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"All children are artists. The problem is how

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Use Your Camera's Neck Strap...On Your Neck

OK, I know this sounds like an obvious tip, but based on my experience watching literally thousands of people shoot pictures last week at the Statue of Liberty, it bears repeating: Use your camera's neck strap. And if you really want to save your camera, you actually have to put it around your neck. While I was at the Statue I was astounded at how many beautiful digital cameras I saw being held by hot sweaty hands (it was nearly 100-degrees during midday) with the camera strap dangling freely in the breeze. The guy in this shot has a camera strap (and it looks like he's carrying a nice EOS DSLR judging from the strap), but I'm not sure his arm is the safest place to wear it.

It kind of infuriates me that most point-and-shoot cameras don't come with (or even have a way to attach) a regular neck strap. The manufacturers assume (probably correctly) that most people won't use one anyway, so they include a tiny wrist strap. Wrists straps work, but again, they only work if you put them on your wrist. I could count one one hand the number of people I saw that were actually using their wrist straps--yet most of the cameras did have one attached!

Speaking of straps, if you're buying a new DSLR, spend the extra money for a very comfortable strap--even if it costs $50 or so. If you are carrying a DSLR with a long zoom for more than a few minutes you'll be thrilled that you spent the extra money. I'm partial to the neoprene straps (made from the stuff that wetsuits are made from) with a wide neck band because they're soft and flexible and last forever. But go look at your local camera shop (or stop at B&H if you're in New York) and look the straps over and see which feels most comfortable to you. And bring your longest lens when you're shopping so you know how comfortable it is when you're carrying real weight.

And once you buy the strap, use it--duh! There's nothing that will ruin a fun day of shooting like the thud of a thousand bucks worth of camera hitting a hard surface (or a wet one).

5 comments:

Evynrude said...

That's very funny. I was just thinking the other day, that I wanted a knob on my new little digital camera strap, that I could tighten against my wrist. Seeing as how just putting it over your wrist is kind of pointless!

Frank said...

I agree with getting a softer strap. I actually stole an add on piece off an old laptop case that I had. Works very well and is far more comfortable than just the nylon strap that came with my Canon.

A quick fix for the point and shoots is to use the long neck strap from a flash drive. Most of them will easily hold a point and shoot camera and you probably already have one.

Jeff Wignall said...

I agree with you (and myself!) Frank, those softer straps really save your neck, especially if you're using a long and heavy lens. I never thought of the neck strap from the flash drive; I'm going to look around my office and see if I can't find something similar for my Canon point-and-shoot camera.

Jeff Wignall said...

Hey Karen!

Yeah, you're exactly right, there needs to be some way to tighten up those little straps. I'll think on it a bit!

jeff

Walter said...

Neck straps are made for a reason, to be worn around your neck to prevent the fall of your camera, since there are instances that might break yours if you just hold the unit on the grip (and the sweat of your hands might make it slip). As a photo enthusiast, I can't resist on noticing the shooting habits of photographer (Irving), and they sure does love their camera! Other than the shooting habits, I also give a personal look at how do they deal with wedding photography (Irving), since I was mesmerized with how they look with just using natural light.