Best Camera Straps

Best Camera Straps Reviews

If you've ever purchased a digital camera and tried to use the camera strap the manufacturer includes for any length of time, you've probably discovered that they leave a lot to be desired.

Fortunately, there is a huge market for camera straps out there with a number of great options available, no matter what you're looking for.

We've searched high and low to find the best camera straps available, and here are a few of our favourites.

What to Watch For When Buying a Camera Strap

Choosing the best camera strap is often a difficult decision, as there are a number of things to consider that you might not have thought of.

We'll take you through all the important points you need to watch out for so that you can be sure your new camera strap will be a joy to use.

Strength

Probably the most important consideration when buying a camera strap is how much weight the strap can handle safely.

Not all straps are created equally, and the last thing you want to have happen to your camera is for the strap to unexpectedly let go, smashing your camera and lens into the ground.

This would be bad enough if it happened in the studio, but if you're travelling while it happens you might not be able to get a replacement camera in time to finish shooting the rest of your trip.

When examining the strength of your next camera strap, there are several areas that you should pay close attention to.

The most crucial area is where the strap actually attaches to the camera, as this is the place that suffers the most strain and where most issues develop.

Different manufacturers have different ways of solving this problem, from knotted loops to metal anchors, but no matter what style you choose, make sure that the fastening system is strong enough to support the weight of your camera.

Otherwise, make sure that any stitching is properly reinforced to provide adequate strength, and make sure that any fasteners, clips or other items are made out of metal.

You don't want to trust your precious camera to a cheap plastic bracket!

Size

Since photographers come in all shapes and sizes, cameras straps do too - but not all of them offer a complete size range in a single product.

Make sure that your choice has an adjustable strap length to ensure that you'll be able to find a comfortable size no matter how you choose to wear it.

You may want to switch up your wearing style mid-way through a day of shooting, and a properly adjustable strap will work with you instead of limiting your options.

At the same time, it's important to make sure that the fasteners for your camera strap are compatible with your particular camera.

Most DSLRs have large, heavy-duty metal brackets built into the camera body, but lighter compact cameras may not provide the same option, and a larger strap connector may not fit at all.

Many straps require the usage of a standard 1/4-inch tripod mounting bracket, so double-check to see if your camera has this option.

Comfort

Once you're sure that your strap will support your camera/lens config, it's important to make sure that it's comfortable enough to use for an entire day of shooting.

Most of the straps that camera manufacturers include free with their cameras are fine for an hour or two, but most third-party camera straps are much more comfortable and won't cause you any problems even after plenty of use.

There are several different ways that manufacturers can pad their straps but no matter what you're going to want to have padding of some type.

If you're using a mirrorless camera with a very small lens or some other extremely lightweight config, you might be able to get away with an unpadded strap.

It's usually worth it to choose one that won't chafe or dig too heavily into your skin.

Choosing a strap with a nice wide band will help prevent it from binding, and will also help distribute the weight of your camera more evenly for comfortable all-day shooting.

The last comfort aspect to consider is the material, although some of this will come down to personal preference.

Some photographers prefer a well-textured strap that won't slide around too much, while some prefer a smooth strap that slides easily.

Some even prefer a rubberized surface to keep their camera as motionless as possible.

It all comes down to your shooting style, and how you plan to wear your strap: around the neck, over the shoulder, sling-style, or even wrapped around your wrist!

Flexibility & Ease of Use

As we just mentioned, there are several different ways you can wear your camera strap, but not all straps make this kind of flexibility easy.

If you only ever wear your strap around your neck, your choice is simple, but if you like to switch things up occasionally it can be useful to have a strap that works with you instead of limiting you.

Anti-theft

An unfortunate reality of travel photography is the danger of theft.

When you're out in a new place with expensive camera equipment, you might suddenly find yourself the victim of a 'snatch and grab' robbery attempt.

These kinds of crimes are difficult to prevent, but a good solid camera strap can make the difference between keeping your gear intact and having to replace your camera.

Some camera straps have quick-release latches near where they attach to the camera body, which can be useful when you're in the studio but aren't always a good idea when you're shooting on location in a new place.

If you follow our earlier advice and choose a heavily reinforced strap, you should be able to avoid this kind of disaster!

Bonus: Style

Style isn't really a must-have element for a camera strap, but it can be a nice added feature.

It won't matter for those of you who are shooting landscapes while you're out hiking, but if you're travelling through a fashionable city it can be helpful to look your best!

A well-chosen strap may even help convince passers by to let you photograph them, so don't completely ignore style as a consideration - just make sure it's not your primary concern.

Our Favorite Camera Straps

4V Design Lusso

Designed by Italian photography/leather aficionados at 4V Design, the Lusso Large camera strap is one of the more stylish options that we looked at.

