Is your camera strap literally a pain in the neck? My camera came with a neck strap, they all do… and whilst these neck straps are probably fine for your point and shoot camera, they’re awkward for a DSLR with any lens that is larger than a 50mm prime! I went on search of the perfect camera strap… it started with a few eBay purchases, I thought maybe one of those neoprene ones would do the trick, I was wrong, maybe a wider strap… so I bought a wider strap on eBay, once again, very uncomfortable… I then found the Blackrapid Straps… my only hesitation was the price, but hey… by the time I have bought 5 or 6 neck straps I had spent just about as much, so I bought the Blackrapid RS5 Cargo.
Unlike conventional camera straps this one goes over your shoulder, and the camera hangs on your side, making it extremely comfortable! When you’re ready to take a shot, the camera can be lifted into position and it slides along the strap via a cleverly designed mounting system. Below is their video showing you how it works…
I can have my D800 with a 24-70 f2.8 (a fairly heavy setup) hanging by my side for hours, in fact, I just did 2 hours on some of the most dangerous and broken parts of the Great Wall of China and this is how I carried my camera with me… the Rapid Strap is attached via a mounting point you screw into the tripod mount on the bottom of your camera, the only downside is once you have attached the mounting hardware you cannot mount onto a tripod without removing the Rapid Strap component. From my personal experience, and I shoot mostly on a tripod, it only takes 4 or 5 seconds to unscrew it, so or me this is a small inconvenience. Once secured your camera is safely secured to your rapid strap and would be extremely unlikely to come loose.
For those of your with Really Right Stuff L Plates, the rapid strap attaches directly to the plate (well, it does on my D800 L plate). And if I am shooting in portrait mode, I don’t need to remove the Rapid Strap mount, it doesn’t get in the way in this situation.
I am starting to see BlackRapid straps being used by a lot of photographers, the RS5 cargo that I bought has storage pockets for extra memory cards, your smart phone (this pocket is also great for a spare battery), business cards and you can even use it to securely carry cash through pick pocket areas! The rapid strap also makes it very difficult for someone to do a ‘grab and run’ with your camera, they would have to take me with them if they were trying to grab and run with my camera!
Overall, I think this is the camera strap of the future… so many innovations have come and go in photography, but we seemed to have stagnated when it came to the camera strap. BlackRapid have really come up with a great strap and I think the Rapid Strap should come standard when you buy a new DSLR… I hope BlackRapid are talking to the manufacturers!
What is a BRAD? I hear you ask. It’s a little mod that makes your BlackRapid strap fit as snug as a bug in a rug! It connects onto the BlackRapid strap and has a buckle that clips together under your arm, eliminating any movement from the strap. I didn’t find I had a lot of bother with movement etc. but the BRAD is a great addition to what I already class as the best camera strap I have ever used.
Here is a video by BlackRapid showing you how the BRAD mod works.