How To Choose The Right Camera Strap

An image without an alt, whoops

Choosing the appropriate camera strap for your needs may not be easy. While it can be seen as a small detail, it can cause significant problems if you don't consider the necessary factors. Think about what type of camera strap best suits your photography needs. You may want something lightweight and comfortable if you're a casual photographer. However, if you are a professional photographer who travels often, you may need something that is more secure and rugged. To ensure you find the right strap, consider the type of camera you're using and what activities you plan to use it for, and follow our helpful tips below.

An image without an alt, whoops

1. What Camera Strap Is Compatible?

Look At Your Camera's Connectors

Learning and fully understanding what connectors are crucial and how they affect your decision to buy the perfect camera straps is crucial. Why? Not all connectors on the strap will fit on your camera.

The first question to ask yourself is… how many connecting points does my camera have? Let’s compare 2 types of cameras as an example. Take the Canon 5DM4 and a Contax T3 — the Canon has two connecting points on the side grips, whereas the Contax has only one on the bottom plate. This means that a two-connector camera strap will NOT connect to a point-and-shoot camera, like the Contax T3.

Another point to consider is how well the connectors connect. Are they fed through a thread? Do they snap together? Some straps are more accessible to put on than others. Find what works best for you and how often you think you’ll connect/disconnect the strap. A fine example of this is from Peak Design — their connecting mechanism is unlike any other brand we’ve seen on the market. Theirs is a combination of both; once the thread is looped around the bar on the camera, there is a circular module on the end of the thread that snaps into a larger unit. This can be done for either a wrist OR neck strap. This provides a robust and durable solution for quick disconnection and access.

An image without an alt, whoops

2. What's The Best Camera Strap Fit?

How To Measure Your Camera Strap

Let’s first look at the different types of straps, as there are several ways to hold your mirrorless or DSLR camera. One might want their camera phone attached to their wrist in a casual fashion. In contrast, the professional wedding photographer might want a neck strap or harness for all-day comfort and better support.

1. What Are the 3 Types of Camera Straps?

  • Neck Strap: Neck straps are, obviously, strung around the edge of one’s neck ideal for prime support and long shoot days. Neck straps are also recommended for the novice outdoorsy person looking to be hands-free while scrambling, biking, or skateboarding through fresh air. These are probably the most common type of strap, as they are reliable and come in various thicknesses to appease the varying photographers.
  • Harness: A camera harness is ideal for photographers to harness it across their bodies for better support. These are ideal for photographers who have long shoot days.
  • Wrist Straps: A more up-and-coming popular method of camera carry: around the wrist and nowhere else. This allows the photographer to keep ahold of their precious cargo and not risk dropping it from their neck, shoulder, or body while walking or shooting.

2. Fixed vs Adjustable Camera Straps

Choosing what you want between the neck carry depends on how low or high you wish the camera to be on your person. This is especially true for a fixed fit strap where you do NOT have the option to adjust the strap as the photographer. However, if you want to be able to adjust the strap for particular occasions properly, then buy an adjustable one.

If you ARE interested in a fixed-length strap, then consider these cheat-sheet guidelines to find the perfect one:

  • Measure the Strap - Take some string and put it around your neck. Measure the distance of your neck to the point where you want your camera to rest with a ruler. Above the waist is around 40”, a standard, comfortable fit.
  • Keep the Strap Longer for Cross-Body - Placing your camera on a strap and slinging it over one shoulder and across the body needs more length for the camera to be rested against the bottom of your rib cage.
  • Harnesses Have Adjustments on the Backside - Larger carrying mechanisms, like harnesses, come ready-made and adjusted to properly place them where you need them for varying body sizes and types. So long as you take the time to set it up beforehand, the camera will rest easy on your person.
An image without an alt, whoops

3. Camera Strap Materials

Which Style Do You Prefer?

Research the materials your camera straps are made out of. It’s the deciding factor between aesthetic vs. function, but forces the photographer to think about what kind of strap you need. It’s an annoying step in the process that takes time, but it's worth it for the peace of mind. The last thing you want is the camera to fall off of its hitches and plummet to the ground. Ask yourself this series of questions the next time you’re on a shopping page:

  • Will the material stand the test of time?
  • How much stress load can material handle?
  • Can it stand up to the outside elements when shooting outside?

There’s a multitude of varying materials. Leather, paracord, climbing rope, etc. — but what works for you? What best suits you and your needs? It’s not particularly wise to bring a leather strap on the hiking trails under rain cover, but a thinner wool wrist strap isn’t enough to comply with a wedding photographer’s needs either. Read below our mini guide for the varying materials we most often come across and the functions of each:

Leather: Leather provides a durable solution for everyday camera carry. However, be mindful of its thickness; you don’t want the leather wet. Dampness will profoundly affect its chemical makeup and functional properties… but it looks sexy! Also, be wary of patina as leather goods often change wear and color over time.

Paracord: Paracord serves a distinctive style but is wildly rugged and serves a great deal of functions.

Neoprene: This is what you make wet suits out of! It retains flexibility and durability throughout varied conditions & temperatures, perfect for bringing on the trails or all-day shoots.

Wool: Wool grows itchy when damp or wet and isn’t the best when used for long shoots, but serves its purpose as a wrist strap for smaller camera phones or point-and-shoots.

Nylon: This incredibly strong, abrasion-resistant material serves your every need.

Wax Canvas: This material is often impregnated with paraffin or natural beeswax-based wax, woven into, or applied to the cloth for a secure hold. While it may repel mist or rain, don’t saturate it in a puddle.

Climbing Rope: Hey... if it can hold a human, it can hold a camera.

An image without an alt, whoops

💌 There's More!

Enjoyed this read? Subscribe now and receive all the latest and greatest articles straight to your inbox. All original. Community first. 100% ad-free.