As far as camera accessories go a camera strap is not as sexy as a prime lens with an über wide aperture or a carbon fibre tripod. But if your camera, lens and flash combination is above a certain weight a comfortable camera strap is a necessity. I find it quite surprising that straps that come with high end DSLRs are really cheap, uncomfortable and tend to be more of a camera advert than a strap.
Around 2004 when I got my first heavy camera body (Canon EOS 1 film) I got an awesome neoprene camera strap from Jessops. The Strap managed to outlast Jessops and I used it with several cameras. After 10 years some of the plastic parts started to split so it was time to find a replacement, luckily for me I discovered the Split Strap. I’ve been using the Split Strap for 6 months with my 2.5kg (5.5lb) DSLR + lens and have found it really comfortable.
One third of the Split Strap’s 1.1m length is neoprene (the same stretchy stuff wetsuits are made from) which means when you walk the camera bounces slightly which takes some strain off your neck. The Spilt Strap comes with two sets of attachments which allows you to swap the strap between two cameras quickly. Anyone that has tried to move a strap from one camera to another knows how fiddly it can be so this is a nice little touch. An added bonus of the quick release is that the strap can be removed once the camera is placed on a tripod, I’ve found a strap can sometimes flap in the wind which can vibrate a camera which is not good when shooting a long exposure or time-lapse.
Because the ends of the strap are detachable it means attaching them to a camera is really easy. The ends of the strap are simply looped through themselves. Usually with a one part strap you have to put the ends of the strap through a small buckle, then through the camera and finally throw the buckle again.
If you have a small hybrid camera or entry level DSLR with a kit lens you probably won’t need a Spilt Strap. If on the other hand you find you get a neck ache from your standard strap I could not recommend the Split Strap more for the price.
The Split Strap is available from Photojojo for $25.00 (£15).
As it’s the gift buying time of year you might also be interested in my cheap photo gift guide from last year.