But don't let the style aspect fool you into thinking this strap is just a prop - it's got a bunch of great features that make it one of our favourite choices for travel photography.

The strap is a combination of hand-crafted Italian leather and thickly woven cotton, and the strap's shoulder pad is filled with "slow" memory foam which is comfortable enough to let you carry your camera all day.

Additionally, the strap comes with an optional universal attachment kit which allows you to attach it to any kind of camera from a compact to a medium-format camera without worry.

Overall a very well built strap which combines solidity and comfort.

Sun-Sniper Rotaball Pro

This camera strap from German manufacturer Sun-Sniper is easily the most feature-rich strap that we looked at, and each one helps to put this strap in a class by itself.

It has a solid support system that starts with how it attaches to your camera.

It uses a single round 'rotaball' connector attached to the tripod mount that works like a ball head mount on a tripod, allowing free movement without twisting the strap.

Combine that with a thick shoulder pad and a series of shock absorbers designed to relieve the stress on your shoulder and spine caused by long periods of walking, and you're ready for a full day of on-the-go photography.

The Rotaball Pro is also one of the strongest straps we looked at.

You can use it with almost any camera and lens configuration, even a medium-format camera with a large lens.

Sun-sniper claims that the strap can support up to 83 kg, although they recommend that you only use it for cameras that weigh up to 5 kg - although very few cameras actually weigh that much.

They've also woven a steel cable through the strap to prevent slash-and-grab thefts, which are all too common among travelling photographers.

Altura Photo Rapid Fire

At the more affordable end of the spectrum is the Rapid Fire from Altura Photo, but that doesn't mean it's a low-quality piece.

This strap has a solid mounting system that attaches to a standard tripod mount, but you can still mount your camera on a tripod without removing the strap attachment thanks to its unique design.

While the metal clip that provides the main attachment to the mount is sturdy, you might find yourself catching the tip of the latch on clothes or other objects - so Altura has compensated for this by adding in a secondary attachment that connects to the standard strap mounts found on most DSLRs.

The Rapid Fire also has an easily-adjustable strap length, topped by a thick shoulder pad lined with non-slip rubberized cloth to prevent your camera from sliding down your shoulder as you walk.

The pad has a convenient zippered pocket, although it's a bit too small for anything other than a few extra memory cards and a microfiber lens cleaning cloth.

Peak Design SL-2

The Peak Design SL-2 hardly has the most distinctive name, but the designers evidently took their time with the strap itself, so we can forgive the naming issue.

Made out of car seatbelt-style webbing with internal padding, it manages to stay comfortable without the bulk of the shoulder pads seen on other camera straps.

It has quick-adjust buckles made of aluminium that allow you to change the length of the strap with one hand, from 145cm at the longest to 99cm at the shortest.

The strap is also quickly reversible so you can choose whether you want to use a smooth surface or a non-slip surface.

The most interesting thing about this strap is its versatility, which comes from the multiple different ways it can be attached to your camera.

If you want a normal around-the-neck strap, you can attach the proprietary 'Anchor Link' connectors to your DSLR's strap holders, or you can use a single strap holder combined with the tripod mount baseplate to turn it into a sling-style strap.

Anchor Link connectors aren't made of metal, but they're rated to withstand over 90 kg of force, so your camera will stay safe and secure.

Ona Presidio

The Ona Presidio is the simplest strap we looked at, but sometimes simple is all you need for a day of casual travel shooting.

The Presidio is handmade from Italian leather and waxed canvas, and has a well-stitched neoprene shoulder pad for almost the entire length of the strap.

It's also available in a range of colour options, so if style is important to you, you might want to take a closer look at this strap.

The strap is not the most adjustable in terms of its length, with a drop length between 19.5" and 23" and an overall length of 63", but it will fit most people comfortably.

Just make sure that you don't try to use a heavy camera and lens combination here, because this strap is only rated for 6 pounds of weight.

Our Best Pick

After our careful review, we feel the best camera strap we looked at was the German-designed Sun-Sniper Rotaball Pro.

While it's not the most attractive strap we looked at, it has a combination of features that will appeal to both casual travel photographers and dedicated landscape photographers alike.

It is one of the strongest straps we looked at, supporting weights of up to 83 kg, and it has a solid steel cable woven through the strap for added security and to deter thieves.

Despite this strength it manages to stay comfortable, thanks to its thickly-padded shoulder section and its built-in shock absorbers.

For anyone who does a lot of walking while they're out shooting, this strap will make sure that your focus can be on your photography and not on your comfort level.



Best Camera Straps

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About the Author Luca

Hi, I am Luca, founder and editor in chief at photographyambition.com. I am crazy about photography and I always have a camera with me. When I am not busy with my day job, enjoying my family or taking photos, I am on Photography Ambition to share what I have learnt so far.

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