Types of Camera Straps
When it comes to camera straps, there are four basic types to choose from:
- Neck straps
- Sling straps
- Wrist straps
- Holster straps
As you probably guessed, a neck strap is a camera strap that you wear around your neck. These straps are particularly handy if you want to keep your camera safely nestled on your front and you want to have it within arm’s reach. Neck straps come in a variety of widths, thicknesses, lengths and materials. They also come in a wide range of designs, including solid colors, printed patterns and designs that feature bold logos. A neck strap is ideal for a professional photographer or someone who uses their camera often and wants to have it in easy reach.
A camera sling is a strap that allows you to literally ‘sling’ the camera over your shoulder and across your body; think a cross body bag. The main benefit of a camera sling is that it allows you to pick the camera up and hold it to your eye without having to take it off of your shoulder; the camera slides up the sling and then slides back down, which is possible thanks to a metal fastener that is shaped kind of like a little metal donut. If you enjoy snapping photos while you are back packing, hiking or partaking in any other activity that involves more intensity than a casual stroll, a camera sling is an excellent choice.
If you enjoy carrying your camera in your hand, you will love a wrist strap. This type of strap affords you the ability to conveniently carry your strap in your hand, but it provides you with security and peace of mind. Because the camera is attached to the strap, which is attached to your wrist, you don’t have to worry about having it knocked out of your hand, which can end up costing you a pretty penny and can be quite inconvenient.
As the name suggests, a holster camera strap is designed just like a holster. It attached to the hip and allows you to keep your hands free while keeping your camera safely tucked by your side for easy access. A holster also allows you to take the weight off of your shoulders, your wrist or your neck. If you use more than one camera, you can easily use two or three holsters.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Camera Strap
When shopping for a camera strap, there are certain factors that you are going to want to take into consideration. These factors will ensure that you purchase the best camera strap for your specific needs, will provide you with greater peace of mind and will allow you to use your camera with greater ease.
How do you use your camera? Do you tend to use it more while you are engaged in physical activities, like hiking or backpacking? Are you a professional photographer? Are you a hobby shooter who likes taking photos of friends and family members? How you use your camera is an important factor to consider, as it will help you select the best type of camera for your specific needs.
Where would you find it more comfortable to carry your camera? Around your neck? On your wrist? As a sling on your side? On your hip? You want to make sure that you will be comfortable carrying your camera, so make sure you know where carrying it will be the most comfortable for you.
One of the most important factors that you should take into consideration when shopping for a camera strap is the length. You want to make sure that the strap is long enough to be comfortable, but you don’t want it to be too long that it is difficult to use. Most camera straps can be adjusted, which allows you to modify the length; however, if the strap is too long or too short, no matter how much you adjust it, you are going to get the right fit.
You also want to consider the thickness of the camera strap. Generally speaking, the thicker the strap, the more secure the camera will be; however, a thicker strap is also bulkier, which could end up being heavy and could cause you to sweat, making you a bit uncomfortable while carrying your camera around.
Camera straps feature a myriad of designs. They can be solid colored, feature bright patterns, or they can be boast the name of the manufacturer. Think about the look that you want to go for when selecting your camera strap, as it will become an accessory.
Camera straps are usually made of leather or synthetic materials, such as nylon. Leather is great if you want a natural material. It’s also strong and attractive. However, the downside of leather is that it can get hot, and as it heats up, the leather can expand, making it less secure. Synthetic materials, like nylon, tend to be more breathable than leather, and they are also hypoallergenic, so if you have skin sensitivities, this type of material may be a better option for you; but, with repeated use, nylon can fray, which can reduce its strength and make it look less professional.
You also want to consider the price of the camera strap. These accessories vary in price, ranging from 10s of dollars to upwards of $150 or more. Make sure you budget how much you want to spend before you start shopping so that you can avoid spending more than you want to.
Camera Strap Features
Like the majority of products, camera straps can be outfitted with different features. These features are designed to improve your use, making the camera strap more convenient and comfortable. However, do keep in mind that features do come with a price, so if you don’t need a certain feature, you should avoid buying a camera strap that boasts one, so as to avoid spending money unnecessarily.
To improve comfort, many camera straps feature padding. Padding can vary. On some straps, it is attached to the outside interior portion of the strap, while on others, the padding is sewn in between two layers. Leather camera straps, for example, can feature padding that is made of a natural cotton or a shearling material, and it is usually attached to outside of the interior portion of the strap. Other camera straps may feature a padding that is made of foam or another synthetic material, which is usually sewn to the inside of two panels of fabric.
All camera straps feature clips, which are used to affix the strap to the camera. These clips can either be buckles, or they can be a bungee material. Generally speaking, a bungee clip is easier to work with, as you don’t have to worry about struggling with pulling the buckle and getting the right fit.
If you have a waterproof camera and you plan on using it in the water or the rain, look for a camera strap that is constructed of waterproof material. This material repels water, allowing the strap to get wet without having to worry about it being damaged. Also, many waterproof camera straps are also buoyant, which means that if you drop your camera, the strap will keep it afloat.
If you plan on using your camera with a tripod, but you don’t want to worry about the hassle of removing your camera strap, look for one that features a tripod socket. With this feature, you can attach your camera to a tripod without having to put on and take off your camera case.
Some camera pockets are also outfitted with storage pockets. These pockets are ideal for storing extra batteries, film, memory sticks or anything else that you want to keep on hand. Talk about convenience!
If you want to easily attach and remove your camera from your camera strap, look for one that boasts a quick release feature. With this feature, you can take your camera off of the strap and use it however you want, and then reattach it with total ease.
Best Camera Strap Brands
It seems like there are countless options when it comes to manufacturers who make camera straps. In order to help you find the best camera strap brand, we have done some extensive research and have tested several brands. After our thorough assessment, we have determined that the following camera strap brands are the best of the best.
One of the leading makers of cameras and camera products, we love Nikon camera straps. They offer a wide range of straps and a variety of features, which will ensure that you will be able to find the best camera strap for your specific needs.
Travelteq is another well known maker of camera products, and their camera straps are extremely high quality. We like the array of features that they offer, and we love that they make a wide range of designs and make camera straps that suit a variety of budgets.
TARION crafts high quality camera straps that offer a unique and classy vintage design. We like how durable their straps are and that they are simple, yet easy to use.