The camera strap is a vital, albeit often overlooked part of a photographer’s kit. If you’ve ever done a photoshoot that lasts hours, you know how important it is to have a sturdy and comfortable strap. Every new camera comes with some form of strap. However, these will eventually wear out and require an upgrade.
In this guide to upgrading your camera strap,, we’ll look at what to look form, discussing the key elements to consider before you choose a new one and make your purchase. Let’s get into it.
Why buy a new strap?
First off, why would you need a new strap if your camera already came with a pretty strong and sturdy one? Well there are a few reasons why most people decide to buy a new one:
To ensure your camera is safe at all times
Depending on your type and style of photography, you may end up with a considerably heavier camera set up than the manufacturer’s strap was designed for. In a situation like this, it would be best to upgrade your strap to one that can handle more weight.
To get a strap that is convenient for your body size and height
Manufacturer straps aren’t known for being comfortable or easily adjustable. Upgrading to a more ergonomic strap will allow you to adjust it according to your body size and height, meaning you’ll be more comfortable on those long shoots.
To get a strap that suits your style
Where some photographers shoot with one camera, others shoot with two or even three cameras. Similarly, some photographers prefer to have their cameras on a cross-body sling rather than around the neck. Different shooting styles require different setups.
When to buy a new one
When the stock strap is not convenient
If the strap that came with the camera is not convenient for your shooting style, providing enough comfort, support and practicality, you should consider getting a new one.
When the stock strap is worn out
You know it’s time to upgrade your strap when your existing one is worn out and starting to fall apart at the seams.
When the quality of the stock strap is not satisfying
If your strap has sub-par materials and dodgy clips, it’s definitely time to upgrade.
Factors to consider while choosing a strap for your camera
Types of straps
- Hand strap: These are short straps that you can tie around your wrist. They are ideal for active shooting and are typically used for small-sized, mirrorless cameras.
- Crossbody strap: These straps are usually slung around the body, making them comfortable since they distribute the camera weight evenly around you. They are the ideal type for heavy cameras and setups.
- Neck strap: These are straps that hang over your neck, over your shoulder, or across your body. Most cameras come with neck straps by default.
- Harness: These straps have multiple camera holders, making them ideal for photographers who shoot with more than one camera.
Different types of straps are also rated for different camera/lens sizes and combinations. Crossbody and neck-straps can support cameras (with the lens) up to 200 pounds. On the other hand, wrist straps are only ideal for smaller cameras, so the maximum they support is usually around 10 to 15 pounds. So, as you choose which strap to buy, make sure its load rating is high enough to support the weight of your camera.
The wider the strap, the more the weight is distributed around your body. So, if you are getting a strap for a relatively heavy camera, get one that is wide enough. This will help reduce the load concentration on your shoulder and neck.
- Nylon: Straps made of nylon are slippery, which make them ideal for active photographers who love to swing their cameras around on shoots.
- Paracord: These usually have a relatively high load rating and sit well on the shoulders since they are made of a thick material.
- Leather: Straps made of leather are non-slippery, stylish, and very strong, which makes them ideal for heavy cameras.
- Neoprene: Straps with this material may not be very stylish, but they are the most comfortable for prolonged use.
- Cotton: These are usually stylish but not ideal for carrying heavy cameras.
Buckles & Snaps
You need to consider the type of buckles the strap has. Are they made of metal or plastic? Metal is usually more stylish and durable. However, camera straps with metallic buckle/snaps are usually more expensive than those with plastic ones.
Convenience / Practicality
You also need to consider the convenience of the strap you are choosing. Consider your height, for instance. Choosing a short strap if you have a long torso and arms can restrict your range of movement and make it frustrating to shoot with. Another consideration is whether the strap gets in the way of your screen. Try the new strap on your camera at the store to make sure it doesn’t. This will help you avoid the frustration of having to constantly flick it out of the way, and prevent your screen from getting scratches if the strap has metal accessories on it. Of course, personal preference should be considered.
Upgrading your camera strap isn’t something to take lightly. A new strap should be strong, sturdy, comfortable and last a long time. Hopefully this short article will give you some guidance and help you choose your next one.
That’s it from us this week at Luks. We’ll be back next week with more to help you grow.