Camera straps are one of the most underrated pieces of camera gear.
A good camera strap can make your shooting experience much more comfortable and can also help protect your camera.
There are many different types of camera straps available on the market, so it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.
In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of camera straps available, how to pick the right one for you, and why camera straps are necessary.
Why You Need A Camera Strap
Camera straps are necessary because they help to keep your camera safe.
If you are carrying your camera around without a strap, it is more likely to fall and break.
Camera straps also help to distribute the weight of the camera so that you can carry it for longer periods of time without getting tired.
Can You Use The Strap That Came With Your Camera?
The strap that came with your camera is probably just fine – and if it’s not, most manufacturers sell replacement straps on their websites.
That said, there are a lot of great aftermarket camera straps out there, so don’t feel like you’re stuck with the one that came with your camera.
Different Types of Camera Straps
There are many different types of camera straps available on the market.
The most popular type of camera strap is the neck strap. In fact, most cameras you buy will come with some kind of branded neckstrap.
Neck straps are typically made from nylon or leather and loop around your neck. These straps usually have a padded section that rests on your shoulder for added comfort.
Neck straps tend to have a poor reputation. This is probably due to their commonality and more than their function. Neck straps just aren’t that exciting!
The truth is that while neck straps can be more restrictive than, say, a wrist strap, they are one of the best ways to keep your camera safe, thanks to their practical around-the-neck design.
Shoulder Strap or “Sling Strap”
Shoulder or “Sling” staps are similar in appearance to neck straps — essentially a large loop that connects to your camera.
The key difference is that these straps hang over one of your shoulders or across your body like you were carrying a laptop bag — as opposed to around your neck.
This design takes the weight off of your neck and places it on your shoulder and chest. Some may find this weight distribution to be more comfortable than a neck strap.
Wrist straps are another popular type of camera strap.
They loop around your wrist and, depending on the style and material, may have a padded section for added comfort.
These are much less restrictive than neck and shoulder straps but don’t provide the same support.
With wrist straps, you are still required to hold your camera normally. Wrist straps can be thought of as more of a safety mechanism — if you drop your camera, the wrist strap will catch it before it hits the ground.
Because of their smaller size, wrist straps are often made with thinner, less bulky material than other straps. This means that picking a strong material is extremely important.
I would recommend looking for a wrist strap made of paracord or something with similar strength and reliability.
Hand straps are similar to wrist straps, but they loop around your hand instead of your wrist.
These are also less restrictive than neck and shoulder straps but offer a little more support thanks to their snug design.
Where wrist straps do not support your camera at all when shooting, hand straps allow you to loosen your grip on your camera — making shooting for long periods of time a little more comfortable.
Camera holsters aren’t exactly straps, but they do fulfill much of the same purpose.
These devices come in two parts: A clip that is attached to your camera, and the holster itself, which will either attach to your belt buckle or include its own belt.
When you are not shooting, simply slide the clip on your camera into the holster.
These gadgets are great for scenarios where you require complete freedom and quick access to your camera.
Double Camera Strap or “Harness Straps”
Double camera straps allow a photographer to carry two cameras by their side at once.
These straps are popular among wedding photographers, photojournalists, and anyone who requires quick access to multiple cameras.
Double camera straps come in a few varieties, but many utilize a harness-style design for maximum strength and reliability.
Chest Carrier System
A chest carrier system is essentially a vest with a clip on the chest where your camera can be rested.
Chest carrier systems are probably overkill for most photographers, but serious “on-the-go” photographers will find them useful.
These systems are recommended for sports photographers and photojournalists.
Adjustable Vs. Fixed Straps
When it comes to camera straps, there are two main types: adjustable and fixed.
On the one hand, adjustable camera straps allow you to find the perfect length for your body and gear.
They can be easily tightened or loosened as needed, allowing you to achieve a comfortable and secure fit.
Additionally, these straps usually have additional features like metal buckles for extra durability.
On the other hand, fixed camera straps offer a more simplified design that is both stylish and low-maintenance.
Unlike adjustable straps, they are not prone to unravelling or slipping out of place over time.
Camera Strap Materials
Nylon is a very popular and widely used material.
This material is strong and affordable, making it excellent for camera straps.
Most kit neck straps are made of this material.
Wool might not be the strongest material on this list, but is great for wrist and neck straps thanks to its comfort. Just keep in mind some grades of wool can be itchy!
Leather is arguably the most stylish camera strap material. It is also quite sturdy.
Be aware that leather products tend to wear and change colour over time — so consider picking a dark shade of leather to begin with.
Paracord is literally used in parachutes, so it should be strong enough to hold your camera.
This material is an excellent material for camera straps, especially in cases when thin but sturdy material is preferable, like wrist straps for example.
Neoprene is a style of synthetic rubber. Because of this, it is fairly strong and essentially waterproof.
Because it is rubber, neoprene is also fairly flexible and durable, making it ideal for more adventurous photographers
Wax canvas is a fairly sturdy material that is often coated in a water-resistant coating.
