When you think about all the gear that's required for photography, it's actually a little overwhelming.
Sure, you can take great photos with nothing but your smartphone, but for many of us, a camera body, a few lenses, a tripod, a ball head, a camera bag, and a camera strap are must-haves. And that's just a partial list!
If your photography kit needs some upgrading in the new year, it can be tough to decide what should be upgraded first.
I have pretty strong opinions about which photography accessory should be upgraded first...
You Need a Better Camera Strap
To be frank, if you're still using the strap that came with your camera, you're not doing yourself any favors.
Regardless of whether you have a Canon, Nikon, Sony, or another brand, the strap that came with your camera is most likely thin, flimsy, and straight-up uncomfortable. These are not qualities you want in your camera gear!
What's perplexing to me is that so many photographers put up with these straps.
Where someone wouldn't dare skimp on their lens, they'll use the world's worst camera strap for years and years without blinking an eye. It just doesn't make sense.
There was a time when I was counted amongst the many photographers that put up with the factory camera strap.
But years ago, I finally realized that if I had a more comfortable camera strap, I'd be inclined to shoot for longer periods of time.
I've tried a variety of straps over the years - some pretty great ones, some so-so ones, and some that were just plain terrible.
But even the terrible aftermarket straps I used were still better than the ones that came with my cameras.
The question is, what sort of camera strap should you get?
A Great Camera Strap Doesn't Have to Be Expensive
For some photographers, the price indicates the quality of the accessory they're buying.
And while price and quality sometimes go hand-in-hand, that's not always the case.
That means that you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars to get a really good camera strap that's comfortable and functional.
My HiiGuy camera strap is a perfect example.
I paid less than $30.00 for this strap, and it was the best money I've spent in quite some time.
From a comfort standpoint, my HiiGuy camera strap goes toe-to-toe with other much more expensive straps I've used in the past. That's thanks to a large shoulder pad that helps distribute the weight of my camera over a larger area, which helps keep shoulder and neck fatigue at bay.
What's more, the shoulder pad has a grippy underside so it actually stays in place on your shoulder as you work. No more constant adjustments to keep it in place!
This strap is also highly adjustable - which is great for me because I'm a pretty tall guy.
With all that adjustability, I can tailor the strap to keep my camera at just the right spot on my body. And when my wife borrows my camera, she can do the same, even though she's about a foot shorter than me.
And regardless of which one of us is using this strap, we both appreciate it's safety features that keeps our cameras safe and sound.
The screw mount that fits into the tripod hold on the bottom of the camera is made of high-grade metal so you're sure to have a strong connection between the strap and your camera.
Additionally, there's a safety wire that provides a second, separate connection between the strap and your camera for additional protection.
That's good peace of mind to have when I'm walking around with my Nikon D850 with an L-bracket and a 70-200mm lens attached!
And despite this strap's small price tag, it offers tons of innovative features that I certainly appreciate.
There's a handy zippered pocket on the shoulder pad where I keep a couple of extra memory cards.
The mounting plate for the bottom of the camera has a rubber padding on it to prevent scratches on the camera.
Another nice feature is that it comes with a three-year guarantee. That's not something you find on many products these days, especially one at this price point!
HiiGuy Camera Strap Review: A Solid Strap for a Great Price
It's not often that you find photography gear that's both excellent quality and low in price. Yet, the HiiGuy camera strap offers both.
For less than $30.00, you can shoot more comfortably, have a more functional workflow, and have the peace of mind that your camera is safe and secure. It's for these reasons that I highly recommend this strap to any and all photographers.
I did a complete HiiGuy camera strap review a few weeks ago, so for a deeper, hands-on look at this amazing little camera strap, be sure to check out my review.