BlackRapid camera straps review
If you've been using a DSLR as much as I have, you'll soon figure out that a good strap is a must. The standard camera strap that came with my Canon 5D really is not great, you either hang it around your neck (and then you look like a tourist) or you hang it over one arm (which is not comfy) or you put the strap across your body, which is actually not bad (but the strap is short so getting the camera strap on and off is a mission!).
BlackRapid is here to save the day. I recently heard about them after reading about a couple other pro photographers using them to shoot weddings. Seemed like a great system so I contacted Willem from Sunshine Co. (the distributor of BlackRapid in S.A), who is a super cool guy. He gave me a BlackRapid Sport to test out. I took it out a few times around the Cape Town CBD to do some street photography, and it is perfect for that. I used the BlackRapid strap on a wedding shoot I did recently, and it was amazing to use. Shooting weddings I'm often using the 70-200 lens or other heavy lenses, so being able to hang the camera and lens to the side is a blessing.
What makes BlackRapid Straps different
So why would you want a BlackRapid Strap and what makes it different? BlackRapid have a patented system using a fastener, carabiner combo. The fastener connects to your tripod connecter underneath the camera and then a carabiner on the strap clips onto the fastener. Then my favourite part. Your camera sits on your side and you can slide it up whenever you want to shoot. There are two clips that clip the camera fastener in place so it doesn't move when you're walking about.
I checked out two of the BlackRapid straps:
The BlackRapid Sport
This is punted as the camera strap for active people. I used it at a wedding I shot recently and to be honest it felt like a bit overkill with the clips under the arm, although you can take that off the clips if you want. This would be perfect for proper outdoor use, like if you're hiking or climbing.
The Cross Shot
Initially I looked at this strap, and wasn't sure which one to try out. The Cross Shot is a lot simpler compared to the BlackRapid Sport. It has a silicone type padding at the shoulder and a plain strap, but otherwise it uses the same carabiner/fastener system as the Sport. I love this one, the orange colour is super cool!
What I loved about the BlackRapid straps
- The straps are super easy to use, and make shooting a breeze, especially if you're shooting for 8 + hours.
- The padding was awesome!
- The clips feel secure, and you feel that your camera is safe
- The Cross shot comes in super cool orange (but I'm not sure something so bright is so great)
What I didn't like about the BlackRapid Straps
- I can't really say anything bad. They're all awesome camera straps to use, and there is a version for every budget. The Blackrapid straps range from R600 - R2000 (depending what you want.)
Where to buy the BlackRapid straps
And lastly, here is a photo of me using the BlackRapid sport. I looked a bit dorky here...