There is one thing that really irritates me: the feel of the camera strap on the back of my neck. As time goes on, during a photo shoot, I feel the weight of the camera bearing on the back of my neck and, especially if the weather's hot, the sweaty strap can get really cumbersome.
Last holiday season (2009), I read a blog entry by Lisa Bettany which says that the best DSLR strap out there is the BlackRapids RS5. I checked this out online and, at first, I couldn't really figure out how it works. Good thing there are videos on how to use it, so, I set out to save some money for it.
Now, I am a proud owner of the BlackRapid RS5. It totally has met its promise. All you have to do is put the D-ring to the tripod socket, fasten the clasp on one end of the strap to the D-ring and you're set! (By the way, the D-ring is called FastnR, as in "fastener". Got it?)
When properly connected, the camera hangs upside down with the camera strap running diagonally across your body much like a messenger bag. You set the length of the strap and your camera will be waiting on your side within your grasp ready for your shots. To quote Lisa, you can be like a "photo ninja".
But more than this convenience of the camera being ready all the time, the more important thing is that the weight of the camera is carried by your shoulder not your neck. The weight is distributed comfortably.
And one more advantage - I feel safer not announcing to the whole world the camera brand and model that I am using. These are normally printed on the stock strap that comes with the camera. Somehow, this makes me feel safe.
The RS5 has a pocket big enough for a smartphone, iPod Touch or an iPod Classic. There's a zippered pocket where one can put more CF cards or batteries.
However, I have one reservation with this strap: if I'm going to use a tripod, I will be forced to leave my camera "naked" - strapless - because then, I'd have to remove the FastnR from the camera tripod socket. That will send shivers down my spine... So, I've resolved that I will put the original camera strap if ever I'm gonna use a tripod.
But, this slight set back won't dissuade me from declaring the BlackRapids RS5 the best camera strap in the world! As a matter of fact, if ever I own, or win - I hope I win - another DSLR, I'd get another strap and the couple to join them together. That'd be really sweet! :)
The RS5 can be bought here. If you want a slimmer strap, then you can get the RS4 and RS7. The RS-W1, according to the BlackRapid website, is specifically made for women. The RS-W1 will be made available this summer.
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