Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Gadget Bag: Strapped For Photos
Replace the strap that came with your camera for one that delivers all-day comfort and security
Two rubs, actually. Many people, myself included, suffer from back and/or neck conditions that render many camera straps downright painful. There are more comfortable alternatives available, however, for those of us who continue to carry heavy cameras despite the aches. The second rub comes from the fact that most camera straps brightly advertise that you have an expensive camera on your person. From the standpoint of security, that can be undesirable.
The good news is that there are many outstanding neck straps available that will protect your camera while saving your neck. I tend to avoid those with metal connectors (that can scratch cameras) and gravitate toward straps with nice, wide pads that distribute the weight over the largest area possible. Straps that quickly disconnect close to the camera body can be stowed separated from the camera during transport. That makes it easier to pack your DSLR into your bag without the danger of scuffing the LCD with the strap hardware. As a general rule of thumb, look to your favorite camera bag manufacturer; they usually offer a line of suitable neck straps. Here's the rundown of some of the best.
You'll probably never find a neck strap more unusual or comfortable than the Crumpler Industry Disgrace. Designed specifically to protect your neck, it's extra-wide in the middle and extra-long so you can adjust the length to suit your needs. The ergonomic neoprene neck pad sits on a breathable air-mesh strap. Nice touch: The neck pad features a lanyard slide-through so you can thread your binocular straps through the pad and redistribute that weight, too. Constructed of 900 denier flamed polypropylene and dual-layer nylon-reinforced PVC, "it's soft where it matters but strong where it counts."
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