Protect Your Camera: Always Use a Strap
It may seem obvious but it’s a good idea to use a camera strap. In some parts of the world, shoulder carry makes the camera vulnerable to theft, so be aware of what’s going on around you when you find yourself in dodgy surroundings. The neck strap is part of the camera’s basic equipment and fulfills the important role of protecting the camera from being dropped. While you may think that, “this would never happen to me,” It happen to two of my students during a workshop in Montana. Both photographers were experienced but I watched one drop an expensive pro digital SLR onto extremely rocky ground while we were traversing it. While the damage was minor, the camera was damaged and required expensive repair. Another photographer dropped a mid-level SLR cracking its top-mounted LCD panel. We’re all human and make mistakes but simply using a camera strap not only saves money by protecting your camera from harm but keeps you from looking foolish in front of your friends.
Using a strap not only makes carrying your camera easier, it increases your readiness to shoot. No fumbling around, just grab the camera and shoot. Even changing lenses is easier and safer if the camera is securely hanging around your neck. There is no right and wrong in strap lengths. The length of the strap should match your body (not the camera’s) and attaching a strap is not all that hard. Make it part of your standard unboxing procedure when purchasing any new camera. I’ll use the camera brand strap if I have to and while they’re generally better than nothing I prefer using straps such as Lowepro’s Transporter. It costs less than twenty bucks and the strap may be adjusted to a variety of lengths and has a detachable wallet for quick access to memory cards while shooting. It has two side release buckles provide quick interchangeability with another camera body while double ladder-locks ensure camera security.
I never liked hanging two cameras around my neck during a shoot because something always seems to go awry. The cameras end up banging into one another and in one infamous incident I set an SLR down on a table while photographing a beautiful model on a movie set and later bumped backwards into that same piece of furniture only to be greeted by the sound of crashing, busted metal and broken glass accompanied by the destruction of my EF 135 f/2.8 SF lens. Who needs that? CameraSlingers offers a camera strap that hangs two SLRs around your shoulders and whose clever design protects both you and your gear. In the above photo a heavier version of myself is trying one on at a previous PMA show. You can use whatever kind of camera strap suits your fashion sense, just remember to use one.