styles of camera straps available. We’ll go over the different kinds so you will know the benefits and specifics of each.
- Stock Straps – Depending on your personal preferences and what you do with your camera, the strap that came with your camera is just fine. This strap is fine if you don’t use your camera a lot and do not plan on walking around with it hanging from your neck or shoulder.
These stock straps tend to be cheaply made since they are given away and can unexpectedly break when used a lot. If you use your camera a lot, travel with it ore walk around carrying it, you will need to get a stronger, higher end camera.
- Neoprene/Cushioned Straps – Neoprene straps are super comfortable, soft and slightly stretchy. They are thicker than the stock straps and provide the user with a lot more comfort as well. They are considered a step up from the stock strap.
The extra cushioning provides much more comfort for the photographer, especially around the neck. One reason that neoprene is not very good for the professional photographer, especially an outdoor one that might have to do some running to catch the shots.
The neoprene’s stretchiness can feel a lot like a rubber band which isn’t typically a problem when you are just walking. When you are moving around a lot though, the elasticity can put more force on your shoulders and neck.
- Sling/Speed Straps – This type of camera straps tackles two different but common problems: slipping and maneuvering the camera up to your eye quickly to catch a shot. Most of the camera manufacturer’s on the market have some sort of sling strap that accommodates many different models of camera. These are a good choice for a professional but they are not the only choice a professional has.
They cost a bit more than standard straps, but most that use them feel they are worth the extra cost. A few of the benefits of using a sling strap include reduction of the camera slipping of your shoulder, more comfort when carrying the camera due to the even weight distribution the sling strap offers.
Carrying the camera across the body is much more comfortable than around the neck. It is also supported by the hip since that is where it rests. A downside of the sling strap is that it uses the tripod mount to attach the strap so anytime you need to use your tripod you will have to take the strap off.
- Straps that Grip – You want to make sure that the strap you get grips your shoulder securely, not uncomfortably. Many cameras, especially with longer zooms attached, can be quite heavy so finding a strap that holds your camera sturdily and securely is a real plus and takes a level of worry away.
When you are on assignment, concentrating on taking photos, the last thing you want to worry or even think about is whether the strap is going to hold the camera securely. The difference between a stock strap and a grippy strap is that the grippy strap has a non slip lining on one side and the stock strap does not.
Otherwise they are almost exactly the same in length, width and weight distribution. One of the downsides to the grippy straps is that the rubber that is in the straps can breakdown and become gummy, leaving residue on your hands and clothing. Making sure that you get a high quality grippy strap can reduce the likelihood of this from occurring.
- Leather Straps – Leather camera straps are the old school straps that are still reliable and solid. If you’re looking for something strong and that will last for years, leather is the way to go. Leather is by far, one of the most durable fabrics known to man.
Because of that dependability, leather straps can’t be beat in terms of lasting a long time. They are also very comfortable. Leather camera straps are not made by many manufacturers any longer. Many photographers that love using them usually have had them made by smaller companies that provide handmade professional camera straps. They are more expensive than most straps but you can expect to have it years and years which make the extra cost more than worth it.
How to Wear a Camera?
Many photographers, both professional and amateur, wear their cameras over their neck and shoulders. Wearing it around the neck looks very touristy and silly; it also is very uncomfortable and if your camera has any weight to it at all, it can actually hurt your neck. Wearing it around the shoulder and neck distributes the weight and prevents neck strain. You can also grab your camera easier with this position as well.
Regardless of what kind of camera you have or what weight it is, there is a camera that will fit your needs and preferences. Whether it is silk or cowhide, camera manufacturers have taken pains to create camera straps that fit a variety of needs and preferences. There are also plenty of configurations that fit any type of shooting style and career level.
Although many people think that the camera strap is simply an extra accessory, anyone who takes pictures on a regular basis knows just how important having a high quality camera strap is. While it won’t specifically improve your pictures itself, it will make shooting much easier which in turn can result in better pictures.