How To Find The Right Camera Strap
Read more of our tips for a better understanding of how to find the perfect camera strap.
Choosing the appropriate camera strap for your needs may not be easy. While it can be seen as a small detail, it can actually cause major problems if you don't take into consideration the necessary factors. Think about what type of camera strap best suits your photography needs. If you’re a casual photographer, you may want something lightweight and comfortable to carry around with you. However, if you are a professional photographer that travels often, you may need something that is more secure and rugged.
To make sure 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. With this advice, you'll be able to find the perfect camera strap that suits your needs.
Learning and fully understanding what connectors are 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 T2 — the Canon has two connecting points on the side grips, whereas the Contax has only one on the very bottom plate. This means that a two-connector camera strap will NOT connect to a point-and-shoot like the Contax.
Another point to consider is how well the connectors actually connect. Are they fed through a thread? Do they snap together? Some straps are easier 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 strong, durable solution for quick disconnection and access.
Let’s first take a look at the different 3 different main types:
- Neck Strap: camera carry: around the wrist and nowhere else. This allows the photographer to keep ahold of their precious cargo and no have to risk dropping it from their neck, shoulder, or body while walking or shooting.
Fixed vs Adjustable
Choosing what you want between the neck carry choices 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 an option to adjust the strap as the photographer. However, if you’re wanting to be able to properly adjust the strap for particular occasions, 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. Just above the waist is around 40” and a very common, comfortable fit for Ona.
- Keep the Strap Longer for Cross-Body - Placing your camera on a strap and slingin 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 adjusted for you to properly place it where you need it to 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.
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 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, as you don’t want the leather to be wet. Dampness will deeply affects its chemical makeup and change the 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 is an incredibly strong, abrasion resistant material looked to serve 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: I mean hey... if it can hold a human, it can hold a camera.