Camera straps. You either love em or hate em. But there are times when it’s hard to deny that they sure make things easier if you need to keep your hands free.
In a team meeting, we noticed that one of our contributors was sporting a new camera strap from BlackRapid. That started a discussion and some tests and now, suffice it to say, we have collectively changed our minds.
We purchased several copies of the BlackRapid Sport X Camera Sling Strap (https://bhpho.to/3hNaIaX) and put it to the test. It comes in black or brown camouflage. The color wasn’t as important to us as the function and right off the bat, we noticed two things we really love about this strap. The first is that it takes ALL the pressure off the neck. The second is that it keeps the camera always at the ready but at your side, instead of across your chest. Turns out, that’s the perfect combo.
We walked around the office and gave the strap the once over but then decided field tests were in order. Each of us set out for a day using the BlackRapid strap in combination with various Sony cameras including the A9, A7III, A7SIII and A7RII. Each of us had the same reaction when we got back to the office. The thing just works like a charm. No muss – no fuss.
When you’re carrying a camera for eight hours a day, you begin to notice the weight. The Black Rapid strap did a great job of distributing that weight in such a way that it wasn’t a burden.
It is a cross-body strap (right or left-handed) that allows very fast access to the camera while keeping it away from your chest. You carry the camera upside down against your waist. Then you simply bring it up to your eye, make your image and let it slide back down out of the way.
Avoiding neck pain was a big goal for us during this test so we paid strict attention to how the Black Rapid strap connected to the body. A 16 x 2.2″ curved, shoulder pad perfectly fit the shoulder and evenly distributed the weight of the camera. The company uses TPE foam and poly air mesh to improve air flow and comfort. The real secret to this working is the underarm, stabilizer strap. It keeps the sling in place (unlike other similar straps I’ve tried) and it’s not at all uncomfortable. We tested this on a hot day and the camera strap never caused any of us to feel hot.
You may be concerned (as we were) about how the camera mounts to the strap. This system has dramatically improved since the first versions of the Black Rapid strap appeared.
How it works is you use a locking carabiner to hang your camera to a BlackRapid FR-5 fastener. (It also works with lenses that have a 1/4″-20 mount.) A plastic Lockstar protector folds over the carabiner and prevents it from accidentally unlocking while also helping to prevent the carabiner from scratching the camera or lens.
That’s it. The design is perfect. As people who spend a lot of time with a camera in hand, the choice of a camera strap is no small thing. For less than $70, the BlackRapid Sport X Camera Sling Strap won us over.