Carrying a camera

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jamespetts, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    An article by Ken Rockwell recommends carrying a camera using a strap slung over the neck and shoulder, not just the neck. I have generally carried my camera just over the neck, but tried carrying it over the shoulder very briefly. What I found, however, is that it was awkward to move the camera far from my body easily (I often like to take photographs at some distance from myself, especially close-ups, and use the rear screen rather than an EVF - my previous camera, the E-P3, did not even have a built in EVF), and it was cumbersome to remove from being around the neck and shoulder, whereas it is easy to remove from being around the neck.

    What thoughts do people here have about the best way to carry a Micro Four Thirds camera? Does the size of the camera make a difference? I now use an E-M1 instead of an E-P3, which is noticeably larger.
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Get a sling strap where the camera mount slides along the strap, rather than making the strap slide around your body. And possibly one that has a quick-adjust length so you can carry it tight under your arm when you're walking and then quickly extend it out when you're ready to shoot. There are a bunch of them out there. I like one made by Artist and Artisan and another I have that I can't recall who makes it - I think maybe the same folks who make the gorrilla-pod??? But they're around and they're the only way I carry a camera anymore. Unless it's small enough for just a wrist strap...

    Here - found a couple of links:

    • Like Like x 3
  3. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    I have both a neck and wrist strap. I almost all ways have my camera on the wrist strap when I remove my camera out of its bag, and have a prime mounted on my G3. I carry two primes with me the 20 mm and my just purchased 45 mm lens. My kit now for travel is the 14, 20, and 45. My kit for the ballet is the 25 and 45 mm lens. If I had bought the 45 first, I might not have purchased the 25 mm lens. It is a great lens, but big when you look at my other primes. But it does a good job in low light so I plan on keeping the 25. Back to the original question though, I have not used the neck strap once I had the wrist strap. I have two G3's, and each has an attached wrist strap. It just keeps the camera ready to use.
  4. Y2K

    Y2K Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    Wrist strap works better for me as well. I find it more convenient to use than having camera flopping around my neck or neck/shoulder.
  5. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Thank you - that is helpful. Are there any particular wrist straps that anyone can recommend?
  6. Everhandy

    Everhandy Guest

    Oh, I love this topic.

    You've struck on the very reason :43: is tops in my book for best carry around cameras.

    My thoughts:

    1. I've tried so many premium compact cameras, I lost track. Even though many were great cameras, I never was truly happy with any of them because they lack IQ and controls as a consequence of being small. They are small to fit in the pocket. The pocket is a horrible place for a camera. Dust, lint and all types of tiny particles hiding in your pocket and just itching to find their way into your lens or worse, on your sensor. so, "pocket cameras" are no good.

    2. Any of the rangefinder style, interchangeable lens, mirrorless cameras are ideal for walk-about photography, especially without a built-in viewfinder and here's why; they fit neatly, lens up, in a small square camera bag. If the camera bag has a long strap, you wear it around your shoulder, over the head on the opposite shoulder, with the bag hanging down near the waste, just behind your arm as it extends downward. This is an extremely secure method of carrying your camera and it offers instant access. You simply pull the bag forward a bit and swing it around to the front of your body, grab the camera by the lens, pull it out and shoot. Using this method, I have both hands free while traversing, the camera is not conspicuous and it is not bumping against me as I walk.

    3. With a small bag, you can carry a spare battery and an optional viewfinder (if you must but really...). Once your camera is at hand, you can simply drop the lens cap into the bag and not lose it. You take your shot, pop the camera back into the bag and away you go. Long lens? no problem, just get a small top-loading, zoom DSLR bag. A bit larger but, still an efficient solution.

    Optionally, you can buy a camera sling strap which has a sliding ring that you attach your camera to and this allows you to place the camera in front of your face without removing it from the strap and then back under the arm when done shooting. I have one but do not like it because the camera bangs into my body a bit too much when walking.

    I find the small camera bag with a long strap to be the ideal solution for carrying gear. It's also easy to hide under the seat of the car.

    I rarely ever carry a camera with a strap anymore, especially hung in front of me from the neck.

    I agree with Ken Rockwell that a camera strap should be across your chest to the opposite shoulder.
  7. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Interesting thoughts - thank you! I don't think that I could carry a camera strapless - I'd be terribly afraid of dropping it. I also like to use the strap to support the camera while changing lenses, holding the lens in one hand and the body cap (or other lens) in the other (the camera supported entirely on the strap) and swapping the two as quickly as possible so as to minimise sensor exposure to dust.

    Everhandy - can you recommend any particular bags?
  8. If I travel without a bag, I use a nice thick strap carried by shoulder.

