The Black Rapid RS-7 camera strap is by far the most useful accessory that I have for outdoor photography! I used it most recently for trips to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, and it proved to be invaluable. I’ve been using it for over a year now and I can definitely say that I would not be without it.
The main thing it does for me is that it keeps my camera at my side, with the lens facing backward and along side of me. This means as I climb through the woods and through brush, the lens is protected. Plus, I don’t feel a large weight bounding off of my chest as I had with the factory strap hanging around my neck. This strap goes over the shoulder and across the body, holding the camera at waist level. Since this is where your arms naturally hang down and your hands are at waist level, you can easily grab the camera and swing it up to take a shot – never missing a shot again by fumbling for your camera.
I looked at other straps before choosing the Black Rapid brand, but the others did not measure up. I also looked at holsters and belt clips for my camera as I thought these would put the camera at my side for quick use. It turns out that these do not work so well because I’m generally driving to a location to shoot and I want to keep my camera on me so I can get out and get to the shooting part with minimal preparation. The holster systems do not work because when sitting, the camera is either grinding into your seat or leg or both. Either way it puts undue stress on the camera itself. A strap is better.
The Black Rapid strap benefits from having a simplistic design, yet with features that make it comfortable. For one, the strap itself is curved somewhat to match the curve of your body. I didn’t immediately see the benefit of this until putting on the strap and comparing to a competitor that has a straight strap. The difference in comfort is amazing with the RS-7.
Also, there are two clips on the strap that account for the upper and lower end of travel of the camera along the strap. By positioning these correctly, the strap stays in place on my body and doesn’t slide forward or backward.
The strap attaches via a thumb screw into the threaded tripod mount of a camera. It is easily twisted in or out using light thumb and finger twisting. A rubber washer helps keep the camera securely attached and prevents the screw from unscrewing.
The only drawback that I experience is when I go to use the tripod. I have to remove the strap and install the tripod mount in the screw hole on the bottom of the camera. But, this minor difficulty is really nothing. In fact I often leave the strap around my shoulder, and just reattach the camera when done with the tripod.
Durability hasn’t proven to be any issue with the RS-7 strap either. I’ve used it for over a year for hundreds of shoots, and there have been absolutely no problems.
I have a problematic back, and I could really notice how using the Black Rapid RS-7 strap took the weight of the camera off of my neck and distributed it across my body. I had fewer neck and back pains after using the strap.
Initially setting up the strap to use it effectively seemed complex, but on the Black Rapid site there are videos that show how the strap is used and these really helped. I viewed these even before purchasing the strap because I wanted to see how it was going to work before I bought it. This was tremendously helpful in selling me on the product as I could see clearly from the videos that this thing was going to work and was going to really help me.
Purchasing the RS-7 has simplified my photography and improved my time to shoot – helping me get more shots! I would recommend it for any type of photographer as it will improve your timing and reduce the strain on your body of carrying a camera.
Thank you for reading what I wrote — I hope you enjoyed it.