Every camera comes with some sort of strap, and straps are important. They prevent our cameras from falling and our precious investments crumbling to pieces. But not every stock camera strap is comfortable or always suits our needs. Depending on your shooting situation and comfort level, you may want to aim for another strap that suits you better. Here's a quick look at a standout selection.
Holdfast Gear Camera Leash
Many photographers will often take the standard camera straps and wrap them around their wrist. This is common at events or for street photographers. If you're sick of tangling your strap around your wrist and you want something a bit more stylish, then Holdfast Gear has the Camera Leash. Available in normal leather, Water Buffalo or American Bison, the straps appeal to those that value vintage aesthetics, solid build quality, and functionality. The Camera Leash goes into a loop in your camera's tripod socket and then wraps around your wrist based on your own adjustment level and comfort.
Personally, mine never comes off of my 5D Mk II.
Capturing Couture Artisan Collection Navajo Strap
The Capturing Couture Artisan Collection includes this Navajo strap: which has colors inspired by the Indian tribe. The company was founded to create standard straps, but not to have them standard looking. The strap is made from a textural woven cotton sporting blue, peach, purple and cream tonal stripes on a black base. Plus, it features a velvet neck pad for even more comfort. As a result, they include lots of crazy patterns that will match anything in a thrift shop. What makes this strap so ergonomically comfortable is the 2 inch webbing that goes around your body. This helps to displace the weight of the camera more evenly and in a way that ends up being more comfortable for you.
A7 Flat Chocolate
Apt No 7 is another small startup based in Brooklyn, NY. The company often touts its mantra of following no path; and so they intrinsically appeal to someone looking for a totally different type of product. The company's camera straps are a bit different than others. Their Flat Chocolate leather strap was one of the first they made, and as soon as you take it out of the carton, you'll get a whiff similar to a new car smell. The strap has a pebbled but soft leather texture (almost like a buffalo hide wallet) that feels great if the strap is wrapped around your wrist or generally just used with it slung around your neck or torso. They're quite durable and as time goes on, the wear they get will make them even more appealing.
!mo Happy Prince
Looking for something a bit more retro? If you're sporting a retro-style camera, then you might want to consider the !mo Happy Prince. The strap is made from cotton and has colors that harken back to the old Polaroid cameras. The Happy Prince in particular features light blue, gray, white, black, and dark blue. Besides the stylishness, the fact that the strap is made from braided cotton will not only give it strength but also lots of comfort. Walking around on a hot day? Well, a cotton strap will allow the areas of your body directly under it to breathe better--ensuring that you don't get any embarrassing sweat stains.
Black Rapid RS-7 Curve
Black Rapid caused a stir that turned into a frenzy when they first appeared on the scene. For the first time, a photographer was able to quickly access their camera without being slowed down. The system is simple but still quite brilliant. This durable camera strap goes around the photographer's torso and the camera itself hangs by the waist. It connects via a special ring that goes into your camera's tripod socket and a clamp that ensures that your camera won't fall to the ground. The strap itself also includes lots of shoulder support for extra comfort in long shooting situations (such as a wedding or a sports game). But what makes the curve so different is the fact that the shoulder pad already has an ergonomic bend in it to conform more to your body.
Tap and Dye Legacy Leather Wrist Strap
With the rise of mirrorless cameras came the need for customization and with that--fashion sense. Tap and Dye is a new company founded in NYC where the owner Justin hand makes every single strap. The Legacy wrist strap is amongst the toughest and most beautiful wrist straps we've seen. It attaches onto the strap lugs of your mirrorless camera and stays in place quite firmly. In fact, good luck trying to get this one off! In real life use, the strap is also adjustable for your own comfort level while keeping your camera snuggly in your hand and around your wrist.
They complement cameras with light lenses the best.
Joby Ultrafit Sling Strap
Some straps are designed specifically with women in mind--and the Joby Ultrafit is one of them. The strap is specifically designed to work with a woman's curves. First, the padding goes around the shoulder and stops at the halfway point of the rib capacity. Then a pivot ring connects another strap where your camera hangs from your waist in a fashion similar to a Black Rapid strap. The beauty of the ring though is that it allows the strap to move with your body: so it always conforms to your movements.
The Lens Loop started off as a Kickstarter and after some initial media coverage, more people started to gain interest. The straps are all American made and feature something completely different: seatbelts. Vadim, the strap's creator, went to old junk yards and took all the webbing from one to create the first prototypes. The result is a camera strap that feels just like something many Americans strap around themselves every day. It also has large webbing, which makes it distribute a camera's weight better across the body. Plus, it comes in black, red and green. If you dig Black Rapid style straps but without the shoulder pad, this may be the one for you. They're also more affordable.
These straps are only a small selection of the large amount that have cropped up in the past couple of years. Just remember that different photographers have different needs based on subject matter and personal comfort.