From a young age, I could be found snapping photos of anything and everything. Starting first with simple disposable cameras, then a small point and shoot, and finally graduating to a digital DSLR camera body with a double battery grip and a lens the size of Jupiter. I bring my camera with me every chance I get, so I can capture life’s most precious moments.
My husband and I were recently on vacation in Northern Michigan visiting family. During this time of the year, the leaves were well on their way to turning beautiful shades of vibrant orange, bright yellow, and screaming red. Couple the autumnal colors with the mellow teal and deep blue shades of Lake Michigan’s waves and you’ve got a photographer’s paradise. Needless to say, I had packed my camera in anticipation of great photo opportunities.
With the huge lens and double battery grip, my camera ends up being fairly heavy. It’s quite cumbersome to carry it over my shoulder, because the strap doesn’t allow for the lens to face downwards. My strap is more decorative than functional (think bright blue floral print). I’ve been meaning to buy something more utilitarian, but hadn’t found anything that fit the bill.
Enter stage right: Peak Design’s Slide Lite Mirrorless Camera Sling Strap and the accompanying Cuff Camera Wrist Strap for smaller DSLR cameras. These camera straps work together with the same anchoring system for dual usage. The anchor links connect on either side of the camera, as well as screw into the bottom of the battery grip, and can hold up to 200+ pounds of force. The strap itself has ultra smooth webbing on one side with a silicone grip on the other for security when carrying a camera on the shoulder and can adjust length easily with a range of 37-57”. Similarly, the wrist strap can withhold forces up to 200+ pounds, has an adjustability range of 5-11.5”, and can connect to any anchor point on the camera.
My current setup has the shoulder strap connected to the left anchor and the anchor mounted to the bottom of the battery grip with the wrist strap connected to the right anchor on my camera. This setup allows me to be able to carry my camera over my left shoulder with the lens facing downwards. When I see a photo opportunity, I reach for my camera and start shooting. Since I’m right handed, the wrist strap goes on my right hand for extra security.
Since I was taking my camera with me to beautiful Northern Michigan, I was eager to see how the straps would work in action. As I expected, they worked great with minimal hiccups. The shoulder strap felt secure on my shoulder and I loved being able to carry my camera with the lens facing downwards when not actively shooting.
It was easy to switch between carrying my camera and shifting the strap, so I could start shooting quickly if needed. The wrist strap took a little getting used to, because it kept getting in the way when I was shooting even though it was around my wrist. After a while though, I figured out that if I cinched it around my wrist and tucked my hand underneath the strap, I was able to use my camera without it impeding the shooting process.
At the end of the trip, I can now say that I love my new camera straps and would definitely recommend them to any photographer looking to try something new. The wrist strap, while seemingly small and not as useful, ended up being my favorite part of the new strap mechanism. Why? Because it saved my camera from falling into Lake Michigan while leaning over the railing on top of a ferry boat going over 50 miles per hour across the lake with strong winds and not so small waves.
Was that my smartest decision ever? No.
Fortunately, the wrist strap caught my camera before it fell into the deep waters below. My wrist hurt the rest of the day, but I still have my camera and I was able to take the perfect photograph of the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan.
Was it worth it? Yes.