photo by LDProd via iStock
Believe it or not, the camera strap you use can have a huge impact on how you go about your photography business.
Get it wrong, and you could be dealing with undue pain in your neck, shoulders, and back. Get it right, and you could vastly improve your workflow and be much more productive.
Whether you’re after a sling strap, a camera harness, or a traditional camera neck strap, each kind of camera strap has its benefits and detriments.
Learn what kind of camera strap is right for you in this quick guide.
Editor’s Note: To illustrate the various kinds of camera straps, I use my personal experience with Holdfast products. I’ve tested many straps over the years, and few come close to the quality of construction, the comfort, and the functionality of Holdfast.
Camera Neck Strap
photo by MarioGuti via iStock
The strap that came with your camera is nothing special. Sure, it’s pretty durable and highly adjustable, which are both good things. It’s also free, which is tough to beat!
Of course, they aren’t the most comfortable straps in the world. The flimsy construction gives you essentially no padding, so after a while out shooting, the strap can dig into your neck and cause lots of discomfort.
If you’re on a budget and simply can’t afford a new strap, the camera neck strap that came with your camera will work okay. But believe me - you’ll want to save up to upgrade your strap sooner rather than later!
Camera Sling Strap
What’s great about a camera sling strap is that it’s more comfortable than a camera neck strap and it’s a more functional design, too.
My camera sling strap is a Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo, and I can shoot all day long and not feel the least bit of discomfort.
Where some entry-level sling straps allow your camera to kind of bang around on your hip, the MoneyMaker Solo has a little gadget called a Belt Anchor, which, as you might expect, anchors the camera to your belt.
That’s a handy feature when you’re walking, sitting, and stooping to get shots because your camera stays put right on your hip. Just pull a tab to release it for the shot and with a quick one-handed motion, you can anchor the camera back to your belt again.
Something else I appreciate about this sling strap is the big, contoured shoulder pad. I can’t stress enough how important a good shoulder pad is for a sling strap - or any other strap, for that matter.
You want a shoulder pad that offers good coverage so it distributes the weight of the camera over a larger area. What’s more, as I’ve discovered with my MoneyMaker Solo, it’s nice if there’s a stabilizing strap of some kind to keep the shoulder pad in place.
The MoneyMaker Solo has such a stabilizer strap, so gone are the days of me having to constantly adjust the shoulder pad on my shoulder.
Now, the MoneyMaker Solo isn’t something I’d recommend for DSLR users...
Instead, it’s the best camera strap for mirrorless cameras and compact cameras I’ve ever used. It’s lightweight, simple design combined with its full-grain leather construction and stainless steel hardware make it a workhorse for single camera shooters with a small camera.
Get more details on this camera sling strap in my Holdfast Gear MoneyMaker Solo review.
Quick Tip: Need something even more streamlined and lightweight for a point-and-shoot camera? Try a camera wrist strap! Wrist straps are ideal for small cameras because they give you a secure way to carry your camera while still providing easy access to the camera for quick shots. Learn more about point-and-shoot cameras and wrist straps.
If you’re a photographer that needs to have two or even three cameras available to you at a moment’s notice, a camera harness is definitely the way to go.
Naturally, a camera harness helps distribute the weight of all that gear over both shoulders, thereby minimizing neck and shoulder fatigue in a way that a traditional camera neck strap simply cannot do.
While there are plenty of camera harnesses out there, my particular favorite is the Holdfast MoneyMaker, the big brother of the aforementioned MoneyMaker Solo.
I’ve had a MoneyMaker harness for years, and the comfort and functionality it provides has been unmatched.
That’s because the Holdfast Moneymaker is made of gorgeous full-grain leather that has conformed to my shoulders over the years for a glove-like fit. It is supremely comfortable.
From a functionality standpoint, having my cameras right there at my fingertips gives me instant access for quick shots. What’s more, you can add accessories to the MoneyMaker to increase its functionality further.
I don’t shoot many events or weddings, but you can bet that when I do, the MoneyMaker is the camera strap for me.
Final Thoughts: What Kind of Camera Strap is Right For You?
Photo by Miss Zhang on Unsplash
As I’ve outlined here, a traditional camera neck strap is great if you’re on a budget while a sling strap offers convenience and more comfort. Meanwhile a camera harness is the way to go if you need to carry a ton of gear.
If you’re like me, you might need one or more of these straps, that way you have the best setup for the particular shooting situation.
Photo by Håkon Sataøen on Unsplash
I like to use my sling strap when I’m running and gunning with a single camera and want to work quickly.
When a heavy-duty gig calls, I use a camera harness so I have everything I need at my fingertips to facilitate an improved workflow.
When judging what camera strap is right for you, think about how you work and which of these straps best suits that situation. As I said earlier, your strap could very well determine how well you work, and that, in turn, can influence the quality of your photos.
All photos of MoneyMaker Solo and MoneyMaker are by Brandon Burk