These characteristics make wax canvas ideal for use in camera straps — especially when shooting in rainy conditions.
Connectors & Clips
Number Of Connections
The number of connection points will impact whether you can use a double connection strap or a one connection strap.
If your camera has two connections on either side, then you will be free to use a neck or shoulder strap.
If your camera only has one connection, don’t fret, you can still use a wrist or hand strap. If your camera has no connections, you can still use a holster or chest carrier system as these typically utilize your camera’s 1/4 inch threading to connect.
Style Of Connections
Different straps have different methods of connection and some don’t have any method of connection.
Straps with connectors will often use some form of a clip. These allow you to detach your camera from the strap with ease. In some cases, part of the strap will stay connected to your camera’s connector, but the bulk of the strap will disconnect.
You don’t need a strap with detachable connections, but if you don’t want your camera attached to a strap all of the time, you may want to choose a strap with this option.
Factors To Consider When Picking A Camera Strap
There are a few different factors to keep in mind when picking a camera strap.
Camera Type (DSLR, Point & Shoot, Etc)
The first thing to consider is your camera type.
For example, if you have a small, light point-and-shoot camera, then you may not need to rely on a strap to take the strain off of your camera. This means a wrist strap might be ideal for you.
However, if you are shooting with a hefty DSLR, a heavy-duty neck or shoulder strap made of may be ideal.
If you are a professional wedding photographer or photojournalist, then a double camera strap could be required.
Next, consider your shooting style.
If you’re a casual nature photographer who enjoys snapping a few photos on long walks, then a neck or shoulder strap is likely ideal.
If you’re more into street photography, something discreet like a wrist or hand strap might be more your speed — these allow you to hold your camera by your side, making it far less noticeable.
Style And Material Preferences
Style and material are both very important when choosing a camera strap.
Obviously, choosing a strong material that is suitable for the weight of your camera is crucial.
Make sure to research the maximum weight capacity or “payload” of a strap before picking it to hold your camera.
That said, there are many suitable material options to pick from, and that is where style preference comes in.
When carrying your camera around all day, a camera strap essentially becomes a fashion accessory — so pick a good-looking one!
Some straps feature interesting patterns either printed or woven into them in order to improve their visual appeal.
Others, like some paracord straps, are actually braided to create both a stronger product and an interesting design.
The last factor to consider is how much you are willing and able to invest in a strap.
If you don’t have much to spend then I would recommend sticking to the strap that was included with your camera. This way, you know that your strap was literally designed to protect your camera. It may not be the most stylish option, but it works.
On the other hand, f you have a budget, I wouldn’t recommend buying a cheap strap. Spending the money to invest in a strong, well-built strap could save you money and grief in the long run!
Camera Strap FAQs
What Camera Straps Do Professionals Use?
Most pros using one camera use a neck strap or a shoulder strap.
Neck-straps are the most popular type of camera strap because they are comfortable and they distribute the weight of the camera evenly.
Shoulder straps are also popular because they allow you to keep your hands free.
Pros using two cameras will often be seen sporting a double camera strap.
Do All Camera Straps Work For All Cameras?
There are clearly many styles of camera straps to choose from, but do all camera straps work with all cameras?
The answer is, unfortunately, no.
Depending on the size and shape of your camera, you may need a specific type of camera strap.
For example, DSLR cameras typically require a stronger, heavier-duty type of strap than compact point-and-shoot cameras.
When in doubt, consult your camera’s manual or the manufacturer’s website to find out.
What Is The Standard Length Of A Camera Strap?
The standard length of a camera strap is usually about 60 inches.
However, there are also straps available in lengths of up to 72 inches.
If you’re tall or have a long torso, you may want to opt for a longer strap.
How Is A Camera Strap Measured?
The length of a camera strap is typically measured from end to end, including any hardware.
This is the easiest way to get an accurate measurement, and it ensures that the strap will be the right length for your camera.
If you need a shorter or longer strap, you can always adjust the length by adding or removing links.
However, keep in mind that the links may add some bulk to the strap, and they may also make it more difficult to adjust the length on the fly.
As a result, it’s usually best to choose a strap with the right length for your needs.
With a little bit of trial and error, you should be able to find a camera strap that’s comfortable and easy to use.
How Wide Should Your Camera Strap Be?
This is really a matter of personal preference, but as a general rule of thumb, your camera strap should be wide enough to distribute the weight of your camera evenly across your shoulder.
This will help prevent pain in your neck and back.
How High Should Your Camera Strap Be?
The general rule of thumb is that your camera strap should be positioned so that the camera hangs at about armpit level.
This may vary slightly depending on your height and the length of the strap, but it’s a good starting point.
From there, you can adjust the position of the strap as needed to find what’s comfortable for you personally.
We hope you found this guide helpful! Camera straps are a necessary part of photography, and we hope you now have a better understanding of how to pick the right one for you.