Looking for a new camera strap can quickly turn into a time-consuming affair. The search can last days as you debate between the different choices. Whatever your reason for needing a new strap – whether for professional work or simply for fashion – you can end up getting bogged down by all the options.
That’s why we’ve created this useful guide for choosing a camera strap. This guide summarizes everything you need to know about the best camera straps and gives examples to check out. Read this guide before you start shopping, and you could end up saving a couple hours. Those are hours you could spend outside with your camera instead!
In this series, we’re going to cover eight types of camera straps. In Part 1, we’ll start with wrist, hand, and finger straps. In Part 2, we’ll talk about neck straps. In Part 3, we’ll discuss sling straps, two-camera harnesses, and camera holsters. Finally, in Part 4, we’ll look at straps for smartphones, in case you ever rely on your phone for photography.
The Best Camera Straps Guide is a 4-part series dedicated to helping photographers buy better camera straps.
Part 1: Wrist, Hand, and Finger Straps
Part 2: Neck Straps
Part 3: Sling Straps, Two-Camera Harnesses, Camera Holsters and Vests
Part 4: Straps for Smartphones
Camera Strap Tips
To begin with, here are some general tips to keep in mind as you look for a new strap.
1. Prioritize quality over fashion. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, but there are a lot of beautiful, poorly-made straps on the market. As fashionable as a strap may be, you should look critically at how well it was made. Is the material and stitching trustworthy? You don’t want to end up with a damaged camera because of a broken strap.
2. Get to know your camera before you buy an expensive new strap. To choose the right strap, you need to know how you prefer using your camera. Do you usually hold it in your hand? Or do you always carry it around your neck? Knowing your preferences will make choosing a strap much easier.
3. Keep your old straps. Even if your new strap is perfect 99% of the time, you’ll want backup options for that 1%. Most photographers have multiple straps for various situations, from a simple backyard shoot to a rugged hike up a mountain. If nothing else, you can use your old strap for a vintage camera you pick up for fun.
4. When considering different materials, think about breathability. You want fabric that won’t leave you sweaty and uncomfortable, especially if the strap is hanging around your neck.
5. Finally, if possible, try out the straps you’re considering. Even if you can’t find the exact strap at a store, you can at least try out similar designs and feel the same material.
These straps are best for photographers who like to carry their camera in their hands. Carrying a camera in your hand is great for getting quick shots, but it’s risky without a strap. Wearing a wrist strap helps cut down on this risk without hampering your freedom.
When choosing a wrist strap, you probably want to avoid straps that are too thin. Otherwise, the strap could cut into your skin and get uncomfortable. Of course, you can (and should!) try out a few at a store to see what’s most comfortable on your wrist.
Altura Photo makes an excellent wrist strap at an affordable price. It fits snugly around your wrist, so you get both comfort and security.
For a sleeker option, check out the Lance wrist straps made with soft polyester cord. They’re strong, well-crafted, and comfortable on the wrist.
There are even floating wrist straps for waterproof cameras. The Tethys Buoyance camera float gets fantastic reviews and comes in bright colors, so you’ll see it immediately in the water.
Like wrist straps, a hand strap keeps the camera secure in your grip. The downside of this option is that you “lose” one hand. In other words, if you need both your hands for something, like texting or adjusting props, you’ll need to put down your camera first.
Nevertheless, a hand strap can be a good choice for photographers who don’t like wrist straps or who have an assistant to help with lighting, etc. Try out both and see what you prefer.
This hand strap from JJC is a nice one to consider. It’s comfortable, durable, and adjusts easily. It also has an extra strap that wraps around your wrist, so if your camera accidentally slips from your grip, it won’t fall to the ground. The backup strap will catch it.
Finger straps?? Yes. This is a thing, and it’s brilliant – not for a heavy DSLR, of course, but for lightweight point-and-shoot cameras. A finger strap will keep the camera in your hand without getting in the way. Unlike a hand strap, a finger strap will allow you to still use your hand for simple tasks like texting.
Not sure how you feel about wearing a camera on your finger? Fortunately, you can find good finger straps for under $5, so it’s not a huge purchase. The Op/Tech USA finger cuff is worth looking at. It has a buckle to release the camera, so you can quickly unclip the camera whenever you don’t need it.
Check out Part 2 of our camera strap guide where we discuss the different options for neck straps.