Camera Straps, Grips & Belts Explained

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To quote Jeremy Clarkson “We’ve been literally inundated …with an email”. Our email, though, was nothing to do with how we never review sensible cars like the Lamborghini Aventador, or the McLaren P1. No, our email was about the equally thrilling range of camera straps that we stock.

"Dear CamSessories,

I need a camera strap/belt/thing for a friend. I’m confused as to which one I should buy. Can you help?

A** R**********"

This prompted us into thinking – maybe we should explain the best uses for each strap, grip, wrist strap and so on.

First of all, what is the strap going to be used for? A photographer who slopes off in the middle of the night to take uber-long exposures of the night sky probably won’t benefit from this kind of gear, neither will a photographer in a studio taking pictures of cycle bearings, for example. Camera straps are designed for quick access to the camera. They’re designed for comfort when you’re carrying a camera around for a long period of time, and they’re designed to free-up both of your hands when you’re not using the camera. Therefore they’re generally more suitable for photographers who are out-and-about with their camera constantly at their side; street photographer, sports photographer, chasing your kids around the park kind of photographer – you get the idea.

Shoulder Straps

BlackRapid Shoulder straps are an excellent alternative to the neck straps that manufacturers supply with new cameras. Generally constructed of some kind of mystical substance like neoprene, or ballistic nylon, they balance the weight of the camera evenly over the shoulder allowing you to carry a camera all day, without even noticing it

Each shoulder strap manufacturer has a unique selling point. For instance, the B-Glider shoulder strap is designed to be fully compatible with other B-Grip products, allowing you to create a bespoke carrying system. BlackRapid straps are virtually indestructible (we know, we’ve tried) and feature a seamless gliding system with the FastenR and ConnectR.

Matin and Case Logic straps are really light and comfortable.

The up shot is that they all do the same job in their own special way.

"I’m a bit wary about having the camera hanging upside down, will it fall off?"

No, well it will if you don’t fasten it to the chassis of the camera properly, but straps that connect via the tripod mount feel just as secure as those that mount on the, erm, strap mount.

Wrist/Hand Straps

If you prefer to keep hold of your camera then wrist and hand straps are a relatively inexpensive alternative to having your brand new Canon 5D Mk III lay in a million pieces on the floor. They’re designed as a comfortable backup should you ever drop your camera.

"How do wrist/hand straps connect to the camera?"

Some, such as the B-Grip HS, connect between the tripod mount and the strap mount, so you can wear your camera like some kind of battery operated glove. The BlackRapid wrist strap connects to the tripod mount using the FastenR connector.

Camera Clips

As with camera straps, clips - such as the B-Grip UNO - are designed for fast access to your camera. However, unlike camera straps, clips are only meant to hold small lightweight cameras such as mirrorless, bridge and small DSLR’s.

Clips offer versatility because they can be mounted to bag straps, belts, or anything else you can get them to stick to. The camera usually connects to the clip with a quick release plate that attaches to the tripod mount.

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