    If I travel with a bag, I use a thin strap used mostly as a wrist strap. Sometimes, I will throw it over my shoulder whenever I need my hands free for a moment.
  9. Y2K

    Y2K Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    I like them sturdy but as thin as possible. With my E-M5 I used this Gariz Strap but I sold it with the camera. I also had this cheaper one from EZFoto and it was all right but not my favorite. There are many other options if you search for camera wrist strap on Amazon. People seem to like Gordy strap a lot as well. I made my own which I am using right now that looks like a cross between Gariz and Gordy straps, so DIY is always an option too.
  10. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    I have a love/hate relationship with wrist straps. I hate every wrist strap I've ever used or even seen. On the other hand, I use a short narrow neck strap as a wrist strap more often than I use it as a neck strap. This has been the case for well over 40 years.

    My neck strap of choice are the several old Nikon AN-4 (AN-4B=black, AN-4Y=yellow with black stripes, AN-4W=wine red/brown and long extinct since it only shipped with a short run version of the F3T) straps that I've had for years along with a extinct Canon strap (Silver grey) that appears to have been from the same root source as the Nikons. These are simple rather narrow nylon web straps with minimal hardware. When adjusted relatively short they work as a wrist strap by wrapping them twice around my wrist. When I need to free my hands I can either let go of the camera, letting it dangle, or when more freedom is needed I can slip the strap over a shoulder or my neck.

    I don't "carry" (read: transport when not actively shooting) my camera on a strap. I use a small "fanny pack" waist bag as my normal method when carrying only my Panny G-1 + 14-45 along with a few small accessories. The one I use at the present will swallow (barely) the G-1+zoom along with the rather small Jupiter-8 50mm. When I need to carry a little more equipment I use a somewhat larger waist bag that will hold the body, 2-3 extra lenses, a table-top tripod, and some closeup accessories.

    Attached Files:

  11. Everhandy

    Everhandy Guest

    Here is the bag I've been using for quite a while now for my rangefinder cameras (E-PL2, E-PL5, GX-1, etc). It even works well for two compact cameras.

    Lowepro Edit 110. It's $16.89 on Amazon. There are two side pockets and a front pocket. It also has a zippered top flap that has a Velcro clasp which means you don't have to zip and unzip all the time.
    Of course, you should always have a wrist strap on your camera to prevent accidental drops. Lens changes are easy, You keep the camera "lens up" in the bag while you change your lens. For walk-about shooting though, I generally decide on what lens I'll be using for the type of shooting I'll be doing and then leave that one lens on the camera. You'll find as you gain experience, you start leaving most of your lenses at home anyway. I found the E-PL2 with the Panny 20mm to be superb. If I needed more "reach". I could always zoom in later with a crop. Since image quality is so darn good with the right lens, a zoom lens sometimes seems superfluous but it all depends on your needs. I'm a simple guy.

  12. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Cross the body bandoleer style on Gordy non adjustable neck strap is best IMHO . You can swing the camera to have it on back or in front for faster access when needed. Most importantly looks cool and sparse and leathery / vintagey.
  13. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Hmm - one issue with wrist straps, I suppose, is that they might be rather tiring with a heavier camera/lens. I have the E-M1 and 12-40mm, and that is a somewhat heavy combination (that lens is very solidly built), and am currently trying to work out what telephoto lens to get, but that may well not be at all light, and would be a tad much for a wrist strap.
  14. deejayvee

    deejayvee Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    I carry my GH3 on a strap over my neck and shoulder, with the camera down by my hip. When I first had a G3 I used to use a neck strap but found that the camera bounced around too much when I walked. With the GH3 over the neck and shoulder, it still bounces around a little but because it's down near my hand I can steady it quite comfortably.

    For my GX7 though, I've gone for a wrist strap. Still getting used to it, but it seems to suit the smaller camera better.
  15. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
  16. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Wrist strap all the way; I use an Op-tech: this one for the big OMD and this one for the small cameras.
  17. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I use a BlackRapid Snapr sliding sling strap/bag - the camera usually doesn't go in a camera bag when I'm actually out with it, except for transport. I attach the strap to the camera lug rather than the tripod mount (unlike the usual BlackRapid setup). I prefer the sliding sling style as it doesn't get in the way, doesn't bounce on my chest when walking, doesn't give me a sore neck, and can quickly be brought to shooting position.

    I tend to just use the strap without the bag, as the E-M5 doesn't fit in the bag with anything except a pancake on it. I'll attach the bag part if I'm not taking a back pack but want another lens or two, or need NDs for fast primes.
  18. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Am I thinking correctly that, with a camera by your hip with a strap over your neck and shoulder, you are not using the default strap, but a longer strap? If so, may I ask what strap that you were using?
  19. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I use a small bag (Domke f-5xa) and a wrist strap. My biggest combo would be the EM5 with the 45-200, but that also means I'm "hunting" so I don't care about the weight.
  20. deejayvee

    deejayvee Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    That is correct. I bought a sling strap from DSPTCH because the banner ad was on this site. I'm pretty happy with it, but I can't really compare it to any others because it's the only one I've used.
    • Like Like x 1
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