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Camera Straps: Shoot Like the Pros

Compared to the technical considerations that go into picking the perfect camera, camera straps are easy to overlook. But that doesn’t mean they’re not vitally important, especially if lug your camera around for hours and hours on end. 

Whether you’re a professional photographer who shoots in the field all day long, or a hobbyist just starting out, here’s a quick look at everything you need to know about choosing the best camera straps for your gear.

Benefits of Camera Straps

So, why use a camera strap at all? For starters, they help prevent your camera being dropped and damaged. They can also help minimize the risk of theft by tethering the camera to your body, which is especially helpful when you’re travelling. If you’re using a heavy camera, such as a DSLR, the right strap can make carrying the camera around for hours on end much more comfortable. Finally, camera straps give you the freedom to stay hands-free while still keeping your camera ready to snap the perfect shot.

Types of Camera Straps

The type of camera strap you need will depend on the type of cameras you use and how you’ll be using them. Wrist straps and hands straps are great for smaller and lighter models, such as point-and-shoot and compact cameras. They’re also ideal when you’re only taking pictures for a short stretch of time, such as at a family event.

Neck straps and sling straps are best suited for heavier cameras, such as DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. They give you hands-free mobility while keeping your camera ready at a moment’s notice. This makes them ideal for when you’re carrying the camera for hours and hours on end, such as when you’re on vacation or when you’re the principal photographer at a wedding. 

A dual-camera strap (also known as a camera harness) is something a professional photographer will get the most value out of. These straps sit across both shoulders and let you easily carry a pair of heavy duty DSLRs. This way you can optimize each camera for a specific type of photography and quickly switch between them on the fly.

Other Considerations When Choosing a Camera Strap 

Beyond the type of strap you need, you’ll also want to consider the type of material the strap is made from, as well as the overall design. Many straps are made from synthetic materials and fabrics, such as nylon or polyester. These are comparatively inexpensive and ideal for most photographers. Leather camera straps, on the other hand, offer the most robust durability and are often the most comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. 

If your camera (or cameras) are on the heavier side, you might benefit from a strap that has lots of built-in padding. Another option for anyone with a heavy camera is a strap that’s extra-wide. This redistributes the weight of your camera more evenly across your shoulders or over your neck.